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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

Hello everyone!

My name is Henry, I am a third year Earth Sciences student and this year’s Senior Student (also known as JCR president). First of all, I want to say congratulations for all your hard work during exams and for securing your place in Castle! You all now have the most incredible opportunity to join our wonderful community which I hope will quickly become a home away from home for you all, and the chance to immerse yourself in some of the most incredible traditions at the heart of Durham University!

One aspect of my role as Senior Student is to represent the JCR (the body of undergraduate Castle students) both within the college environment and also to the University more broadly. I will also be taking on the responsibility of continually enhancing the student experience for members of the JCR and ensuring that everyone feels comfortable to make the most of their time here.

The College experience is one aspect which is so unique to a small handful of universities in the UK. One phrase that you will hear a lot within Castle is “College spirit”, and this does hold true, there is this intangible and indefinable ‘something’ which makes this place a proper community rather than just another imposing hall of residence. The opportunities to get involved range from organising our legendary summer ball, weekly involvement in sports teams and music and drama societies, working in the Undercroft bar and Toastie cafe, all the way through to volunteering with CCA (Castle Community Action). In general, the JCR and all the clubs and societies are run by students for students which really does make this such a special place.

Outside of the Castle walls the wider student community of Durham university has lots to offer also. There is such a mix of areas you can become involved with, from joining Team Durham (if you fancy taking your sport to the next level) through to an eclectic range of societies within the Durham Students Union and within your academic departments. There is something for everyone at Durham!

I hope that this gives you a little flavour of what Castle and Durham has to offer you and I look forward to welcoming you all in October! If you have any questions before you arrive please do feel free to send me an email (

Floreat Castellum,


Henry Beckley
JCR Senior Student 2018-19

Welcome from the MCR

University College (or ‘Castle’ as it’s affectionately known) 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 opportunities the MCR has to offer and see first-hand what makes this vibrant community a joy to be a part of. The MCR is an independent common room within the College and co- exists with both the JCR (undergraduate students) and the SCR (staff, alumni and members of the local community). Each common room has its corresponding physical space and for us it is the wonderful Maurice E. Tucker room at the base of the Keep.

MCR members have access to a wide range of facilities which I encourage you to take advantage of. We can dine in the Great Hall, socialise in the Undercroft Bar (the Undie), study within the Lowe Library, or simply relax with a book in Fellows Garden. Whilst the building alone may be impressive, the community is what really brings this college to life. Whether it is sharing your research with fellow students at our monthly Sunday Seminars, getting involved with our community action group (CCA) or signing up to one of our many sports teams and societies, there are lots of ways to get involved. And, if you find that the society you would like to join does not exist, you can set it up!

As your MCR President, it is my duty to ensure that your voices are heard and that the common room works for you. If you would like to get hands on in the MCR there are several committees you can join, just speak to any of our exec members to find out more. I am always available via email to take on any suggestions or answer any questions at I look forward to meeting you in Induction Week and hope you have a brilliant time here at Castle,

Jack Towers

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 26th September for International students and from Sunday 30th September - Friday 5th October for home undergraduates. Home undergraduates are asked to arrive at University College on Sunday 30th September (with the exception of students accommodated at New Kepier Court - who will be given an individual arrival date).

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