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, mottoeng = Her foundations are upon the holy hills ( Psalm 87:1) , established = (university status) , type =
Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the ''Öffentlichk ...
, academic_staff = 1,830 (2020) , administrative_staff = 2,640 (2018/19) , chancellor = Sir Thomas Allen , vice_chancellor = Karen O’Brien , city =
Durham Durham most commonly refers to: *Durham, England, a cathedral city and the county town of County Durham *County Durham, an English county *Durham County, North Carolina, a county in North Carolina, United States *Durham, North Carolina, a city in No ...
and
Stockton-on-Tees Stockton-on-Tees, often simply referred to as Stockton, is a market town in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, England. It is on the northern banks of the River Tees, part of the Teesside built-up area. The town had an estimat ...
, state = , country =
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
, campus_size = , students = () , undergrad = () , postgrad = () , free_label = Student newspaper , free = '' Palatinate'' , colours = Palatinate , endowment = £98.2 million , budget = £393.2 million , academic_affiliations = Russell Group
ACU
Coimbra Group
EUA
N8 Group The N8 Research Partnership is a partnership created in 2006 of the eight most research-intensive universities in Northern England – Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. The N8 Research Partn ...

Matariki Network of Universities
University of the Arctic The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is an international cooperative network based in the Circumpolar Arctic region, consisting of universities, colleges, and other organizations with an interest in promoting education and research in the Ar ...

Universities UK Universities UK (UUK) is an advocacy organisation for universities in the United Kingdom. It began life in the early 20th century through informal meetings of vice-chancellors of a number of universities and principals of university colleges an ...

Virgo Consortium The Virgo Consortium was founded in 1994 for '' Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations'' in response to the UK's High Performance Computing Initiative. Virgo developed rapidly into an international collaboration between a dozen scientists in the ...
, sporting_affiliations =
BUCS British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for higher education sport in the United Kingdom. BUCS was formed in June 2008 following a merger of British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) and University College Sport ...
, Wallace Group , sports_free_label = Sports team , sports_free =
Team Durham Team Durham (formerly Durham University Athletic Union, DUAU) is a student-run organisation responsible for sport at Durham University. In contrast to most British universities it is a separate organisation with the status of a students' union, ...
, website = , logo = , embedded = Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate
public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the ''Öffentlichk ...
research university in
Durham Durham most commonly refers to: *Durham, England, a cathedral city and the county town of County Durham *County Durham, an English county *Durham County, North Carolina, a county in North Carolina, United States *Durham, North Carolina, a city in No ...
, England, founded by an
Act of Parliament Acts of Parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation, are texts of law passed by the legislative body of a jurisdiction (often a parliament or council). In most countries with a parliamentary system of government, acts of parliamen ...
in 1832 and incorporated by
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the English Magna Carta (great charter) of 1215, b ...
in 1837. It was the first recognised university to open in England for more than 600 years, after
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
and
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cambridge beca ...
, and is thus one of the institutions to be described as the third-oldest university in England. As a collegiate university its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and its 17 colleges. In general, the departments perform research and provide teaching to students, while the colleges are responsible for their domestic arrangements and welfare. The university is a member of the Russell Group of British research universities after previously being a member of the 1994 Group. Durham is also affiliated with the regional N8 Research Partnership and international university groups including the Matariki Network of Universities and the Coimbra Group. The university estate includes 63 listed buildings, ranging from the 11th-century Durham Castle to a 1930s
Art Deco Art Deco, short for the French ''Arts Décoratifs'', and sometimes just called Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture, and product design, that first appeared in France in the 1910s (just before World War I), and flourished in the Unite ...
chapel. The university also owns and manages the Durham
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
in partnership with
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
. The university's ownership of the World Heritage Site includes Durham Castle, Palace Green, and the surrounding buildings including the historic
Cosin's Library Bishop Cosin's Library, originally the Episcopal Library or Bibliotheca Episcopalis Dunelmensis, is an historic library founded in 1669 in Durham, England. Owned by the University of Durham, the library is open to the public. History Foundat ...
. It was ''Sunday Times'' University of the Year for 2005, and the ''Times'' and ''Sunday Times'' Sports University of the Year for 2015 and 2023, and was awarded a
Queen's Anniversary Prize The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are a biennially awarded series of prizes awarded to universities and colleges in the further and higher education sectors within the United Kingdom. Uniquely it forms part of the B ...
in 2018. Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2020. Current and emeritus academics include 14 Fellows of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, re ...
, 17 Fellows of the
British Academy The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences. It was established in 1902 and received its royal charter in the same year. It is now a fellowship of more than 1,000 leading scholars s ...
, 14 Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences, 5 Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2 Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts and 2 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Durham graduates have long used the Latin post-nominal letters ''Dunelm'' after their degree, from ''Dunelmensis'' (of, belonging to, or from Durham). Among British universities, it had the ninth highest average
UCAS Tariff The UCAS Tariff (formerly called UCAS Points System) is used to allocate points to post-16 qualifications (Level 3 qualifications on the Regulated Qualifications Framework). Universities and colleges may use it when making offers to applicants. A p ...
for new entrants in 2019 and the third lowest proportion of state-school educated students starting courses in 2016, at 62.9 per cent (fifth lowest compared to its benchmark).


