Academic Pathways Across Countries

UK Salaries


"The pay of academic staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) is a matter for national negotiation but is not subject to government regulation. There is a national agreement, the Framework Agreement for the Modernisation of Pay Structures in UK HEIs, which came into force in August 2006. It consists of a 51 point pay spine covering the majority of HE staff, not only academic staff, against which individual HEIs create their own pay and grading structures. The Framework Agreement outlines five academic grades each with a minimum and maximum salary point:

  1. Research and postgraduate teachers (these are postgraduate students teaching under close supervision). Role holders at this level are likely to undertake clearly prescribed tasks to assist in teaching and/or research activities.  
  2. Lecturers. Role holders at this level are likely to be responsible for the delivery of teaching within an established teaching programme and/or for carrying out research as an individual or team member. 
  3. Senior lecturers. Role holders at this level are likely to be responsible for planning, designing and delivering educational programmes and/or for conducting research programmes.  
  4. Principal lecturers. Role holders at this level are likely to be responsible for a balance of planning, designing and delivering major educational programmes, leading teaching or research teams, coordinating departmental administrative activities and enterprise activities.  
  5. Heads of departments or professor. Role holders at this level are likely to be responsible for academic leadership involving the development and overall management of teaching or research programmes or enterprise activities, and/or for the management of departmental administration activities with significant responsibility for resources (staff, finances and equipment). The pay structures indicate a minimum salary for professors and heads of department; maximum salaries for these roles are negotiated individually.  

As stated by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), full-time academic staff were paid an annual salary of £46,924 (€52,693.99*) at the median in 2016/17. The median full-time basic pay for professors was £73,014 (€81,992.14*) with other academic staff paid £42,955 (€48,236.95*). The pay premium for higher education teaching staff over other teaching occupations has increased over the past decade with secondary school teachers earning 75 per cent of their median earnings compared to 89 per cent in 2002.

In line with the Framework Agreement, the value of the pay points in the spine is reviewed through the agreed national negotiation machinery, with effect from 1st August each year. The 2018/19 New JNCHES pay settlement, together with an outline of the negotiation process that operated, is available on the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) website. 

The background to and key features of the Framework Agreement are described by the UCEA in a review of the implementation of the Agreement. The review noted the recommendations of the Independent Review of Higher Education Pay and Conditions (the Bett Report, 1999) concerning reform of the pay bargaining arrangements and also employers’ desire to introduce more local flexibility into the national arrangements so that institutional pay and grading structures could be related more closely to local circumstances. This led to the creation of a new national Framework Agreement negotiated through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) (now replaced by New JNCHES). Following the introduction of the Framework Agreement HEIs conducted job evaluations to ensure that their pay structures conformed with the criteria for equal pay".  (Source : Eurydice - European Commission)

Gross Salaries, tax is approximately 34% in UK.

*Exchange rate used: €1 = £0.89, ECB 3 August 2018

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Academic Pathways Across Countries
The project has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Research Programme. Grant agreement Proof of Concept (PoC): PC1-ERC-2016-PoC INTAC_754895
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