Durham's college system is arguably the most distinctive feature of the University. Each student belongs to a college - an allegiance maintained not just throughout their time at Durham, but for life. Each college is a small community providing a wide range of activities and facilities. Our students tell us the college system is one of the main reasons they chose Durham.
Colleges are not directly involved in academic teaching, but one of their main purposes is to provide an environment conducive to learning. All colleges provide study bedrooms and a range of academic support facilities, such as libraries, study areas and computer rooms. A unique sense of community is fostered in each college through the range of cultural, sporting and artistic activities on offer. Most of what matters to students is organised by students for students, heightening the sense of ownership that our students feel about their college community.
An excellent support network
Even the largest college in Durham has little more than 1,000 students. Our students find it much easier to make a difference in a community of this size. College officers, such as the Principal, Bursar and Senior Tutor, offer support to students throughout their time in Durham. In addition every student is allocated a personal tutor within their college. Tutors encourage planning for personal development and can direct students to the right kind of help when needed. This level of personal support is a key reason why Durham has one of the highest completion rates in the UK.
Diversity and choice
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 about what each college has to offer by visiting individual college web pages.
Open days and visits
Check out our latest videos & panoramas
Want to find out what life's really like at Durham and Queen's Campus? Experience academic and student life for yourself through a range of video clips and interactive panoramas.