The 61-year-old won the Scottish title as a player with United in 1983 and was twice part of the side that won the Scottish League Cup during a 15-year playing career with the club.
Sturrock subsequently became manager of the club from 1998 to 2000 and, after recently being appointed as United's chief scout in England, has now taken up a temporary coaching role under manager Csaba Laszlo.
"I have been working with Paul since his appointment as chief scout for England and his knowledge and passion for this club is deeply-rooted and infectious," Laszlo told Sky Sports News.
"He has not been scared to voice his opinions and his football experience and knowledge are significant. Having him around the squad will be a great benefit over this vital period."
Sturrock, who has managed numerous clubs in England including Southampton, added: "When Csaba phoned and asked me to consider this I didn't delay my response.
"I will do what I can to help this club. I know what it means to be a player and a coach at United and I will give my all to help achieve our goal."
Dundee United are third in the Scottish Championship table, 19 points behind leaders St Mirren.