Psychology lecturer


Psychology lecturers are subject professors, teachers, or lecturers who instruct students who have obtained an upper secondary education diploma in their own specialised field of study, psychology, which is predominantly academic in nature. They work with their university research assistants and university teaching assistants for the preparation of lectures and of exams, for grading papers and exams and for leading review and feedback sessions for the students. They also conduct academic research in their respective field of psychology, publish their findings and liaise with other university colleagues.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to psychology lecturer:

psychology instructor
psychology teacher
psychology docent
lector in psychology
lecturer of psychology
higher education psychology teacher
psychology professor
university lecturer in psychology
senior lecturer in psychology
lecturer in psychology
instructor in psychology
psychology lector
professor of psychology
university psychology lecturer
specialist lecturer in psychology

Minimum qualifications

Doctoral or equivalent level is generally required to work as psychology lecturer. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Psychology lecturer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Psychology lecturer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to psychology lecturer.

mathematics lecturer
education studies lecturer
higher education lecturer
law lecturer
modern languages lecturer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of psychology lecturer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of psychology lecturer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of psychology lecturer.

Human psychological development: The human psychological development across the lifespan, theories of personality development, cultural and environmental influences, human behavior, including developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, and addictive behavior.
Psychology: The human behaviour and performance with individual differences in ability, personality, interests, learning, and motivation.
Psychological concepts: The psychological concepts of health protection and health promotion.
Psychological theories: The historical development of counselling and psychological theories, as well as the perspectives, applications, and interviewing and counselling strategies.
Curriculum objectives: The goals identified in curricula and defined learning outcomes.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of psychology lecturer.

