Lecturer (further education): job description

Lecturer (further education): job description

Further education lecturers teach academic and vocational subjects to young people and adults.
Lecturers must have excellent presentation skills.

What does a further education lecturer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • lesson planning, preparation and research
  • contact/teaching time with pupils
  • checking and assessing pupils' work
  • encouraging personal development via tutorial/pastoral work
  • invigilating examinations
  • arranging work experience placements
  • attending staff meetings
  • liaising with other professionals/employers

The job commonly requires working evenings and weekends.

Typical employers of further education lecturers

  • State-maintained and private sixth-form colleges
  • Further education colleges
  • Adult and community education centres
  • The armed forces
  • The prison service
  • Charities and voluntary organisations

There may also be some opportunities to work for universities.

Teaching vacancies are advertised in local authority jobs lists, on the jobs board of the Association of Colleges, and in a range of publications, including the Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education and national, regional and local newspapers. A few specialist recruitment agencies also handle vacancies. Many people begin with part-time teaching and temporary contracts, enhancing their salaries with private tuition and exam marking.

Qualifications and training required

Employers' requirements vary and you may be able to obtain work as an FE lecturer without a teaching qualification or a degree, but you will have a much better chance of finding work and progressing if you have relevant qualifications. Some employers may give you the opportunity to train to teach on a part-time basis once you are in post.

The most usual route into the profession for fresh graduates is to take a PGCE (professional or postgraduate certificate in education) in post-compulsory education. You may be expected to have a degree in the subject you wish to teach. It is also possible to train in secondary teaching and then apply for work in further education. PGCE courses are listed on the UCAS Teacher Training website. Bursaries are available for maths and English graduates who wish to train to teach their subjects in further education, and there are also bursaries and scholarships on offer to help with the costs of training to teach in secondary education.

Further education (FE) lecturers are typically mature candidates who have several years’ relevant work experience. A range of specialist qualifications for FE teaching are available at different levels, including the level 3 award in education and training, the level 4 certificate in education and training and the level 5 diploma in education and training. You can study for these on a part-time basis at a further education college. 

You can find out more about qualifications from our advice on training to teach in further and higher education. Our advice on alternative careers in education gives an overview of education jobs that do not involve teaching in schools.

Key skills for further education lecturers

  • Ability to work well with a range of people
  • Organisation skills
  • Teamwork
  • Expertise in a particular subject area or areas
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent presentation skills
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