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University College

Induction Information

Congratulations and Welcome to University College from the Master

Welcome! I am delighted to welcome you warmly to Durham University and to University College. You have done incredibly well to get here. You will have achieved impressive grades in your exams and achieved a great deal in other activities -- sport, music, theatre and many other fields.

You are in the oldest of Durham University's colleges and the most established. We are proud to combine some of the finest traditions while focussing squarely on the future and the challenges ahead. We like to think of ourselves as enjoying both a great history and adapting to and addressing the intellectual and social problems of our time.

We are best known, not as University College, but simply as Castle. You will be given, what I hope you will agree, is a fantastic welcome. There is much in store and the College, JCR, and MCR will combine to welcome you in style. Induction week is quite something!

Castle is a scholarly community, here to enhance your learning and education, and to support you through your academic years ahead. At the same time, we are a vibrant social, sporting, musical, theatrical, and engaged community. We hope you will enjoy and participate in every aspect of Castle life.

I look forward to meeting you.

Professor David Held

Master of University College

Welcome from the Senior Tutor

‘Welcome to University College’ – or as we would normally say ‘Welcome to Castle’. From all of us in College congratulations on your excellent results: you have every reason to be proud.

You are now about to embark on an exciting new phase in your educational and personal development, and we will be on hand to support you so that you can achieve the best possible outcome for your abilities. Castle is a scholarly community, which is reflected in our academic-related events and lecture series. Although our College is the oldest in Durham, with a number of traditions, we are a forward-looking community and aim to offer you opportunities in music, arts, sport, and in a range of social activities. Not only can these be very enjoyable, but they are an excellent way to gain extra experience alongside your degree that can be helpful in the job market after university. Such involvement can also gain formal recognition through the Durham Award, which is offered through College, and which you'll hear about when you arrive.

Together with the JCR and MCR executive committees and the Freshers’ Reps we are looking forward to welcoming you on Freshers’ Sunday – or in the case of international students a few days earlier. Many of you will not only be excited about coming to Durham but also apprehensive about what is lying ahead. Let us assure you that the Castle community – and that includes students as much as staff – is a strong and supportive one, and there are the student welfare reps and the student support office you can turn to for reassurance and help. We look forward to watching you develop into an enthusiastic and committed member of the College over the next 3-4 years.

Dr Richard Lawrie

Vice-Master & Senior Tutor
University College

Welcome from the JCR

Hi everyone! My name is Pippa and I am a third year Law student and next year's JCR President (also known as Senior Student).

First of all, I want to say a huge congratulations! Congratulations on getting into Castle and for working hard through exams. Taking up a place at this College offers an incredible opportunity not only to experience some of the most incredible traditions at the heart of the university of Durham itself but also to be part of a community which I hope you very quickly begin to consider a second home.

Part of my role as Senior Student in the JCR is to represent undergraduate Castle students both within the College environment and to the university more broadly. I hope that I can be one of the many friendly faces around College and that I am someone that you can raise both academic and College-based concerns with, as part of making the JCR and college community as friendly and welcoming as I found it.

For me, Durham has always been about finding something you're passionate about and making it your own. People come to this College with such an enormous amount experience and talent and find creative ways to transform those into even bigger and better collaborations through skills and talents of those around them, you only need to look to our Ents team and annual June Ball to see evidence of that.

Our College offers more opportunities than you could hope to get involved in from organising our famous summer ball, to joining sports teams, music, drama, working in the bar or volunteering with CCA (Castle Community Action). I think many of us are also guilty of forgetting, at time, just how much the wider university and student community in Durham has to offer as well, outside the walls of the Castle particularly because Durham is such a unique, small and historic university ‘city’.

I hope you're starting to think about actually moving in and starting in Sept/Oct and having the chance to explore the cobbled streets of Durham which I didn't have the chance to do much before moving in myself. The 'city' is well known, amongst other things, for its numerous coffee shops and to begin, if you happen to be coming up with parents or friends before term begins and happen to be looking for somewhere to grab a coffee or brunch I would very much recommend popping down to one of Flat White, Sister's, Leonards, Treat's, Waffle House or Cafédral and in the evening the Undie, the Library (bar) or the Swan & Three Cynets.

Anyway, I hope this gives you a bit of a flavour of Castle and of Durham and I look forward to meeting you in September! Just come and say hi, or if you have any questions before you arrive feel free to drop me an email (

Floreat Castellum!

