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The Role and Nature of Art Education


The systematic abolishment of autonomous art and artistic freedom from the public realm

please note that this page is under construction

The following is the description of a job vacancy for the post of 'Lecturer of Fine Art' at the Edinburgh College of Art.


It is a very elucidating example of why we no longer see students emerge from art school as autonomous artists with autonomous work.


Research and collaboration within the 'creative industries' have replaced autonomous art, art production and the individual autonomous artist.

The lecturer must primarily already function within the 'creative industries' and primary focus of teaching is to ensure the students to do the same.

The words 'art' and 'artist' (highlighted below in green) are hardly mentioned in this job description, whereas 'research' is mentioned in almost every other sentence (highlighted in yellow).


Job Description


Lecturer in Fine Art

Vacancy Ref: :046956

Closing Date :12-Mar-2019

The School of Art in the Edinburgh College of Art seek to appoint a practicing artist. The major remit of the post is to provide excellent teaching and a high level of research, supporting the University’s strategic themes: influencing globally, contributing locally, maintaining and creating partnerships with creative industries. There will also be an opportunity to engage with leadership roles as part of a three year rotation.

The post is part-time (17.5 hours/week) and (open-ended).

Salary Scale: Grade Ue08, £40,792 - £48,677 per annum pro rata

Closing Date: 5pm (GMT) on 12th March 2019.

1. Job Details

Job title: Lecturer in Fine Art 
School/Support Department: Edinburgh College of Art 
Unit: School of Art 
Line manager: Head of School of Art

2. Person Specification

The post holder will have a national or international reputation in their discipline, and a record of recent exhibitions/outputs commensurate with the requirements of the forthcoming 2020 REF. 
It is anticipated that the post holder will have expertise in video/digital image making and use of green screen.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate experience of research at the highest level. They should be able to demonstrate the potential to supervise research students and research assistants/postdoctoral researchers.

In addition to making a major contribution to the School of Art, the successful applicant will play an active and collegiate role within Edinburgh College of Art, the wider University and the external environment, both nationally and internationally.

3. Main Responsibilities

The post holder will be based in the School of Art, within Edinburgh College of Art in the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The successful applicant will have responsibility to:

3.1 Teach/supervise in the School of Art and ECA subject areas allied to their research specialism 
3.2 Undertake research and funding applications to appropriate major grant awarding bodies 
3.3 Present, exhibit and/or publish research outputs in appropriate, high quality settings 
3.4 Contribute to academic vision and leadership in learning and teaching 
3.5 Develop and demonstrate research impact beyond academia 
3.6 Work in collaboration with other staff and assume leadership responsibilities within the School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art if and when required 
3.7 Undertake other duties as determined by the Head of Art



Knowledge, Skills and Competencies


  • High level knowledge of contemporary fine art practice

  • Knowledge and experience of relevant research, institutions and funding

  • Experience of teaching to the highest levels

  • Highly effective research, teaching and general communication skills

  • Ability to produce creative work at the highest level and to manage research projects that address complex and pertinent research questions

  • Ability to work confidently and effectively with a diverse student cohort

  • Demonstrable critical, informed and scholarly capacity to engage with a range of teaching mediums including online learning and teaching



  • Ability to work effectively with local and international creative industries and cultural and educational enterprises




  • Extensive research and/or teaching experience within subject specialism, supported by relevant qualifications (normally a PhD or equivalent)


  • A qualification in University Teaching

Experience and achievement:



  • Nationally or internationally respected personal research record with research outputs appropriate for inclusion in the Unit of Assessment’s 2020 Research Excellence Framework submission


  • Experience and demonstrated success in delivering research project results and/or effective learning programmes with knowledge exchange built in as appropriate


  • Experience and achievement in the relevant field reflected in a growing personal teaching and research portfolio



  • The ability to work across multiple disciplines and perspectives

Personal Attributes


  • Ability to work within teams with a collegial attitude, respect and sensitivity toward students and other staff members

  • Ability to think ambitiously and creatively about both teaching and research

  • Evidence of being proactive, enthusiastic and highly motivated in developing and delivering new creative and/or research initiatives



5. Job Context and any other relevant information


The location of the School of Art in a large multi-disciplinary and research-intensive University allows students to undertake courses outside the School. 


