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College Transfer Requests

Durham University has a policy that once a college allocation is made then it is part of our broader offer and not something that will be changed at an applicant’s request.  Having multidisciplinary academic communities is very important to maintaining our unique collegiate experience and so our allocation process is designed to ensure that this academic balance is maintained.

In the first instance, the applicant themselves should contact their preliminarily allocated college to discuss their needs.  It is important colleges are aware of of any concerns an applicant has, but more importantly to fully establish how the college can provide support where possible.  

Exceptions are made where an applicant has declared they have a disability or medical condition and it's felt the needs cannot be met by the preliminary college allocation.

In these instances, the preliminary college will provide further details to enable the applicant to submit a written request for further consideration to Disability Support. 


  • Where an applicant has a disability or medical condition, they should already be liaising directly with Disability Support regarding needs and how these can be addressed for your studies and time at Durham.  This may include the requirement for medical evidence submitted to clearly link the medical needs with the stated requirement(s) to enable the appropriate Professional Support Services to make reasonable adjustments to support equality of access and opportunity to students with specific needs.
  • Please be aware that any reasonable adjustments may be able to be met by the preliminary allocated college. Only when this has been fully explored would consideration be given for a potential reallocation. 
  • Reasonable reallocations are made on the basis of removing potential barriers to begin your studies at Durham University. The University will not consider reallocations based on a desire for proximity to other Durham locations that are not part of the University. It is not sufficient to provide evidence where a GP or other healthcare professional suggests a reallocation to a specific college or location without further context.

Disability Support will work closely with individual applicants to ensure that needs are being addressed appropriately. This may require the applicant to be reallocated to a college where the University considers those needs are best supported to mitigate for particular needs.  

In the case where an undergraduate applicant wishes to defer their offer of a place at Durham, please note that colleges are allocated in the year of application and would not be changed once finalised.


  • College staff and the Accommodation and Allocations Office are unable to discuss individual applications with parents or interested third parties.
  • University staff in colleges, departments, the Accommodation and Allocations Office, and the Recruitment and Admissions team are unable to reconsider applicant requests to change college allocations that have already been made.

We would advise any applicant with a disability or medical condition to contact Disability Support to ensure appropriate provisions are in place for their academic studies and any further guidance required.