The procedures for Postgraduate admissions involve a centralised online process to apply for both college membership and accommodation (if required). You will be directed to the appropriate online form when you accept your offer.
You may also want to take a look at the University website
Please note: there is an annual fee of £50 for
postgraduate membership of St Chad's
Click for Postgraduate Membership Application Process
Click for PG accommodation rates 2013/2014 (and meal deal prices)
Click for PG occupancy dates 2013/2014
Click for College Occupancy Agreement
Click to view the Middle Common Room webpages
St Chad's was founded in 1904, and it was the second hall to be accorded College status in Durham. A Church of England foundation (like almost all 'old' colleges), it follows the rhythms and patterns of traditional English college life without being too hidebound by tradition. As a College, the staff and students have a particular commitment to addressing key social and ethical issues in their research, and the range of College Fellows (currently numbering twenty or so) reflects these concerns.
Approximately 80-150 students (over 20%) at St Chad's are reading for research and taught degrees at Master's and PhD levels. The College also has a number of postgraduate education (PGCE) students every year. With around 500 students, St Chad's remains Durham's smallest college; though over the years it has had proportionately more postgraduates than any other college.
St Chad's has recently expanded its postgraduate provision. In 2001, the College founded Trinity Hall -- a spacious 35 room Victorian building, which was completely refurbished at a cost of £700,000, equipping it with 22 en-suite rooms (and 3 with shared facilities), as well as providing lodgings for the Principal's family. By most accounts, it remains the best self-catering postgraduate accommodation in Durham. It is located just across the river from Durham Cathedral.
In 2006, the College acquired Epiphany House (pictured below right), a fifteen-room house located on the Bailey, just up from Market Square. Epiphany has at least seven en-suite rooms reserved for postgraduates. Another house, located on Hallgarth Street, has room for five postgraduates who prefer to live in a self-catering house in a residential area.
The main part of the College sits across the street from the Cathedral. 'Main College' houses 180 undergraduates and around a dozen postgraduates in catered accommodation (catered in term-time: outside of term there are numerous kitchenettes to allow for self-catering). Hallgarth is another, smaller, postgraduate residence, based in a private house, just a stone's throw away from College.
An Academic Community
Unlike most other Durham colleges, St Chad's has its own college-based academic and research staff. This gives our College a unique character, which ought especially to appeal to postgraduates. Our College Fellows have academic interests in Economics, Sociology, Law, English Literature, Geophysics, Theology, Ethics, Social Regeneration, Education, Spirituality, Film, Music, Fine Art, Creative Writing, Development and Public Policy; but postgraduates from other disciplines are more than welcome to apply..
Fellows, staff and students of all ages dine together and mix freely every day; and because of our modest size, postgraduates have ample opportunity to get to know both their fellow postgraduates, the research staff, and College Officers. Normally college meals are taken in cafeteria style, but twice a week the College dons gowns and dines formally, allowing for a sit-down and more leisurely three-course meal with wine. The common rooms often gather before or after such meals for various events. To encourage residents to take advantage of such occasions, these meals are currently included in the room and board charge (battels) for those living in College. Others ('livers-out', in Durham parlance) can buy reasonably-priced meal tickets for any meals.
The Postgraduate Director has responsibility for convening academic events that draw postgraduates and others together. Postgraduate Seminars or Forums take place throughout the year, and they give postgrads an opportunity to discuss their own research and to hear active researchers describe their work -- and indeed their own experience of having been postgraduates. The Senior Common Room has lectures and 'conversations' given by senior members of the College or their guests: postgraduates are always invited to these and other SCR events.
The Middle Common Room
It is common in the UK to distinguish undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff by 'common rooms'. Undergraduates belong to the Junior Common Room, or JCR; postgraduates belong to the Middle Common Room (MCR) and academic staff belong to the Senior Common Room (SCR). The term 'common room' thus denotes both a shared space -- an actual room -- but also, and more importantly, a shared community.
The MCR co-ordinates social events for postgrads, and it liaises with the College on behalf of the postgraduate community. The MCR President sits on the College's Governing Body and is an actual trustee of the College with a full vote.
MCR members are represented on virtually all of the College's other committees, including the the Finance Committee, the Academic Board and the House Committee. In addition, there are various 'house' committees that take responsibility for communicating with College management on issues regarding their accommodation.
A considerable number of postgraduates live out of College. Whether they live in or out, they are invited to be fully integrated into the life of the College through academic and social events organised through the Middle Common Room.
Postgraduates have a postgraduate common room in Main College, just across from the Cathedral.
The College and University departments are able to offer guidance on how to apply for postgraduate financial support. Generally-speaking, UK postgraduates who are not in receipt of Research Board funding are expected to be self-funding, and they are required to sign a declaration to the effect before they can register.
The College has a very small number of postgraduate fellowships available, and the College can provide application forms for Government Access to Learning Funds, which are available to UK postgraduates whose circumstances change while they are studying (i.e., though they could afford the programme when they began, they can no longer do so because of unforeseen circumstances).