History


Origins

Between around 1286 and 1291 the
Benedictine , image = Medalla San Benito.PNG , caption = Design on the obverse side of the Saint Benedict Medal , abbreviation = OSB , formation = , motto = (English: 'Pray and Work') , found ...
monks of Durham established a hall at
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
to provide them with a seat of learning. In 1381 this received an endowment from Thomas Hatfield, Bishop of Durham, becoming Durham College. Durham College was surrendered to the Crown in 1545 following the Reformation. The strong tradition of theological teaching in Durham gave rise to various attempts to form a university within the city itself, notably under King Henry VIII and then under
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three ...
, who issued
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, tit ...
and nominated a proctor and fellows for the establishment of a college in 1657. However, there was deep concern expressed by Oxford and Cambridge that the awarding of degree powers could hinder their position. Consequently, it was not until 1832 when
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. ...
, at the instigation of Archdeacon Charles Thorp and with the support of the Bishop of Durham, William van Mildert, passed "an Act to enable the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral to appropriate part of the property of their church to the establishment of a University in connection therewith" that the university came into being. The act received Royal Assent from King
William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death in 1837. The third son of George III, William succeeded h ...
on 4 July 1832.


The church university, 1832–1909

The university opened on 28 October 1833. In 1834 all but two of the bishops of the Church of England confirmed that they would accept holders of Durham degrees for ordination. In 1835 a fundamental statute was passed by the Dean and Chapter, as governors of the university, setting up Convocation and laying down that Durham degrees would only be open to members of the Church of England. Regulations for degrees were finalised in 1836 and the university was incorporated by
Royal Charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the English Magna Carta (great charter) of 1215, b ...
granted by William IV on 1 June 1837 as the "Warden, Masters and Scholars of the University of Durham", with the first students graduating a week later. Accommodation was provided in the Archdeacon's Inn (now
Cosin's Hall Bishop Cosin's Hall was a college of the University of Durham, opened in 1851 as the university's third college and named after 17th century Bishop of Durham John Cosin. It closed in 1864 due to a fall in student recruitment at the universi ...
) from 1833 to 1837. On the accession of
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and 216 days was longer than that of any previ ...
an order of the
Queen-in-Council The King-in-Council or the Queen-in-Council, depending on the gender of the reigning monarch, is a constitutional term in a number of states. In a general sense, it would mean the monarch exercising executive authority, usually in the form of a ...
was issued granting the use of Durham Castle (previously a palace of the Bishop of Durham) to the university. In 1846, Bishop Hatfield's Hall (later to become
Hatfield College , motto_English = Either the first or with the first , scarf = , named_for = Thomas Hatfield , established = , senior_tutor = , master = Ann MacLarnon (2017–) , undergraduates = 1010 (2017/18) , postgrad ...
) was founded, providing the opportunity for students to obtain affordable lodgings with fully catered communal eating, a revolutionary idea at the time, endorsed by a Royal Commission in 1862 and later spread to other universities. Those attending
University College In a number of countries, a university college is a college institution that provides tertiary education but does not have full or independent university status. A university college is often part of a larger university. The precise usage vari ...
were expected to bring a servant with them to deal with cooking, cleaning and so on. The level of applications to Bishop Hatfield's Hall led to a second hall along similar lines, Bishop Cosin's Hall, being founded in 1851, although this only survived until 1864. Elsewhere, the university expanded from Durham into
Newcastle Newcastle usually refers to: *Newcastle upon Tyne, a city and metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear, England *Newcastle-under-Lyme, a town in Staffordshire, England *Newcastle, New South Wales, a metropolitan area in Australia, named after Newcastle ...