Pippa Prevost-Jones

JCR Senior Student 2017-18

Welcome from the MCR

University College (also known as Castle) welcomes you to the Middle Common Room (MCR), which is the body of all postgraduate students within College. As a new member you will soon learn about the many facets of this community which make it so vibrant and a joy to be a part of. The MCR is an independent common room within the College and co-exists with the body of undergraduate students, the Junior Common Room (JCR), and the body of senior members of staff, the Senior Common Room (SCR). The JCR, MCR and SCR all have a corresponding physical space which exist purely for its own members – for us, the Maurice Tucker Room (named after a previous Master of University College), is located at the base of the Keep.

Durham Castle itself has a rich history which of course predates Durham University – yet as members of University College we call Castle our home in Durham. To be permitted such free access to a structure as old and unique as Durham Castle is a privilege few will ever experience, yet as members of the MCR we are allowed so much more: we can dine in the Great Hall, socialise in the Undercroft Bar (the Undie), study within the Lowe Library, or simply relax and soak in the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Durham Castle.

Indeed, Castle offers so much to all of us who utilize the facilities and opportunities it presents. There is something for everyone within these stone walls. For example, you might listen to lectures given by world leading academics and influential individuals, get involved with charity work, join the chapel choir, or sign up to one of the many college sports teams and societies. In the unlikely event that the society you want to join doesn’t exist you can set it up!

As a body of postgraduate students, we all have our own passions and expertise’s to add, helping to make the MCR an even better community to belong to and learn from. As your MCR President, it is my duty to ensure that your voices are heard and that the common room works for you. There are many ways to get involved even if it is simply voicing your opinions, feedback, and ideas so please don’t hesitate to contact me by email at I hope that will enjoy your time in Castle and as a member of the MCR!

See you in Freshers’ Week!

James Black

MCR President

What you should do now

1. Make sure that you have accepted your offer.

2. Enrol online with the University, up to eight weeks before the start of your programme.

3. Read all the important information about your place at University College.

4. Check your personal induction timetable.

5. Follow University College on Twitter (@durhamcastle) or Facebook for further updates before you arrive.

6. Send any questions to


Before you arrive, you should read all the documents sent to you in the post, and you should also review the documents on the Important Documents and Information page.

Your first week in Durham - Induction Week Events Timetable

We have put together a schedule of activities which will take place from Wednesday 27th September for International students and from Sunday 1st - Friday 6th October for home undergraduates. Home undergraduates are asked to arrive at University College on Sunday 1st October.

Use the Online Induction Planner to plan your first week’s activities by College and Department.

The Online Induction Planner has been designed to let you know where you need to be and when, according to your Department and College Induction activities and events.

The Timetable has been designed so College events don’t clash with any of your academic departmental events, but offer you lots of opportunities to meet your fellow Freshers, find your way around and settle in to college life here at University College.

Enrol Online

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from which provide:

· Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username

· How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system

The messages are sent 24 hours apart and are sent to the email address you provided when you applied so it’s important to let us know of any changes to this information.

After you have received both emails you will need to:

· Change your password

· Log into Durham University Online – duo

· Choose the “Banner Self Service” link in duo under “External Tools”

· Choose Registration and Enrolment

· Enrol with the University

· Upload a photograph for your campus card

You will receive information from your department about registering for your programme and modules. You should follow the advice given about whether to complete registration for programmes and modules before you come to Durham, or whether to wait until you arrive before making final choices, so that your department can give you further advice and information.

Additional Information

You should read our important documents and information about the things you need to do to prepare to join the University.

Contact Details

We’re really looking forward to welcoming you to University College.

If you have any queries about any of this information or any aspect of coming to Durham please contact:

- College Reception - 0191 334 3800

- College Admissions – 0191 334 4099 or

- College Accommodation – 0191 334 4104 or

Meet Jimmy


What first struck me about University College was its welcoming nature: you are made to feel at home from the moment you arrive by college staff, ‘parents’, and mentors. It has a great sense of inclusiveness and a wide diversity of people. At Castle we are all individually given scope to develop, through activities such as student-run sports, music and drama societies. The traditional elements of activities at Castle, such as formal dinners, enhance the character of student life here and really make you appreciate your surroundings.

Jimmy Lee, Modern Languages student