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Durham University

University College

Welcome to New Students

Welcome to New Students

Congratulations on your recent examination results! We are delighted you will be joining us at University College, lovingly known as Castle.

Our Principal, Professor Wendy Powers

Welcome from the Principal, Professor Wendy Powers

I’m thrilled to welcome you to this remarkable living learning community and hope you’ll quickly feel a sense of belonging in your new home. Like you, I am new to University College and will spend the next several weeks getting familiar with the spaces, people and happenings that make this such a unique community. I encourage you to acknowledge any nerves you might be feeling, but also to quiet them. Use this as an opportunity to get involved – try new things, meet new people, and ask lots of questions.

Uni is a time to explore who you are, what you believe, and where you are going in a supportive and encouraging environment. It is also a time, perhaps the single most intense time for learning about human difference. Your peers hail from around the word, practice a wide array of faith traditions or none at all, and embrace gender and/or sexual orientation identities you may be less familiar with. Castle students engage a wide array of physical and intellectual abilities, hold varying political and social values, and embody racial or ethnic identities different from your own. These and so many other ways our students differ from one another is part of the beauty you’ll experience at Durham University. Of course, living in community isn’t always easy and sometimes involves difficult conversations in which we feel a bit vulnerable; however, with civility, respect and appreciation of difference as core values, we teach and learn together.

As you know all too well by now, we enjoy the privilege of living and learning in a castle on a world heritage site. This requires tremendous regard for our physical surroundings and is a shared responsibility. We are each trusted as caretakers of history while we prepare for and advance the future. Our current reality, living amidst a global health pandemic will challenge our facilities, our schedules, our operations and our comforts. Yet I am confident we’ll work together with goodwill and patience as we create norms and routines that allow our community to thrive despite social distancing limitations.

In closing, please keep in mind these keys to your success as a new student in University College – those who open their hearts and minds to others, those who practice civility and respect, those who ask for assistance, and those who show up and get involved – these are the students most likely to flourish in this renowned learning community. On behalf of the entire Castle staff, we are delighted you’ve joined us! This community is better because you are here. Let us know if you have questions or need any support.

Floreat Castellum!
Long live Castle


Professor Wendy Powers, PhD
Principal & Associate Vice-Provost
My pronouns are she/her/hers

Are you joining us as an undergraduate or a postgraduate student? Select from the links below!

Contact Us

University College
The Castle
Palace Green

College Office: 0191 334 4099

New students: email