Discipline Support Administrator


The School of Engineering is seeking to appoint a highly organised, self-motivated and flexible appointee to work within one of the four teaching disciplines within the School. The post holder will provide administrative support to the Director of Discipline and Discipline Programme Manager as well as the day to day supervision of one Discipline Support Administrative Assistant located within the Teaching Support Office.

The post holder is directly responsible for the administration and support of senior honours and taught masters' programmes and courses for the discipline, providing support to the Academic Course Organisers and Taught Masters Programme Directors. As well as contributing to the development of administrative processes and procedures, they will have strong communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to plan their own workload, and will be able to demonstrate a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.

Applicants must possess strong IT skills, including experience of Microsoft Word and Excel, have experience of committee servicing and minute taking, plus relevant work experience, ideally in an education-related environment.

This position is an ideal opportunity for someone looking to further develop a career in University professional services, in a School with a proven commitment to training and staff development.

This post is a maternity cover for one year.

Salary UE05 £23,067 to £26,715 pa

Closing date is 5pm (GMT) on the 22nd September 2020.

1. Job Details

Job title: Discipline Support Administrator

School: School of Engineering

Unit: Teaching Support Office/Engineering Teaching Organisation (ETO)

Line manager: Teaching Support Administrator

2. Job Purpose

Working within one of the four teaching disciplines within the School of Engineering, the post holder will provide administrative support to the Director of Discipline and Discipline Programme Manager as well as the day to day supervision of one Discipline Support Administrative Assistant located within the Teaching Support Office. The post holder is directly responsible for the administration and support of senior honours and taught masters' programmes and courses for the discipline, providing support to the Academic Course Organisers and Taught Masters Programme Directors.

3. Main Responsibilities

  1. Manage the administration of all aspects of teaching support for one of the four disciplines within the School of Engineering, ensuring timely and efficient administrative support to the Academic Course Organisers and Taught Masters Programme Directors to ensure that they are alleviated from the administrative tasks involved in the running of courses and programmes.
  2. Responsible for the completion of student timetables for all programmes within their discipline, solving complex scheduling issues which may arise due to courses being available across multiple disciplines and ensuring all room booking requests are completed as required.
  3. Maintaining updates to the teaching timetables, making room bookings and arranging laboratory and tutorial groups as necessary, as well as the production and distribution of all course support materials.
  4. Facilitation of the timely and accurate progression of all examination papers through the checking process for the allocated area of the curriculum, ensuring checking and monitoring procedures are adhered to by Academic Course Organisers.
  5. Inform the students of the hand-in deadlines, and the penalties for late submissions.
  6. Processing coursework and examination marks and running final reports in Business Intelligence software for the Board of Examiners meetings, working closely with Course Organisers to ensure that the information required by the Convenor of the Board of Examiners is accurate and timely.
  7. Ensure copies of all student examinations and coursework assessments are retained for accreditation purposes within their allocated discipline.
  8. Responsible for the administration of their discipline student prizes, liaising with the Convenor of Board of Examiners to ensure prizes are prepared in time and awarded to students at the annual School prize giving event. (40% of time)
  9. Providing administrative support to the Director of Discipline and the Discipline Programme Manager. Arranging and taking minutes at various teaching discipline related meetings including the Teaching Discipline staff meetings, Board of Examiners meetings and annual Discipline Teaching Review meetings. The organisation of venues, catering, accommodation and speakers for Discipline related events, away days and industrial advisory/liaison boards. (25% of time)
  10. Support to Directors of Discipline with respect to their line management responsibilities, including the processing of academic staff annual leave requests, advising Directors of Discipline on the approval or refusal of requests, particularly in the context of the academic cycle including the school requirement for compulsory attendance at Discipline Board of Examiners meetings. Making arrangements for Welcome Week for new students and working with the School Staffing Team to support Directors of Discipline with the completion of the staff annual review paperwork and meetings. (15% of time)
  11. Supervision of one Discipline Support Administrative Assistant located within in the Teaching Support Office, monitoring their workload as well as assigning routine tasks and ensuring that they are completed correctly, maintaining quality standards and according to deadlines. Contribute to the development of processes and procedures, ensuring that both administrative and academic staff adhere to them, e.g. assessment checking procedures. Provide proactive support to students, academic staff, team members and external parties, putting forward suggestions for improvements to service delivery. Resolving day-to-day enquiries and problems independently. (15% of time)
  12. Any other appropriate duties as assigned from time to time. (5% of time)

