Student Membership

Free Student Membership for Research Students

Free student membership of UCU is open to all postgraduate students who are not teaching or in other qualifying employment at their institution while studying. Student members are not balloted for elections or industrial action, and UCU cannot represent Student members in relation to issues arising from their studies.

UCU has adopted a policy to campaign for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) to be recognised as members of staff and we have published our postgraduate researchers as staff manifesto.

Proposals in the manifesto include:

  • PGRs being provided access to comparable terms and conditions as employees
  • PGRs being provided with adequate facilities to complete their research
  • PGRs granted access to regular feedback and support
  • Ending any requirement to deliver unpaid teaching duties as part of a scholarship, bursary or stipend
  • PGRs being included in staff meetings, mailing lists, projects and events.

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Free Full Membership for Research Students who teach

Postgraduate research students who have a contract of employment delivering or supporting education (e.g. teaching, lab, or research assistants) at their institution should apply for Full membership. If you are working on a part-time basis alongside your studies (but do not have a permanent contract) you may be eligible for free Full membership for up to 4 years under the Future of the profession scheme. Full membership means that you will be balloted over elections and industrial action.

In most cases the hardship fund will cover the entirety of lost wages for PGRs who teach.

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Growing The Powerbase

We are a strong Branch with well-attended AGMs/EGMs and an active membership and Committee but we can always use more help. To find out more about the work of our local HWUCU branch please check out the rest of this website and our Twitter feed at @UCU_HWUBranch.

If you have a few spare moments and you would like to get more involved please get in touch with one of our school or service reps, or the Membership Officer. Contacts can be found at

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