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Durham University

UCAS Code: D86

Location: North-east England Show on Map

Site: Teaching departments and colleges, Durham city centre; separate campus Stockton

World-class research-intensive university; a member of the Russell Group of universities.

Student Population

Total Students:16,570
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:11,810
Full Time:98%
Mature on Entry:7%
UK Students:87%
State school entry:59%

Teaching Staff

1283 full-time

Broad study areas

Arts & humanities; sciences; social sciences & health.


Admission Information:Some AS-levels accepted in combination with A-levels or equivalent; some departments may accept 2 AS-levels in place of a 3rd A-level but often with higher grades; general studies not generally accepted. University welcomes applications from students with non-traditional qualifications and backgrounds. UCAS tariff not used.
Points on Entry (Mean):456
Drop Out Rate:2%
Accommodation:Almost all first years live in their college


Site:2 sites: at Durham, in city centre (and short walk south of river); and Queen’s Campus at Stockton (10 minutes from Stockton town centre, 26 miles from Durham).
How to get there:Durham: mainline trains and coach services to Durham from London and all main UK regions; frequent local buses within the region; by road Durham is just off the A1. Stockton: by rail to Darlington, connecting services to Thornaby, 5 mins from campus; frequent local buses; by road, A66 and A19, under 10 miles from A1.
Special features:University consists of 16 colleges and societies; most are in Durham, 2 in Queen’s Campus, Stockton. 85% of students are at Durham, 15% at Stockton. Teaching is organised centrally, not by college.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student health centre in Durham, access to local medical practices at Stockton; sick-bay facilities in each college; support for students with disabilities. Counselling service; nursery.
Amenities:Wide range of facilities in colleges; bar, minibus etc centrally in modern DSU building, Dunelm House.
Sporting facilities:Durham: main sports complex (recently extended) with a 6-court sports hall, fencing stiles, squash courts, a rowing tank, spinning room, fitness suite and cricket nets; outdoor facilities include tennis and netball courts, numerous pitches for rugby, football and lacrosse, astroturf for football, rubber-crumb for rugby, football and lacrosse, all set in 64 acres; first-class county cricket pitch, fives and squash courts at the Racecourse sports ground. Most colleges also have sports facilities (eg gyms, tennis courts and boathouses). Queen’s Campus: sports centre with an 8-court sports hall for badminton, volleyball and netball; well-equipped fitness suite and spinning room; a floodlit astroturf ground.
Accommodation:Most first years live in college accommodation (available for all who want it). Rents £147−£154 per week catered, £111−£118 pw self-catered (£111 pw at Queen’s Campus); contracts 33 or 38 weeks. Private accommodation in Durham approx £75−£80 pw, in Stockton £50 pw.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Main library has over 1.6 million printed volumes plus digital resources; also departments and colleges have libraries and IT facilities. Information provision, £220 pa spent for each student (FTE). IT facilities in libraries plus open-access points (including in college bedrooms) with access 24/7. Library induction pack and guided tours; IT support on dedicated helpline 10+ hours/weekdays; certified IT skills courses available.
Other learning resources:Various special collections and archives; museums (oriental art and archaeological); botanic garden. 
Study abroad:Links with 100+ universities across Europe, through Socrates-Erasmus. Also exchanges in eg Russia, Singapore, USA.
Careers:Dedicated advisory service (Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre). Also provides advice on employment issues for part-time jobs that aid longer-term employability.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £7000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university, £7500 if not in university accommodation.
Term-time work:Careers, Employability & Enterprise Centre helps student find paid and voluntary part-time work in and around Stockton and Durham.
Financial help:Bursary of £3000 pa for students whose family income is up to £25k pa, or of £1000 pa for those with family income of £25k− £42.6k pa. Also a variety of some 80 scholarships (many worth £2000) for academic excellence, sport, music and arts. Access funds and university’s own hardship fund for unforeseen financial difficulties. 
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degree courses. International students pay £12,600 (classroom), £16,100 pa (lab-based). 


Academic features:

200+ undergraduate degrees across 3 faculties (arts & humanities, science, social sciences & health). Most courses based at Durham; some at Queen’s Campus, Stockton. Medicine (at Stockton) offered in partnership with Newcastle University.

Awarding body:

Durham University

Main undergraduate awards:

BA, BSc, MB BS, LLB, MSci, MEng, MMath.