4. Planning and Organising

The postholder is responsible for organising their own workload and having oversight of the workload of a Discipline Support Administrative Assistant, ensuring that tasks are completed to deadline. They will work with the Teaching Support Administrator and Teaching Services Manager on procedures and organising the workflow in the ETO. The postholder also works with academics within the School to ensure that they adhere to ETO procedures and deadlines, and with other Schools and Support Services to meet their deadlines as required.

5. Problem Solving

The postholder deals with enquiries from their supervisees as well as academic staff and uses their own initiative, skills and experience to find solutions to these problems, or to refer these on to the appropriate person. They also deal with logistical problems, for example increases in student numbers which may impact on student timetables, require new lab groups to be organised or new facilities to be booked, devising a solution and ensuring communication of these changes to all concerned. Working with academic Course Organisers within their Discipline to ensure that any potential problems which could prevent deadlines from being adhered are removed and high standards are maintained. Where Course Organisers are new to the role or less involved, the postholder will give advice and guidance. Working under considerable pressure (especially during examination periods) to ensure that deadlines are adhered to whilst all necessary procedures followed.

6. Decision Making

The postholder is responsible for making day to day decisions with respect to their own workload and that of their supervisee. They are expected to solve problems as they arise or decide when these should be referred on to their line manager. These problems may include enquiries from staff or students, other areas of the University or dealing with requests from professionals in industry. The postholder is responsible for all decisions relating to how and when to chase up/communicate with Course Organisers to ensure the smooth-running of their area of the curriculum.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

The postholder works closely with the Teaching Support Administrator and the Teaching Services Manager as well as the Directors of Discipline, Discipline Programme Manager, Programme Directors and Course Organisers within their Discipline as well as with all academics in the School. Outside their unit the postholder liaises with colleagues in other Schools and Support Services, with parents and visitors, and with professionals in industry.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

  • Educated to at least Higher standard (minimum Higher English) or equivalent, plus significant work experience in a relevant role.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a strong customer focussed attitude.
  • High level of competence using Microsoft Office (Word and Excel) and Outlook.
  • Experience of using IT systems, software and databases and ability to learn quickly to use a range of packages.
  • Experience of committee servicing and minute taking.
  • Experience of record keeping of various types of data (eg. records of attendance, coursework submissions, assessment results).
  • An ability to analyse, present and draw conclusions from relatively straightforward information, identifying trends and problems.
  • Excellent numeracy and a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to draft correspondence and documents to an appropriate standard
  • Strong organisational skills, with the ability to plan own workload, and take in to account the workloads of others.
  • Ability to demonstrate a high degree of initiative; a proactive approach to seeking out information and proven experience of showing good judgement in resolving problems. Able to maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure and project friendliness and confidence.
  • Ability to plan, prioritise and manage own workload, with minimal supervision, within timescales and against competing demands, responding to new pressures and adjusting priorities as required.
  • Flexibility and willingness to take on new work and adapt to change and additional responsibility.

  • Previous experience in Higher/Further Education in a student facing role, with knowledge of issues and policies in a higher education context.
  • Understanding of University Policies and Procedures - particularly Assessment Assessment Regulations.
  • Experience of University student systems such as EUCLID, Learn, BI Suite.

9. Dimensions

Direct reports: one
Approximate number of staff affected by the postholder: all academic staff in the School (120)
Approximate number of students affected by the postholder: 1700
Approximate number of courses in The School of Engineering: 300

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page via our Vacancy Website and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments

We anticipate interviews will be held in the week commencing 5 October. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

Closing date 5pm on the 22nd September 2020.

Right to Work

In accordance with UK legislation the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on right to work please visit our right to work website

In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK or individual circumstances which enable permission to work to be obtained.