The University has a tradition of encouraging this inter-disciplinarity, beginning at undergraduate level. 


The School of Art encourages active researchers, working in a wide range of fields, and their research interests strongly inform their teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 




Breadth and diversity

The School of Art at Edinburgh encourages a wide range of approaches and methods to the study of art, both conceptually and through practice. Activities in this regard are enriched by the School’s physical, cultural and organisational proximity to the Schools of Design, ESALA, History of Art and the Reid School of Music in ECA.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online via our Vacancy Website and by submitting an up to date CV and a cover letter. 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.

You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

The closing date is 5pm (GMT) on 12th March 2019.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 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 eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

Conditions of Employment


School of Art

The School of Art ( provides a scholarly framework for students who wish to develop their practice. A major objective of the programmes is to provide an environment that is broad, yet with enough rigour and focus to enable students to engage with the challenges of contemporary art practice in a variety of strategies, processes and materials. The programmes encourage students to integrate research, creative practice and contemporary cultural theory within and beyond their chosen discipline.

The School of Art subjects share a common structure, providing a framework for the different disciplinary cultures within the School of Art to develop. The School is a stimulating community of students, artists and theorists. The airy and light-filled studios, project spaces and workshops provide excellent facilities for making work, communicating ideas and generating dialogue.

With almost 500 students, engagement and collaboration takes place across the School, the College, the University and the city, establishing a supportive and critical framework where a sophisticated understanding of the diversity of art practice and visual culture can be developed. We provide an environment that enables our graduates to understand and prepare for the multi-faceted and transmuting nature of the art world post academia.



Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh College of Art is a large and diverse school within the University of Edinburgh's College of Humanities and Social Science. It is comprised of the Schools of Art, Design, History of Art, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Reid School of Music.

Our mission is to promote world-leading critical enquiry across all these subject areas through scholarly research, teaching and creative practice.

Almost 3,000 students and 300 staff study and work at ECA and we enjoy strong relationships with museums, galleries, archives, practitioners and industry partners in Edinburgh, Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Edinburgh College of Art is committed to equal and fair treatment of all its employees and in recognition of the positive promotion of diversity and gender equality among staff and students, Athena SWAN granted the Edinburgh College of Art a Bronze Award in 2017.


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a large and diverse part of the University. Led by Vice-Principal Professor Dorothy Miell, it has 13,800 undergraduates, 5,500 taught postgraduates, 1,300 research students and more than 3,800 academic and professional services staff. The College incorporates 11 Schools (Business; Divinity; Economics; Edinburgh College of Art; Education; Health in Social Sciences; History, Classics and Archaeology; Law; Literatures, Languages and Cultures; Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; and Social and Political Science), the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and the Centre for Open Learning. The College is located on multiple sites across Edinburgh, with the majority of Schools and College Offices based close to the central George Square area. The College, which is recognised as one of the world's leading centres for the arts, humanities and social sciences in research and teaching, has been growing and investing strongly in recent years.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014)

The College operates at the highest levels of international quality across a very wide range of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences and submitted the work of more than 750 staff to 23 Units of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The College achieved a superb result, combining a large-scale, broad and diverse submission with very high quality outcomes: 86% of its research impact and 76% of the overall quality profile were assessed as world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*). Using the widely used Research Power index (which combines the submission's overall score for 3* and 4* work with the volume of staff submitted), 12 of the College’s Units were ranked within the top five in the UK, and 18 were ranked first in Scotland. With an assessment of more than 95% at 3* and 4*, we're particularly proud of the outstanding research environment we create for staff and research students.


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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