We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Higher education lecturer HE lecturer, university lecturer

BETATry an improved version of this page

  1. More about how to get into this career
  2. We've included current opportunities to help you with your next steps
Try it out

Higher education lecturers research and teach academic and vocational subjects at universities and further education colleges.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £33,000 to £55,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 38 to 43 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a good degree (1st or 2:1) in the subject you want to teach. You may also need:

  • a Master's degree
  • a PhD

You’ll need experience of teaching, or you'll need to show you can teach. For vocational subjects like art or engineering you'll need several years of relevant experience.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  •  motivational and inspirational skills
  • the ability to express yourself clearly in speech and writing
  • organisational skills
  • excellent research skills

3. What you'll do

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

You’ll carry out research and publish your work.

At a university the balance of time spent on teaching and research will vary. At a college the main focus will be on teaching.

4. Salary

Starter: £33,000

Experienced: £40,000

Highly Experienced: £55,000

Pay in further education colleges may be less. These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Working hours will vary. You'll often work long hours including evenings.

Part-time, hourly-paid jobs and fixed, short-term contracts are becoming more common.

After 3 years in your job, you could take up to a year out for research.

6. 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.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 10 September 2018