We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

New students - Before you arrive

There are lots of things you can do to get a head start on student life before you arrive! Here are the key tasks to complete so you're ready to study, live and socialise as a Durham student:

1. Enrol Online

This is the first and most important step you should take before you arrive. Enrolment opens six weeks before the start of your programme. Once you have completed your enrolment, then you'll be able to access your University IT account. Full instructions of how to enrol online can be found here.

Read our interactive PDF to get started with Wi-Fi, your digital equipment and much more.

2. Get connected with My Digital Durham

Once you are enrolled, you can access MyDigitalDurham which will give you your university email account, FREE Microsoft 365 and Office subscription, plus a range of teaching and learning apps to help you with your studies.

You will now have access to Durham University Online (DUO), our online learning environment and Encore, our lecture capture service. To find out more, watch the video, or view our Interactive Guide.

3. Choose any optional modules

You are pre-registered for compulsory modules, but may need to select optional modules depending on your chosen programme, to make up the total number of required credits. Your Department will authorise your module choices, so if you have questions relating to module approval, please contact your department directly. If all of your modules are compulsory, there is nothing more to do.

4. Get to know your department

There are a number of different ways you can get to know more about your department before you arrive, including looking at our Freshers pages on DUO, reading the departmental handbook and watching videos. Visit your Department Welcome page for more information.

5. Get to know your College

Visit your College welcome page for information on Induction and Welcome activities.

6. Access the Transition to Higher Education online course

Once you are registered on Durham University online (DUO) you will have pre-arrival access to this online course to help you prepare for studying at Durham. The “Transitions into HE" short induction course includes video interviews with Durham students and staff, interactive activities, exercises and self-assessment tools focusing on 4 themes:

  • Preparing for Academic Study
  • Introducing Independent Learning
  • Digital Literacies
  • Preparing for Your Arrival.

7. Register with a local Doctor

We take the health and wellbeing of all our students very seriously. We encourage you to start the process of registration with a doctor in Durham before you arrive at the University so that you can access healthcare in Durham when you need it. This is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition or require repeat medication or for support with health measures related to COVID-19. Find out how to register with a local Doctor here.

8. Take our Consent Matters training

We have developed an online training course called Consent Matters, as part of our commitment to tackling sexual violence and misconduct. The course covers the areas of sexual consent, communication and relationships and bystander intervention and is available on Durham University Online (DUO). It will take around an hour to complete.

Take a look at what else Durham has to offer, from sports to links with the local community:

The Durham Inspired Award

Here at Durham University we are proud to inspire the extraordinary. We do this first and foremost through our degrees, but we don’t stop there.

We want to help you ensure that you have the edge you need when you graduate so have developed the new Durham Inspired Award, an optional award which promotes participation, critical thinking, leadership and citizenship.

A ‘Degree plus Inspired Award’ from Durham is an unbeatable combination to take into employment and life in general. Find out more about The Durham Inspired Award.


Ranked 2nd in the overall British University Sport League Table since 2013, we are recognised as Britain’s number 1 Team Sport University for the fourth year running. We have the largest participation rate of any university in Britain and are confident that there will be something for you! We have over 50 clubs and teams, as well as development programmes, so you can enjoy sport at all levels. We are always looking for talented sports people, so if you are interested in representing Durham University in any sport, please let us know before you arrive. Visit the Team Durham webpages for more information.

Student Pledge

We encourage all our students to be good citizens and good neighbours when they join our Durham community. Find out more about the Student Pledge.

Respect Commission and respect online

We are working to build an environment that is respectful and where people feel comfortable to be themselves and flourish. Watch this short video for advice and information on learning and teaching in an online environment,

Find out more about our work to ensure everyone’s experience of Durham University is a positive one.

Durham University is a safe place to live and study

We take the safety and well being of our students seriously and work closely with Durham Constabulary to foster good links with the Police and local community. Police Community Support Officer Sean Tindale (PCSO 8202), is Durham Constabulary's Police University Liaison Officer working alongside PC Gary Thompson. Find out more about the role of Police University Liaison Officer as PC Tindale introduces himself and welcomes you to Durham in this short video.

Fire Safety

We also work closely with Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, to ensure our buidings and facilities are safe for students, staff and visitors. Watch this short video from Fire Safety Officer Danny Thompson for important advice and information on fire prevention and safety.

Fire Safety in Student Accommodation by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service

Fire Safety in Student Accommodation by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service

Views: 334

Fire Safety in student accommodation is extremely important for all the students at Durham University. Please watch our short video with some simple ‘do’s and don’ts’, on fire safety. Also, advice and information on items that are banned in your accommodation to ensure you are aware of all the risks, and know how to keep yourself and others safe