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Durham University

2015 League Table Ranking 5
2015 Overall Score 930
View the 2015 league tables

Pre-arrival and orientation

  • Durham University holds welcome events for incoming international and home students each year.
  • The International Office provides Meet & Greet, an airport and rail station pick up service.
  • Students also have the opportunity, through the International Office, colleges and departments, to get involved in a variety of events.
  • In the past students have attended induction fairs to learn about what's on at Durham, met with banks to open a UK bank account, registered with the police, and other essentials for overseas students arriving in Durham.
  • Past events have also included an evening welcome event with a ceilidh (dancing) and introduction to the Mayor of Durham and Mayor of Stockton, formal balls and dinners, and met other students in their colleges and departments through socials, games, and events.
  • Students have many events and opportunities through their colleges. Durham's collegiate system is unique and each student will be able to join an induction programme unique to their individual College.


  • Living at Durham University is much more than just a place to sleep and eat.
  • All undergraduate international students are guaranteed accommodation in university managed properties in their first year. All university accommodation is based in one of the colleges – every Durham University student belongs to a college, whether they live in college or elsewhere.
  • The colleges offer a vibrant, supportive community full of opportunities to enable students to gain new experiences, develop skills to achieve more in their future life and, most importantly, have fun!
  • Every college provides:

Accommodation, with a variety of study bedrooms available.

Catering arrangementsmany colleges are fully-catered; others are part or self-catered.

Excellent facilities for study, socialising, sport/fitness and day-to-day living.

Community – a small, friendly community helping students to settle in.

High level of support – to oversee student welfare and encourage personal developmen.

Extra-curricular opportunities – a wide range of activities, including sports, societies and outreac.

Leadership opportunities – roles and responsibilities enabling students to run aspects of their colleges.

Events – regular student-led events, including balls, concerts, productions and more.

  • Colleges are not teaching bodies and are not linked to any particular academic department; all teaching is delivered through the various departments.
  • While the 15 undergraduate colleges share a lot of similarities, every college has its own distinctive character defined by its buildings, traditions and people.
  • Some are housed in historic buildings; others are modern. Some take pride in age-old traditions; others are more informal. Some are larger, offering a particularly diverse community. Others are smaller and everybody knows everybody!
  • At Durham City Campus, accommodation will be in one of 14 colleges; at Queen’s Campus students can choose from one of two colleges or mezzino student apartment.
  • In the second year of study students usually move out of university accommodation into privately leased flats or houses which they share with friends. The Students Union Accommodation Office is able to offer help with finding suitable housing and many of the local estate agents offer specific services for students.
  • In their final year of study about 60% of students choose to move back into college accommodation.
  • On offer are both fully catered (3 meals per day, 7 days a week), part catered, or self-catering options across the two campuses. 
  • All study bedrooms have broadband access, each college and department has networked computer rooms, and many public areas offer wi-fi.
  • Students are able to choose which college accommodation they prefer but the university does try to ensure that international students are spread between the different colleges.
  • Ustinov College is a specific college for postgraduate students; since a high proportion of postgraduate students are international, this college has a high international student population. 
  • Everything on both campuses is within walking distance but there is also a regular bus service and many students choose to keep bicycles. 
  • Students are asked to move out during part of the Christmas holidays (although there is usually some university accommodation available at Christmas, students might be required to more to a different college). At other times of the year students can usually extend their stay in their accommodation for an additional fee.
  • A self-catered standard room costs £4,230 per academic year (33 weeks; 2013–14); a fully-catered standard room costs £5,955 per academic year (33 weeks; 2013–14).

English language requirement

The minimum entry levels for international students onto any programme of study except the Foundation Programme at Durham University are:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (no component under 6.0).
  • TOEFL iBT: 92 (no component under 23).
  • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE): grade C.
  • Cambridge Advanced (CAE): grade A.

Many departments/schools require different (higher) levels for entry onto particular programmes of study and these levels are indicated on the website.

Scholarships and bursaries

  • There are currently no University scholarships for undergraduate international students.

International Student Breakdown

Further information for international undergraduate degree students


Sharne Procter
Director, International Office
Durham University
University Office
Old Elvet

Why study at Durham University?

  • Third oldest university in England, after Oxford and Cambridge, and a leading European centre of learning for 1,000 years.
  • Fifth in the Complete University Guide overall rankings (2014).
  • Durham is ranked a world top 20 university by leading recruiters for the quality of our graduates in the 2012 QS World University League rankings.
  • Durham degrees open doors: 80% of graduates secured employment within six months of graduating and many of the remaining 13% took time out to travel.

Overseas campus

  • No overseas campus.

Student organisations for international students

  • Durham’s International Students Association is run by students for students, offering support, advice and social events.
  • There are country specific societies which are open to all students where ever they are from. The Hong Kong Student Society is particularly active, obtaining discounts at local shops for its members, and running pre-departure events for new students in Hong Kong each summer.

Advice for International Students


International Students in the UK

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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