There are numerous routes to get into the field of academia. In the following article, I will share with you some invaluable insights into the traditional way of how to become a lecturer.
If you wanted to become a lecturer fifty years ago, a post-graduate qualification was not necessary. A few decades later, many people find it impossible to get a permanent lectureship without having completed a PhD. The qualifications that you need are a good bachelor’s degree (2.1 or above), possibly a masters, and a PhD in the relevant field. Although you do not need a separate teaching qualification, you could be offered the opportunity to complete one while studying for your PhD or in the first year of working as a lecturer.
There are three main aspects to being a lecturer: teaching, research and administration. Different institutions prioritise research and teaching differently, and you need to find out which aspect is most important for the particular job you are interested in. As a general rule for the UK, Russell Group universities prioritise research whereas post-1992 institutions place more emphasis on teaching.
While completing your PhD, you could be offered the chance to do some teaching in your department. It is wise to take any teaching work even if it might seem like a distraction from your doctorate studies. Make sure that you take advantage of teaching opportunities to build up your skills. Without this experience, you could find it most challenging to secure a permanent lectureship after your PhD.
You might lead seminars, tutorials and occasionally contribute towards labs and lectures. You could be asked to mark essays and help marking exam scripts. Many PhD students teach courses designed by others and do not get involved in curriculum development. If you are offered the opportunity to be involved in curriculum design, do seize it! It could really make you stand out from the crowd. Although a few universities discourage teaching assignments, the majority have realised that future academics need to develop their teaching portfolio early on.
Most people take three to four years to complete a full-time PhD qualification which forms the basis of their research experience. After finishing their doctorate degree, they turn to having it published either as a book or a series of articles.
Publishing is an essential step on the path to becoming a lecturer. Although you may not have published a great deal before qualifying, you need to build up your portfolio once your PhD is completed. Giving papers at conferences, workshops and lectures could provide you with excellent opportunities to communicate your ideas to colleagues. Employers will be keen to see that you can disseminate your research and this is one of the best ways of proving that.
After the PhD
Some scholars get a permanent full-time job quickly after finishing their PhD whilst others take up a range of temporary positions. They might work on an hourly paid or part-time basis, commute a long way or work at several institutions simultaneously. Rest assured, the increased diversity of your experience will reflect positively on your CV. Try your best to maintain focus and dedication for your publishing (even if it may be financially challenging at times to provide for this part of academic life).
Your PhD supervisor, colleagues and friends in academia could be invaluable in passing on vacancies via word of mouth. This could be especially useful when a department is looking for a temporary member of staff. Initially, the search for a suitable candidate is done by members of the department asking contacts whether they know anyone who would be interested. Only later would the position be advertised more formally. For permanent positions, institutions have to advertise publicly even if they have an internal candidate in consideration for the job.
jobs.ac.uk is a fantastic platform to find lecturing jobs. You might be surprised to learn that they advertise over 75,000 jobs a year in all of the major universities in the UK as well as internationally. There are other articles in this Career Development section that deal with issues such as academic CV building and how to maximise your chances of getting these jobs.
Academia is highly competitive with the most prestigious jobs attracting hundreds of applicants from across the globe. However, with persistence and dedication, one of those jobs could be yours.
For more tips see:
- Changes to Academic Research
I am looking for phD to Qualify me to teach at Colleges and universities, Please let me know the process and procedure to get this qualification and start immediately.
Ritesh jameendar says
I am from India and completing my PH.D in business management and I have experience in teaching field . I want to become lecturer in Uk..please help me in this.
Etim Eteng says
I am presently a Lecturer in a University in Nigeria teaching in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences. I have a PhD in Population and Environment. Over ten publications in reputable journals. An MBA- Management and certification in Health Safety and Environment.
I desire academic positions in Human Geography or a Postdoc in Population and Development in the Global South. Best Regards
Etim Eteng PhD.
Prathibha Bachu says
I am a PhD holder in Business Management from India, have 4 masters degrees ; MBA (Marketing),
MBA(Finance),Masters in Accounting and Finance, Master of Philosophy in Commerce. I have published articles in various International and National Journals and guided many post graduate students in their research. Backed up 19 years of experience in teaching under graduates and post graduates in India. I have ILR(Indefinite Leave to Remain) in UK. I have volunteering experience in UK teaching ESOL classes for adult learners. Looking for teaching jobs in UK(Secondary schools, colleges, university).
Md Forhad Hossain says
Hello m 47 years old I want to become university lecturer in Bangladesh I’m living UK since 2006. I had complete Msc major geography. In UK I have completed level 4
need your help how can i build up career as a university lecturer
Abdulahi Ahmed says
Am an undergraduate though a final year student of agricultural extension and rural sociology I like to become a Lecturer. please tell me how to achieve my ambition.
Esther Sunny says
I want to study Law and become a lecturer, I just finished my waec and neco exam, please I don’t know what step to follow I need guideline, please help me.
Timi Grace says
Considering you just concluded your WAEC and NECO exams, the next step is an LLB programme.
You can obtain an LLB at any reputable University there in Nigeria. If considering an International Jurisdiction, be certain your University of choice is in a common law jurisdiction, patterned after the English Legal System. In default of this, you will not be able to go to the Nigerian Law school.
After your LLB, I will strongly suggest you go for your BL at the Nigerian Law School and your NYSC programme. Hopefully, after these, you will be able to identify the area(s) of law you would like to pursue for possibly a Masters Degree and then a PhD.
In the mean time, you need to be very studious. You’ll quickly learn that opportunities abound, the challenge will be whether or not you have the requisite skills and value being sought after. Therefore, focus more on developing yourself and opportunities will come knocking. Cheers!
