In the United Kingdom, a university lecturer is an academic who oversees students' research projects and teaches classes. A lecturer in countries such as Canada and the United States, however, usually does not perform research and is not tenured, but still teaches at the college level. To become a university lecturer, your first step should be to choose an area in which you would like to work. Students often make these decisions while studying for undergraduate degrees. It is common for students to choose disciplines with which they have an aptitude and which they enjoy.
While you are studying in an undergraduate program, inform a faculty adviser that you want to continue on to graduate school. He or she should know which courses you need to take to qualify for enrollment into a graduate program in your field. Depending on the discipline you are studying, you might benefit from internships or research assistant opportunities. A person who would like to become a university lecturer in a history department, for example, might benefit from assisting a professor in his or her research.
For a person who wants to become a university lecturer in the United Kingdom, this research experience can be exceptionally valuable. This kind of lecturer's primary duties normally include orchestrating research projects and supervising student research assistants. The more familiar you are with research practices in your field, the more qualified you are to become a university lecturer with a research focus.
To become a university lecturer, it is essential that you teach. Most aspiring lecturers get teaching experience in their graduate programs. It is common for students to teach basic undergraduate courses in their fields in return for stipends. You might be required to attend teacher training and pedagogy courses.
Any person who would like to become a university lecturer can benefit from being active in his or her field. You should plan on writing books or publishing articles in academic journals. Many lecturers also attend seminars where they present papers based on their research. This can assist candidates in qualifying for US lecturer jobs, which are essential staff teaching positions at the undergraduate level, and can also contribute to the development of the kind of thorough portfolio necessary to capture a competitive appointment as a lecturer in the UK.
As you progress in your academic career, you should ask colleagues and instructors if they would consider writing you letters of reference. Graduate programs and lecturer positions often require candidates to provide reference letters prior to consideration. A good reference usually is an individual established in his or her field with whom you have worked closely. You also should update your curriculum vitae (CV), a document on which you list instances of education, experience, and acquired skills.