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Durham University

St Mary's College

Postgraduate Life

Every Durham University student, undergraduates and post-graduates, belongs to a college - a vibrant, supportive community full of opportunities for you to gain new experiences, develop skills to achieve more in your future life and make the most of your time at University.

When you arrive in Durham as a new student, whether you live in College or live in Durham City, you have the opportunity to become integrated into both College life and the life of the wider University. St Mary's offers a welcoming and inclusive college experience to post-graduate students and the opportunity to be part of a supportive and intelligent graduate community. For many, St Mary’s College is a place where friendships are forged that last a life time.


Middle Common Room (MCR)

Post-graduates, fourth year and mature undergraduate students combine to form the St Mary’s College Middle Common Room (MCR), a vigorous community that is set-up to serve the needs and interests of its members. The MCR sits under the umbrella of the Junior Common Room (JCR), which is advantageous to graduate students, since all students who choose to join the MCR also become members of the relaxed JCR community, meaning you can enjoy the full spectrum of college student facilities, social events and sporting activities.

MCR activity is organised by its members under the leadership of elected student leaders, which include an MCR President, Treasurer, Social Secretary, and Livers Out Rep.

All post-graduates automatically become members of the Middle Common Room (details of the cost of membership can be found on the Fees and Finance page) and students are encouraged to engage, organise and get involved in the MCR whilst studying at Durham. Students are encouraged to be part of the MCR as we believe your experience of studying at Durham will be all the richer, but there is no obligation to do so and students are given the opportunity to opt out. Students choosing to opt-out would not be able to participate in activities organised by their Common Room or run for elected positions or vote.

For a better idea of what Mary's MCR is all about, visit the MCR webpage and browse the pages, blogs and pictures.

If you have any further questions on life at St Mary's or the MCR or anything else, please contact the MCR President at


A Scholarly Community

The MCR and the wider college community endeavour to provide each post-graduate with the facilities and support that they need to reach their full academic potential, whilst really enjoying their time at Durham University, both socially and academically.

Drawing students from all disciplines, and across all years, Colleges are natural multi-disciplinary communities, giving you the chance to engage in debate and exchange ideas and learning with your peers. If you choose to live in College then these encounters will happen on a daily basis as our students come together during the undergraduate term to eat. However, there are more formal opportunities organised for both our students who live in College and for those who live out, in the form of the MCR Termly Research Seminar, the public lectures organised by our Senior Common Room (SCR), and the weekly SCR High-Table dinners.

Our students are supported in their studies through the Student Support Team, the College Librarian, and the Chaplain, providing information, guidance and support through your studies at Durham. Our College is fully wi-fi enabled with dedicated study spaces for our members in the form or our College Library and Reading Room.