Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does the College allocation process work?
Information about the College allocation process can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/colleges.se.office/allocations/
Can I change Colleges?
Once College membership has been allocated, it cannot be changed at an applicant’s request other than for exceptional circumstances such as a medical need that cannot be met by your allocated College. You can find out more about the allocation policy at https://www.dur.ac.uk/colleges.se.office/allocations/.
Do all first year students live in College?
New students are expected to reside in College accommodation during their first year of study. We welcome “returning students” wishing to live in College in subsequent years.
Do I need to apply for accommodation?
New students are expected to reside in College accommodation during their first year of study and therefore do not need to apply to live in College. If for exceptional reasons, you wish to live out of College, you should talk to us about this by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org .
What room types are available?
Stephenson offer varied room types – single en-suite, paired and standard rooms. See https://www.dur.ac.uk/stephenson/applicants/undergraduate/accommodation/. Prices of these rooms differ: https://www.dur.ac.uk/colleges.se.office/charges/ .
Can I select a preference of room type?
We will be inviting expressions of interest for room type following A Level results and by 27 August 2020. We cannot guarantee to meet all requests and where a particular type of room is oversubscribed, we will allocate firstly by prioritising any medical needs and thereafter by lottery.
How much is College Accommodation?
University residence charges can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/colleges.se.office/charges/.
Do I have to move out during the Christmas and Easter vacation?
Your license to occupy allows you to stay in College for the academic year with one exception:
During the Easter vacation the College hosts Post Offer Visit Days. In order to provide these students with the full College experience we ‘buy back’ student bedrooms in certain accommodation blocks to accommodate them. The details of the scheme will be provided to students resident in those blocks.
I have a disability/medical condition which requires special facilities in my accommodation. Who shall I tell?
If you have special requirements for your accommodation, get in touch with the Student Support Office at Stephenson and let us know. Email us at email@example.com or call us on 0191 3340560. You can also contact University Disability Support who can offer advice and support for applicants seeking to study at Durham. Contact details for Disability Support are available on our website at www.dur.ac.uk/disability.support/
Is accessible accommodation available?
The college have two accessible flats available, both located on the ground floor. The bedrooms are en-suite and can be fitted with auxiliary aids such as flashing alarms and vibrating pillows for students with sensory impairments. Kitchens within these flats have risers under the sink to allow the benches to be adjusted, if required.
There is also a lift for public use located within one of the residence blocks. Accessible toilet facilities are located in Stephenson Central.
What is provided in my room?
Facilities in each bedroom include a single bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, study desk, chair and noticeboard. Standard bedrooms include a wash basin. WI-FI connection to the University network is available in all rooms. Bedrooms are arranged around a shared kitchen.
What do I need to bring?
There are a number of things that you should bring to College. If you are travelling from overseas, you may wish to buy much of this when you arrive.
Clothes - bring clothes to cater for every eventuality including warm clothes and waterproofs! You’ll also need formal wear for Induction (Matriculation and College Welcome Dinner) as well as for other events throughout the year.
Bedding - Beds in College are single sized and you need to provide your own duvets, pillows and sheets. You should also bring your own towels. You may wish to bring some personal items such as photos to personalise your room.
Crockery - The kitchens are fitted with a fridge/freezer, toaster, kettle and microwave. You'll need to bring all your own crockery i.e. mugs, plates, bowls, as well as pans, baking trays, utensils etc.
Toiletries – You need to provide your own toiletries such as toilet paper, shampoo, soap etc.
Food – You may wish to bring a small amount of food with you for the first few days. You can go shopping or arrange a supermarket delivery shortly after arrival.
Electrical items from outside the UK.
Please note: for safety reasons, electric appliance adaptors are not allowed in University residences. Please do not use your electrical equipment in the residences unless you have an undamaged British cable with a 3 pin plug, this must be stamped BS1363 to connect to the electrical supply.
Electrical equipment can only be used in university residences if connected by a UK cable. Some electrical equipment, such as computer laptops, mobile phones etc. have separate cables for connecting to the electrical supply. It is possible to buy separate cables in the UK in order to use your electric equipment safely in your college.
Kitchen items, including rice cookers can be bought locally at reasonable prices.
The electricity supply in the UK has a much higher voltage than in some countries outside Europe. It is therefore very important that electrical appliances are used safely - an electric shock can be fatal!
Further advice on what to bring for students travelling from overseas can be found here.
What’s the internet like at Stephenson?
A WI-FI connection to the University network is available in all rooms and communal areas in College. Students are advised to have anti-virus software on their laptop and undergo Quarantine before they arrive. More information can be found here.
Students can connect their phones/tablets to University Wi-Fi. Please find more information here.
