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Job Photographs

  • A woman is standing in the middle of a classroom.  Students are sitting in the room, each one with a laptop.

    Taking a class - this further education college specialises in media.

  • Two students are sitting at a computer in a classroom.  They are both wearing headphones.  A woman is standing next to them, pointing at the screen.

    Lecturers work with students in smaller groups for some activities.

  • A man is sitting at a desk.  He is looking at two open books and writing onto a notepad.

    Higher education: preparing and planning for a lecture.

  • A man is drawing onto a whiteboard.

    Teaching using a whiteboard.

  • A man is sitting behind a desk in an office.  Another man is sitting to the side of him.  The two men are talking.   Some books are on the desk.

    Discussing work with another lecturer.

  • A man is standing at the front of a classroom.  He is using an interactive whiteboard to present information about aeroplane propellers.

    Giving a lecture, in this case using an interactive whiteboard.

  • Lecturer

Lecturer

Introduction

Lecturers teach academic or work-related subjects to students in further or higher education.

They prepare and hold lectures, seminars and tutorials. Lecturers assess work, report students' progress and mark tests. They may also carry out research and have some administrative duties.

Video: - Frances: Further Education Lecturer

Video: - Keith: Higher Education Lecturer

Video: - Mark: Senior Lecturer

Video: - Dr Antoine: Senior Lecturer

Work Activities

As a Lecturer you will have many different duties, including:

  • planning and designing courses
  • delivering lectures and demonstrations
  • setting up and leading seminars and tutorials
  • assessing and reporting on students' progress
  • setting and marking exercises, coursework and exams

You will use resources, such as audio-visual materials, interactive whiteboards and various IT platforms, in order to:

  • stimulate interest and learning
  • meet the needs of students with differing learning styles
  • produce course materials

You must also take part in team meetings with other Lecturers to discuss course issues, and have contact with outside organisations such as examining boards and local businesses.

You will help to develop students' analytical skills and encourage independent research and study. You'll also help students who are experiencing difficulties with their studies.

It is crucial that you keep up to date with developments in your specialist fields. As a Lecturer, you will carry out research in your specialist fields, with the aim of publishing your findings.

You will also have to undertake some administration duties and might have budget responsibility. You might have to secure funding for your courses - and this can sometimes be a battle. Some Lecturers also contribute to the marketing of their courses and help with the development of new courses.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Lecturer, you'll need:

  • the ability to inspire and motivate your students
  • organisational and planning skills
  • the ability to express yourself clearly in speech and writing
  • confidence to teach large numbers of students in lecture theatres
  • patience, tact and tolerance
  • research skills, especially in higher education

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £37,500 - £42,500
  • With experience: £46,500 - £54,000
  • Senior Lecturers earn £57,500 - £63,500

Hours of work

Hours of work for Lecturers are usually around 40 hours, Monday to Friday, but you might need to work longer hours including evenings and weekends to mark work, prepare lectures and maintain research commitments.

Full-time Lecturers usually work a minimum of 37 hours, from Monday to Friday. However, it's usual for Lecturers to work extra hours at home - marking students' work and preparing lessons.

Some lectures take place in the evenings and at weekends. Lecturers might have to supervise evening or weekend exams.

Where could I work?

Lecturers can work in FE or HE colleges, private sector colleges, universities, the prison service, the armed forces, and in industry.

There are also opportunities to work abroad, especially in HE.

Self-employment

Lecturers can work as self-employed freelancers.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in the local press and national titles such as The Guardian and The Times Educational Supplement (TES), on university and college websites, and job boards such as jobs.ac.uk.

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes vary depending on whether you want to work in further education (FE) or higher education (HE).

Entry to FE

Individual FE colleges make their own decisions about the qualifications they expect lecturers to have. As a guide, you will usually need at least a level 3 qualification in the subject you want to teach, as well as a qualification for teaching in the FE sector.

There are a number of relevant vocational qualifications:

  • level 3 award in education and training which is a short, introductory knowledge-based qualification
  • level 4 certificate in education and training where you will need a minimum of 30 hours’ teaching practice and this is suitable for people already working in a paid or voluntary teaching post
  • level 5 diploma in education and training and this takes between one and two years and involves at least 100 hours’ teaching practice
  • level 5 diploma in education and training with specialist pathway

Entry to HE

You usually need a degree and a postgraduate qualification (usually a PhD). Entry without a PhD is difficult but might be possible for Lecturers with professional or industrial work experience who teach work-related courses, such as accountancy.

Training

Lecturers need to keep their skills and knowledge up to date through recorded continuing professional development (CPD).

Postgraduate qualifications, such as postgraduate certificates (PGCerts) in higher education are available. Some universities make it compulsory for new staff to take a postgraduate course; you can complete them alongside lecturing and research work.

The Open University provides a postgraduate certificate in academic practice, for new and experienced Lecturers, by distance learning.

Progression

Lecturers can take on a student support role, move into a marketing position within the college or university, or move into management, for example.

Work Experience

Previous experience as a Teacher in your specilist subject would be really useful for this career.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Posts in FE colleges that involve working with people aged under 18 are exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to.

This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

Further education

To become a Lecturer, you'll usually need at least a level 3 qualification in the subject you want to teach. Many Lecturers have a relevant degree, foundation degree, higher national or professional qualification.

For entry to a degree in any subject, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 5 subjects

Entry to a foundation degree or higher national qualification can be with 1 A level and 5 GCSEs (A*- C or 9 - 4).

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

However, course requirements vary, so please check college/university websites very carefully.

Higher education

Most Lecturers have a PhD. The entry requirements for a PhD are usually at least a 2:1 Honours degree; you'll often also need a Masters degree such as an MA, MSc or MPhil.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Training

Part-time qualifications for teaching in the further education sector are available.

Relevant higher education training includes part-time PGCerts in higher education teaching. Some courses are available through online learning.

Further Information

Open University (OU)

Tel: 0845 3006090

Website: www.open.ac.uk

UCAS Teacher Training

Website: www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/teacher-training

National Education Union

Publisher: Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

Tel: 020 7930 6441

Website: www.new2teaching.org.uk

The Society for Education and Training (SET)

Tel: 0800 093 9111

Email: enquiries@ifl.ac.uk

Website: www.ifl.ac.uk

jobs.ac.uk

Website: www.jobs.ac.uk

College Development Network

Scottish enquiries

Tel: 01786 466009

Email: pldf@scotcol.ac.uk

Website: www.pldfscotland.ac.uk

Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS)

Address: Friars House, Manor House Drive, Coventry CV1 2TE

Tel: 02476 627900

Email: enquiries@lsis.org.uk

Website: www.lsis.org.uk

Higher Education Academy

Email: enquiries@heacademy.ac.uk

Website: www.heacademy.ac.uk

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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