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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 are guaranteed college-managed accommodation, should they choose to live in (as the great majority do). About one third of postgraduate students also live in college-managed accommodation. Second and third year undergraduates often live out but are still fully involved in college life; they participate in societies, use the library and sports facilities, consult college staff for guidance and support, and enjoy formals and events. 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 furthermore provides an informal setting to continue learning outside of your academic course, for the whole time you are studying at Durham.

  • Undergraduates

    Find out more about our College allocation process and choosing your accommodation.
    Meeting space in the JCR with stag mural
  • Postgraduates

    Learn more about our postgraduate accommodation offer.
    An internal photograph of a postgraduate student studying in his room.

Undergraduates

Find out more about our College allocation process and choosing your accommodation.
Meeting space in the JCR with stag mural

Postgraduates

Learn more about our postgraduate accommodation offer.
An internal photograph of a postgraduate student studying in his room.

Accommodation and Catering

Undergraduate Residence Charges

Your accommodation costs for the academic year include either Induction or Congregation week.

Student working at a desk in College accommodation

Postgraduate Residence Charges

View our rooms and catering options. All family accommodation and some couples accommodation is based at Dryburn Court, part of Ustinov College.  

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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.

Extracurricular Events

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

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Student support and wellbeing

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

University Support Services
17 colleges at Durham University
80+ student-led music clubs and societies
27 theatre companies across the university
18 sports to participate in through 700 teams

Opportunities to get involved

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 Durham is 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!).
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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

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
View on Google Maps

College comparison

The table below shows you at a glance some of the factual differences between the colleges.

To get an idea of the differences in character and appearance, follow the links to the website for each and maybe even take a virtual tour.
View Table
Exterior shot outside the entrance to Hatfield College

 

 

College

Year founded

No. of full time student members

No. of (UG&PG) students living in College

No. of 1st year UG rooms

No. of en-suite 1st year UG rooms

No. of shared 1st year UG rooms

No. of rooms for new PG students

No. of en-suite rooms for new PG students

C = Catered S = Self Catered UG

C = Catered S = Self Catered PG

Gowned formal dinners ****

Chapel/ Multi-faith room

 

Collingwood College

1972

1694

555

469

187

0

33

0

C

N

N

 

Grey College

1959

1351

463

320

87

17

60

0

C

C / S 

Y

Y

 

Hatfield College

1846

1325

409

310

79

51

51

0

C

Y

Y

 

John Snow College

2001

1242

492

368

332

36

72

0

S

Y

Y

 

Josephine Butler College

2006

1480

546

420

420

0

46

46

S

Y

Y

 

South College***

2020

643

492

360

300

0

77

29

S

Y

Y

 

St Aidan's College

1947

1046

386

305

43

51

80

50

C

N

Y

 

St Chad's College

1904

633

254

130

54*

45**

44

27

C

C / S 

Y

Y

 

St Cuthbert's Society

1888

1432

468

411

93

32

54

54

C / S

N

N

 

College of St Hild & St Bede

1839

1356

361

350

0

0

10

0

C

N

Y

 

St John's College

1909

709

240

163

17

14

30

0

C

Y

Y

 

St Mary's College

1899

983

312

250

29

0

20

10

C

Y

Y

 

Stephenson College

2001

1045

433

348

196

0

60

60

S

N

N

 

Trevelyan College

1966

977

320

272

0

20

48

27

C

Y

Y

 

University College (Castle)

1832

1498

538

324

97**

30*

153

153

C / S

Y

Y

 

Van Mildert College

1965

1532

524

395

22

0

79

75

C

N

N

 

Ustinov College (PG only)

1965

1310

460

0

0

0

442

442

N/A

N

N

 
                           

Student figures and room numbers provided are for the 2020/21 academic year and are subject to change.

* Figure includes shared ensuite and standard rooms.

** Figure includes single and twin ensuite rooms.

*** South College opened in 2020 with a reduced number of students with the intention of growing by 2022 to 1200 students.