We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

University College

Welcome to New Undergraduates

Welcome from the Senior Student, Ferdinand Schultz

Dear incoming class of 2020,

My name is Ferdinand Schultz and I am the president of the Junior Common Room (JCR) at Castle.

First, I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I can ensure you that we are working rigorously to provide the best and safest first-year experience possible.

Durham, and its collegiate system, is unique to a small handful of universities in the UK. We pride ourselves in our tremendous ‘College Spirit’ and our motto, Non nobis solum, translating to ‘not for ourselves alone’. Both, as you will come to realize, are omnipresent. As you will experience, being a part of a college will place you in a community rather than just another imposing hall of residence. You will have the opportunity to get involved in countless activities, ranging from co-organizing our legendary summer ball, weekly sport, music and drama societies all the way to picking up a paid job in either our own College Bar within the Castle or our Café. The fact that all these different opportunities and societies are run by students allows for an experience which you can help shape.

Outside of the walls of Castle, the wider student community of Durham has lots to offer also. There is a great area of things you can get involved in. From joining ‘Team Durham’ for a sport (if you fancy taking your sport to the next level) to joining the ‘Durham Union’ which hosts debates and different speakers throughout the year. Of course, there are many more opportunities and always keep in mind, if you don’t want to join a society, you can always found your own!

I am looking forward to welcome you all this September.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Best wishes,


Welcome from the Frep Team

Congratulations on accepting your place here and for going through this whole process in a very tricky year.
Anna (our Social Chair) and I have planned a great week, providing you all with the best opportunities to settle into university and college life. Due to Covid-19, we have had to make some changes to the typical events we hold for you in Freshers’ Week, but in the end have made a plan to bring you a more intimate week in line with government guidance on social distancing.

To support you during the week we have a wonderful team of Freshers' Representatives (Freps) who will be running the activities, as well as members of the student-led Welfare Team and JCR Exec Team, along with College Office staff, who are always more than happy to help. Our priorities
are to make you feel safe and included into our college community, so please do come to us if you have any issues or queries. Find out more in our Freshers' Handbook, a student-produced guide to Castle.

I’m sure you have a lot of questions about the week and year ahead, so feel free to email me at You can be kept updated via our JCR Instagram account: ‘castlejcr’ and find out more about the JCR at

I can't wait to meet you all at the end of September,
Izzie Pearce

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 UG College Membership Form and the UG Allocation Preference Form, before the deadline of Monday 31 August. It is essential that you complete this so we can allocate you accommodation.

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.

Monday 31 August 2020

Accommodation preference form

If you would like a room in college accommodation, please complete this form by 31 August. All University College accommodation is allocated to students based on your preferences expressed here, so please make sure you complete this form in full. Accommodation is in four blocks all within a 2 minute walk of the Castle gates: Moatside, Owengate, Bailey Court and some (mostly shared) rooms in the Castle itself. Please be aware we have a number of shared rooms for Freshers; we will do our best to match roommates using the information you provide. If you have a specific need for a type of room, please make sure you complete this form before Monday 31 August.

If you do not wish to live in College accommodation please indicate this on the College membership form above.

Monday 31 August 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 JCR and buy your gown:

Before you arrive

Tuition Fees and University Funding

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

Information for undergraduate students is also available from the Student Funding Office.

Make sure you have a sound financial plan for your studies before you arrive. Find out more about planning your finances as a new student.

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. When you have completed the course please make sure you 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 will be given an arrival slot for either Saturday 26 or Sunday 27 September, arranged to limit the number of arrivals at one time for safety reasons.

We will be in touch with all students to confirm your allocated arrival slot the week beginning 7 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.

A summary of home arrival slots:

Information for students living on the Peninsular:

Information for students living in New Kepier Court:

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.

Find out more information here:

If you are arriving from overseas please let us know when you intend to arrive:

For more information about travel plans please see

For more information about quarantine requirements please see

Find out about plans for Freshers' Week and beyond:

Have you completed Consent Matters on DUO yet?