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Our Colleges

Our Colleges are at the heart of life at Durham. From day-to-day activities to special events, there are so many ways to make friends and have fun, while increasing your skills and experience.

Colleges are mixed communities of staff and students from all our subject areas. Each College has dedicated student support staff and student welfare volunteers, so there is help available if you have a problem or need advice. Our Colleges all have a huge range of student-led activities - so whether you're interested in sports, theatre or music, want to do some volunteering or organise events, College gives you the opportunity to discover new interests and gain skills for life!
Explore our Colleges
Two students studying in Teaching and Learning Centre

College Communities

A College community is not just the fantastic mix of people who live in the College, it also includes undergraduates and postgraduates who choose to live out in the community, members of staff and alumni.

All first year undergraduates can apply to be guaranteed an offer of University accommodation. There is also availability for around one third of postgraduate students to live in University accommodation. Second and third year undergraduates and two thirds of postgraduate students live in private accommodation but are still fully involved in College life as a member; they participate in societies, enjoy formals and events, use the library and facilities, and consult College staff for guidance and support. Even after graduation you remain part of your College community: many of our alumni return to share their skills and experience years after they have left.

Your College also provides an informal setting to continue learning outside of your academic course, for the whole time you are studying at Durham.

  • Undergraduates

    Find our more about our College allocation process for undergraduates and applying for University accommodation.
    Meeting space in the JCR with stag mural
  • Postgraduates

    Find our more about our College allocation process for postgraduates and applying for University accommodation.
    An internal photograph of a postgraduate student studying in his room.

Undergraduates

Find our more about our College allocation process for undergraduates and applying for University accommodation.
Meeting space in the JCR with stag mural

Postgraduates

Find our more about our College allocation process for postgraduates and applying for University accommodation.
An internal photograph of a postgraduate student studying in his room.
Group of students working

Broader Intellectual Perspectives

Our Colleges inspire you to explore your intellectual curiosity by bringing together students from all subjects. You will connect with students from all areas and levels of study to explore and analyse different ideas through guest lectures, talks and exhibitions to expand your learning.

Personal Effectiveness

College communities let you develop your self-awareness, leadership and problem-solving skills through participation in societies, teams and representative groups. You will have many opportunities to challenge yourself with support from staff and fellow students.

Belonging and Responsibility

Colleges are safe spaces to try new things, to challenge yourself and to transform. They are the places where lifelong friendships begin and new passions are found. Your College community will shape your university experience and stay with you for life.

Two students canoeing on the river

Two students talking on Kingsgate Bridge

Student Support and Wellbeing

Each College has dedicated staff to support and enable your personal development and wellbeing.

17 Colleges at Ƶapp
80+ Student-led music clubs and societies
27 Theatre companies across the University
18 Sports to participate in through 700 teams

Opportunities and Common Rooms

College life gives you the chance to create and deliver a variety of activities and events. 17 Colleges means 17 times the opportunities to get involved in student-led and student-run activities. From managing sports teams and organising lectures, to planning social events to music-making and arts groups, there’s something for everyone.

What is a Common Room?

Student life at Ƶappis shaped by our students, with every College having representative bodies that are usually known as Common Rooms. Each is made up of elected voluntary student officers, including an Executive Committee. They represent the students from their College and organise many of the events and activities.

As an undergraduate you can become a member of the Junior Common Room (JCR) or a Student Representative Council (SRC). Postgraduates may become a member of a Middle Common Room (MCR), Student Representative Council (SRC), Graduate Common Room (GCR) or a Senior Common Room (SCR).

Students working in a group on laptops in the common room

University student
I have very fond memories of living in college with the friends I made during Freshers’ week. In 1st year, we would always go down to the Hall for meals together. We’d walk down the corridor knocking on every door before dinner to make sure nobody would be left behind. In my final year we spent most of our evenings in the library preparing for our finals, but we would always schedule study breaks for tea and biscuits in the pantry and we slipped letters of encouragement under each other's doors.

Bruno Martin
Biological Sciences graduate, St Mary's College

College Formals

All Colleges hold 'Formals', an opportunity for staff and students from the College to enjoy dinner together. Formals often have a theme such as Burn's Night, Valentine's Day, or Harry Potter.

In some of our College's students wear gowns to Formals and in others wearing black tie or smart evening wear is part of the occasion. As well as Formals, Colleges hold other fun events throughout the year such as College Balls and annual College Days held at the end of the academic year (like mini-festivals!).
Two students talking on campus

Student Pledge

We enable you to become the best version of yourself academically and socially. Supporting our Student Pledge encourages good citizenship.

Find Out More

Map

College Locations

Our Colleges are spread across Durham; take a look at our interactive map for details.

Key

  • Blue bed icons = Colleges
  • Orange graduation caps = Academic Departments
  • Other orange icons = Places of Interest
  • Light green buildings = Research Institutes
  • Green icons - University Buildings
  • Dark green heart = Defibrillators
  • Gold icons = Sports and Leisure Facilities
  • Pink P icons = Parking
  • Yellow icons = Support Departments
  • Gold knife and fork = Catering