Find out what life is really like at Durham University

CollegesStudent experienceUndergraduate

What’s so good about Durham’s Colleges?

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It’s one of the things that makes Durham stand out from other Russell Group universities, and it’s also different from the Oxbridge collegiate system, but what is it that makes Durham colleges so good?

Your college is like your own little community. Unlike other universities, where you are likely to only make friends with those in your flat or corridor, being part of a college gives you something in common with a lot more people, our colleges range from approximately 200 – 500 students depending which college it is. This makes it so much easier to spark friendships right from the beginning.

Unlike the Oxbridge collegiate system, where you remain with only people from your college for your academic work, Durham mixes colleges together for seminars and tutorials. You are likely to be with people from your own college, meaning you will know these people on arrival. However, being mixed with different colleges allows you to make new friendships with people you may not have met otherwise.

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Thirdly, you can represent your college in a number of ways for example through sport, theatre or other college roles such as welfare positions. This gives you a number of different opportunities that are exclusive to members of your college, meaning you have a greater chance of securing one of these positions, than if you were competing against every member of Durham University.

Finally, there is a big sense of college pride that you will grow to love. Celebrated in formals, and events such as balls and your college days, it is very easy to get attached to your college. All in all, making it much easier for it to feel like a home away from home.


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Emily Smith

Hi I’m Emily, as befits a recent English graduate, I was Collingwood College’s student Librarian when I was in Durham (I hope to return soon to study more). You’ll usually find me, for either work or play, buried in archives researching the obscure, the niche, and the forgotten…and sometimes wrangling dragons.

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