Find out about the role of a Further Education (FE) or Higher Education (HE) lecturer.
The following websites provide career advice for roles in further and higher education:
For information about careers in academia visit the Vitae website.
Further information can be found in our Research in Academia section.
The following websites contain industry news:
- Times Higher Education
- The Guardian – includes FE and HE sections
- Universities UK
- AoC: FE news and comment
- BBC News: Education
These represent and promote the interests of people working in the sector, providing services such as training and networking opportunities.
They often provide careers support for students and graduates and development for people already working in the sector.
Follow professional associations on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for useful sources of news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.
The main professional associations for this sector include:
Making contacts is essential for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field are gained through networking and speculative applications.
We've compiled a few places you could start:
Our online database, Graduate Connections, contains information about graduates who are happy to give you information and advice about the kind of work they do.
You can also find out what alumni did after graduation, how they got there, and contact them for advice and inspiration through Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn.
Open-days, talks and other sector events give valuable insights and the opportunity to make useful contacts.
You may also be interested in:
See our other Sector-specific pages for more options.
Roles & Skills
Find out more about the roles and skills involved.
We've included links to external websites that provide further information about the roles in this sector.
Further education lecturer
Higher education lecturer
- The University of Manchester: An Academic Career
- Historians on Teaching – video clips from university lecturers in Europe, Australia and North America
Skills that employers look for include:
- in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm for your subject
- excellent written and verbal communication skills
- interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate students
- confidence and strong presentation skills
- good organisational and planning skills
- ability to work as part of a team and on your own
For teaching positions within higher education, you will need to provide details of your published research and the conferences you have presented at. Organisations will also be looking at your ability to further develop your research, and potential to attract funding into the academic school.
Here you'll find links to further information about gaining experience in the sector.
Ideally you should try and gain some teaching experience before applying for teacher training or applying for jobs as a lecturer.
Experience gained in schools, colleges, universities, and private or community organisations would give you classroom experience, and allow you to observe experienced teaching staff. If you study for a teaching qualification you will get the opportunity to gain further teaching experience, as part of the course. Find further information about gaining experience in our Applying for Teacher Training section.
Work experience in further education colleges is not usually advertised, so you will need to make speculative applications directly to the colleges or institutions. For advice on making speculative applications see TargetJobs' article: Making speculative applications for graduate jobs.
Visit our Teaching in Schools section for further information about the sector.
This is a very competitive sector to enter. Most applicants will either have completed, or be working towards a PhD. Gaining teaching and administrative experience is also beneficial.
Speak to your school, as there are often opportunities for PhD students, which will give you the chance to experience teaching, leading seminar groups, marking, and give you an understanding of the administrative aspects of the role.
Some research assistant roles, may also provide teaching experience.
Find vacancies in Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE).
It is quite common for FE lecturers to begin their careers in part-time or short term contracts.
This is a very competitive sector to enter. Most universities will looking for applicants with a PhD, publications, active participation at conferences, teaching experience and the potential to attract funding into the academic school. It is quite common for new lecturers to work on fixed-term contracts. You do not usually need a teaching qualification but teaching experience would be useful.
- Times Higher Education Supplement
- Global Academy Jobs.com – includes HE lecturer jobs in the UK
- Newcastle Researchers’ Blog
Opportunities to teach to degree level are also available in further education colleges (see above).
Specialist recruitment agencies
- Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – includes a list of FE and HE institutions that they fund
- British Accreditation Council – directory of independent further and higher education providers
Further education lecturer
Although vacancies for this role are regularly advertised, it is also worth being proactive and making speculative applications directly to FE and Sixth Form colleges. For information about speculative applications read TargetJobs' article: Making speculative applications for graduate jobs.
Use the National Careers Service's Find a course facility to find Further Education colleges.
Use the course search facility on UCAS to find universities by area of academic study and location.
The Association of Commonwealth Universities includes a database of over 500 institutions in Commonwealth countries.
Study and Training
Find information about training in this sector.
It is possible to become a Further Education Teacher without a specific teaching qualification, but for most institutions, a qualification is preferred. If you do enter this role without a teaching qualification, you may be supported by your employer to work towards a relevant qualification. Information on the types, and levels of qualifications available, can be found in the Prospects Further Education Teacher occupational profile and on The Education & Training Foundation website.
Graduates can take a PGCE in post compulsory education. The course will take one year full time and you will need a degree in the subject you wish to teach.
There is no central website, which lists all of the courses available. A small number of training providers recruit through the UCAS Teacher Training website. You will need to look at each training provider’s website for details of courses.
If you are interested in teaching maths, but do not have the necessary level of subject knowledge, you can study a Subject Knowledge Enhancement programme, designed to help build your subject knowledge to the required level.
FE Initial Teacher Training Bursaries are available for students to train to teach maths and English. The amount of funding available depends on your degree classification, and the subject you want to teach.
You will normally need a PhD in the specialist subject you wish to teach. You can begin work as a university lecturer without a teaching qualification and then study for a teaching qualification once you're in post. Teaching qualifications are accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).