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PVC Colleges & Student Experience Office

Postgraduate College Allocations

One of our greatest assets at Durham University is our collegiate system. College communities are at the heart of our distinctive student experience, each offering a diverse, interdisciplinary community of academics, students and staff from different backgrounds and cultures.

Colleges are at the heart of the Wider Student Experience where you can socialise and develop personally through intellectual, cultural and social engagement, whether you choose to live in College accommodation or not. College life is a big part of what makes your experience with us so unique and many of our students say that being a member of a college is one of the best aspects of student life at Durham University.

All postgraduate students have membership of a college throughout their time at Durham University, and even years after they have left.

Postgraduate College Allocation Process

Full time postgraduate students who will begin their studies in September/October will begin the College allocation process from March time. In order to be invited to submit the College application you must have formally accepted your official postgraduate offer to study at Durham University. You will be contacted directly by the Colleges and Student Experience Office.

You will choose whether you wish to apply for College Membership Only or College Membership and Accommodation. You will have the opportunity to express two College preferences within the application, in terms of your College membership. If you do not have a College preference we still encourage you to complete the application and make an 'open' preference. You will still be allocated to any one of our 16 Colleges.

You will have an allotted timeframe in which to submit the College application. If you have a College preference that you wish to be considered for it is important that you complete the College application. Doing so will maximise the chance of being allocated membership in a College of your preference. If you do not submit the application within this time, a College will be automatically allocated to you by the Colleges and Student Experience Office. Once an allocation has been made it is very difficult to change your membership.

Your application will be considered by each College preference in turn. We aim to meet your preference for College membership where possible, however this cannot be guaranteed.

From researching our Colleges you will quickly learn which College may best suit your needs. You can access information on our 16 Colleges at:

University Accommodation Guarantee 2018/19

The following information applies to new full time postgraduate students who will begin their studies in September/October 2018 and wish to secure accommodation within our Colleges.

Durham University has a number of postgraduate rooms available within College accommodation as part of the Accommodation Guarantee Scheme.

To qualify for the Accommodation Guarantee you must:

  • formally accept your official postgraduate offer to study at Durham
  • apply for College accommodation via the College application form by 01 June
  • pay a £250 accommodation booking fee payment by 01 June

Accommodation offers will be sent to applicants shortly after the 01 June Accommodation Guarantee deadline date. You will be required to sign and return an accommodation license agreement within a time period specified in the accommodation offer.

The Accommodation Guarantee does not apply to a specific College. The Accommodation Guarantee will provide applicants who meet this criteria with a guaranteed accommodation offer of a single study bedroom within University managed accommodation. This means you will be provided with a single room within College accommodation as a whole. This does not guarantee that any preferences can or will be met, which includes the College the accommodation is provided by. Although we aim to provide accommodation to you within your allocated College, however if this is fully allocated you may be offered accommodation in another college. If you are offered and accept accommodation in another college, your college membership will also be transferred.

For more details, including information on applications received after 01 June and couple/family accommodation please see:

Part time and Distance Learning Mode of Study College Allocation Process

Part time (PT) and distance learning (DL) postgraduate students are also provided with membership of a College.

Once you have formally accepted your official postgraduate offer to study at Durham University you will be automatically allocated for membership only. Allocations are based upon your programme of study.

Durham University has four designated Colleges dedicated to part time. The four Colleges are Hatfield College, St Mary’s College, Van Mildert College, and St Aidan’s College*. You will be contacted by your college after you have accepted your offer with further details of your membership.

*Part time and distance learning Theology postgraduate students are automatically allocated to St John’s College.

If you were a member of a Durham University College during a previous degree and wish to remain a member of that college during your studies, please contact the Colleges and Student Experience Office after accepting your University offer for more information.

College accommodation is not available; however some Colleges may be able to provide short term or temporary accommodation for their part time and distance learning members. You should contact your allocated College directly to enquire about this.