Skip to content

Toggle service links


External courses and further development

Associate lecturers can apply to the Development Fund that may provide financial support for attendance at events such as external conferences and to help support associate lecturers in PhD and masters studies.

Family Friendly Policies

As part of the University's family friendly policies, you will be entitled to maternity, adoption and paternity leave. For associate lecturers based outside of the UK and the Republic of Ireland the University will comply with local legislation on maternity, adoption and paternity leave.

The OU also has a salary sacrifice scheme to enable UK based staff to take advantage of tax and NI exemption on childcare vouchers.

Flexible working

The role of associate lecturer allows some flexibility in the times you choose to undertake work, although tutorials (which may be held at weekends or on weekday evenings) and day schools are usually timetabled and notified to students at the start of the module. A high percentage of the overall workload is associated with correspondence and online teaching, and this is concentrated around the scheduled submission dates for assignments, where there are strict deadlines for marking to be returned.

As an associate lecturer, you are entitled to determine when your duties are performed, subject to the requirements of the tutorial programme for the module and the need to support your students. There is no requirement to perform duties every day, or even each week while the module is in presentation. However, there may be peaks and troughs in your workload to take into consideration.

Health and Safety

Advice and guidance is available for associate lecturers on a range of issues from risk assessments to working from home. Associate lecturers are also eligible for free eyesight tests providing they use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) on a regular basis.


ALs are entitled to 28 days (pro-rata) leave.

The leave year runs from 1 August to 31 July in line with other categories of staff. In a single presentation, or in any six month period, you are permitted to take one block of leave of up to three weeks without direct approval from your line manager, subject to your ability to fulfil timetabled duties such as completing TMA marking within the contractual time period, and subject to notifying your students. You are required to keep a record of leave taken. Untaken leave cannot normally be rolled forward to the next leave year.

Library services

Associate lecturers who live near to Milton Keynes can join the Library as a borrower and can use the Library's Document Delivery service to order material not held in the Library. Associate lecturers who are not local to Milton Keynes are able to request postal loan of books from the OU Library. It is also possible to access books, theses and journal articles that the Library does not hold.


Associate lecturers are eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Full details are provided on appointment. This does not currently apply to Specialist Tutors.

Remission of module fees

Associate lecturers who themselves want to study can benefit from the OU module-fee waiver scheme. Under this scheme associate lecturers are entitled to a substantial discount on module fees.


As a newly appointed associate lecturer you serve a two-year probation period.

The salary band for each module is given in the individual module descriptions. There are thirteen bands and 7 salary scale points within each band. A newly appointed AL will be appointed to scale point 1 on the AL salary scale. From then on you will progress automatically up the AL salary scale each year on 1st October, provided that you have been employed on or before 1st April in that year.

The total salary given is divided by the number of months that the module is in presentation and is paid in monthly instalments directly into your bank account. For example, S209, Earth Science is in salary band 6 (£3,678 at August 2019) and the course runs for nine months (October to June); the monthly salary is therefore £408.67 and is paid per month from October to June. Details of the salary bands and scale points.

Please note: The salary bands are subject to change and the module you are applying to tutor may change band. Modules can be moved to a higher or lower salary band.

Staff development

All new associate lecturers are assigned a mentor, usually an experienced associate lecturer from the same regional/national centre. Your line manager (a staff tutor or regional manager) will run an induction program to introduce you to the requirements of your role and to provide support and guidance. In addition, you will receive a module-based session, for each module you are appointed to.

Associate lecturers are expected to undertake the equivalent of up to two days per year improving their teaching and learning practice within the associate lecturer role, these may include technical skills updating sessions and regional events. Associate lecturers are given support in acquiring the essential ICT skills necessary to perform their role.

To view this information in Welsh click here

I weld y wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cliciwch yma