Choosing a College
The choice of a college is especially important for postgraduates. You will no doubt want a context in which you can devote maximum attention to your research; and at the same time you will want just enough support to take your mind off your studies when you've 'had enough'. In addition, many postgraduates find the prospect of solitary studying a bit daunting, and having student neighbours not far away can be a welcome tonic.
Postgraduates will also be looking for a stimulating intellectual environment. In a sense, that is guaranteed at Durham University, but one of the key features of collegiate living is the possibility of a partnership with fellow common room members. Indeed, the Middle Common Room is funded to provide opportunities to invite speakers and to sponsor seminars; and the College encourages the MCR to take full advantage of these opportunities.
In addition, postgraduates are part of a wider intellectual 'conversation' within College by being related to the Senior Common Room. As mentioned above, MCR members are invited to SCR-sponsored talks and seminars, and there is ample scope for joint-sponsorship of key events in College (the SCR is larger than the College's own staff and includes senior members of the University and the community at large.)
In terms of selecting from among Durham's colleges, each has its own strengths, and postgraduates should consider all their options. St Chad's strength is arguably the easy interaction between students and academic staff, the excellent relations with a very active Junior Common Room (so that you can take advantage of everything offered to undergraduates), and a real involvement in all aspects of College life.
Resources at Chad's
The College has seven on-site library rooms -- spread about Main College: each room covers a discrete range of topics, and a map is available to help students find their way around. Briefly, the ground floor libraries and the Fenton Library focus on undergraduate resources, supplementing the various Durham University libraries. They are stocked to provide the texts required by the most highly subscribed modules. There is a separate theology library, which is a valuable legacy from the College's past when it especially catered to postgraduate theology students. It is still maintained, and it supplements not only the University's various libraries, but also the Cathedral's and the Theology Department's libraries - both of which are a minute's walk from the College. There is also an important research library, the latter being a home-away-from-home for a number of postgrads.
Each of the libraries has study tables, and most operate on an honour system. The Fenton Library offers private, secluded study space, with 32 individual study carrels.
All library rooms have internet access, either hard-wired or wireless or both; and each has at least one terminal connected to the University Library's computer system. Searches of libraries throughout the world are possible.
In addition to its regular holdings, the College has a significant collection of works by, or concerning the work of, Bernard Lonergan, the noted Jesuit philosopher and theologian from Canada. The Lonergan Collection is accessible with permission. The University library holds the College's mediaeval collections, to which St Chad's students can obtain access.
The College has a Chapel, where weekly services are held during term. The Quad, a large glass-covered courtyard (pictured left), is the central meeting place in College. Close to the Quad are several TV rooms, two student bars, several rooms with pianos for music pratice, a launderette and an exercise room. Outside, there are several acres of gardens, leading down to the River Wear, where the College has its boathouse.
Each residence has at least one kitchenette, while Trinity Hall has its own kitchen with enough space for a half-dozen or so people to cook meals at once. Trinity has its own laundry facilities, private gardens and enough car-parking space for all postgraduates.
All rooms in College have high speed fibre-optic or microwave access to the internet. In addition, there is a computer room with up to 12 computers on-line.
The use of computers for research is, of course, always increasing. Many lecturers and departments use email to keep in touch with students, and the library prefers to communicate solely by computer. Postgraduates are thus strongly encouraged to bring or obtain their own computers.
Main College is situated in an area of great historic and architectural significance, alongside a World Heritage Site, and on the North Bailey, one of the most beautiful streets in Durham. The Cathedral is directly across the street from the College. The Departments of Music, Theology, History, Law and Classics are all located within a minute's walk of the College; other arts and social science departments are generally a three-minute walk away, and the science site and the main University Library is a ten-minute walk away.
Trinity is an eight-minute walk from Main College, just across the river from the Cathedral. Both Main College and Trinity Hall are close to all amenities, within a minute or two from the centre of Durham, a five-minute walk to the City's swimming pool and a ten-minute walk from the Train Station.
The College itself is
made up of gracious buildings, dating from as far back as the 16th
century. Even the newer buildings have Tudor and Jacobean
elements, added to in the 1960's by the noted neo-classical architect
Francis Johnson, CBE.
For further information...
Full details of postgraduate courses are given in the University prospectus, which is available by clicking here. For more detail about the College, consult our on-line prospectus or check out the MCR web pages. For information of postgraduate fellowships, consult the relevant webpage. If you have further queries or would like more specific information about postgraduate possibilities at St Chad's, please feel free to email the Principal.
At St Chad's College, we welcome applications from men and women of all social and ethnic backgrounds without reference to political or religious beliefs to read for degrees at the University of Durham.
Dr Joseph P. Cassidy - email
The Postgraduate Director:
The Revd Dr Ashley Wilson - email
UG/PG Admissions Secretary
College Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 3358
Admissions Office: +44 (0)191 334 3357