Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader, for MArch Sustainable Architecture

Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader, for MArch Sustainable Architecture

Home » Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader, for MArch Sustainable Architecture

CAT seeks a Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader for the M.Arch Sustainable Architecture to foster the conditions and practice that promote high standards of academic quality through effective management of the programme, in liaison with the Head of the School.

About CAT

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is an internationally renowned environmental and educational charity, a world-leading eco centre, and one of the foremost providers of postgraduate environmental education in the UK, based near Machynlleth in Powys, Mid Wales.

CAT provides inspiration, education and training in solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency.

Key activities include a visitor centre where people can see solutions in action, residential short courses, vocational training and postgraduate degrees in a wide range of sustainability-related topics, with online courses and events offered alongside in-person learning.

CAT’s award-winning WISE building is the home for our Graduate School of the Environment, which offers a variety of MSc programmes in Sustainability and an ARB-prescribed Part II Sustainable Architecture (MArch) programme. Our programmes are delivered in partnership with the University of East London (UEL) and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

About the Graduate School of the Environment

Established in March 2007, the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE) at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) runs some of the leading postgraduate programmes in the field of sustainability in the UK. The GSE team leads the way in the advancement of post-graduate environmental education. The work of the GSE is central to CAT’s mission of equipping people with the skills and knowledge to deliver practical solutions for sustainability and transformation.

The GSE currently delivers a suite of MSc Sustainability programmes delivered through blended learning; and an onsite-based M.Arch in Sustainable Architecture (ARB-Part 2 prescribed). Students on all of these programmes benefit from CAT’s experience in the field of sustainable architecture and building, renewable energy and global environmental issues. CAT provides a unique environment for study, with access to leading academics and industry practitioners in the relevant fields.

CAT’s M.Arch team are committed to student-centred teaching in small groups (a typical yearly intake is 25), with an opportunity for part-time work in practice alongside academic studies. (CAT’s M.Arch is a full-time course, but it is taught via an intensive, on-site teaching week per calendar month, supplemented by remote teaching (via tutorials, seminars and lectures) during the other weeks of each month. This allows students to add part-time working to these other weeks of each month, provided that they can dedicate the required time to their M.Arch studies.

To make an informal enquiry about the role please email the Head of School: Adrian Watson,

CAT is committed to promoting a just, diverse and inclusive community. Any selection criterion is based upon merit and the ability to do the job, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or philosophical belief.

Job Details

  • Reference number: PLPLMSA211220
  • Salary: £39, 152.28 pro rata
  • Hours: 28.8 hours per week (0.8 FTE) ideally but time fraction is negotiable
  • Responsible to: Head of School
  • Responsible for: The MArch Programme Team
  • Contract type: Permanent
  • Location: Workplace is the charity’s site near Machynlleth, mid Wales.  However the department is open to home working in between on-site modules where necessary.
  • Working Days: Generally, Monday to Friday though some evening and weekend work is required at times.
  • Closing date for applications: 9am 31 January 2022
  • Interviews to be held: Week commencing 14 February 2022
  • Expected start date: 1 March or ASAP

COVID-19 considerations:

Staff are working remotely as much as possible, subject to individual roles. Working arrangements for staff comply with all current applicable COVID-19 guidance and are updated as and when the guidance changes.

Main Purpose and Responsibilities of the Job

The primary responsibility of the Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader for the M.Arch in Sustainable Architecture is to foster the conditions and practice that promote high standards of academic quality and maintain these through the effective management of the programme, in liaison with the Head of School. 

