Visiting Lecturer (HE)

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Job Description

Lecturers teach students at further or higher education institutions, usually between the ages of 18-80. Teaching usually takes place during the day between 9am and 6pm although some lecturers are also required to teach in the evenings. Lecturers divide their time between classroom hours and preparing for teaching or meeting students privately. The job of a visiting lecture is usually a temporary one, held by someone who has a permanent lectureship at another university, sometimes in another country. Both universities will hope to gain from the arrangement with the creation of research and teaching networks. Sometimes visiting lectureships are filled by scholars early on in their career hoping to get some valuable teaching experience.


  • Delivering large group lectures to between 20 and 200 students
  • Delivering small group teaching to between 1 and 20 students
  • Pastoral care of students
  • One to one advice on particular pieces of work
  • Course design
  • Lecture/seminar planning
  • Marking assessed work
  • Keeping student records of achievement
  • Attending planning meetings to ensure cross departmental parity
  • Undertaking research projects
  • Presenting research at conferences
  • Creating links between permanent and temporary universities

Salary and Conditions

Starting salary usually c. £30,000-£35,000 in the UK pro rata. Some visiting lectureships are paid on an hourly basis, usually around £50 per hour.

Visiting lectureships are usually temporary contracts from one term to several years in length.

Entry Criteria

Most visiting lecturers will already have a PhD, although occasionally people who have specific practical experience or skills relevant to the post will be considered. They will have a very good bachelor’s degree: a first or upper second class. Some lecturers have a separate masters degree, especially in the humanities fields.

Most visiting lecturers will hold a permanent job at another university and will have to seek permission to have leave from that job.

Career Path

As it is a temporary position, a visiting lectureship is seen as a career enhancement. For those early in their career it is a chance to show experience at another institution. For more senior scholars it provides a chance to build academic connections and to undertake teaching and research in a different location.

Major employers

HE lecturers are mostly employed in publicly funded universities or HE colleges. There are many different sorts of these in the UK. Oxford and Cambridge are the most prestigious, followed by research-based institutions such as the Russell Group. The post-1992 group of universities, which used to be Polytechnics, are also large employers of lecturers. There is one private university in the UK, based in Buckingham. Every large town or city in the UK now has its own university.

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