Associate Director (Online and Distance Learning Programmes)

London Permanent
  • Lead the development of a strategy for LSE's online programmes
  • Play a leading role in delivering a key part of LSE's 2030 vision and strategy

About Our Client

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the foremost social science universities in the world.

LSE's portfolio of online and distance learning programmes makes their world-leading teaching and research accessible to a global audience of lifelong learners at a moment when the value and demand for online education has never been greater. They form a growing element of the continuum of lifelong learning opportunities envisaged by LSE's 2030 Strategy and generate a financial return which helps the School to sustain and advance its positive global impact.

The portfolio includes:

  • Online Certificate Courses: a growing portfolio of 30 courses delivered in collaboration with the online education company 2U which enable professionals to upskill in new skills or subjects.
  • University of London Degree Programmes: 10 undergraduate degrees offered in partnership with the University of London, which make a world-class degree accessible to students and working professionals looking to gain new skills and knowledge without relocating either in-person at a global network of 30+ recognised teaching centres or through online study.
  • Online Career Accelerator: a new portfolio of 6 month long courses developed in collaboration with industry partners and the online education company FourthRev.

The Online and Distance Learning team is part of LSE's Extended Education Unit, a highly successful and commercially driven Unit that delivers LSE's open enrolment short courses and distance learning degree programmes. In addition to Online and Distance Learning, Extended Education is also responsible for LSE's Summer School (the largest in Europe with 9,000 enrolments each year) and LSE's open enrolment and customised Executive Education courses.

Job Description

The Associate Director (Online and Distance Learning) plays a critical role in the Extended Education Unit, with a particular focus on providing:

  • Leadership and direction for the Online and Distance Learning team, driving the development and implementation of LSE's growth strategy
  • Strategic insight and thought leadership for the development of online and distance learning across Extended Education programmes and the broader School
  • Leading and developing the School's partnerships with 2U, FourthRev, the University of London and Recognised Teaching Centres

Support to, and deputising for, the Director of Extended Education

Strategy, planning and leadership

  • Lead and motivate the Online and Distance Learning team, creating a culture and working environment to drive growth and facilitate high performance
  • Lead the development of a strategy and business plan for Online and Distance Learning, including the development of associated financial and non-financial targets and milestones
  • Work with the Assistant Director (Operations and Planning) to develop budgets and 5 year financial plans for the Online and Distance Learning programmes
  • Line-manage, motivate and coach the Online and Distance Learning Senior Management Team
  • Work with the Director of Extended Education to lead the identification of new opportunities (products and target markets) for developing LSE's Online and Distance Learning programmes, preparing detailed business cases to support investment when required

LSE Online

  • Lead and support the development of a long-term strategy for LSE's online programmes which will include an assessment of market conditions, resource implications and potential risks
  • Work with the Dean of Extended Education, Academic Director of Online Programmes and Academic Director of University of London Programmes to identify opportunities for new courses
  • Lead the refinement of LSE's operating model for the development and delivery of online programmes, ensuring continuous improvement in response to student and academic feedback and product innovation in response to new technology and market trends
  • Resolve any major problems which arise in LSE's delivery of online programmes.

University of London Programmes (distance learning)

  • Drive the development and implementation of LSE's strategy for the University of London programmes, working with the Director of Extended Education to ensure the conditions are in place for the programmes to thrive at LSE
  • Work with the Academic Directors to ensure the thorough evaluation of the design and delivery of programmes including academic quality and student experience
  • Develop and implement business plans, including product development and pricing strategy


  • Own the relationship between LSE and 2U maximising the benefit for LSE by liaising at senior levels to develop and grow the partnership, ensuring 2U and LSE deliver their contractual obligations and resolving problems as they occur
  • Play a leadership role in LSE's relationship with the University of London, liaising and negotiating with senior staff to ensure the programme meets LSE's objectives
  • Negotiate, advise on and lead commercial arrangements with clients and partners including 2U, the University of London and other OPMs
  • Develop a public presence in the industry and network at a senior level among peers and clients, through business development, networking and public relations activities (e.g. client meetings, professional networks and events, School events, public conferences)

The Successful Applicant

  • Commercial drive and ability with an entrepreneurial approach
  • Proven experience of business case development, report preparation, data analysis
  • Excellent negotiation and influencing skills, demonstrating persuasive and motivational skills and the ability to work with and through others
  • Experience of securing and negotiating commercial contracts
  • Commitment to high academic and educational standards
  • Significant team and line management experience, ability to formulate and relate a clear vision of purpose and objectives to a team
  • Strong analytical skills, with the ability to present complex data/management information in a structured and clear way, verbally, in writing and for presentations
  • Experience of making decisions at strategic level with broad organisational impact
  • Proven ability at representing a business unit at senior level board and/or committee meetings
  • Proven interpersonal skills, with the ability to build networks and influence internally and externally
  • Experienced in making logical evidence based business decisions and communicating them to senior personnel
  • Evidence of having made a significant contribution at senior management level
  • Excellent knowledge of the global online learning market and how its changing (desirable)

What's on Offer

The Associate Director (Online and Distance Learning Programmes) is a full time, permanent role paying a competitive salary.

Rochelle George
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Phone number
07917 792 289

Job summary

Marketing & Agency
Public Sector & Not-For-Profit
Not For Profit
Contract type
Consultant name
Rochelle George
Consultant phone
07917 792 289
Job reference