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Colleges and accommodation

Living at Durham University is much more than just accommodation...

St Hild and St Bede

One of our greatest assets at Durham University is our college system. College communities are at the heart of our distinctive student experience, each offering a diverse, interdisciplinary community of academics, students and staff from different backgrounds and cultures.

All postgraduates are members of a college throughout their time at Durham University, whether you live in college accommodation or elsewhere. College life is a big part of what makes your experience with us so unique and many of our students say that being part of a college is one of the best aspects of Durham University.

What is a college?

Ustinov College

All University accommodation is managed by our colleges and, once a member of a college, as a full-time student you can apply for accommodation in that college.

Colleges are, however, much more than just halls of residence. They are multi-disciplinary, scholarly communities providing members with opportunities for intellectual and personal development within a supportive environment.

Every college provides...

In addition, you can still enjoy all the features and facilities of a large, internationally-recognised University.

All teaching is delivered via your academic department but your college provides an environment which encourages and supports your studies and personal development.

* New Part-time and Distance Learning students are allocated to a College depending on their programme of study. College accommodation is not available, but full membership is provided.

Insurance Cover for Students

Basic contents insurance cover for items in your room is included as standard for student residents in all University accommodation. This student room insurance provided covers some of the items in your room for theft, fire and flood risk. This insurance is currently provided by Endsleigh Insurance.

If you would like to see information on what is covered by the current contents insurance service, plus details of optional additional/top up covers, please see the insurance certificate/document or visit

Access information

Our students say...

"Doing my Masters at Durham has been a fantastic experience. The University with its unique collegiate system offers great opportunities to mix and integrate with international and home students. I know that all the experiences the college has offered me will be beneficial to me throughout my life."
Peihan Li, MA Financial Management, China

Did you know... Durham has 16 colleges: these are our distinctive residential and educational communities.