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Durham University

University College

Welcome to New Postgraduates

Welcome from the MCR President, Vicky Fawcett

My name is Vicky, a second year Astronomy PhD student and the President of the MCR. Congratulations on obtaining a place at Castle: the MCR would like to extend our own very warm welcome! We, the MCR, are the thriving, diverse and supportive community of postgraduates that call the castle our home and we hope and trust that you will enjoy your time with us in Durham.

As President, it is my role to represent you on both a College and wider University level. I also work with my committee to ensure that we provide the best college experience for all our members: we are always happy to hear your suggestions on how to improve our MCR. If you have any questions about life at Castle or Durham in general, please feel free to email me any time at I hope that you enjoy your time at Castle and I look forward to meeting you.

Castle MCR members can join our Facebook group via:

Read our MCR Handbook for more information.

Welcome from the MCR Social Secretary, Justine Ovington

With the beginning of another year at Castle, the postgraduate induction committee and I wish a warm welcome to all our new and returning students! This year might be a little different, but we are just as excited to meet you all!

Throughout the freshers' period the executive committee members and our dedicated Middle Common Room induction committee (find out more in our Handbook) will be on hand to welcome and support you as you settle in to Castle and get to know Durham. This year an exciting blend of in person and online events has been planned by your fellow MCR members, and with a broad and diverse range of activities and social events we hope there will be something for everyone.

We have planned with Covid-19 in mind and no matter the circumstances we have plenty of great opportunities to socialise and meet other members of the MCR. For International students and those enrolled on some courses meaning you will be arriving to Durham earlier, we welcome you to take part in our early arrival programme of events too.

While we may not be able to offer tours in person this year, you’ll be welcome to join us on our live virtual tours to get to know the city and our college and there are lots of helpful tips and advice about life in Durham to be found in the handbook. Of course if you have any questions along the way don’t hesitate to ask! The Exec and induction team are very much looking forward to meeting you and we hope that the induction period will be a great start to your time here at Castle!

Forms you need to complete

Within these pages, you'll find out lots of essential information about University College (or Castle as we're fondly called) and what you need to do before you arrive in Durham.

Before you become a member of Castle, you should read through the sections below and then complete the PG College Membership Form as soon as possible and no later than 11 September 2020.

Preparing for University

Before you arrive: important forms





College membership form

Tell us some important information about you for our college records.

This form includes information about you, whether you are living in college or in private accommodation, your emergency contact and allows you to let us know if you need any additional support for your health & wellbeing. (This form will be available from 17 August).

Friday 11 September 2020

College accommodation costs; college levies

College accommodation costs are set centrally by the University and can be found on the College Costs webpage.

College levies: All University College students are warmly invited to join one of our common rooms: the Junior Common Room (JCR) for undergraduates or the Middle Common Room (MCR) for postgraduates. The JCR or MCR Levy (membership fee) contributes to the everyday running of each Common Room by an elected exec of current students. By joining the JCR or MCR, you are becoming part of a diverse and vibrant community of students. Paying the membership fee entitles you to take part in each common room's events, sports and societies and so much more. The levy goes towards subsidising these activities, from Formals to Freshers' week and more, meaning you can get involved in all that each common room has to offer. Opting out of the levy means you will not automatically be entitled to take part in these activities or would be charged on an event-by-event basis. Find out more at


Join our MCR and by your gown:

Before you arrive

Tuition Fees and University Funding

Information for postgraduate students concerning tuition fees and university funding is available at the University Fees and Funding webpages.

Make sure you have a sound financial plan for your studies before you arrive.

Before you arrive

University College Handbook 2020-21

All students should read this handbook carefully before arriving at Durham. Please note you will need to confirm you have read the handbook and agree to abide by the guidance in it when you complete your college membership form.

Before you arrive

Consent Matters

Consent matters. That’s why all students at Castle are required to complete an online course. Learn about sexual consent and how you can support others on campus. Access the course on DUO.

Access the course on DUO. Please take a screenshot of your completion certificate.

Before you arrive

Medical Registration

Registration with a Doctor in Durham

One of your top priorities is to register with doctors at a local medical practice so that you can access healthcare in Durham when you need it. This is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition or require repeat medication and for support with health measures related to COVID-19. Find out more about how to register in the link on the right.

Please also ensure your vaccinations are up-to-date - more information is available in the link on the right.

Before you arrive

Preparing for your arrival and the start of University life




Online enrolment

Online Enrolment needs to be completed prior to your arrival in Durham. Full information on how to complete your registration can be found on the University Student Registration webpages.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Once you have completed every section, which will show as a tick, go to the very bottom of the main enrolment page and CONFIRM ENROLMENT. If you do not click this button your enrolment will not be completed correctly.

When you complete your online enrolment please ensure that your name in DUO is an exact match to your proof of identity, i.e your full legal name.

Verification of identity

Before you can collect your campus card, we need sight of proof of your identity. Please bring with you to Durham one of the following as proof of identity:

  • current Passport
  • current UK Driving Licence
  • current European Identity card.

If you are a UK student and you do not have either of these forms of identification, you may bring instead your original Birth Certificate.

Upload your photo for your campus card

Student Registration provides the opportunity to upload a photograph for your Campus Card. In order to have your campus card available please upload a photo by 11 September. You also need to ensure that online enrolment has been fully completed in order to collect your campus card.

Staying safe on campus

We want everyone to be safe at University College. In order to ensure that all staff and students are safe around college and the wider University it will be essential that everyone follows all health and safety requirements. Please read this link to familiarise yourself with signage and processes around college and the University.

Arriving in Durham: home students

If you are living in College accommodation we have a range of arrival dates depending on where you are travelling from:

  • Home students are welcome to arrive on Wednesday 23 September.

If you are a home student travelling from overseas please get in touch with us via as quarantine rules may apply depending on where you are travelling from.

Arriving from overseas

If you are living in College accommodation we have a range of arrival dates depending on where you are travelling from:

  • Students travelling from overseas who are required to quarantine in line with government guidance are welcome to arrive 12-13 September, to allow for a quarantine period of 14 days.
  • Students travelling from overseas who do not need to quarantine are welcome to arrive Monday 21 or Tuesday 22 September, to allow time to settle into your new home.

If you are arriving from overseas please let us know when you intend to arrive by completing this form:

For more information about travel plans please see

For more information about quarantine requirements please see

MCR Handbook

Read our student guide to postgraduate life at Castle.

MCR Welcome events

Our postgraduate student leaders from the Middle Common Room (MCR) have put together an exciting programme of online events to welcome you to Durham. More details will be available here soon.

In the meantime, you can join the postgraduate student facebook group (run by members of the MCR) here:

Contact Details

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 & Accommodation – 0191 334 4099