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Durham University

University College

University College

Welcome to University College!

University College, known lovingly as “Castle,” is the oldest of Durham University’s celebrated Colleges. Castle is a special community filled with inspiring learning opportunities, engaging social activities and meaningful personal support. Sharing the lovely hilltop Palace Green with the magnificent Durham Cathedral and several other historic buildings, our college is integral to the Durham World Heritage Site. It is our honour and privilege to reside, work and learn in this beautiful living museum.

While our physical home is exquisite, the heart of our learning community is our people. Castle is known for its highly engaged and multidisciplinary common rooms of undergraduate, postgraduate and faculty scholars. Academic success and career preparation are, afterall, vital outcomes of a University degree; and, we ensure a living learning environment that supports each student on this journey. Shepherding this remarkable community is a dedicated team of educators and staff who care deeply about student success and wellbeing. We know that students learn and grow by engaging in the many social, fine arts, athletics, mentoring and leadership opportunities provided in College; and, part of our role is to support the student leaders who coordinate these offerings. Finally, Castle enjoys a tremendously successful and involved group of proud alumni spanning across the globe. Each of us – beloved and lifelong members of University College Durham – are committed to student learning and engagement both inside the classroom and through the wider student experience.

University College is a diverse learning community – stretching and growing as we learn about each other’s religions, cultures, races, backgrounds, and other social identities. Along the way, we discover the many ways we are both similar to and different from one another, and we make important progress on the quest for fuller understanding, empathy and celebration of each person’s human dignity. In other words, all are welcome here! Complimenting this focus on inclusion and social justice is the college’s highly successful and student-led volunteering effort, Castle Community Action (CCA). Individually and collectively, University College students open their hearts and serve our local community with time and talent, ensuring the college motto – Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone) – is alive and well.

So, if the above intrigues you – if you’re energized by the opportunity to open your heart, engage your mind, learn from difference, and help shape your living learning community – please visit us during one of our open days We would be delighted to meet you and answer any questions you may have.

Floreat Castellum!

(Castle Flourishing Forever)


Professor Wendy Powers, PhD
Principal & Associate Vice-Provost
University College | Durham University

University College: COVID-19 update

Durham University remains open and is responding to the COVID-19 virus with the health and wellbeing of our community and the communities of which we are part as our first priority.

We appreciate this is a difficult time for students and staff and that many people are worried. Please be assured that the University is doing all it can to support student and staff wellbeing and students’ academic studies at this time.

Whilst the Student Support Offices in Castle are closed to face-to-face interactions, support is available remotely. If you need support, please email If you would like a phone appointment during weekday office hours (9am-5pm), please include your phone number in your email.

More information

Answers to questions about Coronavirus can be found on the University’s dedicated website at

Support and advice for students during COVID-19 can be accessed via

For the latest advice from Public Health England please see

For travel advice, please see the latest information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We look forward to welcoming members of the Castle community back to college when it is safe to do so. Our best wishes go to all members and friends of University College during this challenging time.

Professor Wendy Powers, Principal

September 2020

University College Virtual Open Day

Latest Lecture Videos

Durham Castle Lectures, by Professor Alex de Waal

Durham Castle Lectures, by Professor Alex de Waal

Views: 765

In this lecture, I argue that understanding these phenomena requires a deeper analysis of the dimensions of political disorder. I further suggest that a starting point for such theorization is the historic experience of persistently turbulent post-colonial societies and ‘fragile’ states. Based on such perspectives from the political margins, I develop a five-fold typology of disorder: lawlessness, chaos, incommensurability, instrumental disorder, and revolutionary disruption. Each of these is simultaneously beyond the frontier of political normalcy and embedded at the heart of power.

Watch the Durham Castle Lecture Series: Video Archive

Durham Castle Lecture Series

Alumni: Durham Castle Society

Durham Castle Museum