Interim Deputy Director Communications

The Open University

Unit : 
Salary : 
£98,083 to £112,918
Location : 
Milton Keynes
Please quote reference : 
Full time, Fixed Term Contract (12 months)
Closing Date : 
1 December, 2023 – 12:00

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

The Marketing and Communications unit is a powerhouse of campaign activity – whether it be brand, acquisition or retention, organic social, media relations or internal communications. Our mission is to deliver effective, efficient and exciting campaigns to a multitude of audiences, both internal and external.

The role

The Open University is recruiting a Deputy Director Communications.

Enhance and protect our reputation, develop the brand and tell our Open University story to the world to help us achieve our mission.  Lead and develop a strong communications function focused on holistic and integrated communications to both external and internal audiences and across all media platforms.  

Skills and experience

The post holder will be an experienced and professionally accredited communications professional in Public Relations and External Affairs who has operated in a similarly complex external environment.

  • Demonstrable senior leadership experience with very large communications teams, ideally experience of working in a business partner model and with a geographically dispersed internal team and external agencies.
  • Very comfortable delivering truth to power and giving highly complex and politically sensitive reputational handling advice to board members. 
  • Demonstrable experience of developing an internal and external radar of reputational risk and proactive management and handling. 
  • Driving conversations and relationships with journalists and other media in pursuit of delivering organisational strategies in the UK and internationally

The full summary of duties and skills required for the role can be found within the Job Description here . 

If you would like to discuss the application or recruitment process before making an application, please contact Sally Siveter at Resourcing Hub on 01908 655544 or [email protected] quoting the reference VRF 21302.

What you get in return

We have a strong commitment to providing training and development in and beyond your current role. This includes thorough induction into the organisation and regular reviews of your training and development needs.

We also offer a great range of benefits that support our employees and their families for the long term. Staff Benefits include an attractive pension proposition and 33 days holiday per annum pro rata, plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days.

How to apply

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the instructions on The OU Job’s page. Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be received.

Access details for disabled applicants are available from the Resourcing Hub, telephone: 01908 655544, quoting the vacancy reference above.

To apply for this role please submit the following as one document;

  • CV
  • Personal statement, up to 700 words, you should set out in your statement why you’re interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role as detailed in the job and person specification.

Please save your document with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: reference, surname, forename.

You will need to have your documents ready ahead of submitting the electronic application. Please click on the APPLY NOW button below to be redirected to our application page.


You will receive updates regarding your application from [email protected] . Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders so it does not go to your junk folder.

You can view your application communications on the Candidate portal .

Find out more about us and our mission by watching this short video (you will be taken to YouTube by clicking this link).

The Open University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion which is reflected in our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. We aim to foster a diverse and inclusive environment so that all in our OU community can reach their potential.  We recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.  We strive to recruit, retain and develop the careers of a diverse pool of students and staff, and particularly encourage applications from all underrepresented groups. We also aspire to make The Open University a supportive workplace for all through our policies, services and staff networks.

Job related information : 

Attachment Size
Attachment Size
Deputy Director Communications JD.docx 135.9 KB

  • Terms and Conditions – Academic Related Staff  (PDF)
  • Terms and Conditions – Academic Related Staff  (Word document)

Posting Date : 
13 November, 2023 – 09:00

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