Don Nutbeam has announced that he will step down from his post at some point in the next two years.
The university will begin an “international search” for his successor in the coming weeks.
Professor Nutbeam, who has been vice-chancellor since October 2009, said that he was “very proud” of what the university community had achieved over the past five years.
He added: “I am fully focused on the future success of the university and I will continue to devote myself to pursuing the ambitions expressed in our refreshed Vision 2020 strategy during my remaining tenure.”
Professor Nutbeam is an expert in public health and has remained an active researcher during his time leading the institution.
He was previously head of public health at the Department of Health and has worked as a consultant for the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.