What Is a Senior Lecturer?

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  • Written By: Jan Fletcher
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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A senior lecturer presents college-level material to students in colleges and universities through a series of lectures and responses to questions. Although specific educational requirements for this job usually include attainment of higher-level college degrees, the level and type of degree varies among educational institutions around the world. A senior lecturer is expected to possess superior teaching abilities and an intuitive understanding of how well the material is being received by students. Often, the recruiters who hire lecturers look for candidates who have worked professionally and have hands-on experience in the field in which they teach. For example, a senior lecturer in geology would likely be expected to have worked in the field of geology, either on a project basis, or as a previous career professional.

College professors who work as senior lecturers are typically expected to possess a doctorate degree, a credential also known as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). In addition to lecturing, he or she will be expected to handle managerial functions in overseeing the overall teaching program. Necessary credentials for a senior lecturer are typically listed on a curriculum vitae (CV). Although similar to a résumé, a CV documents a candidate's academic experience in detail and include such aspects of past work as academic papers that may have been published in academic or professional journals. High-profile presentations, such as lectures before professional associations, are also likely to be included in the CV.


Senior lecturers will often have bridged both the business world and the realm of higher education throughout their careers. Lecturers with hands-on experiences in the subject matter being taught are highly valued by college recruiters. The real-world experiences they have enrich the teaching experience for their students.

In addition to obtaining a Master's or doctorate degree in the field of study, those who seek to become a lecturer or senior lecturer will likely stay very engaged in a specific area of academic interest. Some schools define criteria very specifically for senior lecturers, but many do not have precise guidelines for career advancement in this area. As a result, institutional politics can have a significant influence in the choice of promoting lecturers to senior lecturers.


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