Careers Service

Lecturing - Adult Education

Adult education lecturers or tutors work in the post-16 education sector, and are involved in teaching a vast range of subjects and skills to a very wide range of people for many different purposes.

Many tutors are involved in developing and delivering ‘skills for life’ programmes, teaching numeracy, literacy, ICT and ESOL courses. Employers include adult community and FE colleges, outreach centres and charitable organisations. A lot of jobs in this sector are part-time, and tutors often work for more than one employer.

Applicants for jobs are increasingly likely to have a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or equivalent qualification, and there are now specialist courses for graduates intending to teach in this sector. As with other initial teacher training courses, it is necessary to gain some pre-entry relevant work experience.


Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:


We may have Edinburgh Alumni contacts who can give you some useful advice about getting into this type of work. Access Connect.ed via the Careers tab in your MyEd portal to search for contacts by employer, job title, location and school (UG and PG).

General information

National Careers Service - profile of a Skills for Life teacher from the government's careers service, which includes teaching literacy, numeracy and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

Skills for Life teacher

UCAS Teacher Training - clearing house for applications to UK initial teacher training (ITT) courses, including further/post compulsory education courses suited to the FE sector.

UCAS Teacher Training

England & Wales

Education Support Partnership - the national independent charity that provides practical and emotional support to teachers and lecturers (both serving and retired) and their families, regardless of age, length of service or union affiliations.

Education Support Partnership

Learning and Work Institute (L&W) - an independent policy and research organisation dedicated to lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. Work involves campaigning, lobbying and advocating on behalf of learners of all kinds, especially those at most disadvantage.

Learning and Work Institute (L&W) - an online resource containing information and links to residential lifelong learning courses for adults in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in mainland Europe.

National Literacy Trust - contains useful information for professionals working in this area. The section on volunteering is helpful if you are looking for work experience.

National Literacy Trust

Skillswise - BBC initiative which aims to help adults improve their reading, writing and maths skills. The site is designed for both learners and tutors.


Society for Education and Training (SET) - professional body for practitioners in the post-16 sector. Provides information and advice about applying for and gaining QTLS, and maintain the professional register.

Society for Education and Training (SET)

Workers Educational Association (WEA) - the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of community-based and workplace-based adult education, prioritising people who face barriers to learning. Vacancies are advertised on the site.

Workers Educational Association (WEA)


Lifelong Learning Strategy for Scotland - the Scottish government’s report on the future of the lifelong learning sector, also available to download.

Lifelong Learning Strategy for Scotland

Lifelong Learning Sector Profile - produced by The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils (Scotland), providing sector information and statistics. This report may be downloaded.

Lifelong Learning Sector Profile (186.49 KB PDF)

Centre for Open Learning University of Edinburgh - the department providing a programme of education open to the entire community. There are day, evening and weekend classes, with longer course run during vacation periods. Most UK universities and FE colleges offer continuing education/lifelong learning opportunities and employ tutors to deliver these programmes.

Centre for Open Learning

Scotland's Learning Partnership (SLP) - brings together the interests of learners and providers in Scotland, and works to develop equality in the relationship. SLP promotes lifelong learning, active citizenship, equality of opportunity and social inclusion. SLP is also closely linked to all major educational strategies and community learning plans.

Scotland's Learning Partnership (SLP)

Workers Educational Association Scotland (WEA) - the Lothian section of the Workers Educational Association Scotland.

Workers Educational Association Scotland (WEA)