University Structure

Universities vary in structure, but this article hopes to give you a quick brief of the main positions commonly found at universities.


The Chancellor acts like the monarch of the university. They usually appear at big ceremonial occasions such as graduation ceremonies. The Chancellor is normally more of a ceremonial position and could often be a well known person.

Vice Chancellor

Acts as the Prime Minister of the University. They are involved in the day to day running of the university and often will have worked their way up through the different levels of university position.

Pro Vice Chancellors

Also involved in the day to day running of the university, but usually look after an area such as a faculty or a group of departments. A university normally has more than one pro vice chancellor.

Head of School/Department

Runs the school or department and is usually an academic.

Personal Tutor

Your first port of call for any help regarding your life at university

As well as these positions, there are many more at universities.

Some universities will have the following positions amongst academic staff within a department, school or faculty:

  • Professors
  • Readers and/or Associate Professors
  • Senior Lecturers
  • Lecturers
  • Research Fellows and Associates
  • Professors Emeritus (Honorary Professors - often retired past staff members who still work with the department)

There will also be a range of different positions outside the academic roles, such as secretaries, technicians, personal assistants, librarians, medical staff and a whole host of other administrative staff.

Large areas of the non-academic side of university live will also have a hierarchy of staff below the pro-vice chancellors. These positions will vary widely from uni to uni, but these people could have role like 'facilities manager', 'catering manager' and 'security manager'.