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Department of History

Facilities and support

The Department

The Department is on the peninsula at the heart of medieval Durham. It is close to Palace Green which, with the Cathedral and Castle, is a World Heritage Site. It can be easily reached on foot from all the colleges, libraries, lecture rooms, and other teaching and student facilities. It occupies a group of linked houses which contain administrative and staff offices and a number of seminar rooms. Though much of the teaching takes place in the Department, especially in tutors' rooms, extensive use is also made of specialist lecture theatres and computing facilities in nearby buildings. You should be able to find us easily on the map of the University.


The Department of History consists of administrative staff and forty academic staff. All the academic staff members are active in research, pursuing scholarly work in their chose fields of study. At Durham we recognise no division between teaching and research, believing that students gain enormously from being taught by those who are steeped in the historical archives and are at the very forefront of their subject. We believe in offering students as wide a choice as possible. Members of staff have expertise in medieval, early modern and modern history, in Britain as well as Europe, North America and Africa, and in cultural, ecclesiastical, economic, military, gender and social history as well as political.

Learning Experience

We believe that studying history at Durham should be enjoyable as well as worthwhile. Teaching methods range from the formal lecture course typical of the first year to the more specialist subjects taught in the final year through weekly small group seminars. The essays you write during term, along with more traditional examinations, are used for assessment, as is the dissertation written in the final year. We aim to provide a wide choice within a carefully constructed degree programme. The community of students taking history is exceptionally lively; the student-run History Society is one of the most active clubs in the University, arranging not only visiting speakers for well-attended meetings and an annual Conference, but also social events, trips, and publishing a journal with contributions from students.