Length of courses:

3 years; others 4−5 years.

Main subjects offered:

  • Accountancy
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Ancient History
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Business Administration
  • Business Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical Studies
  • Classics
  • Communication Engineering
  • Community Studies
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Criminology
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Engineering (General)
  • English
  • Environmental Science
  • Finance
  • French
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geoscience
  • German
  • Greek, Ancient/Classical
  • Health
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • Human Biology
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Law
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Medieval Studies
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Plant Science
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Russian
  • Russian Studies
  • Slavonic Studies
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social Policy
  • Social Science
  • Social Studies
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • Spanish
  • Sports Studies
  • Teacher Training
  • Theology
  • Urban Studies
  • Youth & Community Work

Student view

Archie Dallas (English Literature), Union President


What's it like as a place to live?

Really intimate, there are a huge amount of students living in a small city (in Durham campus anyway) so there's constantly something going on. A lot of fun all round.

How's the student accommodation?

It varies. Depending on which college you are in you could be staying in brand new accommodation or an actual castle.

What's the student population like?

The students get incredibly involved. Because of the college system you have an amazing community around you in your first year.

How do students and locals get on?

Pretty good normally. People from the North East are absolutely lovely and somehow you never get bored of being addressed as 'pet'.


What's it like as a place to study?

The courses are pretty traditional but you can normally study a couple of modules from outside your own subject area, which gives you a lot of flexibility. They've just opened a new wing of the library as well.

What are the teaching staff like?

As with all universities, it depends. On the whole though, the teaching staff are excellent and you will be learning directly from some of the world experts in their subject. If you stay on as a postgraduate then you will be contributing to ground-breaking research.


What are student societies like?

This is really where Durham comes into its own. In the Student Union itself there are over 200 societies. Apart from that there are University sports clubs and each college has its own clubs and teams, which means that you can participate whether you are an international superstar or just want to kick a ball about. Apparently 90% of Durham students are involved in sport at some level. We also have one of the biggest student theatres in the country with productions going on every week of term. Because Durham is small as well, everything is within walking distance so you can easily take part in activities.

What's a typical night out?

You could start off with a college formal (gowns and long tables - think Harry Potter and you're pretty much there). These start pretty early so you could be in for a long night. From there you might head to your college bar or head on a bar crawl round the other colleges or some of the pubs in town. The night out could end in Klute (the second worst club in Europe apparently but a favourite with the students).

... And how much does it cost?

You could easily do it for less than £20.

How can you get home safely?

You can walk home from pretty much anywhere in Durham. However, if you can't face the hills then there are plenty of taxies (never more than a fiver) or the Student Union runs a nightbus service. If you are in Queen's Campus there are free nightbuses.


Is it an expensive place to live?

Very cheap in comparison to the rest of the country. Everyone is still skint though, but then again which students aren't? A student loan normally lasts pretty well and there are plenty of part-time jobs knocking around the city if you want to supplement your income.

Average price of a pint?

£1.60 in a college bar.

And the price of a takeaway?

£1.50 for a toastie in your college, or £7 for a takeaway pizza.

What's the part-time work situation?

All of the college Common Rooms (student organisations) employ people to work in their bars/shops, which is very useful. Normally paid just above minimum wage. The university runs adverts for part-time work as well.


What's the best feature about the place?

The atmosphere is incredible as everyone is very friendly and seems to know everyone else. You'll never see a better example of the 'six degrees of separation' than at Durham. Plus there is a huge amount of stuff to do if you want to get involved.

And the worst?

Probably the hills – you'll have rock hard calves by the time you leave!

And to sum it all up?

You will end up loving Durham. Whether it is a college formal, a society, or just a night out on the town, every moment is unforgettable. 

Past Students

Judith Hann (presenter, Tomorrow’s World), Harold Evans (newspaper editor), Will Carling (England rugby captain), Nasser Hussain (England test cricketer), Hunter Davies (writer), Jonathan Edwards (world triple jump record holder), Mo Mowlam (politician, former Northern Ireland Secretary), George Allagiah (journalist).

More info?

Contact students’ union on 0191 334 1775, email enquiries@dsu.org.uk or visit website www.dsu.org.uk



Durham University
University Office


0191 334 2000





Student enquiries:

Undergraduate Admissions Office



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