Lecturer (adult education): job description

Adult education lecturers teach academic and vocational subjects to adults of all ages and academic abilities.
They need to be able to work with people from all backgrounds.

What does an adult education lecturer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • developing programmes of learning activities
  • planning, preparing and researching lessons
  • preparing teaching materials
  • contact/teaching time with students on an individual or group basis
  • checking and assessing students' work and giving feedback
  • encouraging personal development via tutorial/pastoral work
  • invigilating examinations
  • attending staff meetings
  • liaison with other professionals/employers

The job commonly requires working evenings and weekends. Many people enter the profession through part-time and temporary contracts, supplementing their salary by writing, private tuition and exam marking or by taking up several part-time posts.

Typical employers of adult education lecturers

  • State-maintained and private sixth-form, adult and further education colleges
  • Community or local authority adult education centres
  • The Armed Forces
  • The Prison Service

Vacancies are advertised in local authority jobs lists, Teaching Appointments, The Times Educational Supplement, The Times Higher Education Supplement and national, regional and local newspapers. A few specialist recruitment agencies also handle vacancies.

Qualifications and training required

There are no set academic requirements for entry into the profession. Consequently, a degree in any subject is acceptable for entry (although one that is relevant to the subject taught may be preferred).

Gaining Qualified Teacher Status via a Postgraduate Certificate In Education (PGCE) is beneficial and may be essential for full-time posts. Information about the PGCE can be obtained from the Teacher Training Agency or the Graduate Teacher Training Registry. Employers may favour candidates who have several years work experience. Some employers provide the opportunity to gain a teaching qualification via part-time study once in post.

Key skills for adult education lecturers

  • Ability to work well with students of all ages and backgrounds
  • Organisational skills
  • The ability to work as a team with colleagues
  • Extensive knowledge of your own subject area
  • Effective verbal communication skills
  • Written skills to produce coursework materials
  • Creative skills to plan and deliver interesting lessons and lectures at the right level for your students

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