Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Edinburgh


You will be working for the University of Edinburgh's Visitor Centre, duties will include:

Provision of information regarding the University of Edinburgh

Forwarding enquiries to the relevant University department

Answering questions about the University in person, over the phone and via email and social media

Retail sales and assistance


Cash handling

15 hours per week, including at least two Saturdays a month. A certain level of flexibility of working days is essential as these can change on a weekly basis. Recent retail experience along with a detailed knowledge of the University, its campuses and the services offered is essential for this role.

Job Purpose

To assist in sales and information provision in University of Edinburgh Visitor Centre, responding to enquiries from University students, staff and the general public via e-mail, post, phone and in person. Ensure stock is maintained and merchandised, and provide general clerical assistance for the Visitor Centre.

Main Responsibilities

Responding to enquiries from students, staff and the general public in person, by post, e-mail and telephone in order to provide accurate and appropriate information.

Sale of University merchandise to public and general university community with attention to appropriate advice and accurate cash handling.

3.Processing on-line sales; checking and processing payment and posting goods to ensure timely delivery and accurate record keeping.

Planning & Organising

Maintaining and re-stocking shop floor displays, assisting in shop floor and window merchandising in order to develop and promote sales.

Maintaining and adhering to current administration and procedural systems, (including H&S procedures) keeping accurate records for customised, on-line and postal sales. Record and monitor accurate stock records.

Assist in ticket sales and enquiries when The Visitor Centre becomes a temporary box office for University related festivals and events.

Problem Solving

Most of the demand for problem solving arises from public and staff enquiries. Most can be answered by reference to University Databases, the University Website and other departmental resources. The remainder are to be directed to the appropriate department or individual within the university.

Complaints about quality of service (with reference to either the gift shop (online or in-store) or information service) are referred to the Visitor Centre Supervisor or manager, as are errors or refunds.

Decision Making

Jobholders will make decisions about best actions and advice to give to staff, students and the general public. Difficult or controversial enquiries will be referred to the appropriate individuals or answered in consultation with the Visitor Centre Supervisor or Manager.

Key Contacts/Relationships

This role frequently involves acting as a hub (or secondary switchboard) for enquiries, redirecting callers, visitors and emails to the appropriate departments and members of staff. There is contact with staff from across the University for the provision of general information services and enquiries about merchandise for corporate gifts. There is contact with the general public and commercial suppliers for general information about the University, and the acquisition of Visitor Centre stock.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Excellent interpersonal skills and a helpful, friendly attitude are essential for this position, as is an exceptional working knowledge of the University and the city of Edinburgh. Recent experience in a retail environment is essential to this role. The jobholder will be fully computer literate, numerate and show a high level of attention to detail. The jobholder should be able to work well in a team as well as be able to take direction from the Visitor Centre Supervisor and Manager. They should also show initiative in the management of their own workload and judgement when dealing with a wide range of clients and callers.


This communicative role is an important part of the CAM department, dealing as it does with a wide number of staff across the University, and around 4000 visitors per month (rising substantially during The Edinburgh Festival, graduations and Christmas), and 30 to 40 phone calls per day.

Job Context & Other Relevant Information

The Jobholder is often the first and primary point of contact between the University and the general public and is responsible for establishing a positive and professional initial impression.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. 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

The closing date is 5pm on 23rd May 2019.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with UK legislation 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 website

In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK or individual circumstances which enable permission to work to be obtained.

For further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes please visit the GOV.UK website

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

For employees on University Grades 1-5 or equivalent there are two pension schemes available: University of Edinburgh Staff Benefits Scheme (SBS) or the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

This role is grade UE03 and therefore the post holder will automatically become a member of the NEST scheme if their monthly earnings are deemed to be ‘qualifying earnings’ (equivalent to the HMRC monthly threshold above which their earnings are taxable). If the post holder’s earnings are not deemed as “qualifying earnings” and therefore will not automatically become a member they can opt in to the NEST scheme.

The post holder can choose to join SBS and by doing so they will not become a member of the NEST scheme.

Further information on the different employer/employee contribution levels required for each scheme and different levels of benefits that the post holder may receive may be found at on our Pensions website


The role is grade UE03 and attracts an annual salary of £17,408 to £19,202 for 15 hours, part time, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

Communications and Marketing (CAM)

Communications and Marketing (CAM)

Communications and Marketing (CAM) has the demanding role of promoting and enhancing the profile of the University locally, regionally and globally in various mediums. Our services and areas of expertise include public relations and press office services, media training, prospectus and promotional material production, advertising, media selection, events, video production, web publishing, corporate merchandising and information/exhibition provision via our visitor centre. As the University of Edinburgh is a well-known worldwide brand, we require the highest level of professionals to retain and enhance our reputation.

University Secretary’s Group

The University Secretary’s Group (USG) comprises eight central units with over 500 staff who work together to provide a world-class service to students, potential students, applicants, academic colleagues, visitors, alumni and staff across the University. The eight units are Communications and Marketing, Development & Alumni, Edinburgh Global, Human Resources, Internal Audit, Legal Services, Strategic Planning and Student Experience Services.

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, challen