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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

College transfer requests

Durham University has a policy that once a college allocation is made then it is part of our broader offer and not something that would be changed at an applicant’s request. Having multi-disciplinary academic communities is very important to maintaining our unique collegiate experience and so our allocation process is designed to ensure that this academic balance is maintained.

The only exceptions to this are as follows;

a) If an applicant has declared that they have a disability or medical need that they feel cannot be met by the college to which they have been allocated.

b) If an applicant has a disability or medical need that the University can reasonably meet in a specific college or colleges, but the applicant has been initially allocated to a different college.

In such circumstances, the applicant themselves should contact their allocated college to see if their needs can be met or mitigated. It is important that applicants liaise directly with their allocated college in the first instance so the college are aware of any concerns an applicant may have, but also to fully establish how they can meet your needs, where possible.

If an applicant still feels they require another college, and after liaising directly with their allocated college, the college will provide further details to enable you to submit a written request for further consideration of your needs to the Accommodation and Allocations Office. Written medical evidence from a healthcare professional to support this request is also required.

PLEASE NOTE - The medical evidence and request to transfer will need to clearly link the applicant's medical needs with the stated requirement to enable us to make reasonable adjustments to support equality of access and opportunity to students with specific needs. It is not sufficient to provide evidence where the GP or other healthcare professional suggests a reallocation to a specific college or location without further context. Where the medical evidence is not specific, the University will interpret this for the context of Durham University. Please be aware that the adjustment may be able to be met by the original allocated college. Only when this has been fully explored would consideration be given to a potential reallocation.

IN ADDITION - Reasonable reallocations are made on the basis of removing potential barriers to beginning study at Durham University. The University will not normally consider reallocations based on a desire for proximity to other Durham locations that are not part of the University.

The University will work closely with the applicant to ensure that their needs are being addressed appropriately. This may require the applicant to be re-allocated to a college where the University considers those needs can be best supported.

Please note:

  • Colleges staff and the Accommodation and Allocations Office are unable to discuss individual applications with parents or interested third parties.
  • University staff in colleges, departments, the Accommodation and Allocations Office and the Recruitment and Admissions team are unable to consider applicant requests to change college allocations that have already been made.
  • If you have a disability or medical needs and are concerned that the college you have been allocated to cannot meet your needs, please contact your allocated college first to discuss this. You can also contact University Disability Support who can offer advice and support for applicants seeking to study at Durham. Contact details for Disability Support are available on our website at

In the case where an applicant wishes to defer their offer of a place at Durham, please note that your college allocation will be withdrawn and you will be required to express college preferences again for the new academic year.

If you wish to apply for college accommodation you would also be required to meet all criteria for the Accommodation Guarantee again for that academic year.