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Higher education lecturer

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

Annual Salary

£33,000 to £54,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: evenings; flexibly

Future employment

There will be 7% more Higher education lecturer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • develop teaching materials
  • teach students through lectures, seminars, online classes and fieldwork
  • set and mark assignments and exams
  • upload learning resources to a student portal
  • assess students’ work and progress
  • act as personal tutor to students
  • supervise student research
  • carry out your own research
  • contribute to conferences and seminars
  • take part in staff training

Working environment

You could work at a university or at a college.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

You'll need a good degree pass, for example first class or upper second class, relevant to the subject you want to teach.

You'll also need to have completed a postgraduate master's or PhD qualification, or be working towards one. It's common to have had academic work published.

You'll be expected to do a teaching qualification soon after you start. This is usually offered by your 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
For more information

You can get into this role through a postgraduate apprenticeship as an academic professional. You can specialise in teaching or research.

To apply, you'll normally need a minimum of a postgraduate qualification, such as a master's degree.

For more information

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

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

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You could work for public 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. You may need to move to another university to take up a teaching or research post.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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