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Undergraduate

What happens to your application?

  • Your application is forwarded to us by UCAS, when they have finished processing it.
  • Once we receive your application we will acknowledge this by email or letter. If you have not heard from the Admissions Team within three weeks of submitting your application to UCAS please contact us.
  • Your application is forwarded to the relevant department (or departments for some Joint Honours applications) for consideration. The department (or departments) will make a decision on whether an offer will be made.
  • For almost all courses we do not interview applicants and a decision is made using the application alone. There are however three specific circumstances where we invite applicants for interview: a) where external bodies determine that interviewing is compulsory (applicants to Initial Teacher Training and Medicine); b) applicants to the Foundation Centre; and c) applicants who do not in their application show adequate evidence of recent and relevant knowledge or who have experienced a break in their study prior to application. This will be determined by admissions selectors on an individual basis. There may arise exceptional circumstances, other than those listed above, when an interview is considered necessary.
  • Once the department(s) has made an academic decision the Admissions Team process this decision to UCAS for the applicant to view on UCAS Track. The decision issued through UCAS is the official decision.
  • If you receive an academic offer through UCAS we guarantee that you will be allocated to a college and will have a place in college-managed accommodation.

All academic departments are represented in each of our colleges and this is a very important part of our unique collegiate experience. We seek to maximise the number of applicants who are allocated to a college of their preference but recognise that not all applicants will be. For most colleges, each year there will be a number of applicants who are not allocated to their preference college due to it being oversubscribed for their subject.

  • Your college preference has no bearing on whether you receive an offer for the programme.
  • You will be contacted with a warm welcome by the college to which you have been allocated. You can see more information about college allocation on our College Office's webpages.

How we select applicants

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. All applicants are assessed on the basis of merit and potential. This includes their motivation to make the most of the wide range of academic and non-academic opportunities available within Durham University. Our Admissions Policy is based on the core principles of fairness, transparency, consistency and operating a professional admissions process.

We are committed to the principle of equal consideration, which means that any application which is submitted to us through UCAS by the deadline of the 15th January (or the 15th October for applications made via Newcastle University for Phase 1 of the Medicine degree delivered at Queen’s Campus) will be considered for an offer, in competition with other applications received. Because of this we may not inform some applicants who applied as early as September of our decision until March. However, we do this because we consider each application carefully and we want to make offers to those applicants who show the strongest merit and potential in their application. Sometimes we are able to consider applications made after the 15th January. If so, the courses with vacancies will be open at UCAS for later applicants to apply to.

College allocation

If a department makes you an offer then you will be allocated to one of our colleges. All colleges have a limited number of offers they can make to applicants who have applied to study in each department. College allocations begin in February for those applicants who have received an academic offer through UCAS. For more information please see our College's Office webpages.

Applicants whose course is delivered at the Durham City Campus should apply to a college in Durham City. Applicants whose course is delivered at Queen’s Campus should apply to a college at Queen’s Campus. Open applications can be allocated to any college on the relevant campus.

Applicants who originally accept Durham University as their firm choice and who meet the exact terms of their offer will be guaranteed their allocated college. Applicants who accept Durham University as their insurance choice or do not quite meet the conditions of their offer and are accepted as a 'near miss' applicant may be reallocated to a different college in August. However, wherever possible, applicants will be placed in the college that they were originally allocated to.

Applicants may change their college preference up to the point that an offer from the academic department is sent to UCAS or when we have begun the college allocation process, whichever is sooner. Applicants wishing to do this need to contact the Admissions Team.

Applicant Mitigating Circumstances

Telling us about your mitigating circumstances

We expect applicants who have experienced mitigating circumstances which have affected their work to report this to the relevant examination boards. We regard the examination boards as being best placed to take account of these and we are unable to take account of the impact of mitigating circumstances for a second time. If informing the examination board this has legitimately not been possible, please see below for the appropriate way of informing us of your mitigating circumstances.

Mitigating circumstances during the completion of previous qualifications/examinations

Applicants who are applying to us and who have experienced mitigating circumstances during qualifications/examinations already acheived which they have been unable to report to examination boards should let us know this via their referee who should include either in the reference or in writing seperately:

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

We are unable to take account of mitigating circumstances for a second time. If your circumstances have been taken into account by the examination board(s), we will not normally be able to consider your mitigating circumstances as part of our admissions process.

Mitigating circumstances during study for qualifications currently being completed

Applicants who are considering applying to us, have made an application to us or have received an offer from us should report mitigating circumstances which are affecting their current studies to the relevant examination boards. Schools and colleges are able to help applicants do this and may be able to offer personal support and advice.

Applicants holding an offer with us 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 the Mitigating Circumstances Form which will be available online from July. The link to this form will be sent to applicants holding us as their Firm choice in early July and the deadline for returning it to us is 1st August in the year of application. Applicants wishing to use this form should specify which parts of their studies were affected;

  1. specify which parts of their studies were affected;
  2. specify why it has not been possible to report the mitigating circumstances to the relevant examination boards or why the examination boards could not take account of their mitigating circumstances;
  3. include evidence.

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. Academic achievement and the ability to successfully complete the programme of study are always the primary considerations when deciding whether to make you an offer or whether we are able to accept you if you do not meet the conditions of any offer made to you.

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 to students and applicants and we would be pleased to talk to you to discuss any support you may need during your time with us. More information about the services we can offer is available on the Disability Service webpages.

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