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Meet the College Student Support Team

  • Paula Furness (Assistant Principal & Student Support Officer)
  • Dom Birch (Assistant Student Support Officer)
  • Kelly Woodward (Student Support Administrator)

The support team can be found at Neville House (ground floor)

At Ustinov College, we provide dedicated pastoral and welfare support to our postgraduate students. This provision is designed to ensure that you get the most from your time at Durham, receive help when in difficulty, and are supported in your personal development through your studies and beyond. Here examples of issues the student support team is available to see you about:

  • Academic concerns
  • Health concerns and what to do if you are ill
  • Social and relationship issues
  • Family support and help with childcare and schooling
  • Harassment and bullying
  • Financial concerns
  • Sexual misconduct and violence

All of these issues (as well as anything else life throws at you!) have the potential to affect your studies, so it is important that you receive the appropriate support available to you. We are here to help you solve any problems you may be facing, and will be equally happy to see you for a chat when all is well!

Contacting Ustinov Student Support


Above QR code will take you to our Ustinov College Hub (SharePoint) site, including further information about University wide and specialist support services and wellbeing activities.

You can make an appointment with either Dom or Paula by sending an email:  or by telephone: 0191 334 7241.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday 9.00-5.00pm daily.

The student support email is always monitored during office hours. If Dom is out of the office, Paula Furness or Kelly Woodward can offer support or signposting – via email as above.


Contacts outside office hours

There is an (RSA) Residential Service Adviser (Porter) located at both our Sheraton Park and Dryburn Court sites (Keenan House).

At Sheraton Park the RSA is available 24 hours and can be contacted in person or at:

Main Reception: 0191 334 5470

Mobile: 07824 131678  (please note that the RSA is occasionally away from reception dealing with other duties.  If the main number is not answered and your enquiry is urgent please use the mobile number)

At Dryburn Court (Keenan House) the RSA is available from 21:00 - 05:00 each night.

Dryburn Reception: 0191 334 5170

Mobile: 07825 523735

If you are a resident at Dryburn Court and would like to contact the porter outside of the stated time, please use the Sheraton Park contact details.



University student
As an international student I love college life and the support system that Ustinov offers postgraduate students. I met wonderful people who provided help and support when I found myself in a difficult situation.

Enas Bubtana
PhD Archaeology