Every college provides a sense of community and belonging, which stays with you all the time you are at student here and long after you leave!
College communities let you develop your self-awareness, leadership and problem-solving skills through participation in societies, teams and representative groups. You will have many opportunities to challenge yourself with the support from staff and fellow students.
Our colleges inspire you to explore your intellectual curiosity by bringing together students from all subjects. You will connect with students from different areas of study to explore and explore different ideas through guest lectures, talks and exhibitions to expand your learning.
Belonging and responsibility
Colleges are safe spaces to try new things, to challenge yourself and to transform. They are places where lifelong friendships begin and new passions are found. Your College community will shape your university experience and stay with you for life.
Student support and wellbeing
Each college has dedicated staff to support and enable your personal development and wellbeing.
Degrees are not taught in college. All teaching is done in academic departments. College provides an informal setting for continuous learning. There are 16 colleges located across Durham City, with a brand new 17th college, South College, two to open in 2020. They are safe environments to help you set up student life, make friends and take advantage of all the opportunities on offer.
A college community is not just made up of a fantastic mix of people who live in the college, it also includes reviews and postgraduates who choose to live out in the community, members of staff and alumni.
All first year undergraduates are guaranteed accommodation in college, should they choose to live in. About one third of postgraduate students also live in college. Second and third year undergraduates usually live out but are still fully involved in college life, returning to participate in companies, use the library and sports facilities, and enjoy formals and events. Even after graduation, you remain part of your community.
Opportunities to get involved
College life gives you the chance to create and deliver a variety of activities and events. 16 colleges, means 16 times the opportunities to get involved in student-led and student-run activities. There is something for everyone from managing teams and organizing lectures, to planning social events to music-making and arts groups.
What is a Common Room?
Student life at Durham is shaped by our students, with representative bodies that are usually known as Common Rooms. Each of these is an executive committee. They represent many of the events and activities.
As an undergraduate you can become a member of the Junior Common Room (JCR) or a Student Representative Council (SRC). Postgraduates may become a member of the Middle Common Room (MCR), Student Representative Council (SRC), Graduate Common Room (GCR) or a Senior Common Room (SCR).
All colleges hold ‘Formals’, an opportunity for staff and college students to enjoy dinner together. Formals often have a theme such as Burn’s Night, Valentine’s Day, or Harry Potter. In some of our college students wear gowns for Formals and in others in black tie or smart evening wear is part of the occasion. As well as Formals, colleges hold other fun events in the year such as College Balls and annual College Days held at the end of the academic year (like mini-festivals!). Read more about these events on our student blog.