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15 Jul 2022

How To Become a Lecturer in Malaysia

Love teaching but don’t think you can handle anyone younger than 16? Interested in working in research while imparting your knowledge and mentoring students?

Sounds like you’re interested in becoming a lecturer!

While there’s no “Degree in Lecturing”, there’s still a pathway to follow to become a university lecturer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process.

Step #1. Complete a pre-university, foundation or diploma programme

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Upon completion of your SPM, you will need to enrol into either a pre-university course (e.g. A Levels, STPM, etc.) or a foundation programme. Any programme is acceptable.

If you find yourself unable to meet the requirements of a pre-u or foundation programme, you will always have the option of pursuing a diploma instead. This is because a diploma typically has a lower entry requirement when compared to pre-u programmes.

Once you’ve finished this part of your study, you can proceed to a degree of your choice.

Step #2. Complete a bachelor’s degree of your choice

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Unlike teachers, you don’t need a background or degree in education to be a university lecturer. Though it would certainly help (an education degree will teach you how to come up with effective lesson plans and assessment methods), you can study whatever degree you want and still become a lecturer.

As such, once you’ve completed your pre-university programme, you can enrol into a degree programme of your choosing. Make sure to pick a programme that’s accredited by the MQA to ensure the quality of your education.

A typical degree can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years.

Finding a job as a lecturer with a bachelor’s degree is hard but not impossible. You might find universities willing to hire degree graduates to teach foundation and pre-university programmes.

However, if your dream is to teach an undergraduate degree programme, you may find your prospects to be limited. Therefore, once you’ve completed your degree, you must continue your studies and pursue a master’s degree.

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Step #3. Complete a master’s degree in a specialised field

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To qualify for a university lecturer position, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree.

There’s no specific requirement to pursue a certain field of study but your master’s must be related to the field you want to teach in. After all, you can’t exactly teach a subject you have no knowledge in.

Most master’s degrees in Malaysia can take 1 to 2 years to complete.

Upon successful completion of your master’s degree, you can start applying for university lecturer jobs.

Step #4. Complete a PhD in a specialised field

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It’s not compulsory but to ensure that you’re ahead of your competition, you can also consider going for a PhD. While a master’s degree is the minimum requirement for most lecturing positions, a PhD can significantly boost your chances as universities are always looking to hire lecturers with experience in research.

That being said, you can always start your lecturing career first with a master’s degree before going on to pursue your PhD later on.

There’s no formal way of becoming a lecturer. You just have to be really good in your field of study. And this is often proven by getting good grades and completing higher levels of education. So if you have always wanted to be a lecturer, make sure that you’re ready for the long journey ahead.

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