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Higher Education Lecturer Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Higher Education Lecturer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Higher Education Lecturer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Higher Education Lecturer Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Higher education lecturers teach students aged 18 and over in universities and colleges. They also conduct research and have administrative duties.

Lecturers teach students on courses leading to a range of qualifications, such as: BTEC/SQA higher national awards; degrees; postgraduate awards; and professional qualifications. They deliver lectures to as many as 400 students. Lecturers also deliver seminars to smaller groups of students.

Other duties usually include:

  • preparing lectures and practical demonstrations
  • setting and marking assignments and exams
  • assessing students work and their progress
  • acting as personal tutor to a number of students
  • conducting research (often on behalf of sponsors) with the aim of publication
  • assisting the work of new lecturers
  • dealing with course applications.

Hours and Environment

There are no set hours for many higher education lecturers. In a new university (an institution that became a university in or after 1992) lecturers would not teach students for more than 18 hours a week. In some Scottish colleges and universities lecturers would not work more than 32 hours a week with up to 108 extra hours a year.

Many lecturers work part-time.

Depending on the subject taught, most lecturers work indoors in lecture theatres, halls, seminar and tutorial rooms, or in laboratories, workshops or hospital wards.

Skills and Interests

To be a higher education lecturer you should:

  • have a keen interest in and in-depth knowledge of the subject you teach
  • keep up to date with developments in your subject
  • be able to get on well with a wide range of students
  • have the confidence to lecture to large groups of students
  • be enthusiastic and able to motivate students
  • be able to express yourself clearly, both in speech and in writing
  • be well organised
  • be interested in the welfare of individual students
  • have good research skills.


To become a higher education lecturer you normally need a first or upper second class degree. You would also need a postgraduate qualification such as a PhD, but an MA or MSc may be accepted. For vocational subjects, for example accountancy or hotel management, a professional qualification is usually acceptable in place of a postgraduate qualification.

To get on to a first degree programme you normally need at least three GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades. Other qualifications may be accepted in place of A levels and H grades, including: vocational A levels, BTEC national awards, SQA modules and GSVQ Level III. To get on to a postgraduate course you normally need a first degree.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

For academic subjects you normally need to have a good record of research and have had some research published. For vocational subjects you need several years̢۪ experience of relevant work. Old universities (universities that were established before 1992) also prefer you to have a record of research and publication.

There is no upper age limit for entry.


Once you start work, your employer would give you initial training, including basic teaching skills. Most universities and colleges offer further in-service training for up to a year. Training may include: theories of learning and teaching; teaching practice; lecturing skills; tutoring skills; student guidance and support; course design; assessment of student learning; curriculum evaluation; use of audiovisual aids and information technology;and observing experienced lecturers.

Often your training leads to a qualification at certificate, diploma or masters level, such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (or similar title, depending on the institution). If you hold such a qualification and have at least a year's lecturing experience, you can apply to join the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE).


Lecturing can be a very competitive area to get into. However, some subjects have a shortage of lecturers.

There are opportunities to work abroad.

Promotion is possible. In old universities this can be to senior lecturer, head of department and head of faculty. In new universities and colleges it can be to senior lecturer and principal lecturer. The number of such posts has reduced in recent years. Competition for them is very strong.

Some experienced lecturers take on extra work such as: consultancy; writing; editing; broadcasting; and conference work.

Annual Income

The annual income section as a guideline only.

Lecturers begin on between £17,793 and £22,522 a year.
Experienced lecturers earn between £26,686 and £36,355 a year.
Senior and principal lecturers can reach between £39,141 and £42,605 a year.

Further information

Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE)
Genesis 3
Innovation Way
York Science Park
YP10 5DQ
Tel: 01904 434222

Association of University Teachers (AUT)
Egmont House
25-31 Tavistock Place
Tel: 020 7670 9700

The University and College Lecturers' Union
27 Britannia Street
Tel: 020 7837 3636

Higher Education Staff Development Agency (HESDA)
Ingram House
65 Wilkinson Street
The University of Sheffield
S10 2GJ
Tel: 0114 222 1335

Other Useful Higher Education Lecturer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Higher Education Lecturer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Higher Education Lecturer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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