Most of our colleges based in Durham are fully-catered, while some are self-catered or part-catered. Those based at Queen's Campus are part-catered.
Fully-catered colleges provide three meals a day, seven days a week throughout term-time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are self-service and are hosted in your college dining hall. Eating together in your college dining hall is a great way to socialise and catch up with your friends. Special dietary requirements can usually be met by every college.
At part-catered colleges, as well as the fun of cooking in your own kitchen, you can also enjoy regular meals in your college dining hall. At Queen's Campus, colleges provide two evening meals a week throughout term-time. At St Cuthbert's in Durham, you can opt for a meal package of 10 meals per week throughout term-time. Further information is available on individual college websites.
At self-catered colleges you have the chance to experiment with your own home-cooking in the large, equipped kitchens you share with your fellow students. Kitchens are usually shared between 6 or 7 students and are a great social space where you can cook and eat together with your friends, giving you the flexibility and freedom to eat when and what you want.
The cost of your college accommodation varies depending on whether you live in fully-catered, part-catered or self-catered accommodation.
Once you move out, usually in 2nd year, if you really miss college catering you can still have the occasional meal back in college if you want to. Meals are reasonably priced and you can just 'pay as you go'.
Whether fully-catered, part-catered or self-catered, all colleges have special dinner events throughout the year called 'Formals' where the college comes together for an evening of wining and dining. At these celebrations, some colleges practice long-established traditions, like wearing gowns to dine in and even saying grace in Latin. Other colleges are less formal and do not wear gowns. At both gowned and non-gowned colleges, Formals are either black-tie events or else have a fancy-dress theme!
If you're fully-catered...
- Breakfast options include full-English, cereals, toast, fresh fruit
- Lunch options include sandwiches, salad, jacket potatoes, selection of hot meals (vegetarian options available)
- Dinner usually includes three courses, with a choice of hot dishes and puddings (vegetarian options available)
Fully catered colleges: Collingwood, Grey, Hatfield, St Aidan’s, St Chad’s, St Cuthbert’s*, St Hild & St Bede, St John’s, St Mary’s, Trevelyan, University, Van Mildert.
If you're part or self-catered...
Your shared kitchen will have the following:
- Substantial cupboard space
- Table and dining chairs
- Sink and washing up area
Part-catered colleges: Stephenson (Queen's), John Snow (Queen's), St Cuthbert's* Self-catered colleges: Josephine Butler, St Cuthbert's*