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Durham University

2016 League Table Ranking 5
2016 Overall Score 926
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 521 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 14.9 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 3.14 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,430 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.16 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 1,030 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 79.5 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 96.6 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 87.4 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 40.9 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • 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 Standards

  • 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.

A-Level and GCSE Requirements

  • More information on entry requirements at Durham University is available on the website.
  • Durham University’s Admissions Policy can be found at

Student Mix

The 17,190 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender

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

  • 91% of students are satisfied with their experience at Durham University. NSS 2014 (sector average 86%).
  • Durham students benefit from research-led education, working with world-leading academics at the forefront of their subjects.
  • Durham was ranked in the top 25 globally for employer reputation in the QS World University League Rankings 2014–15 following an extensive survey of 25,000 organisations across the world.
  • In the Complete University Guide 2015 Durham is the only university in the UK to have all subjects ranked in the top 10.
  • 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.
  • 96% of Durham’s undergraduates successfully complete their degrees – one of the highest completion rates in the UK (Complete University Guide 2015).
  • 87% of UK and EU graduates from Durham University secured employment or went on to further study in 2013.

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

  • All of Durham University’s subjects are ranked in the top 10 (CUG 2015), the only UK university to achieve this.
  • In the Research Excellence 2014 (REF) departments that were highly rated include Anthropology, Archaeology, Chemistry, Classics, Education, English, Law, Music, Physics and Theology.

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 or visit the 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.


  • Durham was ranked 2nd in the British University and Colleges Sport League (|BUCS) 2013–14 for the third year running.
  • 92% of Durham undergraduates take part in sport on a regular basis, many of them through one of over 500 teams college teams, across 18 different sports.
  • There are 52 University sports clubs, competing in sports ranging from badminton and canoeing, to triathlon and water polo.
  • The University Sport programme engages with all 47 local Durham schools and all of the city's major clubs. Over 100 students volunteer to coach within schools on an annual basis, as part of our community sports outreach programme.
  • Durham’s student sports performance programme now includes 17 sports, with part time coaches in a further 15 sports.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • The Durham Project: a £60-million 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.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Our Student Employment Service assists students with securing part-time work during study.
  • Guidelines are provided and agreed between the service, students and employers to ensure that work does not affect academic performance.

Careers Guidance

  • The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) provides a wide range of services to students, from its core functions of providing careers information, advice and guidance to students and graduates to promoting employability issues within the University and supporting students with academic skills development.
  • These are delivered in a variety of ways, including the provision of a comprehensive careers information service, individual careers advice and guidance, a career planning programme of talks, the organisation of fairs and events and the delivery of subject specific talks, vacancies, presentations and workshops in individual departments.
  • Enterprise skills development and business start-up advice are also an integral part of the mainstream activity.

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

For further information

  • +44 (0) 191 334 2000
  • Durham University
    The Palatine Centre
    Stockton Road
    DH1 3LE
UCAS Code D86

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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