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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Durham Students' Union

Every Durham student is a member of Durham Students' Union.. We’re here to help you get the most out of your time at Durham, whether that’s by supporting hundreds of societies and volunteers, representing you on academic matters, or providing you with services and activities. Durham SU is a student-led organisation: we’re interested in the things that matter to you, we stand up for your rights, we bring students together, and we celebrate your success.

Elected Student Officers

Each year you elect five Student Officers. to work full-time. They lead the Union, campaigning on issues that matter to Durham students. There are five Student Officers: President, Undergraduate Academic Officer, Postgraduate Academic Officer, Opportunities Officer, and Welfare and Liberation Officer.

Academic Representatives

At the start and end of each academic year, you will elect a student. from each department and faculty to speak up for students.

Assembly where the decisions are made. A number of elected student representatives sit on Assembly, deciding what issues Durham SU should tackle.


Bringing together self-defining students from underrepresented groups, Associations provide a safe space to meet, make friends, lobby for change and make sure that everyone feels at home in Durham. We have a number of Associations., from LGBT+ Association to Students with Disabilities Association.

Riverside Bar and Café

With a range of food and drink deals, a giant HD screen showing live sport, and beautiful views from our balcony, Riverside Bar and Café. has something for everyone. You can bring your books, grab a coffee and work here during the day; or bring your pals, a pool cue, and play here at night.

Student groups

There's much more to university life than studying for your degree. Joining student groups is one of the best ways to have fun, relax, make friends and also learn new skills! The SU has over 250 student groups. There are eight broad categories of to choose from: academic, active, arts and music, associations, hobbies and games, international and faith, media, and political and causes.

You can join a student group at any time on our website. You could even help run a group yourself. We work hard to support student group leaders, providing the training, resources and grants to make student groups at Durham the best they can be.

If you want to try something new check out our programme of free Give it a Go activities.

The Nightbus

Durham SU operates the Nightbus service in Durham City every night throughout term, providing a safe and secure way for lone students to get home in the evening. There’s no fixed timetable and, just like a taxi service, you can arrange to be picked up by calling the driver on 07922 648802. The Nightbus costs £2 per student per journey.

Monday – Saturday: 21:00-02:00

Sunday: 21:00-23:00

Charity fundraising is a huge part of the SU.

DUCK, which stands for Durham University Charities Kommittee, is where the fundraising happens. There are always events and challenges designed to raise huge totals for local, national and international charities. Whether it is the annual jailbreak (a globetrotting hitchhiking race), the Santa fun run or one of the weekly RAG raids (where a couple of dozen students are shipped off to a city for some bucket-shaking, sight-seeing and, on occasion, nightlife-sampling), there is a huge variety of things to get involved in.

If you would like to see your name in print or broadcast across the airwaves, you will find a multitude of opportunities to gain experience across all manner of media.

In the News

Writers can try their hand at reporting for the award-winning Durham Students’ Union newspaper, Palatinate. Published every fortnight, this popular student title, offers budding journalists the chance to follow in the footsteps of George Alagiah or Jeremy Vine, previous editors of Palatinate. As well as sports presenters Mark Pougatch, Gabby Logan and Radio 5 Live presenter Shelagh Fogarty.

Tune in

Purple Radio, the student-run radio station, broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week during term-time with a varied schedule of music, news, sport and spoken word content live from the Students’ Union. With over 60,000 listens a term, Purple Radio offers opportunities for involvement such as presenting, production, journalism, technical, marketing and a lot more.

Advice Service

The Students’ Union’s Advice Service provides friendly, professional and impartial advice in a confidential setting. This service is free to all Durham students, because every student has the right to access affordable housing, a good quality education, and to feel part of a safe and inclusive community.

The Advice Service covers all of the main areas of student concerns, whether it’s to do with housing, academic problems, or anything else that might be affecting you during your studies. Advisers can offer face-to-face appointments, as well as point you in the right direction when there’s someone else who can better address your needs.

Have you checked out the service’s online resources? These helpful guides might be useful if you find yourself in a tricky situation:

The Students’ Union is separate from the University, meaning that your enquiry is dealt with in the strictest confidence.

You can get in touch with the Advice Service directly using their online form