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Colleges and accommodation

When you join Durham University, as well as belonging to an academic department, you will also belong to one of our 15 undergraduate colleges throughout your time here.

While all your teaching will take place within your academic department, colleges provide supportive scholarly communities, full of opportunities for you to make the most of your time here and provide one of the key elements of the student experience at Durham University. 

The expectation is that all first year students normally live in college accommodation, and your college will be the place where you socialise and meet students and staff from all levels, disciplines and nationalities. Colleges offer a high level of personal support, a range of excellent on-site facilities, and a full programme of student-led events and extra-curricular activities. 

Ask anyone here about living and studying at Durham University and they are sure to mention their college, even years after they have left! Many of our former students still play a big part in supporting their colleges. 

Vaishali Iyer, St Mary's College

“Being part of a college gives you an immediate sense of belonging, helping you to adjust both to university life and living in the UK. Your college provides the opportunity to get involved in organising aspects of college life; enabling you to develop leadership skills, arrange events, support charities, create new societies; and give something back to your community.

At college I have made some of my closest friends, been involved in a whole range of activities and had the chance to mix with people from all over the world.

Insurance Cover for Students

Basic contents insurance cover for items in your room is included as standard for student residents in all University accommodation. This student room insurance provided covers some of the items in your room for theft, fire and flood risk. This insurance is currently provided by Endsleigh Insurance.

If you would like to see information on what is covered by the current contents insurance service, plus details of optional additional/top up covers, please see the insurance certificate/document or visit

Access information

"In college you meet so many people & there's a great community feel - it's like a big family. One of my highlights has been getting involved in loads of things I hadn't done before. Anyone at university can come away with a good degree, but few can leave with the life skills & experience that college gives you." Charles Robin, Hatfield College