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The Allocation Process – Postgraduates

Full Time: September 2022 Start Date

Your college preferences are considered as part of the allocation process. We do our best to try and allocate you a place in your preferred college, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that we view college preferences for the college as a whole, and not for specific reasons such as facilities they offer or their location. For details on how we allocate students to colleges refer to our here.

If you have accepted an offer to study at Durham, you will be contacted to rank three colleges in order of preference via the College Application. You have the opportunity to decide if you want to be considered for:

  • College membership only
  • College membership with accommodation

You can change your preferences up until the allocation process begins later in the admissions cycle. 

If you receive an offer to study at Durham after the college allocation process has begun, you will have 14 days to submit your preferences via the College Application.

We encourage all applicants to research the colleges and to submit their ranked preferences. If you choose not to do this, we will consider this as "no preference" when allocating for membership.

The allocation process takes the following into account:

  • Your college preferences
  • Department
  • Level (Taught or Research)
  • Fee status (Home and International)

College accommodation is available for around one third of our postgraduate community. Accommodation is provided where we have availability and, as this is not guaranteed, this must be applied for via the College Application. All postgraduate bedrooms are single occupancy, except for our designated family accommodation.

If you have applied to live in college accommodation, you can express facilities preferences within the College Application. We will always try to provide applicants with accommodation in their allocated college and meet facilities preferences, where possible. You may however be offered accommodation in another college where there is availability. If you are offered accommodation in another college and choose to accept it, then your college membership will be transferred. This is because you must have a membership at the college that you will live in.

Where we have availability, we will then issue a licence agreement to you to secure your accommodation from end of July onwards. Accommodation offers will continue to be sent throughout the summer. A deadline date will be provided in order to accept the accommodation offer, and you must make a payment of Advanced Rent to secure the accommodation.

Full Time: November - July Start Date

Your college preferences are considered as part of the allocation process. The process for allocating membership is the same as full time September 2022 postgraduate applicants. Please refer to the section above for further details.

If you have accepted your offer to study at Durham you will be contacted to rank three colleges in order of preference 2 - 3 months prior to the start date of your academic programme. You will have 14 days to submit your preferences via the College Application.

Although you may have college preferences, we may not be able to provide accommodation in these. We only have a limited number of colleges that may be able to provide accommodation mid-year, and therefore may only be able to provide this where we have availability.

Part Time and Distance Learning Postgraduates

Once you have accepted an offer to study at Durham, all part time (PT) and distance learning (DL) students are automatically allocated to a college for membership only. This is determined by your programme of study linked to one of our four designated colleges that provide membership to PT/DL students. These colleges are: 

  • Hatfield College
  • St Mary’s College
  • Van Mildert College
  • St Aidan’s College 

Theology PT/DL students are automatically allocated to St John’s College.  

College accommodation is not available, however, some colleges may be able to provide short-term temporary accommodation for their PT/DL student members. You should contact your allocated college directly to enquire.

If you have previously studied at Durham and wish to retain your previous college membership please contact the Accommodation and Allocations Office at colleges.postgrad@durham.ac.uk for more information.