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Durham University


What happens to your application?

When UCAS send us your application we will send you an email to let you know we’ve received it. Sometimes our messages may be diverted to your spam or junk folders so please make sure you check these regularly. If you think you haven’t received your acknowledgement email you can ask us and we can send it to you again.

How we select applicants

Your application will then be carefully considered by a trained admissions selector, who will be looking for merit, potential, and your motivation to make the most out of the wide range of opportunities available at Durham University. We aim to select applicants who we think will benefit most from the unique experience Durham University offers and can contribute most to university life, irrespective of their background. Our Admissions Policy is based on the core principles of fairness, transparency, consistency and operating a professional admissions service.

We are committed to the principle of equal consideration, which means that if you apply by 15 January you will be considered for an offer. Sometimes we are able to consider applications made after the 15 January, and if we still have vacancies these will be advertised at UCAS.

The only course for which an interview is a compulsory part of the selection process is BA (Hons) Primary Education, and you will also be interviewed if you apply for a course in our Foundation Centre. You may also be invited to interview if, for example, you have had a break in study prior to applying or if the admissions selector would like to explore a particular part of your application with you. If you are invited to attend an interview then we will let you know all the important details so you can plan your trip.

Once a decision is made on your application we will send it to UCAS and you will be able to see it through your UCAS Track account.

If you receive an offer through UCAS we guarantee that you will be allocated to a college and will have a place in college-managed accommodation.

College accommodation

Durham is proud of its unique college offering and if you are made an offer of a place on a course then you will be allocated to one of our colleges. College allocations begin in February, and you can find out more information on our College's Office webpages.

Offering you your first choice of college is important to us, and we will try to do this wherever possible. Each of our academic departments is represented in our colleges as this is a very important part of our unique collegiate experience, but there is a limit to the number of college offers that can be made to each department. For this reason it might sometimes not be possible to offer you your first choice if it is over-subscribed for your subject.

If you accept Durham as your firm choice and meet the exact conditions of your offer you will be guaranteed the college that has been allocated to you.

If you accept Durham as your insurance choice, or you don’t quite meet the conditions of your offer, you may be re-allocated to a different college during August, though we will try to give you the college you were originally allocated to.

You can request to change your college preference here.

Mitigating Circumstances

If you have experienced circumstances which might have affected your academic studies you should ask your school or college to report these to the relevant examination boards. We regard the examination boards as being best placed to take account of anything that might impact on your examination performance and we are unable to take account of the impact of mitigating circumstances for a second time.

Mitigating circumstances if you have already completed your qualifications/examinations

If you are applying to us and experienced mitigating circumstances for qualifications/examinations you have already achieved and which you were unable to report to examination boards at the time then you should ask your referee to include a statement either in their reference or by writing to us separately. They should explain:

  1. What the mitigating circumstances were;
  2. The effect this had upon your work;
  3. Why it was not possible to report the mitigating circumstances to the examination boards.

Mitigating circumstances if you are studying for qualifications not yet completed

If you are considering applying to us, have made an application to us or have received an offer, you should ask your school or college to report any mitigating circumstances which might be affecting your current studies to the relevant examination boards.

If you are holding an offer with us you can tell us about any mitigating circumstances which could not be reported to the relevant examination boards or could not have been fully taken account of by examination boards using our Mitigating Circumstances Form.

Should you receive an offer from us, our mitigating circumstances form will become available to you through your offer guide.

Submitting mitigating circumstances does not guarantee that the University will make an offer to you or will accept you if you do not meet the conditions of an offer made.

Continued support while you study

If your mitigating circumstances are a result of a long-term health issue or disability, the University offers support and guidance and will be pleased to discuss your individual needs with you. More information about the services we offer is available on the Disability Service webpages.