Senior Application Analyst – IT Services

Full-time Permanent University of Birmingham in Specialist/Professional Email Job
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Job Description


Position Details

IT Services

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £34,980 to £44,263, with potential progression once in post to £46,974

Grade 7

Full Time, Permanent

Closing date: 7th December 2023


Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university. We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential. With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working.  In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site. On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum, and botanical gardens.

Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham


Over the next decade, the University’s aspiration is to establish Birmingham in the top 50 of the world’s leading universities, and high-quality digital services and IT infrastructure are crucial to achieving that goal. In recognition of this, our brand-new Digital Strategy combined with significant investments in technology mean this is an exciting time to join IT Services, with all of us being a crucial part of making IT happen at the University of Birmingham.

IT Services wants to attract outstanding, inspirational, and talented people, support them to succeed, and celebrate their successes. It is our role to ensure that our community has access to accessible, responsive, resilient, and secure systems and support. What we do enables our students, staff, researchers, visitors, and partners to confidently and creatively use digital services, technology, and data for the benefit of their learning, teaching, research or work.

The culture of IT Services is one of innovation, collaboration, excellence, and inclusivity, and we apply the principles of customer service, focus and continuous improvement to everything we do. We have an engaged People and Culture network, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Women in IT group, a bi-annual making IT happen’ awards recognition programme, and a great Social Committee which arranges regular activities and events.

IT Services is one of the Universitys largest Professional Services budget centres, employing over 300 people with a total recurrent annual budget of over £10m, with a significant 5 year capital investment program in addition to this.  ITS consists of a number of divisions and teams including Infrastructure Services, Application Services, Service Management, IT Security, Advanced Research Computing (ARC), Architecture and Design, and Customer Engagement.

Role Summary

As part of the Application Operations team, the post holder will be responsible for supporting the uUniversitiey’s’ student learning and teaching software, which primarily involves Canvas (the Uuniversity’s virtual learning environment) and integrated systems such as TurnItIn, Speed Grader and Panopto. The work will include responding to incidents as needed as well as working on enhancements to Canvas. There is a fortnightly meeting with the primary stake holders, the The Higher Education Futures Institute (HEFi) as well as other areas of the Uuniversity that use Canvas. Working with HEFi, you will help prioritise enhancements to Canvas and then work to develop those enhancements using an Agile framework. We will provide training where required for development skills, ITIL and Agile. Mentoring is also available.

Main Duties

  • To support student learning and teaching services, especially Canvas, but also Panopto, TurnItIn, and Pebble Pad.
  • Administer Canvas (VLE), responding to Service Desk incidents and supporting the people using Canvas. This will include developing operational procedures, ensuring project outputs and responses to incidents are fit for purpose, and agreeing acceptance criteria with programme managers.
  • Proactively work with the supplier to maintain the system to provide a reliable and resilient system.
  • At fortnightly meetings with the Higher Education Futures Institute (HEFi), the Service Owner for Student Learning and Teaching and other colleagues, discuss and prioritise enhancements.
  • Create the specifications for enhancements to be used in the allocated services.
  • Produce detailed evaluation criteria for more complex tenders and assist in evaluation of tenders.
  • Develop the enhancements in an Agile fashion working with the stake holders and supplier where necessary.
  • Continually evaluate the allocated services advising on risks to the integrity of the service environment, the effectiveness of enhancements, and that the services continue to meet the agreed performance levels.
  • Actively seek new opportunities, methods, trends, capabilities, and products to the advancement of the organisation.
  • Provide support on other systems as needed.
  • Promotes equality and values diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
  • Supports the University’s sustainability agenda through resource efficient working.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade.

Person Specification

  • Educated to Degree level (or equivalent qualifications) or relevant technical qualification and considerable relevant experience.  Where no equivalent qualification is held, significant practical relevant experience and expertise in a series of more demanding roles will be required demonstrating the conceptual understanding required.
  • In depth up to date specialist understanding and experience in a relevant scientific, technical or IT specialism.
  • A strong customer service orientation, clearly identifying user requirements and demonstrating the ability to work with the business to improve student experience.
  • Excellent communication skills, with both internal and external users demonstrating an ability to communicate effectively and confidently.
  • An interest in developing skills in coding and supporting Virtual Learning Environments or existing coding skills and experience.
  • Experience using or administering Virtual Learning Environment.
  • An understanding of ITIL Service Management practices, processes and procedures.
  • A broad technical background in IT, covering Windows client/server, cloud-based software as a service, business continuity and Information security.
  • Knowledge of Higher Education environment in general and its diversity and complexity.
  • Experience using or an interest in learning how to use HTML, CSS and Javascript.
  • An understanding of the application and software development life cycle.
  • An understanding of release and change management.
  • An understanding of Agile development.
  • An understanding of accessibility standards.
  • Experience using Canvas would be beneficial.
  • An understanding of using APIs or LTIs would be beneficial.
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

Role context

Roles at this level will require in-depth specialist technical/specialist/IT expertise.  Role holders may have supervisory responsibility for a technical service or team, where the primary focus will be on planning, overseeing and reviewing the work of the team and/or will operate as individual technical, specialist or IT experts either supporting service delivery or contributing directly to local project implementation or problem solving through the provision of specialist support activity.

Core competencies/transferable skills

Working at this level you will be able to develop and successfully demonstrate the core competencies/transferable skills outlined in each of the areas shown below. As appropriate for the level, our Birmingham Professionals will take ownership for getting things done.  You will be expected to be flexible as required in supporting your department and wider University.

Planning and organising

  • be responsible for the provision of a technical service through the day to day organisation and technical supervision of a work area;
  • manage the prioritisation, allocation and quality of work, developing the technical capability in the area;
  • manage a combination of technical and (where required) non-technical staff
  • progress several initiatives concurrently and to plan effectively;
  • contribute to developments of the service and in policies, procedures and plans in own area;
  • ensure compliance with all legal, health and safety standards as applicable;
  • lead, if required, on project work.


  • advise on the development and application of specialist techniques/experiments and/or procedures and the analysis and interpretation of results (may run an advanced specialist service);
  • act as a recognised source of technical and/or specialist expertise in own area;
  • generate original ideas and innovative solutions and/or new techniques/experimental designs.

Problem solving and decision making

  • resolve high level problems with specific techniques/applications, or in the implementation of services and technical support;
  • provide specialist advice and recommendations to support decision–making of others;
  • respond to changing priorities and differing situations.

Organisational understanding 

  • understand their own and closely-related working areas and how they contribute to the success of the University.
  • has an understanding of how the University operates; actively seeks to share this knowledge with others.
  • developing empathy with the academic endeavour.

Relationships and communication

  • develop excellent working relationships with customers, proactively anticipating their requirements in order to understand and deliver them.


Informal enquires to Dave Roberts, email:

View our staff values and behaviours here


We believe there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ member of University of Birmingham staff and that diversity in its many forms is a strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of University life. We are committed to proactively addressing the barriers experienced by some groups in our community and are proud to hold Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter and Disability Confident accreditations. We have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre that focuses on continuously improving the University as a fair and inclusive place to work where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. You can find out more about our work to create a fairer university for everyone on our website.

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