Guarantee students’ safety: Ensure all students falling under an instructor or other person’s supervision are safe and accounted for. Follow safety precautions in the learning situation.
Teach psychology: Instruct students in the theories and practices of psychology, and more specifically in topics such as the mind and human behaviour, the mental processes of an individual and cognitive development.
Prepare lesson content: Prepare content to be taught in class in accordance with curriculum objectives by drafting exercises, researching up-to-date examples etc.
Monitor developments in field of expertise: Keep up with new research, regulations, and other significant changes, labour market related or otherwise, occurring within the field of specialisation.
Compile course material: Write, select or recommend a syllabus of learning material for the students enrolled in the course.
Liaise with educational support staff: Communicate with education management, such as the school principal and board members, and with the education support team such as the teaching assistant, school counsellor or academic advisor on issues relating the students’ well-being.
Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
Assess students: Evaluate the students’ (academic) progress, achievements, course knowledge and skills through assignments, tests, and examinations. Diagnose their needs and track their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Formulate a summative statement of the goals the student achieved.
Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
Demonstrate when teaching: Present to others examples of your experience, skills, and competences that are appropriate to specific learning content to help students in their learning.
Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
Perform classroom management: Maintain discipline and engage students during instruction.
Apply intercultural teaching strategies: Ensure that the content, methods, materials and the general learning experience is inclusive for all students and takes into account the expectations and experiences of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Explore individual and social stereotypes and develop cross-cultural teaching strategies.
Liaise with educational staff: Communicate with the school staff such as teachers, teaching assistants, academic advisors, and the principal on issues relating to students’ well-being. In the context of a university, liaise with the technical and research staff to discuss research projects and courses-related matters.
Develop course outline: Research and establish an outline of the course to be taught and calculate a time frame for the instructional plan in accordance with school regulations and curriculum objectives.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of psychology lecturer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Psychological diagnostics: The psychological diagnostics strategies, methods and techniques concerning health-related experiences and behaviours as well as mental disorders
Assessment processes: Various evaluation techniques, theories, and tools applicable in the assessment of students, participants in a programme, and employees. Different assessment strategies such as initial, formative, summative and self- assessment are used for varying purposes.
Funding methods: The financial possibilities for funding projects such as the traditional ones, namely loans, venture capital, public or private grants up to alternative methods such as crowdfunding.
Psychiatric disorders: The characteristics, causes and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Psychological counselling methods: The various psychological counselling, training and coaching methods for persons of all ages, groups and organizations considering medical aspects.
Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
Behavioural disorders: The often emotionally disruptive types of behaviour a child or adult can show, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Pedagogy: The discipline that concerns the theory and practice of education including the various instructional methods for educating individuals or groups.
University procedures: The inner workings of a university, such as the structure of the relevant education support and management, the policies, and the regulations.
Scientific research methodology: The theoretical methodology used in scientific research involving doing background research, constructing an hypothesis, testing it, analysing data and concluding the results.
Psychiatry: Psychiatry is a medical specialty mentioned in the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of psychology lecturer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Assist in the organisation of school events: Provide assistance in the planning and organisation of school events, such as the school’s open house day, a sports game or a talent show.
Supervise educational staff: Monitor and evaluate the actions of the educational staff such as teaching or research assistants and teachers and their methods. Mentor, train, and give advice to them if necessary.
Conduct psychological research: Plan, supervise and undertake psychological research, writing papers to describe the research results.
Serve on academic committee: Contribute to university or college managerial decisions, such as budgetary issues, school policy reviews and recommendations, department promotions, and hiring of new staff members. This may also include participation in discussions around educational policy reforms.
Facilitate teamwork between students: Encourage students to cooperate with others in their learning by working in teams, for example through group activities.
Establish collaborative relations: Establish a connection between organisations or individuals which may benefit from communicating with one another in order to facilitate an enduring positive collaborative relationship between both parties.
Conduct scholarly research: Plan scholarly research by formulating the research question and conducting empirical or literature research in order to investigate the truth of the research question.
Discuss research proposals: Discuss proposals and projects with researchers, decide on resources to allocate and whether to move forward with the study.
Monitor educational developments: Monitor the changes in educational policies, methodologies and research by reviewing relevant literature and liaising with education officials and institutions.
Participate in scientific colloquia: Take part in symposia, international experts’ conferences, and congresses to present research projects, methods, and results and to gather information on developments in academic research.
Assist students with equipment: Provide assistance to students when working with (technical) equipment used in practice-based lessons and solve operational problems when necessary.
Develop curriculum: Develop and plan the learning goals and outcomes for education institutions, as well as the required teaching methods and potential education resources.
Conduct quantitative research: Execute a systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques.
Manage resources for educational purposes: Identify the necessary resources needed for learning purposes, such as materials in class or arranged transportation for a field trip. Apply for the corresponding budget and follow up on the orders.
Assist students with their dissertation: Support university students with the writing of their paper or theses. Advise on research methods or additions to certain parts of their dissertations. Report different types of errors, such as research or methodological errors, to the student.
Interpret psychological tests: Interpret psychological tests in order to obtain information on your patient`s intelligence, achievements, interests, and personality.
Publish academic research: Conduct academic research, at a university or college or on a personal account, publish it in books or academic journals with the aim of contributing to a field of expertise and achieving personal academic accreditation.
Keep records of attendance: Keep track of the pupils who are absent by recording their names on a list of absentees.
Work with virtual learning environments: Incorporate the use of online learning environments and platforms into the process of instruction.
Provide technical expertise: Provide expert knowledge in a particular field, especially concerning mechanical or scientific subjects, to decision makers, engineers, technical staff or journalists.
Present reports: Display results, statistics and conclusions to an audience in a transparent and straightforward way.
Provide lesson materials: Ensure that the necessary materials for teaching a class, such as visual aids, are prepared, up-to-date, and present in the instruction space.
Assist students in their learning: Support and coach students in their work, give learners practical support and encouragement.
Supervise doctoral students: Assist students working on a doctorate in specifying their research question and deciding on a methodology. Monitor their progress and conduct quality reviews of their work.
Conduct qualitative research: Gather relevant information by applying systematic methods, such as interviews, focus groups, text analysis, observations and case studies.
Provide career counselling: Advise beneficiaries on future career options through counselling and, potentially, through career testing and evaluation.

ISCO group and title

2310 – University and higher education teachers





  1. Psychology lecturer – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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