If I bring a TV, do I need a Licence?
Yes. More information is available on the TV Licensing website.
Is Stephenson a self-catered College?
Yes, Stephenson is a self-catered College, but we dine together often; informally with College Dining, and food from the cafe/bar, at College events such as our “Locomotion Dinners” (Informal formals) and also, formally, at our Formal Dinners.
Do Stephenson have Formal Dinners?
Yes, Stephenson College hold Formal Dinners throughout the academic year and also have a number of special events such as a Winter Ball and Summer Ball. There are additional opportunities for our students to dine together informally in College, each term.
What is a College?
Durham is a collegiate university, with 17 Colleges across Durham City. All students at Durham are a member of a College and ‘live in’ during their first year. Colleges are diverse communities, welcoming students from around the world and studying across all disciplines within the University. Whilst no teaching takes place within the Colleges, they provide opportunities for personal development, extracurricular activities and a range of events for students to enjoy. Each College has common rooms representing its student body and designated social spaces and facilities such as a café-bar, study space and college-sized areas for arts and
What is Stephenson College?
Stephenson College is one of the youngest of Durham University's Colleges, founded in September 2001 and named after the railway pioneer, George Stephenson. Affectionately known as "Stevo", Stephenson is a modern, progressive, student focussed college. As a diverse community, we promote an environment where members can achieve greater than just academic success; supporting creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.
What is the JCR and MCR?
JCR stands for Junior Common Room; the college-scale student organisation for undergraduate students at Stephenson. The JCR is headed by a President; a student elected to the position by fellow students to lead the JCR for a year, usually following their graduation. The President runs the JCR with an “Exec” of current students, also elected, and these are supported in their work by the “Non-Exec” and their committees. Undergraduate students are asked to pay a membership fee to their JCR when they join the College.
MCR stands for Middle Common Room; the college-scale student organisation for postgraduate students in Stephenson. The MCR is headed by a President, who with their Exec, runs the MCR. Postgraduate students are asked to pay a membership fee for their common room when they join the College.
The common rooms facilitate events, activities and opportunities within the College including sports, societies, socials, outreach and development as well as representing the student body in meetings with the College and University.
What can I get involved in?
The simple answer is absolutely everything! At Stephenson there is a programme of events across the academic year to facilitate involvement in arts, sports, volunteering, fundraising and other extracurricular activities aimed at supporting students’ opportunities for personal development.
What if Stephenson doesn’t have the society or sports team I would like to join?
We promote leadership and proactive and creative engagement and each year invite new and existing students to set up and develop clubs and societies based around their skills and passions. This is promoted by the College and both common rooms. With the assistance of the JCR Sports and Societies Officer, opportunities can be underpinned with start-up and development grants of up to £1000.
How many students are in Stephenson College?
The College expect an intake of approximately 350 undergraduate students in October 2020. Students are members of their College for the whole period of their degree, and Stephenson has approximately 550 ‘returning students’ studying in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of study.
The College has a community of postgraduate students studying on taught and research programmes. An expected intake of approximately 120 new postgraduate students will join the College in October 2020.
What faith provisions are there?
There are several churches in Durham City and chapels in some of the Colleges. Find out more about faith provisions in Durham and the surrounding areas at www.dur.ac.uk/faithsupport/
What local travel provision is there in Durham City?
Most students walk or cycle to and from lectures. Stephenson College is located next to the Howlands Park and Ride site. Resident students can benefit from a reduced rate when using the Howlands Park and Ride bus service www.dur.ac.uk/greenspace/travel/public/bus/ .
The University have an arrangement with Arriva, offering discounted bus travel around Durham City www.dur.ac.uk/greenspace/travel/public/bus/ .
What transport links are there to and from Durham?
Durham is easily accessible by rail and road and is about 30 minutes’ drive from Newcastle International Airport or 40 minutes’ drive from Durham Tees Valley Airport. More information about travelling to Durham is available at www.dur.ac.uk/study/location/durham/travel/ .
Can I bring a car to College?
You are advised, strongly, not to bring a vehicle to College.
The University policy regarding car parking can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/estates/transportparking/.
Where do students do their shopping?
The self-catered colleges’ students tend to use online shopping facilities for food and other provisions, and there is a local market in the City Centre which sells produce and groceries.
The Post Offer Visit Days did not take place, how can I find out more?
You can find out more about joining Stephenson, including hearing from our Principal, JCR President and current students at our virtual Post Offer Visit Day webpages: https://www.dur.ac.uk/stephenson/povd/
When shall I arrive at Stephenson?
You will receive further guidance about arrivals once your place is confirmed in August 2020.