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Congratulations and Welcome to New Undergraduate Students

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It is a great delight to be able to write to you and welcome you to St John’s College. On behalf of the present community of the College, we look forward to getting to know you, supporting you and also learning from you.

We do hope that you will enjoy your time here and gain much from working for your degree. You are joining a small, friendly and creative community, within a world class University. The College offers a rich variety of cultural, social, intellectual, spiritual and recreational activities. These include a range of clubs and societies, and a strong tradition of music, rowing and other sports, the arts (especially drama) and volunteering to help others in the University and indeed in the wider community. We hope that you will receive much from these activities, but also that you will be active in building the life of the College in new ways.

We occupy a magnificent location, next to a World Heritage Site, close to the heart of the city and within easy walking distance of all the University departments. It is a privilege to live and work in such an environment and we hope you will enjoy it immensely.

The College was founded originally for two purposes, to train leaders in the Church of England and to offer Christian hospitality to all students across the University. While we have now diversified into many different opportunities for education and personal formation, we value our Christian ethos. What this means in practice is giving space and genuine respect to those of all different faiths and none. However for those students who want to explore Christian faith and its relationship to academic learning there are a number of opportunities in terms of worship and societies.

As I write this letter it is of course still a little unclear about the on-going consequences of living with Covid. Please be assured that we will respond to Government guidance and advice in a way that prioritizes the safety of students and staff, alongside maximizing all of the opportunities for student enrichment and community.

May I wish you a happy and successful career at St John’s. I hope that the fun of learning and making new and lasting friends will be a time of enrichment both for you and the College.

Revd Professor David Wilkinson

College Principal

University student
Hello and welcome to the St John's family! St John’s may be one of the smallest colleges at Durham but our community is mighty in spirit. At this very moment, a team of student volunteers headed by your amazing two head Freshers’ Reps are working hard to get everything ready for your Welcome Week, including preparing entertainment, sorting out gowns, compiling welcome packs and decorating the College. We are so looking forward to welcoming you this September.

Alice Butler
SJCR President



College Information

Slides from the College Welcome and Key Information Talk can be viewed here


Find out more

Enrol online

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme.
Two students studying in Teaching and Learning Centre with hot drink

St John's Common Room

The SJCR promotes the interests and welfare of students at St John's, and runs social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities.
Students clapping

Common FAQs - preparing to come to St John's

Arrival dates

Please note that while the license agreement starts from 26 September, new students may arrive on the 25 September if allocated an arrival slot then. International students and students arriving early for medical reasons can arrive as advertised from 22 September, this will be charged a daily rate and you do not need a new or amended license agreement.


What is provided in my room?  

In each bedroom there is a bed (single, 3/4 or double, including bedding), wardrobe, chest of drawers, study desk, lamp, chair and noticeboard. In shared bedrooms there is a bed, desk, cupboard, lamp, shelves and a desk chair each. Standard bedrooms include a sink. WI-FI connection to the University network is available in all rooms.  

Each corridor has a small kitchenette with a fridge and kettle. These kitchenettes are suitable for making hot drinks or light meals on occasion. There is one larger kitchen available for cooking during the vacation period.  


What do I need to bring?  

There are a number of things that you need to or may wish to bring to St John’s... 


  • Clothes - bring clothes to cater for every eventuality including warm clothes and waterproofs! You may also need formal wear (such as suits, dresses or smart clothing) for various events including Formals.  
  • Bed sheets - Beds in College come with duvets and pillows, but you need to provide bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases*. You should also bring your own towels. There is a ‘Linen pack’ available to purchase from College – this would provide all bed sheets necessary and towels. Email if you need to purchase a linen pack from CollegeYou are responsible for washing your own sheets and towels. *Don’t buy any bedding until your bed size is confirmed – we have a mixture of single, ¾ and double beds. 

  • Laundry – laundry facilities (washing machines, tumble driers, irons and ironing boards) are available in various areas of College. You need to use your own laundry detergent and fabric softener, so remember to bring or buy some. 

  • Toiletries – You need to provide your own toiletries such as toilet paper, shampoo, soap etc. 

  • Crockery – Generally, there is little need for cooking utensils etc. as St John’s is fully catered. You will need to bring your own mugs and spoons, and any crockery you wish to use in your bedroom or kitchenette 

  • Food  College is fully catered so there is no need to bring lots of food. You may wish to stock up on tea bags, coffee and small snacks – an invitation for coffee and biscuits is always a good way to make friends with your neighbours! 

  • You may wish to bring some personal items such as photos to personalise your room. 


Which electrical items can I bring for my own room? 

You may not bring a kettle for your own room. Kettles are available in kitchenettes. This is for health and safety reasons. 

Other items like rice cookers are not allowed in student bedrooms. If you bring a rice cooker, it must be kept and used in the shared kitchen area.

Students with a medical need to have a fridge in their room may bring a fridge, which College will need to PAT test before use.  

Other items such as hairdryers are permitted.

See the College Regulations (to be emailed) for further details. 


Can I send parcels or belongings to College before my arrival? 

We ask that you do not send any online purchases to College before you get here. This is because we do not have the storage capacity to keep all the boxes until you arrive. Once you are resident in College, online purchases may be sent and you will be able to collect them from Reception/Post Room. 

If you need to ship your belongings from abroad, there is a £100 handling and storage fee, and the boxes will be placed in your bedroom. Please contact to arrange this.  


What’s the internet like?  

A Wi-Fi connection to the University network is available in all rooms and communal areas in College. Students are advised to have anti-virus software on their laptop. More information can be found here 

Students can connect their phones/tablets to University Wi-Fi. Please find more information here 


Do I need a TV Licence?

You will need a TV Licence if you bring a TV, watch any live streamed TV programmes, or watch anything on BBC iPlayer. It is important to inform the TV Licensing company either way whether you require a license or not. They consider each individual bedroom in College to be ‘one house’. More information is available on the TV Licensing website. 


Can I bring a car to College 

You are strongly advised not to bring a vehicle to College.   

The University policy regarding car parking can be found at 



Your first week in Durham – University Induction Week Events Timetable

The Timetable has been designed so College events don’t clash with any of your academic departmental events, but offer you lots of opportunities to meet your fellow Freshers, find your way around and settle into student life.

To help you keep track of where you need to be, and what you need to do during your first busy days at university, in your College and your Department, we have created a day-by-day University Induction Planner. This should help you to plan your schedule, so you don't miss anything - from being issued with your Campus Card or meeting the staff in your Department, to trying out for a sports team or joining a student society.
Your Personal Induction Planner
Students on laptop with cups of tea in Josephine Butler College café
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Covid-19 Safety

We're working hard to welcome you safely and delivering quality education and student experience. Visit our Covid Safety Information webpages for applicants for the latest advice. We can't wait to see you soon!

Covid-19 Response: Applicants and Future Students

Student updates

Check out our student blogs to read more about life at Durham from our students. Don't forget to follow us on social media!


What to bring to University

Read our top recommendations to add to your packing list ready for your arrival at Durham.

Welcome to Durham – and stop worrying!

Moving to University can be a daunting prospect but there’s no need to worry, you’ll feel right at home here.
Durham Cathedral and Framwellgate Bridge over the River Wear

Get in touch

If you have any queries about any of this information or any aspect of coming to St John's College, Durham please contact us.

St John's College

3 South Bailey



College Reception Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 3500