Unlike most other British universities, Durham has colleges, and our structure is different from other collegiate universities. Every student is a member of a college and is admitted to the university jointly by a college and their department.
There are 15 undergraduate colleges or societies at Durham University. Ustinov College admits only postgraduate students. Josephine Butler college is our newest college and offers en-suite self-catering accommodation. Two colleges are at our Queen's Campus site, and the remainder are in Durham City, where the chemistry department is located.
Every collegiate university operates differently. Durham colleges provide:
- Accommodation - Every first year student is accommodated in college, so there's no need to be hunting for digs as soon as your A level results are known! A charge covers room, food, laundry, internet access, heat, light and water. You will also live in during your final year, if you wish.
- A library - Usually containing multiple copies of many standard undergraduate texts, and a quiet place to work. There is also a large university library close to the department with extensive quiet study areas.
- IT facilities - Every student room has a network connection. There is also a central IT service.
- Student welfare and support - Every college has a Principal, Senior Tutor and college Tutors who act as non-academic student mentors. The JCR (student common room) also takes an active role in the welfare of students.
- Focus for extra-curricular activities - Whether it be sport, drama, music, arts or other activities (all of which broaden your CV!), there will be a society or team in every college. If not, then start one! You are always a member of your college, even when you are living out.
- Community spirit - Enjoy living in a compact community of like-minded students. Socialise with friends from other academic subjects.
- An atmosphere where academic work is supported and encouraged.
Durham colleges do not provide any teaching. All lectures, tutorials, workshops and practicals are organised by the department.
Durham colleges are residential communities and all students admitted to this university are guaranteed accommodation in their first year. An offer of a place at Durham to read any subject is an offer of a place in a department and a bed in a college. Local students are permitted to live at home if they wish and join their college community.
All students at Durham are guaranteed a room in college in the first year.
When you apply to Durham through UCAS, you need to choose a college. For useful hints see this link.