Rights, Training, and Support: The UCU 

It's time for more PhD rights, training and support. Your Students’ Union and many others across the country agree. Join the UCU Union for FREE!

The UCU Union provides targeted support for postgraduates who teach, on a wide range of topics including: Employment Rights, Representation, Professional Development, Training and Advice.

What is the UCU?

The Universities and College Union (UCU) proudly represents over 100,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, researchers, administrators and postgraduates working in universities and colleges across the UK. Cardiff University Students’ Union and the UCU are working together to represent postgraduate research students.

Free membership

It’s FREE to join the UCU if you are a postgraduate research student who is paid to teach or demonstrate by Cardiff University. You can enjoy free membership for one year after signing up. Cardiff University Students' Union along with many other Students Union’s across the UK are encouraging postgraduates who teach to take advantage of this offer and enjoy the benefits of UCU membership.

If you are a postgraduate research student who is not currently teaching or demonstrating, you are still eligible join the UCU for free through the student membership scheme. See the UCU website for more details.

Frequently asked questions


The benefits of UCU membership

UCU membership will give you access to:

A network of representation to improve your rights.
  • The UCU is a representative organisation, working with Cardiff University to improve working conditions, rights and supports for its members. It also works to influence governments and policy makers to improve the conditions of workers in higher and further education across the UK and reacts to proposed policy reforms to the education system.
A range of training and professional development courses and resources to help you teach and research to the best of your ability.

UCU membership will give you access to a professional development programme to equip you with the practical skills, confidence and guidance to help you teach to the best of your ability and progress in your career. This includes:

  • Workshops and lectures for those new to teaching and looking to expand their skills
  • Core CPD topics such as classroom management, writing research grant applications, job interview and CV preparation, leadership and assertiveness skills.
  • A range of downloadable guides on useful topics for PhD students and early career researchers
Expert advice on financial, legal and discrimination matters.
  • Your UCU branch can support you if you are having problems related to your teaching or demonstrating. You will have access to a range of advice services covering legal advice, financial advice, personal injury support and more. The UCU also works to prevent workplace bullying and discrimination and has active networks for black, LGBT, disabled and women members.
A network of academics and researchers in Cardiff and across the UK to meet and network with.
  • By attending the meetings, events and conferences of a union with over 100,000 members, you will be able to meet and network with researchers, lecturers and other postgraduates across Cardiff University and in universities all over the UK.

Join the UCU

Make sure to read the UCU’s terms and conditions for this offer on their website. If you have further questions about joining, or need help to do so, please contact the UCU.