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Postgraduate

Colleges and accommodation

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

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?

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:

  • Accommodation and catering: A variety of accommodation and catering options
  • Excellent facilities: For academic support, music and the arts, sport/fitness and day-to-day living and socialising
  • Community: A small, friendly, unique college community
  • Comprehensive support system: Dedicated staff offering advice and guidance
  • Extra-curricular opportunities: A wide range of activities, complementing your department's academic provision
  • Leadership opportunities: Roles and responsibilities to fully engage with your college
  • Scholarly community: A multi-disciplinary community inspiring intellectual debate both informally and formally
  • Events: Regular college and student-led events, including seminars, lecture series, balls, concerts, productions and more.

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

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.



"I absolutely loved college life and the support system that colleges offer their students – past and present. The colleges contribute immensely to your social life and make you feel settled and at home. I met fantastic, wonderful people – in my course as well as in my college and all of them have contributed to my research, my academic interests, my skills but also my well-being.

I also believe that the colleges foster a strong international student community and intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange." 

Lara Ehrenfried, MA English Literary Studies.



Contents Insurance Cover

Durham University have arranged contents insurance cover from Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd. for students who reside in College accommodation.

Enter in your policy number HH1288 at http://ends.ly/CoverReview to check your policy details.

Visit the review cover link to:

  • Check what is covered.
  • Check key exclusions and limitations.
  • Check your policy excess.
  • Check how to make a claim, extend and personalise your cover.

It is important to find out exactly what the basic level of cover is as you may find that this is not sufficient for your individual circumstances and you need to extend it to protect all of your possessions both in and outside of your room.

Access information

Named as one of the safest universities in England and Wales. The Complete University Guide 2015

"Durham's college-system is fantastic for building a supportive network and making friends."

Ingrid Medby - PhD Human Geography. 

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