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St John's College

Welfare and Support

Jeanna Spencer, Assistant Senior Tutor talks to a postgraduate

Durham is a wonderful place with rich opportunities to fulfil your potential. However, it is by no means unusual for some welfare needs to arise during a student’s time at Durham. Indeed, student life isn’t always plain sailing and there are stressful situations that you are very likely to be encountering for the first time. This includes financial, medical and emotional situations that may affect your ability to meet your academic commitments and achieve your best. There are, however, lots of ways we can help including the provision of information you need together with non-judgmental support and advice.

St John’s College and the University take the role of promoting the well-being of all our students very seriously and there is a wide range of support available to ensure that time spent here is enjoyable and rewarding. This support is provided both within the College, by University services and also external agencies.

At St John’s we pride ourselves on our caring community and our excellent, multi-layered student support system that aims to provide every student with someone to whom you can turn to for support and advice as the need arises. The principal contacts for welfare and pastoral support are the Senior Tutor, Dr Mark Ogden, and the Assistant Senior Tutor, Jeanna Spencer, both of whom can help you with any issue, including helping you get in touch with the right people. The College Chaplain, Reverend Susie Thorp, is part of the pastoral support network in College and is available to all students (regardless of faith commitment) to discuss personal, spiritual and other matters in confidence.

We recognise that you may not want to discuss a problem with a senior member of staff so we also have a JCR and MCR Student Welfare Team who provide peer support. The team, which provides a confidential and impartial service including regular drop-in sessions, is led by the Welfare Officer who is elected annually. He or she works closely with the Senior Tutor and Assistant Senior Tutor.

Four postgraduates make up our Resident Tutor team whose role is to provide help and support between the hours of 22:45 and 08:45 throughout the year. Resident Tutors are managed by the Senior Tutor and are an important part of the College's welfare system.

If as a prospective student you would like to discuss a support issue before you come to St John's College, please contact

Meet a postgraduate

As a ‘Johnian’, I have always felt proud of my college. St. John’s first attracted me by its small size and central location. However, what impresses me most after I came here are the friendly and supportive atmosphere and the various academic and social activities. Our passionate and caring staff make the college really like a home where I feel comfortable and secure. The Broaderlands seminars, weekly formal dinners and varieties of parties give me opportunities to develop my interdisciplinary thinking, to make new friends from all over the world, and to gain insights into different cultures.

The college system is one of the reason why I chose Durham University and the experience at John’s will definitely be a wonderful memory in my life.

Mingqing, MA Translation Studies

St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.