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Your Entry

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To be a FE lecturer in England and Wales you need:

  • To be fully competent in the subject you intend to teach; and
  • Hold, or be prepared to work towards, a teaching qualification which is endorsed by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).

You will need to show competence in your subject by having either:

  • A relevant academic, trade or professional qualification; or relevant employment experience if appropriate.

To qualify as a permanent full-time or fractional lecturer you can do either a one year full-time or two years part-time:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) if you already have a degree; or
  • Certificate in Education (Cert Ed) if you do not have a degree.

Full-time courses:

  • Can be done before starting work as a lecturer
  • Combine study with teaching practice.

Part-time courses:

  • Can be done before starting work or in-service (whilst working as a lecturer).
  • Involve organising some teaching hours for yourself, perhaps on a voluntary basis, if you are not already employed.

Please see the Training section for details of the in-service option.

To be a Skills for Life (Basic Skills) lecturer you will also need subject-specific numeracy, literacy or ESOL qualifications. Please see the Skills for Life Tutor profile for further details.

a part-time visiting lecturer you need to complete, or work towards, a Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 Level 4 Further Education Teaching Certificate (QTFE). If you wish, you can then take Stage 3, which is equivalent to a PGCE/Cert Ed.

You can get full details of endorsed FE teaching qualifications and training providers from LLUK. Further education teaching qualifications do not qualify you to teach in primary or secondary schools. Please see the relevant profiles for information on teaching in schools.

New Developments

New qualifications are being developed for post-16 teacher training, based on core and optional units at different levels depending on the teaching role. As of September 2007, all new entrants to the sector must complete the Level Three Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS). This will provide pre-service or in-service induction training. Visit the LLUK website for information.

In Scotland it is not compulsory to have a teaching qualification, but most lecturers are qualified or are working towards a qualification. You can complete a Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) at one of three Scottish universities:

  • The University of Aberdeen
  • The University of Dundee
  • The University of Stirling

This qualification is usually studied part-time whilst in post, so you will need to find a teaching position before doing the course.

In Northern Ireland it is not compulsory to be qualified. The University of Ulster offers a further education teaching qualification.


To complete a teaching qualification in-service you need:

  • To be well-qualified or experienced in the subject you intend to teach
  • Find an employer who is willing to take you on and support you in working towards qualifications
  • Complete a teaching qualification within two years of appointment (or four years if working on a fractional contract).

Please contact LLUK for more details. See Further Information for contact details.

When you are qualified as a lecturer you will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, for example by attending in-service training (INSET) days.