Senior lecturer

For a broader coverage related to this topic, see Lecturer.

Senior lecturer is an academic rank.[1] In the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland, lecturer is a faculty position at a university or similar institution. The position is tenured and is roughly equivalent to an associate professor in the North American system.

Especially in research-intensive universities, lecturers lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach. After a number of years, lecturers might be promoted to senior lecturers with increasing research, leadership, and administrative responsibilities. In most research-intensive universities (such as those that are part of the Russell Group and 1994 Group), a senior lecturer position is between a lecturer and a reader, with a strong focus on research. At the same time, in some universities (for instance Leeds University), the rank of reader is no longer used for new appointments. A senior lecturer position can be a parallel position to reader in other universities. In some universities (notably post-1992 UK universities and former polytechnics), the senior lecturer and reader ranks denote different responsibilities, with the former being more teaching-focused and the latter being more research-focused. Senior lecturers can progress to either a reader or a professor position.

Commonwealth and European usage

In most UK, New Zealand, Australian, and Swiss universities, senior lecturer (Oberassistent, or Hochschuldozent in German or Chargé de cours in French) is equivalent to the level of "associate professor" in North American universities, and "lecturer" is roughly equivalent to the North American "assistant professor".

Some British universities (for instance, Nottingham and Warwick) have recently decided to adopt the North American ranks of assistant and associate professor instead of lecturer and senior lecturer/reader. Some UK universities (for example, Plymouth University) use the rank of associate professor to denote the rank between a lecturer and a professor, but qualify it with 'senior lecturer' or 'reader' in the title, for example: Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer).

North American usage

However, in the United States, Canada, and other countries influenced by their educational systems, the term is used differently, sometimes denoting academics without tenure who teach full or part-time but have few or no research responsibilities within the institution where they teach.[2] On the other hand, some universities use the term to refer to full-time, tenured faculty whose primary responsibilities are teaching and service instead of research.[3] A convention some schools have begun to use is the title "teaching professor," with or without ranks, to clarify that these are in fact true faculty members who simply do not have research obligations. Senior lecturers sometimes have substantial experience and accomplishments in their field and possess a doctorate or its professional equivalent[4] and sometimes just require a given number of years of experience.[5] Also, in some schools it is a temporary post for visiting academics of considerable prominence—e.g. a famous writer may serve for a term or a year, for instance. In some colleges the term Senior Lecturer is awarded to highly qualified or accomplished lecturers.


  1. "Senior Lecturers". Times Higher Education. UK. Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  2. "See, for example, Job Description at Univ. of Washington". US. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. "See, for example, the collective agreement for Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia, Canada" (PDF). CAN. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  4. "Officers of Instruction". Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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