An Academic Career


Dr Sarah Hart talks about making the choice to be an academic.

Is an academic career for you?

If you are passionate about your subject, love being within a university and are prepared for a lot of hard work, an academic career might be for you - but:

  • do you know what it really involves?
  • have you got what it takes to beat the competition?
  • do you know what to do next?

Use this website to explore academic careers, assess your chances of making it to professor, and work out your career plan.

In addition to the information in this section for undergraduates and Masters postgraduates, don’t miss out on the tabs at the top of the page.

These give you detailed information about academic careers (including how to become an academic), how to find jobs in academia, how to make applications (including academic CVs), and interviews and assessment.

What this website covers

Who is this website aimed at?

This section assumes that:

  • You are not yet undertaking doctoral research, but are completing (or have completed) an undergraduate or Masters degree. You might currently be studying or be an experienced professional, considering a move into academia, or anything in between.
  • You may already be a member of university research staff, or be employed outside academia, in a full-time or part-time post.
  • You are currently working or studying in the UK, or plan to develop your academic career primarily in the UK. Some of the materials are applicable to global academic careers, but there are significant differences between some countries (for example between the UK and the USA) and these have not been explicitly addressed (yet).

If you already have a permanent academic job as a Lecturer or similar grade within a UK university, this website probably won't fulfil your needs. Its main focus is to support those who have not yet achieved this level. It does not attempt to cover advancement or promotion within academia.