Welcome from the Principal, Professor Wendy Powers
Greetings Castle Students! I’m thrilled to welcome you to this remarkable living learning community and hope you’ll quickly feel a sense of belonging in your new home. I encourage you to acknowledge any nerves you might be feeling, and I promise you others are feeling similarly. We hope you’ll use these first weeks and months as an opportunity to get involved – try new activities, meet new people, and ask lots of questions. There will be both Castle and DU opportunities for involvement, and the most successful students find ways to engage in a bit of both.
Of course, University is a time to expand your knowledge, curiosity and skills through your degree program. Additionally, our College community provides a supportive and encouraging environment in which you may explore who you are, what you believe, and where you are going. This is also a time for learning about human difference. Your peers hail from around the word, practice a wide array of faith traditions or none at all, and embrace gender and/or sexual orientation identities with which you may be less familiar. Castle students engage a wide array of physical and intellectual abilities, hold varying political and social values, and embody racial or ethnic identities different from your own. Part of the beauty you’ll experience here at Durham University involves these and so many other ways our students differ from one another.
In all honesty, being part of a community isn’t always easy and sometimes involves difficult conversations in which we feel a bit vulnerable; however, with civility, respect and appreciation of difference as core values, we teach and learn together. Attending university can be unsettling for all sorts of reasons, and we have a wonderful Student Support Team in Castle that is here to assist you along the journey. This professional team partners with our student Welfare officers to ensure there are many educational and supportive outlets for you and your peers. Your academic and personal success is at the core of our Mission.
As you know all too well by now, we enjoy the privilege of living and learning in a castle on a world heritage site. This requires tremendous regard for our physical surroundings and is a shared responsibility. We are each trusted as caretakers of history while we prepare for and advance the future.
In closing, please keep in mind these keys to your success as a new student (fresher) in University College – those who open their hearts and minds to others, those who practice civility and respect, those who ask for assistance, and those who show up and get involved – these are the students most likely to flourish in this renowned learning community. On behalf of the entire Castle staff, we are delighted you’ve joined us! This community is better because you are here. Let us know if you have questions or need any support.
Checklist: things you need to do before you arrive
Before you become a member of Castle, make sure you read through the documents below and complete the relevant forms. We will also update this page with details of our Freshers’ week programme and arrangements for arriving in Durham, so watch this space!
What you need to do
Deadline & Notes
1. Membership Form
Complete the form; the link is in your welcome email from College
As soon as possible, within 7 days of receiving your welcome email
2. Accommodation Preference Form
Complete the Accommodation Preference Form; the link is in your welcome email from College. Our College Accommodation Guide is available here:
If you would like to live in College Accommodation, please complete the form (link in your email) ASAP and within 7 days of receiving your welcome email.
If you have specific medical, religious or cultural needs please indicate on the form with 7 days and send your supporting evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Name, Surname, Room Evidence’ by 31 August.
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.
If you’re travelling from the UK and living in College Accommodation you will be given an arrival slot for Saturday 24 or Sunday 25 September. More details will be shared in the coming weeks. Students registered with Disability Support who need to arrive early to help settle into College accommodation can do so from Wednesday 21 September. More details will be emailed to you.
Freshers' Week and Orientation
We'll be sharing more information about plans for Freshers' Week and Orientation in the coming weeks, as well as how to join the Junior Common Room. Check back soon for updates.
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.