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Durham's colleges and your application

College membership

All students at Durham University are members of one of our colleges. Colleges are residential communities that offer student-led opportunities and events in drama, music, sport and volunteering, as well as a wide range of other activities and facilities. Colleges also offer professional support for student wellbeing and self-development.


We know that the majority of first-year undergraduate students thrive when they live in college and we can guarantee an offer of accommodation to those who apply for it. The majority of our student rooms are located in colleges themselves, with some in college-managed accommodation elsewhere in the City. Accommodation may be catered or self-catered, en-suite or standard. You can find out more about our colleges and the range of facilities and opportunities they offer at

Expressing a preference for a college

If you receive an academic offer to study with us, you will be invited at this point to submit your college preferences and to rank these in order. We encourage all applicants to find out more at and to submit their ranked preferences. 

All offer-holders will receive a preliminary college allocation. This process takes your preferences into account, but also seeks to balance the number of students from each academic department across the colleges. These two factors are applied to match each offer-holder with a college. Offer-holders who have applied by 31 January 2024 will hear of their preliminary college allocation no later than May 2024. Learn more about the college allocation process

In order to ensure that all our applicants have the chance to benefit from living in college or college-managed accommodation, we do reserve the right to change your college allocation after the A-level results.

If you are successful in meeting the terms of your offer and your place at Durham is confirmed – or where you do not meet the terms of the offer but the University at its discretion confirms your place – then your final college allocation will also be confirmed shortly thereafter. We will try to ensure that your confirmed college remains the same as the preliminary college membership allocated earlier, but, as outlined, we do not guarantee it and we do reserve the right to change your college allocation. If you have applied to live in our accommodation, we will first send a room preference email (please note again that it may not always be possible to meet your preference) and then we will issue your license agreement for you to secure your accommodation.

A welcoming and supportive community

It is important to remember that while each of our colleges is different, they all offer a welcoming and supportive community, with opportunities to get involved, challenge yourself and make new friends. Most students settle very quickly into their college, and soon develop a sense of belonging which lasts a lifetime.


Get in touch

Have a question about applying for Durham University?

Service / Dept: Recruitment and Admissions 

Team / Role: Undergraduate Admissions 

Phone / Email / Form: +44 (0)191 334 1000