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Congratulations and Welcome to the School of Government and International Affairs

To our new students,

On behalf of all my colleagues here at the school, let me offer you a very warm welcome to the School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA).

Congratulations on securing a place with us. As new entrants to our degree programmes, you join an elite group of students who have been selected from a very large field of applicants. This is a great achievement. We are looking forward to working with you in the lecture and seminar rooms of the university.

SGIA is a research-intensive department where we use innovative teaching techniques and draw on cutting-edge scholarship and our own world-leading research to provide a first-rate education to our students. Our key areas of teaching range widely across the subfields in Political Science and International Relations including government; political theory and political philosophy; political economy; and international relations. We have specialist expertise in regions of the world such as Europe, the Middle East, and the wider Muslim world, Africa, and America. And we have a friendly and professional administrative office with colleagues who can help with practical everyday questions as you engage in your learning.

The academic and administrative staff of the school wish you every success in your studies and, if you have any problems, you can consult with any appropriate member of staff for help. We will all support you throughout your studies.

I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you personally.

Professor Chris Finlay
Head of School

University student
Throughout my time at SGIA, I have had the opportunity to work with various experts in their respective fields, and this has translated into the quality of teaching that I have received. SGIA has lecturers who are passionate about their fields and who are dedicated to ensuring that you get the most out of your time with the department. Overall, SGIA is comprised of dedicated lecturers who are passionate about their roles, whilst at the same time being a very welcoming and inclusive department.

Jake Roberts
Course Rep - BA Politics



Department Information

Here you will find the link to the Blackboard Learn Ultra where you will find your Induction information page. 

Take a look at our Student Hub web page for more useful information!

Next steps

Enrol online

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

Registering for your programme and specific modules

Register for programme and specific modules (link to Banner Self Service)
Science Site and Bill Bryson Library



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

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

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Get in touch

If you have any queries about any of this information or any aspect of coming to Durham please contact us.

School of Government and International Affairs

School of Government and International Affairs

Al Qasimi Building

Durham University

Elvet Hill Road


Tel: +44 (0) 191 334 5656