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Durham University

Study

Study options


Our subject areas

We offer one of the broadest course ranges of any UK university, allowing you to tailor your degree to meet your needs.

Accounting and Finance

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Anthropology

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Archaeology

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Biosciences

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Business, Marketing and Management

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Classics and Ancient History

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Computer Science

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Criminology

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Economics

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Education and Teaching

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Engineering

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English Studies

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Geology and Earth Sciences

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Languages and Cultures

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Politics and International Relations

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Psychology

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Sport Sciences

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Theology and Religion

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Study Abroad

Your decision to come to Durham University could give you the opportunity to travel much further.

We currently have links with more than 120 universities in Europe and beyond across the majority of subject areas. You could spend a year in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Spain, the USA and many more countries.

It has been agreed in principle that the UK will continue to benefit
from all EU programmes, including Erasmus+, until the end of the
current budget plan (2014-2020).

We are awaiting further information for funding beyond this point, for the latest information see our study abroad pages.

Follow the adventures of Durham students around the world at durhamstudentsabroad.com

"Study abroad was a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and having a second language will help me stand out in the eyes of employers." 

Eden Clayton, Marketing student

Skills for life

There are many benefits to spending some time abroad during your degree including:

  • Enhancing your employability
  • Experiencing new cultures and lifestyles
  • Improving your language, communication and life skills
  • Experiencing new challenges and making new friends.

You can find out if your chosen department offers opportunities to study abroad by looking in our course database or you can talk to the department’s admissions selector (contact details are also in the courses database), visit www.durham.ac.uk/courses.

For further information on developing your studies abroad see www.durham.ac.uk/international/studyabroad

Placement Year


A Placement Year is an opportunity for you to spend a year gaining valuable work experience during your time at University.

It is a fantastic opportunity to apply yourself fully within an organisation, and could potentially result in a job offer. Extensive training is usually provided and the experience often mirrors the first year working in a graduate role.


Placement years typically occur in between the penultimate and final year of your degree and last between 9 to 12 months; this is negotiated with your individual placement employer.

There are dedicated Faculty Placement Officer roles employed through the Careers & Enterprise Centre but based within the faculties, whose key focus is on increasing the number and variety of placement opportunities available to Durham students. Their role is to help students identify the right placement opportunities, ensure the placements are suitable, prepare the student fully for the placement, be a point of contact whilst the student is out on placement and assist the student reintegrate into University life upon their return.

Have a look around these pages for more information.

The Modular System

Our modular degree system allows you to tailor your degree to meet your needs. You can study a range of subjects, or study a discipline, or disciplines, in depth - the choice is yours.

Every degree programme offers you a range of modules across your subject area, but you must always study six modules in each year of your degree programme. So, if you are reading a three year programme, you will follow 18 modules and for a four year science programme, 24 modules. Before you begin to select your modules, you need to consider a number of things.

What choice your main degree programme allows you?

Every named degree programme requires you to study clearly specified modules from that subject or subjects. This requirement places a natural limit on the number of non-compulsory modules you can read. You can, in many cases, study all your modules from your home subject(s) if you wish, but the scheme has been designed to allow you a choice of subjects in most cases, particularly in your first year.

Are the subjects from which you wish to select your modules compatible?

For timetabling reasons and to maintain academic coherence, you will not be able to combine modules from some subjects. For information on module compatibilities, please contact the Admissions Tutor for the course you wish to study.

Do you have the right qualifications to study a particular module?

The qualifications you need are called 'pre-requisites'. For specific advice, please contact the Admissions Tutor for the course you wish to study.

Would you like to take open modules?

Almost all our programmes offer up to two single modules which can be taken outside the home department in the first year. This is an ideal opportunity to broaden your range of study, or to complement your chosen path. You will need to check with your Admissions Tutor that you satisfy pre-requisites for open modules and to ensure compatibility with your timetable. A full list of open modules can be seen at www.durham.ac.uk/faculty.handbook

Which exit qualifications are available?

If you start at Durham University and (for whatever reason) you are not able to complete the full three or four years for an Honours degree, you have the option to leave with a Certificate or Diploma, provided that you have obtained the required number of credits in modules at the appropriate level.

International Foundation Year

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to an undergraduate degree, you may be eligible to take a pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre. Located at Queen’s Campus, Stockton, the International Study Centre provides a supportive environment where you will be introduced to the style of teaching you will experience should you progress on to your degree. Taught over three terms, the International Foundation Year combines modules to increase your academic knowledge in your chosen area, improve your study skills and help you to reach the required English language levels. Completing your pathway programme at the International Study Centre and achieving the required grades means that you can progress to your undergraduate degree at Durham University City Campus.