Higher education lecturer

HE lecturer, university lecturer

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Higher education (HE) lecturers research and teach academic and vocational subjects at universities and higher education colleges.

Salary range: £33,000 to £55,000

How to become a higher education lecturer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You’ll need a good degree, like a first class or upper second class, relevant to the subject you want to teach. You’ll also need to have completed or be working towards a postgraduate master’s or PhD, and have academic work published.

You’ll be expected to do a teaching qualification soon after you start. This is usually offered by your own university and is done while working.

You may be able to get experience by taking on teaching duties while you’re a postgraduate student. Some universities also offer work as a graduate teaching assistant.

You’ll need several years’ relevant work experience if you want to teach vocational subjects, for example art or engineering.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through a postgraduate apprenticeship as an academic professional.

Employers will set their own entry requirements but you’ll probably need a postgraduate qualification like a master’s or PhD.

More information

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in higher education from the HE Academy.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • developing teaching materials and preparing for lectures
  • delivering lectures, seminars, practical demonstrations and fieldwork
  • setting and marking assignments and exams
  • uploading materials and supporting student discussions
  • assessing students’ work and progress
  • acting as personal tutor to students
  • supervising student research
  • contributing to conferences and seminars
  • taking part in staff training
  • doing admin

Working environment

You could work at a university or at a college.

Career path and progression

You could work for universities and colleges, law and business schools, or private sector universities and schools.

After 5 to 7 years you could become a senior lecturer. You could then become a principal lecturer, reader or professor. Competition is strong and promotion depends on how well you perform.

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