Mrs Claire Deacon

Mrs Claire Deacon

Head of UK Partnerships

UK Partnerships - Partnerships (Academic Registry)



Born in Plymouth, I have studied and worked in this wonderful City all my life.  During my younger years, I undertook a lot of voluntary work giving back to the community what I gained as a child growing up here.   
I began my working life as a legal secretary at a local law firm.  Moving to City College Plymouth, I worked in the Business and Management department, supporting PG study for management professionals, MOD/Navy resettlement courses, people returning to the workforce to improve their skill-set, and a regional training contract for the Department for Social Security.   
I then began my career at the University of Plymouth in 1998 (see background below).   
I am now Head of UK Partnerships, responsible for the strategic lead, governance and management for all UK partnerships.  There are 18 UK partnerships, with circa 3,000 students. 


My first role at the University of Plymouth (Plymouth Business School) began in February 1998 to lead and deliver an ESF project, partnering with Universities in France and Italy. I spent subsequent years managing a number of initiatives funded by ESF, DfEE, DfES and HEFCE. 
In 2002 I became the Centres of Expertise Project Manager for University of Plymouth Enterprise, where I managed a number of projects funded through ESF, ERDF, DfEE, DfES, HEFCE, HERDA, RDA, working with SMEs and HEIs in the Southwest region.  
During this time, I undertook PG study, and in 2002 awarded a MSc in Management.  
My next role as Regional Projects Manager in Research & Innovation, subsequently involved HEFCE monitoring & reporting, and Government Office Audits. 
In July 2006, I was appointed Head of Faculty Administration, for the University of Plymouth Colleges Faculty. UPC Faculty had 18 partner colleges in the region.  The faculty grew with circa 10,000 students studying across 300 HE level programmes validated by the University of Plymouth. 
Academic Partnerships was formed in 2012, where my role changed to Head of Partnerships Operations.  AP became responsible for the governance and operation of all UoP partnership activity, so my role expanded to support all UK and TNE partnerships in addition to the regional FE Colleges.  The number of partnerships grew to a total 30 (with over 400 validated or contracted out programmes), with over 15,000 students across the UK and worldwide. 
During the period of working in Academic Partnerships, the remit of my role changed from initially managing the Partnership Operations, to additionally having responsibility for the Plymouth Global professional services team, to more recently the English Language Centre academic team.    
In April 2022, I became the Interim Director of Academic Partnerships.  In September 2022, following a further restructure, my role changed to Head of Partnerships with responsibility of the Partnership Operations, Degree Apprentices, and UK Partnerships, within Academic Registry.   
A year on in 2023, in my role as Head of UK Partnerships I have responsibly for the strategic lead, governance and management for all UK partnerships, including management of the Partnership Managers who form the Senior Manager Academic team. 


Other Publications
The Regional Projects team were successful in securing an Enterprise Fellowship Award, funded through the Higher Education Innovation Fund, and have written ‘Get it Right – A Practical Guide to Managing Externally Funded Projects’.