Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions have come from students or prospective students. If the question you want to ask is not answered here, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
Q. What is the JCR, MCR and the SCR?
A. The JCR is the Junior Common Room - Undergraduates are members of this common room.
The MCR is the Middle Common Room - Postgraduates are members of this common room, as well as year four undergraduates.
The SCR is the Senior Common Room - consists of those members of University staff and the local community who wish to involve themselves with the life of the College.
For all the common rooms above, there is an elected executive and president. Any undergraduate/postgraduate/member (whichever is relevant to said common room) may put his/her name forward for election (subject to approval of the Principal or his delegate).
"Common Room" does not simply mean a room, although you will have access to the JCR/MCR/SCR Lounge while you are a member, where you can meet friends, watch films/TV, play computer and board games, etc. It also refers to a student representative body. The elected executive committee organises events for students at Butler and represents students in meetings with the College and the University.
You will need to pay a small membership fee for your Common Room at the start of your course, which will go towards financing events and facilities, such as improvements to the Lounges, sporting equipment, socials and meals. This fee will be billed automatically to students living in college accommodation, while students living out will receive a letter asking them to pay their membership fees once you have arrived in Durham.
Q. Which colleges offer self-catered accommodation?
A. Only Josehine Butler College offers entirely self-catering for both postgraduates and undergraduates in Durham City, although some other colleges have limited self-catering rooms available. Postgraduate students are housed separately from our undergraduates in our "quiet block", Kirknewton.
If you need help to decide which college is best for you, please click here
Q. Is it possible to live in residence at the College for the full duration of a degree course?
A. We are unable to guarantee residence in all years, but will do our best to accommodate you beyond your first year. All Durham colleges (as with most universities) have less accommodation space than their student population and therefore Durham generally offers 1st year in, 2nd year out and the 3rd year can be in if there is space (which there often is).
Living out after your first year is popular - students make a small group of friends and share a house, gaining an extra level of independence from doing so. However, everyone remains a member of their college throughout their time at Durham and retains use of facilities even if they may be living out (this is where colleges differ from halls of residence in other universities) - we maintain a strong contact with you throughout your time here ... and well beyond!
Note: the Postgraduate deposit of £250 needs to be paid before the deadline of 1st July, this will guarantee a college accommodation. A deposit received after the 1st July, the student will be placed on a waiting list for college accommodation.
Q. What are the residence charges?
A. The residence charge depends on the period of residence and is subject to review each year - charges information is available here. It covers the cost of the residence and also includes the facilities which make us more than a hall of residence (e.g. the student support systems, the meeting rooms, music rooms, gym etc.).
There are, however, small additional charges for some aspects (e.g. the sports clubs) but these are generally kept 'at cost' and are organised through the JCRand MCR.
Q. I am wanting to study a particular subject, would it be possible to reside at this College?
A. Every college in Durham takes students from all subjects.
However, it is recommended that for a student based at Queens Campus in Stockton, to apply to a Queens Campus College.
Q. What are my Living Out options?
A. Durham is a very small city, and private rooms or houses in the city centre are always in high demand. Central areas (up to approximately 1 - 2 miles) include Gilesgate, the Viaduct area and North End. You should expect to pay higher rents if you want to live in the city centre.
Many students choose to live in houses in the surrounding areas, such as Nevilles Cross, Crossgate Moor, Langley Moor, Meadowfield, Bowburn, Newton Hall, Pity Me or Framwellgate Moor, which are only 2 - 4 miles away from the city centre. These areas are cheaper and do have a greater supply of housing. They are also supported by good public transport links (see below).
For further information on privately rented accommodation, contact the DSU on firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.dur.ac.uk/study/accommodation/postgraduate/private/
Q. How do students living at Josephine Butler College commute into the city centre on a daily basis?
A. Durham is a very compact city, and virtually everywhere is within walking distance of Josephine Butler College. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from Josephine Butler to the heart of historic Durham and the city centre (and 25 to the train station and the Education department - the furthest posts from the College).
The Howlands Park and Ride facility (which you can use without having to park a car) is based just outside Josephine Butler College and it goes every 10 minutes into the city centre with various stops on the way. If students show their campus card they will only pay £1 return fare using the Howlands route.
Q. What do I do if I have any special needs or a disability?
A. Please inform the College as soon as possible via email to email@example.com so that we can assist you as necessary.
All information provided will be treated with the strictest of confidence.