Frequently Asked Questions
How far is it from South to other parts of the University?
The walk to the Science Site is about 12 minutes. Here you will find the Bill Bryson Library, the Teaching and Learning Centre, Physics, Geography, Earth Sciences, Computer Science, Chemistry, Anthropology, Archaeology, Mathematical Sciences, Engineering, Natural Sciences, the Law School, and the Palatine Centre.
The walk to the Durham Students’ Union and Elvet Riverside is about 18 minutes. In addition to the DSU, here you can find English Studies, MLAC, Liberal Arts, and the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. A few minutes more and you can be at Sports Science and Philosophy on Old Elvet or at Classics and History on the Bailey.
There are also several buses that run regularly from outside South and stop near the Science Site, Elvet Riverside, and the large shopping centre in Gilesgate.
Is South a gowned College?
Yes, South has been established as a gowned College.
How frequent are formal dinners?
Formal and informal dinners are an excellent way to meet and socialise with other members of the College. Outside of the main exam period South has weekly formal or informal dinners. While some of the more popular formals will be exclusively for members of South, there will be ample opportunity for you to bring friends.
Do formal dinners cater for vegans and other dietary requirements?
Yes they do. When you sign up to a formal at South you are able to list any dietary requirements and those will be sent along to the catering team. If your request cannot be catered for you will be notified well in advance by the JCR.
Is South fully catered or self-catered?
South College is entirely self-catered.
How many years is accommodation guaranteed?
All undergraduate students are guaranteed accommodation for their first year of study. We also have a number of rooms that we reserve for returning students.
Are there any shared bedrooms in South?
All of the bedrooms at South are single occupancy.
Can I live with my friends?
All of the accommodation blocks at South are on the same site and no room is more than a 5-minute walk from any other. When we send out the accommodation preference forms after results day you will have the opportunity to make requests and we will do our best to honour them.
Are the shared bathrooms in the Town Houses single-sex?
Most of our undergraduate students live in en-suite rooms but if you are in a Town House you can request to have a single-sex bathroom.
How many international students are there at South?
South College has not yet enrolled its first intake of students so we cannot answer this question presently. Certainly it is our intention that South will become a diverse and vibrant community with an international outlook. Durham University as a whole has over 4,500 students representing 156 different countries.
Is South diverse in terms of state/private school intake?
As South is yet to enroll its first intake we cannot provide information about the diversity of the student body. What we can say is that we are committed to creating a diverse and equal community with people from a wide range of backgrounds. With this commitment we will try to engage with groups traditionally underrepresented at Durham as well as students from local schools.
Is there a library at South?
We have a Study & Library space in the Pitcairn Building. We are building up our collection of core textbooks based on the most frequently borrowed books from the Bill Bryson Library so that students at South will have access to works for reference within the Study & Library space.
Is the College Study & Library open 24/7?
At present we plan to have the Study & Library only operating 24/7 during the main exam period, but if students wish to have this extended it is something that can be raised through the student common rooms.
Will there be a bus service from the college into the city?
Durham is a small city and it doesn’t take very long to walk from one place to another, in fact during peak traffic it is often faster to walk. However, there are several private bus companies that run routes from South to other parts of the campus and up to the shops in Gilesgate.
Is there a strong focus on sustainability, or potential for this, such as a community allotment or clothes swap scheme?
As a brand-new College issues of sustainability and environmental impact have been considered as part of the College design. The College motto links to the need to be good global citizens, which includes caring for the planet we live on. The student body will soon elect student officers to support environmental and sustainability issues and community allotments and clothes swaps are being considered. New ideas and suggestions will always be welcomed as South relies on the fact that each and every one of its students can make a difference to the world.
What sports and societies are there available at South?
All sports. As long as we have people willing to participate there will be a team. If there is a sport that is not played at South then you are very welcome to start a team with support from the JCR (Junior Common Room). It’s our intention to have everything from netball and rugby to cheerleading and ultimate frisbee. We aim to compete at a high level but also to provide our students with a place to get involved purely for fun and regardless of ability. We will encourage people to get involved and try new sports such as rowing or quidditch to name but two.
We don’t have a list of societies yet, but we will soon, and it will feature a variety of activities including drama, music, debating and so on. If you are not sure we will have the society you want then you can help set one up when you arrive. There will always be support and resources for new clubs and societies if you are willing to take it forward. The most important factor is to enjoy your time at South and know there is likely more to do than you will have time to be involved in (you do still need to get your degree)!
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