Durham University: Standings: (1832 – 2017)


Durham University is a residential collegiate university with long traditions and modern values.

The oldest of the university’s 16 colleges, University College, was founded in 1832 at the same time as the establishment of the university (which is England’s third oldest Higher Education Institute after Oxford and Cambridge). The most recent is Josephine Butler College, founded in 2006.

In 1987 Durham Cathedral and Castle became a World Heritage Site, of which the university is a joint guardian.

In 2012 the opera singer, Sir Thomas Allen was appointed as the university’s 12th Chancellor.

Location and Transport

The university operates in two locations: in the city of Durham and at Queen’s Campus, Stockton-on-Tees, both of which have excellent transport links to the rest of north east England.

Both are located 2¾ hours from London and have two international airports close by: Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley.

Local amenities are within walking distance at both locations.

Entry Requirements

Durham asks for a range of different entry requirements, depending on the programme applied for.

More information on entry standards at Durham University is available on the website.

Course Flexibility

Durham University has over 140 undergraduate degree programmes in arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences, offering one of the broadest ranges of degree programmes within the UK.

Durham offers several degree routes including Single or Joint Honours, named routes in Natural Sciences, Combined Honours in Social Sciences, Liberal Arts and four-year honours programmes in some sciences.

The modular degree system enables students to tailor degrees to meet their needs by combining subjects or studying one or more subjects in depth.

Many of Durham’s academic departments offer an integrated year abroad where students can choose to study in another country.

Foundation degrees are also available to help prepare students for degree level study.

Teaching Standards

90% of students are satisfied with their experience at Durham University. NSS 2015 (sector average 85%).

In the Complete University Guide 2016 Durham had 90% of its subjects ranked in the top 10.

In the Complete University Guide 2016 Durham was ranked 5th overall.

96% of Durham’s undergraduates successfully complete their degrees – one of the highest completion rates in the UK (sector average 86%) (Complete University Guide 2016).

Durham’s Business and Economics courses are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

Other accrediting bodies include the Engineering Council and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

100% of our Education students said they were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey three times in the last five years.

Durham’s primary education provision was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at the last inspection.

88.4% of UK and EU graduates from Durham University secured employment or went on to further study in 2014.

Research Standards

In REF 2014, 83% of our research was assessed as being of ‘internationally excellent quality’ or ‘world-leading’ (3* + 4*).

REF2014 identified world-leading research in every Durham University subject.

Durham University is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, an association of 24 leading research-intensive UK universities.

Leading staff have been awarded Fellowship of Royal Society, and Fellowship of the British Academy as well as many other bodies which recognise scholarly excellence.

Academic Strengths

In the Complete University Guide 2016 Durham had 90% of its subjects ranked in the top 10.

In the Research Excellence 2014 (REF) departments that were highly rated include:











Student Facilities

Libraries are located throughout the university with generous opening times, seven days a week.

IT facilities include networked services in both campuses, with over 2,000 personal computers in classrooms and open access locations. Wi-fi is available across both campuses and in colleges.

Durham University offers a wide range of support services, including student financial support, the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, Disability Support, the English Language Centre, the Foundation Centre, International Office and the University Nursery.

The university has over 500 sports teams across 18 different sports for students to join.

Durham has over 200 societies for students to get involved with including the largest student theatre group in the UK and offers a range of extracurricular activities, volunteering and charity work.

The 16 colleges offer a range of facilities for study, socialising, sport, the arts, events and day-to-day living.

Disability Services

For information on disability services at Durham University, telephone 0191 334 8115; email disability.support@durham.ac.uk, or visit our website.

Students’ Union

Durham Students’ Union acts as a unified voice on campus and leads on issues such as academic representation and the provision of facilities. It has over 400 course representatives working to improve academic provision in Durham University.

Durham Students’ Union runs one of the most successful RAG operations (DUCK) and has nearly 200 student groups, which complement a similar number of college/common room student groups. It is home to Purple Radio and publishes Palatinate, the official Durham Student Newspaper, all providing development opportunities for students outside of their academic environment.

The Union is home to the Riverside Bar & Café and organises social events including the Union Fair and Welcome Ball. Free independent guidance and support is also offered from their Advice and Help team on a wide range of issues including finance, accommodation, colleges, contracts or anything else students may need help with.

