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Colleges and Student Experience Office

Postgraduate College Allocations

One of our greatest assets at Durham University is our college 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.

All postgraduates are members of a college throughout their time at Durham University, whether you live in college accommodation or elsewhere. College life is a big part of what makes your experience with us so unique and many of our students say that being part of a college is one of the best aspects of Durham University.

Postgraduate College Allocation Process:

For full-time applicants, after you have formally accepted your offer to study at Durham University, you will be contacted by the Colleges Office with an online application for College Membership or College Membership and Accommodation. For standard start dates in September/October, this process will start in March, even if you accept your offer earlier.

In order for your student record to be created you need to have college membership. If you wish to express a college preference, you will have a limited time frame in which to submit the application. If you do not submit the form within the stated timeframe, a College will be allocated to you. Once you have been allocated a College, it is very difficult to change your membership, so filling out the form will maximise the changes that you will receive membership in a college of your preference.

You will be asked if you have any preference in terms of your college membership. You do not need to state a preference, there is an option to make an ‘open’ application for membership and if you choose to do that, you will still be allocated to any one of our 14 colleges for students who will be based in Durham and two colleges for students who will be based at Queen’s Campus, Stockton. If you are declined by your preferred college(s), you will be allocated to a college by the Colleges Office. Although we aim to meet your preferences for College membership, they cannot be guaranteed.

You can access information on our 16 colleges at:

University Accommodation Guarantee 2017/18:

The following information applies to full-time postgraduate students in Durham City.

Durham University has a number of rooms available to Postgraduate Students. Durham provides a guaranteed offer of single accommodation in a college or college managed accommodation to applicants whose course starts in September/October 2017. To qualify for the accommodation guarantee you need to:

  • accept your offer to study at Durham
  • apply for accommodation using the online accommodation application form by 1st June
  • pay the £250 accommodation booking fee by 1st June
  • sign and return your accommodation license agreement within the time period specified in your accommodation offer.

Accommodation Guarantee does not apply to a specific college. You may be offered accommodation in another college if the college that accepts you originally becomes fully allocated. 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 1st June and couple/family accommodation please see:

College Allocation Process for Part-Time and Distance Learning Postgraduates

Part-time and distance learning (PTDL) postgraduates are members of a college. After you accept your offer from the University, you will be allocated automatically to one of four colleges based on your programme. 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.

*The exceptions to this are PTDL Theology postgraduates are allocated to St John’s College and PTDL postgraduates based in Stockton will be allocated to one of our two colleges at Queen’s Campus.

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 PTDL course, please contact the Colleges Office after accepting your University offer for more information.

College accommodation is not available; however some colleges may be able to provide short term, temporary accommodation for their PTDL members. You should contact your college directly to enquire about this.