Toria Chirwa says
I have certificate in teaching have just finish but my goal is to became a lecture please help what should I do? am from malawi
Toria Chirwa says
Jeyaraj Sonai Singaram says
I am S.S.Jeyaraj, PhD holder in Commerce from India, I have published articles in various International and National Journals in online and printed version. I have 16 years of teaching experience in IGCSE, AS Level, A Level, Under graduates and Distance Learning Program in India, Indonesia and China. Currently i have been working in Sino-British College (which is a partnership program with Staffordshire University) Guangxi University for Natinalities, P.R.China. I am very familiar with UK Accounting System (IAS & IFRS standards) with more than 8 years of experience. Experience in online teacing (Moodle System) . I have been teaching Advanced Financial Accounting, Management Accounting Techniques (Level 5) and Financial Reporting & Audit (Level 6). I am looking for teaching jobs in Uk either college/university.
Linda Betier says
Please, I want to be an early childhood education lecturer which I already have its diploma background but a degree in different program .. Do I need to have the same early childhood degree an d masters before I can be qualified to lecture at university or college?
Promise Obausi says
am a fresh graduate of biology and education in Nigeria. I am interested in pursuing a career as a lecturer. After graduation I have taken up a teaching job in a secondary school. my area of interest is human biology and nutrition, I would also like to study for a master’s degree in a reputable university in one of the western countries preferably the Uk.
I need help on this.
There are various scholarship programmes you can apply for e.g Commonwealth, Chevening, Commonwealth shared etc. You can google them up … some schools also provides scholarships, so you can apply to different schools directly. There are also scholarships for developing countries. Keep pursuing your dream, all the best.
Simone Paulsen says
I’m currently doing my internship in Management Assistant for my Diploma, wanted to know what I must do next to become a lecturer. Please can you tell me what to study next.
Haridev Anand says
I am just curious to know how can someone become a professor in medical subject?
Get a medical degree, work in the field, continue studying in the field and obtain a doctorate degree, keep working, teaching and researching in the field in a higher institution and you could make it to professor. Note that a professor is a teacher and it is an academic staff rank. So, you will do a lot of teaching to get there.
Soe Kalayar Aung says
I would like to know about becoming a lecturer at universities in the UK. Can I teach at universities if I have Ph.D. in TESOL in the UK ? I finished Master degree in TESOL last year. So, I am planning to do Ph.D. at University of Warwick.
I want to know if I do my masters of philosophy in the uk if I can get a full time lecturing job as an assistant lecturer for a start while I continue pursuing my doctorate degree
Muhammad Ameen Haroon says
i’m a graduate of buk chemistry and education as a discipline.
but i have the intention to study mbbs
instead of mastering degree in my discipline.
what is your advice?
Hi , I have done M.phil in Biology from Pakistan. Now I moved to UK on spouse visa. I wanted to become a lecturer. Which courses I need to do to become a lecturer. Thanks in advance
You would need a PhD, publications in reputable journals and possibly some Higher Education teaching/assistant experience to get to the starting line. All the best!
I completed my post graduation in MSc Computer Science. Currently working as a part-time lecturer. I don’t have any future ph.d plans. Can I become a full time lecturer with my PG level 7, distinction pass
The field has become very competitive. Lecturers who are already in roles but do not have PhDs are being urged to get one or risk being ‘phased out.’ Many of your students will have your present qualifications. You need to be ahead of them! However, this would depend on the country and sector where you work. If you choose to remain in Further Education, your current qualifications and experience could suffice. But for how long, we don’t know. For Higher Education, even with a PhD you now have to do other things to stand out, such as publishing in reputable journals and attracting research funding. I would say it is best to remain competitive. All the best!
Ojo D. O says
Good day, I have completed my PhD program in Zoology with option in Entomology. I have published 13 articles. I need a lecturing job .
Lucy josephat says
Hi, am a lucy josphat from kenya have just completed my phD in education science. my goal is to be a lecturer what is the next step
I would recommend looking at lecturer vacancies in the locations where you wish to teach, to see the Job Descriptions and Person Specifications. These will tell you what you need to equip yourself with. I also recommend participating in conferences, even online ones, to build your academic network. This is where you can build relationships with other academics, build writing/research/publishing collaborations and receive information about vacancies. If you haven’t already done so, build up your publications in reputable journals, possibly beginning from your doctoral thesis and course work. You can also ask your supervisor to help you prepare for roles and alert you of open roles. They will most likely be needed to give you an academic reference, so, maintain good relations with them. As you are in Kenya, if you are of Black-African descent, there are many online communities for Black PhDs, especially Black women PhDs. If you Google them, take a look. They might be very helpful. All the best!
I just finish waec and i want to be a lectuer in english language should i go to university or college of education
I would strongly advise getting a Bachelor’s degree from an internationally recognised university rather than a diploma or certificate from a college of education. Lectureships have become highly competitive and you will most likely need a PhD to gain one. With a Bachelor’s degree, you are better placed to pursue a Master’s and then a PhD. Don’t be discouraged about how long this might take. The years will still roll by anyway. Just keep taking the next step and expanding your capacity as you go, by volunteering for roles that will develop your skills and build your network, by taking on a teaching role, by trying new things and by seeking mentoring from those who have achieved what you are looking for. All the best!
Moses baraka mwangolo says
I am currently persuing bachelor of technology education (mechanical engineering option).I would like to become a lecturer in UK,what are the qualifications?.
A relevant Bachelor’s degree (2:1 is preferable but 2:2 can be considered), Master’s degree and a PhD, with academic journal publications in reputable journals, preferably international. Higher Education teaching experience and in some cases, industry experience, is desirable. Evidence of having attracted research funding will go a long way. You can begin the quest for academic publications right now in your Bachelor’s programme by doing your best on your research project/dissertation and possibly publishing from that. Or perhaps by supporting your supervisor’s research. All the best!