Durham University is a residential collegiate university with long traditions and modern values. Established in 1832, it is one of the oldest higher education institutions in England, after Oxford and Cambridge. Durham regularly appears in the top ten of The Complete University Guide league table and is ranked a world top 100 university by QS World University Rankings.

City Centre
City Centre

In or close to the centre of a city


In or close to the centre of a town


The university is composed of individual colleges

Full Service
Full Service

Offers degrees in a wide range of subjects

UCAS Code: D86

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 74%
  • Postgraduate 26%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 92%
  • Part Time 8%

Where students come from

  • UK 73%
  • EU 6%
  • Other 22%

Student gender

  • Male 45%
  • Female 55%

Student Services and Facilities


  • The Bill Bryson Library is the largest library, named after the bestselling author and former Durham University Chancellor. Whether working with friends or using quiet individual study rooms, the libraries provide a range of study environments to suit, and are open 24/7 during the run-up to exams.
  • The libraries have over 1.6 million books, and the university subscribes to over 300,000 online resources, such as e-books, e-journals and databases. IT facilities include PC areas, Wi-Fi, laptops for loan, and printing facilities.
  • A subject support team and friendly staff help students make the best use of the libraries.

Student jobs

  • The Student Employment Service (SES), which is part of the Careers and Enterprise team provision, assists students looking for part-time work during term-time and vacation periods. Guidelines are provided and agreed between the service, students and employers to ensure that work does not affect academic performance.
  • Locally, a range of employment opportunities can be found 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 providing quality work experience in a variety of academic and professional fields.
  • The annual Part Time Jobs and Volunteering Fair attracts a range of local employers and voluntary organisations offering part-time opportunities specifically for Durham University students.

Careers advice

  • The highly-rated Careers and Enterprise team provides a wide range of services both centrally and within subject departments, in partnership with colleges and the Student Union. 
  • Advisers give one-to-one support, group presentations and advice on application and CV development. Employability skills development, enterprise skills development and business start-up advice are also an integral part of the mainstream activity, and the service also provides an academic study skills programme.
  • The team has strong and developing links with national and local employers or business groups, holding over 150 employer events annually; over 180 organisations attend recruitment fairs over six days in term 1.
  • An online vacancy service is provided, giving access to thousands of job, placement, internship and work experience opportunities throughout the year. In addition, the service's comprehensive website and social media activity gives 24/7 access to wide-ranging resources, information, development activity and career planning support.
  • The Careers and Enterprise team was shortlisted in the 2017 Awards for Excellence run by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, for the Durham International Student Employability Programme, developed and delivered in partnership with the English Language Centre.

Health services

  • The university has close links with local NHS providers; most students register for GP services with the Claypath and University Medical Group. 
  • Other service providers available to students on campus include Talking Changes Therapy, the Early Intervention in Psychosis team, and drug and alcohol services.

Counselling services

  • Please refer to the university website for details of the counselling service.

Disability support

  • Please refer to the university website for details of disability support offered by Durham University.

Students' Union

  • Durham Students' Union is the champion of all Durham students. Durham SU is an independent body and as such represents over 17,500 students across both Durham and Queen's Campus, with five elected student officers holding the university to account, supported by hundreds of student academic representatives and committee members. Durham is a collegiate university, and the union works alongside colleges to engage students around issues of welfare and student experience, and leads on making sure these issues are addressed.
  • Durham SU is home to over 250 student groups. Within these groups students can connect with like-minded people outside of their colleges and departments. Here they can develop their skills and enhance their student experience.
  • Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK) – the Raise and Give or RAG group – is one of the best in the country, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds each year for local, national and international charities.


  • The oldest of the university’s 16 colleges, University College, was founded in 1832 at the same time as the establishment of the university. 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.

Fascinating Fact

  • Durham was the first university to establish overseas campuses a century before the concept was reinvented; in Barbados in 1875 and Sierra Leone in 1876.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • Gabby Logan − former Wales international gymnast and TV presenter with BBC Sport and ITV.
  • Richard Adams − founder of Traidcraft, the Fairtrade Foundation, and Warm Zones.
  • George Alagiah − journalist and, since 2007, newsreader of BBC News at Six.
  • Will Carling − former rugby union player and captain of England from 1988–1996, winning 72 caps.
  • General Lord Richard Dannatt − retired senior British Army officer, formerly Chief of the General Staff 2006−2009, now member of the House of Lords.
  • Will Greenwood − former rugby union player and member of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad.
  • Lorraine Heggessey – TV producer and executive, first ever woman to be Controller of BBC One, from 2000−2005.
  • Chris Hollins − journalist, presenter and sportsman.
  • Jeremy Vine − broadcaster and journalist with his own topical talk show on BBC Radio 2.
  • Kate Silverton − journalist and news presenter with the BBC. 


Durham University, The Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3LE