An Academic Career

What qualifications do I need to become an academic?

Academic qualifications

Most people entering academia in the UK at the level of lecturer or above are now expected to have a doctoral level qualification - a PhD, EngD, DPhil, DBA etc. This shows that you can both carry out research professionally and communicate your findings in an academic setting.

In some universities, particularly those focused on providing vocational courses for students, it used to be possible to become a lecturer in some applied subjects without a doctoral level qualification. However, with the increased focus on research at all UK universities, this has become much less common.

In order to get accepted on to a doctoral research programme, you would normally need a good first degree (a 2:1 or 1st class honours undergraduate degree in the UK) and often a Masters degree.

For information on postgraduate study, see:


Professional qualifications and experience

You may be able to use your professional experience to start your academic career as a lecturer, particularly in regulated graduate professions (such as architecture, law, education etc). However, even in these professions, gaining a doctoral level qualification and research experience is likely to enhance your career prospects.