Lead Learning Designer

London, England, United Kingdom expand job description ↓


Department: Content

Reporting to: Learning Developer

Type of Contract: Permanent

Working Pattern: Full Time

Location: London, Camden. This is not a remote working position, and you must have the right to work in the UK

FutureLearn is transforming access to education and is one of the world’s largest social learning platforms.

Based in London’s Camden Town, we offer online courses, programs and degrees run by over 100 leading universities from around the world including UCL, University of California Berkeley, University of Edinburgh, University of Melbourne, King’s College London, Purdue University and University of Groningen. We also work offer online courses from specialist education providers including CIPD, UNESCO and the Raspberry PI foundation.

Our vision is a global community, where everyone learns together and enjoys access to the education they need to transform their lives. Our award-winning platform helps by provoking conversation around the course material, so that learners and educators learn as much from each other as from the material itself.

Since our launch in September 2013, we’ve run hundreds of courses that have attracted over 7.5 million learners from all over the world and we've seen over 19 million enrolments on our open online courses and are now working with our partners to pioneer a more modular and accessible approach to studying full degrees.

We are continuing our expansion as we make this journey from offering short online courses, through micro credentials to full online degrees and working with employers and governments to reduce skills gaps. The pace of this change is reflected in extremely rapid growth of our revenues.


We seek an enthusiastic and collaborative educational professional who is knowledgeable and passionate about new approaches to teaching and learning online. We’re looking for someone who is steeped in pedagogic theory and eager to apply this to the development of courses hosted on FutureLearn.com.

In this post, you will provide instructional design services and consultancy to FutureLearn’s diverse mix of universities, specialist educational organisations and corporate clients. You’ll need to be able to think deeply, but act quickly and decisively, relying on a mix of personal institution honed through experience, academic research and insight.

We’d like to hear from creative thinkers and tinkerers – people who love breaking down complex concepts and presenting them in a way that makes them accessible to all. If you take personal satisfaction in observing people with diverse knowledge and backgrounds easily comprehend and work with your ideas, we want to hear from you.

To help people find this advert, we've given this post the title of Lead Learning Designer; you might call yourself something different at the moment (Instructional Designer, Learning Technologist or Academic Developer, perhaps). But if you think you can help, we want to hear from you.

This role is based at FutureLearn in our London office. You will join a fast-paced environment and will need the ability to embrace change, pitch to clients, collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders and be happy to assist other areas of the business as required. You will regularly collaborate with others online and occasionally work remotely with clients at other locations.


This role has an internal and external focus.

For clients of FutureLearn Studio, you will take charge of the design phase of course development projects and devise social learning experiences that are innovative, inspiring and enjoyable.

For FutureLearn’s partners, you will work closely with our Learning Developer and Partnership Managers to provide expertise in pedagogy and to advise on course design best practice.

Internally, the Lead Learning Designer will work closely with the Head of Production and the Learning Developer to grow FutureLearn’s range of instructional design services and refine our approach to learning design.


  • Leads and facilitates learning design storyboarding workshops for academic staff, content development teams, external clients and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborates with content producers, graphic designers and video production teams to design and create compelling online learning materials.
  • Directs and supports the work of any junior or freelance Learning Designers employed by FutureLearn.
  • Provides consultancy and induction training to new partners to build their online education capabilities (including MOOCs, SPOCs, professional qualification programs, and/or full online degrees).
  • Coaches and supports subject matter experts during the early stages of course development.
  • Represents FutureLearn at business development meetings (face to face, or remote) with prospective partners and clients.
  • Develops efficient and productive learning design processes, workflows and consultancy services aligned to FutureLearn’s social learning pedagogy.
  • Audits selected courses during quality assurance and acts as liaison between the Content and Client Services & Studio teams to ensure courses are designed according to FutureLearn’s published quality criteria.
  • Helps analyse the performance of past courses and recommends areas of improvement, working in tandem with FutureLearn’s Learning Developer and Data and Insights team.
  • Actively keeps abreast of research across the FutureLearn partnership and the wider educational technology sector and shares with colleagues.


  • Substantial professional experience in education technology, adult learning, training, professional development or a related field.
  • Experience of working in the UK’s higher education sector is desirable.
  • Deep pedagogical knowledge and awareness of the theories, practices and debates surrounding technology-enhanced learning.
  • Experience of leading, managing and/or guiding the work of others.
  • Demonstrable practical experience of designing effective online, blended and/or distance learning experiences.
  • Knowledge of the online learning platform / MOOC marketplace and the awareness of the challenges of distance learning at scale and in small groups.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (one-to-one, group situations, presentations) both internally and client-facing.
  • Ability to write high-quality documentation and reports.
  • Ability to summarise and synthesise research findings and make recommendations.
  • Ability to work independently on longer term projects as well as in small cross-functional task-oriented teams on short term goals.
  • Experience of working collaboratively with agile digital product development teams is desirable – ideally in a consumer-facing environment.


  • £35,000 - £50,000 p/a salary based on experience
  • 28 days holiday (plus 8 days public holiday)
  • Buy & sell up to 5 days holiday
  • Charity day (volunteer for a charity of your choice
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Season Ticket loan
  • Flexible working environment/hours
  • Pension (4% employer / employee contribution)
  • Great coffee, teas & fruit and snacks
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Perkbox


Please contact [email protected], if you require any reasonable adjustments or alterations to be made, to support you through the recruitment process.


We value diversity at FutureLearn, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, neurodiversity, marital or disability status.

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