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.

Welcome to John Snow College

About John Snow College

The College's role is to provide a friendly, safe and stimulating environment for your degree studies at Durham University's Queen's Campus. We are here to support and develop all aspects of your University life - academic, social, sporting and cultural - and to do so in a way that is relevant to the needs of students from a wide variety of social backgrounds, and with a wide variety of future career intentions.

Underpinning this is our belief at John Snow College that University education is about the opening of doors and the exploration of new ideas, and that the College itself can add an extra dimension to the specific Department-based learning involved in your degree programme.

“Dear applicant
I am delighted to welcome you to John Snow College.

The College’s role is to provide you with a first class Wider Student Experience. Our goal is to help and encourage you to develop your life long person qualities which add value to your academic studies. We know these qualities are highly desirable by future employers, and critical in helping you become a global citizen. These qualities include intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship, self-expression, leadership, teamwork, independence, and a strong sense of social responsibility.

This first class Wider Student Experience is achieved by working with you on a number of different ways. For example, through hosting interesting lectures, workshops and debates you will develop your intellectual curiosity. Through engagement with our many sports clubs, art, music and theatre societies, and the Junior Common Room (JCR) of the College, you will develop your personal effectiveness. Through your engagement with our outreach and volunteering programmes you will develop your sense of belonging, values and responsibility. We will provide you with challenges and opportunities, and encourage your engagement and participation with everything we offer.

We also understand that coming to University and living away from your friends and families, particularly if you are joining us from another country, can be daunting. Regardless of where you come from, most students need help and support at some point during their time at University. The College provides a first class student support service, with dedicated staff, to help you with any problems you may face.

Your safety, your mental and physical health, and your happiness are so important to us, and the College will provide you with all the support you need. The College staff are experienced in helping you with a whole range of issues, whatever your circumstances.

John Snow College is based on what is called the Howlands site, and boasts a fabulous new John Snow College building for students to come together, which includes a separate bar/café area. We share the site with two other self-catered Colleges – Josephine Butler and Stephenson. We share a large building (the Howlands Building) with both of these Colleges, which includes a very large hall (which can be used for sport but also other activities and events), and also outdoor sports facilities – with dedicated times for John Snow College students. There is also a gym in the Howlands building which you can use every day. Our College rowing team is both inclusive and competitive, and we have a range of good quality boats for you to use. We also have a music practise room, and some musical instruments for you to use including pianos.

Excellent facilities and staff are important, but the most important factor in making your student experience at John Snow College first class is you. The new JCR President and their team will make you feel welcome, and your integration into student life at John Snow College a truly wonderful experience.

I look forward to meeting you.


Professor Carolyn Summerbell, BSc (Hons), RD, PhD, Principal, John Snow College