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:
There are no set hours for many higher education lecturers. In a new university (an institution that became a university in or after 1992) full-time lecturers would not formally teach students for more than 18 hours a week. Teaching hours vary in other institutions.
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.
To be a higher education lecturer you should:
To work in this profession you will be expected to have a good degree in the subject you're interested in teaching. A good degree is usually a 1st or a 2:1. In some instances you may need a Master's or a PhD.
When it comes to showing that you're up to the job, teaching experience will be a huge benefit. The more ability you have to teach as well as practical knowledge in your subject area, the more advantageous you'll appear to employers.
Lecturing can be a very competitive area to get into. However, some subjects have a shortage of lecturers.
There are opportunities to work abroad.
Promotions are 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.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a higher education lecturer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) (formerly FENTO)
St. Andrew’s House
18-20 St. Andrew Street
Tel: 020 7936 5798
The Higher Education Academy
York Science Park
Tel: 01904 717500
Association of University Teachers (AUT)
25-31 Tavistock Place
Tel: 020 7670 9700
The University and College Lecturers' Union
27 Britannia Street
Tel: 020 7837 3636