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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 residential 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.

Every college offers:

• Residence within Durham

• Shared community facilities

• Either catering, self-catering or a combination of both dining options

• Sports, societies, clubs and associations

• Events and activities

• Student governance through Common Rooms

• Dedicated developmental and pastoral staff

Colleges at a glance



Number of
living in

% of
1st year







N 555 10% 18 Y N 1
Grey FC Y 466 12% 36 Y Y G
Hatfield FC Y 422 17% 126 N Y 2
John Snow SC Y 197 100% 0 N N 7
Josephine Butler SC Y 553 100% 0 N Y 9
St Aidan's FC N 397 0% 100 Y Y A
St Chad's FC Y 249 78% 90 N Y 3
St Cuthbert's FC/SC^ N 470 20% 64 N N 4
Stephenson SC N 234 82% 0 Y N 8
St Hild &
St Bede
FC N 459 0% 0 N Y 5
St John's FC Y 259 29% 16 Y Y J
St Mary's FC Y 314 10% 0 Y Y M
Trevelyan FC Y 320 0% 42 Y Y T
University FC/SC Y 324 10% 62 N Y U
Ustinov (PG Only) S/C N 410 + 7 family flats 100% 0 N N
Van Mildert FC N 524 5% 0 Y N V

*Please note:
a) These figures are subject to annual change.
b) A higher proportion of single, en-suite bedrooms are reserved for returning third or fourth year students who wish to live in college. Please contact your preferred college for details.

**All colleges have special dinner events throughout the year called 'Formals'. Some colleges practice the long-established tradition of wearing gowns at these events. Others are less formal and do not wear gowns to dine in.
FC: Fully catered SC: Self catered
^A 10 meal package is available to SC students at St Cuthbert's

What is a Common Room?

Every college has a representative body of undergraduate students, called a Junior Common Room (JCR) or a Student Representative Council, which organises 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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