Availability of Part-Time Work

Our Student Employment Service (SES) assists students looking for part-time work during term-time and vacation periods. An online vacancy service is provided, alongside one to one support, group presentations and advice on application and CV development.

The SES has strong and developing links with local employers and business groups, ensuring access to a range of employment opportunities within travelling distance of the university and student accommodation centres across both sites. A range of part time positions are also available on campus, including opportunities offering quality work experience in a variety of academic and professional fields.

Guidelines are provided and agreed between the service, students and employers to ensure that work does not affect academic performance, and the SES Codes of Practice ensure a professional service delivered to nationally recognised standards.

Careers Guidance

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) provides a wide range of services including central programmes of and careers, employability and academic skills development alongside programmes within subject departments and in partnership with colleges and the student union. In addition, the service’s website and social media activity gives access to wide ranging resources, information, development activity and career planning support at all times.

Enterprise skills development and business start-up advice are also an integral part of the mainstream activity, and the service also provides a study skills programme.

In the 2015, the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre have organised 158 employer events, 83 skills development sessions and have had 182 individual organisations attending fairs. An online vacancy service provides access to thousands of job, placement, internship and work experience opportunities throughout the year.

The 2015 The Student Crowd survey rated Durham’s Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre as being in the top 3 in the country, with the best average rating for career opportunities. Many students left 5 start reviews for the level of support received.

According to the 2013/14 Destination of Leavers in Higher Education Survey, 88.4% of Durham students went into work or further study within six months of graduating (87.8% or first degree leavers, 91% of postgraduate research leavers and 89.7% of post graduate taught programmes).

The Careers Centre was also shortlist in the 2015 Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services Awards for Excellence for the employability programme for the Durham International Student Employability Programme, developed and delivered in partnership with the English Language Centre.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

The Durham Project: a £60m project that has transformed and enhanced the university and the city.

In 2012 a brand new student services and university headquarters building, the Palatine Centre, was opened, along with a new Law School and a significant extension to the Bill Bryson Library. Renovation works are ongoing in the Library with a major refurbishment to the older parts of the Library due to be completed in 2015.

Sports centres: a new, multi-million pound Sports Centre opened at Queen’s Campus in 2011, with a fully-equipped fitness suite and an impressive range of state-of-the-art facilities. New and enhanced facilities were also opened at Maiden Castle in Durham City, including a performance analysis suite, an indoor rowing tank and fencing stiles.

Notable Alumni

Richard Adams

George Alagiah

Biddy Baxter

Will Carling

General Lord Richard Dannatt

Jonathan Edwards

Sir Harold Evans

Will Greenwood

Paul Hawkins

Lorraine Heggessey

Chris Hollins

Nasser Hussain

Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence

Tony Laithwaite

Gaby Logan

Mo Mowlam

Mark Pougatch

Kate Silverton

David Sproxton

Andrew Strauss

Jeremy Vine

The estimated average cost per student after allowing for financial support (e.g. fee waivers, bursaries, scholarships and other in-kind support) from the institution.

Find out more about university tuition fees and financial support wherever you’re from and wherever you’re planning to study.

Use our Student Loan Calculator to estimate when you would repay your loan.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Durham University offers a range of opportunities for financial support for both Undergraduates and Postgraduates. In addition, Durham University has a significant portfolio of scholarships and bursaries on offer each academic year.


Durham Grant Scheme: financial support for home undergraduate students, from households with incomes of under £25,000.

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships for Sport, Music and the Arts: £2,000 per year for up to 25 students who excel in one of the three disciplines.

Postgraduate Masters

Durham Alumni can qualify for a 10% reduction in Masters tuition fees costs.

Up to 100 scholarships of up to £3000 for students that meet specified participation criteria.

FUNDED Future focussed postgraduate loans for tuition fee costs though our collaboration with NEFirst Credit Union.

Team Durham Scholarships: financial support package for postgraduate overseas student athletes.

Postgraduate Doctoral

Durham Doctoral Scheme support for University funded PhD studentships.

In addition to the above, Durham University has a significant portfolio of scholarships and bursaries on offer each academic year.

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