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Postgraduate (PhD) students’ pay


Durham University takes issue with The Observer regarding an article published online on 28 January 2023. This is our response.

A Durham University spokesperson said:

“Durham University does not pay its postgraduate students below the minimum wage when they are engaged in paid work at the University.

“All Durham University employees are paid in accordance with the University’s pay scales, which pay above the national minimum wage.

“When postgraduate students are engaged to teach it is, as a default, as an employee with a standard University employment contract and they are paid in accordance with the University’s pay scales. The University has guidance to calculate payment for preparation time for postgraduate students undertaking teaching, and that guidance was agreed with UCU.

“In line with the Higher Education sector, postgraduate students are not paid for research which forms part of their studies, as this is a core part of their studentship.

“To ensure consistency of practices across our Faculties, in some cases an additional payment for teaching has been arranged for some postgraduate students.”