Higher education lecturer

Higher education (HE) lecturers teach academic and vocational subjects at universities and further education colleges. They also carry out research.

Annual Salary

£33,000 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 43

Future employment

There will be 4% more Higher education lecturer jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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.

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.

£33,000 to £55,000

Starter salary: £33,000

Experienced salary: £40,000

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

38 to 43

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.

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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

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