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Colleges and wider student experience

Our colleges

Durham is a proudly collegiate university

As a Durham student, you become a member of a college, somewhere that is so much more than just the place where you will live. In each of our colleges, you will find a sense of community that is distinctive to Durham.

Our unique collegiate system includes 16 colleges located across Durham City, with a further 17th college opening in 2019. These communities range in size from around 400, to over 1,000 students. Your degree programme is not taught in college, but your college does provide an informal setting to learn in beyond your academic course, for the whole time you are studying at Durham. Our colleges are made up of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, apart from Ustinov which is a solely postgraduate community.


Each college offers access to many student-led opportunities, from managing sports teams and organising social events, to representing your fellow students. By participating in this way, you can influence and deliver the activities and events within your college and across the University community.

View the at a glance guide to find out more about each of our colleges,
Postgraduate students are welcome in all our colleges and Ustinov caters solely for PGs, find out more

What is a Common Room?

Every college has a representative bodies of students, called a Junior Common Room (JCR), a Middle Common Room (MCR) or a Student Representative Council, which organise many of the events, societies, sports and other activities within college.

Common Rooms are led by an elected body of voluntary student officers, including an Executive Committee. Through the Common Rooms, student life at Durham is shaped by the students themselves.

College Formals

All colleges provide opportunities for shared dining, through events known as ‘Formals’ – evenings when students and staff are brought together in college to share food, conversation and tradition.

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Student Blogs

Ever wondered what's so good about Durham's colleges? Find out more over in our student blog site

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