Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PTAs) - Contracting Guidance for Managers and Students (Regular/Pre-Scheduled Work)

In 2018 the University implemented new pilot contracting arrangements for postgraduate students employed as PTAs. There are many benefits to the new contracting arrangements including:

  • Greater professionalisation of the Postgraduate Teaching Assistant role, including clear association with the Education and Scholarship academic terms and conditions of employment;
  • Enhancing students' future employment opportunities by including employment status on CV’s;
  • A commitment by both parties - from the University to provide work and by the employee to undertake the work that has been agreed;
  • Participation of postgraduate students in induction, probation, training and Performance Development Review procedures (via ePDR) for which payment will be made for participating in these activities;
  • Membership of the university’s pension scheme arrangements “Universities Superannuation Scheme” and other benefits received by employees of the University, including sickness benefits;
  • Ensuring that the terms and conditions and benefits are applied equitably with other employees on similar contracting arrangements.

Following a review of this pilot, and the feedback that was shared from colleagues, the University is making further changes and extending the pilot for the academic year 2019/2020. The aim of these changes is to provide simpler and more efficient contracting arrangements, and a contract and payment process that reflects the flexible nature of PTA working patterns.

Our postgraduate students who are engaged as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (PTA) for more than 10 hours work will be offered a fixed term contract for the duration of the academic year. Students will be paid for work they have completed by recording and claiming their hours via iTrent, the University’s payroll and Employee Self-Service system. Please note that the PTA role title may differ in some subjects.

Students who undertake ad-hoc work of less than 10 hours will be engaged on a casual basis via the Claims Payroll. Casual workers are paid via the University eClaims system.

PTAs will receive a PTA Assignment Schedule (HAT form) with a full description of their hours worked and hours training.

Details of the PTA contracting arrangements can be found in this flowchart: PTA Contracting Process‌. 

Guidance and frequently asked questions for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants can be found here for PTAs and here for Managers . Queries relating to hours of work should be referred to your academic manager.

If you have further queries that cannot be clarified through the above links, please refer to the following contacts:

For queries relating to your employment contract - please contact

For queries relating to your payments - please contact