Overview of main responsibilities include the following:

Programme delivery:

  • Responsible for the delivery of relevant programme, working with the academic and administrative staff to ensure effective programme delivery and student support
  • To oversee the academic and administrative aspects of the programme including assessment, with the resources available
  • Develop and update the existing programme and modules as required and develop appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including for remote teaching
  • To be responsible for the quality management of the programme in liaison with the Head of School, ensuring that course design and delivery comply with the quality standards and regulations of the validating university, University of East London, and ARB
  • Contribute to decisions which have an impact on other related programmes
  • Resolve problems affecting the quality of course delivery and student progress, referring more serious matters to others as appropriate
  • Monitor the outcomes of the programme as required by the Head of School
  • Monitor student progress and retention
  • Identify areas for improvement and updating of current practice
  • Provide a focus for innovation in teaching, assessment and learning strategies and curriculum content within the programme
  • Oversee recruitment and admissions to the programme, including participation in Open Days
  • Provide an in-depth understanding of their own specialism to enable the development of new knowledge and understanding within the field; and work with others to apply subject knowledge to practice
  • Contribute to and prepare and monitor an annual budget for the programme in liaison with the Head of School
  • Contribute to the development of teaching and learning strategies


  • Act as a module leader within their area(s) of speciality
  • Delivery of lectures, workshops, seminars, presentations, tutorials and other relevant teaching activities within the module
  • To undertake student supervision and assessment
  • Develop and apply innovative and appropriate teaching techniques and material which create interest, understanding and enthusiasm amongst students
  • Review, on a regular basis, course content and materials, updating when required
  • To engage in research, scholarly and development activity in agreement with the Head of School
  • Disseminate conceptual and complex ideas to a wide variety of audiences using appropriate media and methods to promote understanding
  • Resolve problems affecting the quality of module(s) delivery and student progress referring more serious matters to others as appropriate

General and administrative

  • Contribute to the overall management in areas such as resource management, business, and programme planning
  • Be responsible for setting standards and monitor progress against agreed criteria for own area(s) of responsibility
  • To ensure that high academic standards are maintained, ensuring that module(s) academic staff deliver to the required standards
  • Manage the resources required to run the programme
  • Ensuring that staff area aware of and that any procedures and regulations agreed with the validating University are followed
  • Liaise with Architects Registration Board to maintain good relations and ongoing prescription status
  • Ensuring that the appropriate actions and regulations are followed in cases of suspected academic misconduct
  • Liaison with student support staff in relation to record keeping
  • Be responsible for quality, audit and other external assessments in own areas of responsibility
  • Depending on area of work (e.g. solar laboratories, workshops, studios) expected to take responsibility for ensuring risk assessments are conducted and hazards are reduced
  • Provide advice on strategic issues such as the balance of student recruitment, staff appointments and student and other performance matters

Staff management and development:

  • Lead the programme team, ensuring that academic staff deliver programmes to the required standards
  • Provide academic leadership to those working within programme areas, by for example agreeing work plans to ensure that courses are delivered effectively or organising the work of a team by agreeing objectives and work plans
  • Actively promote staff development and academic excellence with regards to scholarly activity and research
  • Contribute to the development of teams and individuals supported by staff appraisal procedures, development and performance management, in order to attract and retain staff
  • Act as a personal mentor to peers and colleagues, providing advice on personal development
  • Ensure that teams within the department work together, acting to resolve any conflicts
  • To be involved in the recruitment, selection and appointment of academic staff in conjunction with the Academic Lead and the Human Resources office
  • Provide first line support for team, referring them to sources of further help if required


  • To actively develop the academic strategy related to relevant Programme within the overall Academic strategy as agreed with the Head of School
  • Contribute to the development of new courses or appropriate areas of activity and contributing to the development of such ideas in liaison with the Head of School
  • Contribute to strategic development of the Graduate School of the Environment together with Head of School
  • Participate in and develop external networks, for example to contribute to student recruitment, secure student placements, facilitate outreach work, generate income, obtain consultancy projects, or build relationships for future activities


  • Other duties as required by the Head of School

The duties and responsibilities will be broadly in line with JNCHES HERA Level 4 role profiles. Level 4 responsibilities build on the level of demand in Level 3.

For full list of duties and responsibilities see the full Job Description – Principal Lecturer/Programme Leader in MArch Sustainable Architecture - job description

Please read the documents below before completing your application: