Frequently Asked Questions
What is a college?
Durham University’s college system is arguably the most distinctive feature of the University. Colleges are small enough to foster a strong sense of community, whilst still allowing students to enjoy all the academic and other benefits of a large University.
Every student at the University belongs to a college. They remain a member of their college throughout their time at Durham and beyond. The majority of students will live in a college for at least one year.
The colleges are not teaching bodies, but they are more than just places to eat and sleep. Instead, each college is a small community providing a wide range of activities and facilities for study, sports, the arts, socialising, relaxation and welfare.
Colleges also help individuals develop through:
Mentoring - Every student is assigned a college tutor - someone who can advise and challenge you, and help raise your game.
Involvement - Colleges allow you to be part of a distinct community within the University. Each college has its own sports clubs, societies and social scenes.
Networking - Your college friendships and sense of community continue after you graduate through our alumni associations.
Durham University has 16 Colleges; including 2 at the Queen’s Campus and one postgraduate College, Ustinov College. The colleges vary greatly in size and tradition, as well as in physical and non-physical structure. Some colleges are housed in modern, purpose-built accommodation, while others are located in historic listed buildings. Certain colleges hold weekly formal dinners where students wear gowns; others adopt a more contemporary attitude towards communal activities. You can find out more information about our Colleges – including virtual tours at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/colleges/