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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Student Life

As well as attending lectures, writing essays, and studying in the library, you will also experience the vibrant social life of the University itself. Bill Bryson, our ex-Chancellor, once said 'Don't let your degree get in the way of your education', and as an Archaeology student you are in for a lot of fun!

The Durham Archaeological Society is run by students and this dedicated team organise day trips to historical monuments and sites, visits to museum collections, presentations by eminent archaeologists, and Indiana Jones themed socials! What’s more, Arch Soc will send you information on current excavations (run by the department and externally) so that you have up-to-date information on the best work experience placements available to you.

As a Durham student you will be a member of the Durham Students’ Union, who represent your voice in the wider sphere of University government and nationally as part of the National Union of Students. The DSU is also responsible for managing over 200 student-run societies, catering to a wide range of interests. If skydiving, surfing, politics, dance, creative writing, or theatre sound appealing, then we have the society for you! In the rare case that we do not have a club for your hobby, then you can found a society of your own with the help of the DSU. Another option available to you is to become a part of student government itself as a DSU representative for your college.

Durham University has an unique collegiate system which assures an exclusive student experience while at Durham University. College is where you can live, socialise and personally develop ensuring you graduate with much more than a degree. You become part of a scholarly community of staff and students from across the University and beyond. In the smaller-scale college environment, you are offered a high level of support and can easily get involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities as well as enjoying comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities. You can help run aspects of your college, offering unique leadership opportunities and giving you valuable experience for your future career.

All University accommodation is based in one of the colleges and every Durham University student belongs to a college, whether you live in college or elsewhere. The colleges offer a vibrant, supportive community full of opportunities for you to gain new experiences, develop skills to achieve more in your future life and most importantly, have fun while you're at it!

Therefore, when you come to Durham you will be housed in one of the 13 undergraduate colleges on the City campus, all of which have their own bar, societies, sports teams, and arts productions for you to take part in. Every college throws its own ball and holds its own fun-filled day dedicated to its members. One college even hosts its own one day music festival! All of these events are organised by students - next year it could be you! The Department of Archaeology is based on the Science Site, right at the heart of the University. Our ideal location means that you will be close to your college or home and only five minutes from the centre of Durham.

Although music, the arts, volunteer projects and sports are a prominent feature of college life, there are opportunities to participate in these activities on a higher level, representing the University itself. You could play sport in Palatinate purple for Team Durham; write for one of the oldest student newspapers in the country; climb mountains, wear fancy dress, or play for one of our many professional standard orchestras.

Durham City is home to the wonderful Durham Cathedral and Castle Heritage Site which lie at the heart of a county where breathtaking countryside and dramatic coastline are dotted with cultural treasures. It is easily identified with the University and vice-versa. Durham is a charming city, home to many quaint cafés and tearooms, vintage clothing stores and shops dedicated to national brands. Although small, it does have a variety of pubs, bars and nightclubs, which are very popular with our undergraduates in particular!

Newcastle is 15 minutes away by train and can offer you even more entertainment. There are excellent connections to all parts of the country so regardless where you live you can easily find your way to Durham. Despite its size, it fits all needs and tastes which will definitely make it a landmark of your personal and professional life.

 Throughout its attractions, there is the Oriental Museum closely linked with the Archaeology Department. This is a unique landmark of Durham City and part of the learning and teaching attractions for archaeology students and staff as it provides invaluable practical experiences throughout your studies.


Why not find out more about the Durham University postgraduate experience, college life, or the city of Durham in general?

A distinctive education

"I had a great time and there are some really talented students who were very enthusiastic. It was a lot of fun." Russell Crowe, Oscar-winning actor gave Durham Students an acting masterclass.

"I've done so many things I never expected to do because of the friendly, caring atmosphere and support of my college. The college system has allowed me to discover and develop so many new personal strengths."
Rebecca King, Van Mildert College