For further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes please visit the GOV.UK website

Conditions of Employment
Pension Scheme

For employees on University Grades 1-5 or equivalent there are two pension schemes available: University of Edinburgh Staff Benefits Scheme (SBS) or the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

This role is grade UE05 and therefore the post holder will automatically become a member of the NEST scheme if their monthly earnings are deemed to be 'qualifying earnings' (equivalent to the HMRC monthly threshold above which their earnings are taxable). If the post holder's earnings are not deemed as "qualifying earnings" and therefore will not automatically become a member they can opt in to the NEST scheme.

The post holder can choose to join SBS and by doing so they will not become a member of the NEST scheme.

Further information on the different employer/employee contribution levels required for each scheme and different levels of benefits that the post holder may receive may be found at on our Pensions website


The role is grade UE05 and attracts an annual salary of £23,067 to £26,715 for 35 hours, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i The School of Engineering The School of Engineering addresses diverse complex challenges across the entire field of engineering, at the micro- and macro/global scales. At the microscopic scale, its research supports the design and deployment of novel nanotechnology and devices for biological monitoring and medical diagnosis; at the macro/global scale, it optimises the security and sustainability of the built environment and develops engineering solutions to climate change issues. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School's joint submission with Heriot-Watt University was first in the UK in research power (662) with 94% of our research activity achieving world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) ratings. The School has a strong track record in producing more than 50 technology spin-outs and developing industry links that enable our graduates to build career-long relationships. Current research grant awards total over £75M with new awards in 2017-2018 totalling £27.5 M.

Engineering has been taught at Edinburgh in one form or another since 1673. In 2002, the present School of Engineering was formed from the previously existing departments of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Since then, the School has grown from strength to strength, growing rapidly in the last 5 years, now having the largest number of students among the seven Schools in the College of Science and Engineering, offering undergraduate degree programmes across all disciplines and taught Masters courses in niche areas. All of the undergraduate degree programmes are accredited by the relevant professional institutions.

Specifically, the School aims:
• To provide an environment that fosters outstanding learning and scholarship across Engineering;
• To produce graduates equipped for and inspired towards high personal and professional achievement;
• To enhance the scientific, cultural and economic well-being of society through the discipline of Engineering, contributing to wealth creation and the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally;
• To promote and perform research of the highest quality, motivated by both scientific curiosity and societal needs;
• To promote multi- and inter-disciplinary, flexible research, while continuing to reflect the needs of the major Engineering professions;
• To create efficient technology transfer to and from the School's research base.

Dimensions and Structure
The School is one of the largest in the University, comprising approx. 140 academic staff, 1,700 undergraduate, 180 taught postgraduate and 430 postgraduate research students drawn from all over the world. The School is located on the University's King's Buildings site in South Edinburgh. Each member of academic staff teaches in an engineering discipline and is a member of a Research Institute:

Research Institutes
• Bioengineering
• Digital Communications
• Energy Systems
• Infrastructure and Environment
• Integrated Micro and Nano Systems
• Materials and Processes
• Multiscale Thermofluids

Teaching disciplines
• Chemical Engineering
• Civil & Environmental Engineering
• Electronics & Electrical Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering

We aim to ensure that our culture and systems support flexible and family-friendly working and recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development for all staff; providing mentoring, training, and networking opportunities.

The School of Engineering holds a bronze Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education & research.

Further information, including details of undergraduate & postgraduate taught programmes:

College of Science and Engineering ( ) The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor David Robertson, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy) as well as a national supercomputing centre (the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) and the Bayes Centre for interdisciplinary data science and innovation. We extend beyond the University through many joint activities - for example we host the cross-Scotland DataLab innovation Centre, we are a founding partner in the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, and we are a partner in UK-wide collaborations including the Alan Turing Institute and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Most Schools are located 2 miles south of the city centre at the King's Buildings whilst Informatics, EPCC and Bayes are located in the University's Central Area near George Square. The College has over 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research consortia.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

In the 2014 REF over 95% of our staff were submitted. Of our seven submissions, four of which were as a joint research school in combination with a strategic research university partner through pooling, 3 were ranked top in the UK and all 7 were in the top 5 in their discipline in the Times Higher Power rankings.
The University of Edinburgh For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They've explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 41,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 14,500 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.

University Family Friendly Initiatives

Equality Networks:

Staff Pride Network for LGBT+ colleagues and allies
Disabled Staff Network

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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