What to Study to Become a Lecturer in South Africa

What to Study to Become a Lecturer in South Africa

Title: Picking Your Path: What to Study to Become a Lecturer in South Africa

Introduction Hey there! So, you’re thinking about becoming a lecturer in South Africa? Awesome choice! Lecturers play a crucial role in shaping the minds and futures of students, making it a pretty rewarding gig. But, before you start dreaming about leading lectures and inspiring students, let’s chat about the big question: What should you study to get there? Spoiler alert: there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but I’ve got some solid tips to help you figure it out.

Step 1: Choose Your Passion

First up, what are you passionate about? Lecturing isn’t just about standing in front of a class; it’s about diving deep into a subject you love and sharing that enthusiasm with your students. Whether it’s history, biology, mathematics, literature, or something entirely different, your journey begins with choosing a field that ignites your curiosity and excitement.

Step 2: Get Your Degree On

Next, you’ll need an undergraduate degree in your chosen field. This is where you lay the groundwork for your future expertise. South African universities offer a wide range of bachelor’s degrees, so take your pick and enjoy the ride. Remember, those three to four years are not just about passing exams; they’re about immersing yourself in your subject and starting to think like a lecturer.

Step 3: Honours and Masters – The Essential Steps

After your undergrad, it’s time to level up. Most lecturing positions in South Africa require at least a master’s degree. But before you get there, consider doing an honours year if your subject area offers it. This extra year gives you a taste of advanced study and research – kinda like a sneak peek into the life of a lecturer.

Then, onto the master’s degree! This is where things get really interesting. You’ll dive into more specialized areas of your field and undertake significant research. Think of your master’s as your ticket into the academic world – it’s crucial!

Step 4: PhD? Maybe!

Now, here’s where paths can diverge. In many fields, especially if you’re eyeing a career at a research-intensive university or in a highly specialized area, a PhD is the golden ticket. It’s a big commitment – we’re talking three to five years of intense research – but it’s also where you really make your mark as an expert.

Step 5: Get Some Real-World Experience

While you’re busy hitting the books, don’t forget to get some practical experience. Tutoring, research assistantships, and internships are all great ways to dip your toes into the world of academia. Plus, they’re super valuable when you start applying for lecturer positions later on.

Step 6: Never Stop Learning

Last, but definitely not least, remember that learning never stops – especially for a lecturer. Keep up with the latest in your field, attend workshops, and maybe even consider some courses in teaching methods. Being a great lecturer isn’t just about what you know; it’s about how you share it with your students.


Choosing what to study to become a lecturer in South Africa is all about following your passion, getting the right qualifications, and soaking up as much experience as you can. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re on your way to a PhD, every step of this journey is an opportunity to grow, both as an expert and as an educator. So, pick your path, enjoy the ride, and get ready to inspire a whole new generation of thinkers and doers!

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