in 1852 when the medical school there (established in 1834) became a college of the university. This was joined in 1871 by the College of Physical Sciences (renamed the College of Science in 1884 and again renamed Armstrong College in 1904). St Cuthbert's Society was founded in 1888 for non-collegiate, mostly mature, male students as a non-residential society run by the students themselves. Two teacher-training colleges – St Hild's for women, established in 1858, and The College of the Venerable Bede for men, established in 1839, also existed in the city and these merged to form the mixed College of St Hild and St Bede in 1975. From 1896 these were associated with the university and graduates of St Hild's were the first female graduates from Durham in 1898. During its expansion phase the university also became the first English university to establish relationships with overseas institutions; firstly in 1875 with Codrington College, Barbados, and secondly in early 1876 with Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone. Under the arrangements the two colleges became affiliated colleges of the university with their students sitting examinations for and receiving Durham degrees. The landmark event was not met with universal applause, with the '' London Times'' stating "it would not be much longer before the University of Durham was affiliated to the Zoo". After nearly a century of affiliation and with the prevailing winds of decolonisation Fourah Bay became independent of the university in 1968 to form part of the University of Sierra Leone, while Codrington College retained its affiliation with the university until the 2000s. The first debating society in Durham was founded in 1835, but may have closed by 1839. The Durham University Union was established in 1842, and revived and moved to Palace Green in 1872-3 as the
Durham Union Society This is a list of social activities at the University of Durham, including details of clubs, societies and other common leisure activities associated with Durham University. Over 200 student clubs and organisations run within Durham Students' Uni ...
. Notable past presidents of the Durham Union have included Richard Dannatt,
Sir Edward Leigh Sir Edward Julian Egerton Leigh (born 20 July 1950) is a British Conservative Party politician who has served as a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1983. Leigh has represented Gainsborough, Lincolnshire in the House of Commons since 1983 (re ...
, and
Crispin Blunt Crispin Jeremy Rupert Blunt (born 15 July 1960) is a British politician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Reigate since 1997. A member of the Conservative Party, he was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prisons a ...
. The Durham Colleges Students Representative Council (SRC) was founded around 1900 after the model of the College of Medicine SRC (in Newcastle). The Durham University SRC was formed in 1907 with representatives from the Durham Colleges, the College of Medicine, and Armstrong College (also in Newcastle). In 1963, after the creation of Newcastle University, the Durham Colleges SRC became the Durham University SRC, and was renamed as the Durham Students' Union in 1970. Until the mid 19th century, University of Durham degrees were subject to a religion test and could only be taken by members of the established church. Medical degrees in Newcastle were exempt from this requirement from the start of the affiliation of the medical school, but in Durham it lasted until the revision of the statutes in 1865. Despite the opening of degrees, staff and members of Convocation were still required to be members of the Church of England until the Universities Tests Act 1871. However, "dissenters" were able to attend Durham and then sit the examinations for degrees of the University of London, which were not subject to any religious test. Following the grant of a supplemental charter in 1895 allowing women to receive degrees of the university, the Women's Hostel ( St Mary's College from 1919) was founded in 1899.


The federal university, 1909–1963

The Newcastle division of the university, which comprised both Armstrong College (named after Lord Armstrong) and Durham University College of Medicine, quickly grew to outnumber the Durham colleges, despite the addition of two independent Anglican foundations:
St Chad's College , motto_English = Not what you have, but who you are , scarf = , established = 1904 , principal = Margaret Masson , senior_tutor = Eleanor Spencer-Regan , undergraduates = 409 , postgraduates = 150 , website = , coordinates = , location_map ...
(1904) and St John's College (1909). A parliamentary bill proposed in 1907 would have fixed the seat of the university in Durham for only ten years, allowing the Senate to choose to move to Newcastle after this. This was blocked by a local MP, with the support of graduates of the Durham colleges, until the bill was modified to establish a federal university with its seat fixed in Durham. This reform also removed the university from the authority of the Dean and Chapter of
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
, who had been the governors of the university since its foundation. Thirty years after this, the Royal Commission of 1937 recommended changes in the constitution of the federal university, resulting in the merger of the two Newcastle colleges in the Newcastle Division to form King's College. The Vice-Chancellorship alternated between the Warden of the Durham Division and the Rector of the Newcastle Division. (The legacy of this lives on, in that the de facto head of the university is still called "The Vice-Chancellor and Warden".)The title "warden" was not used between 1909 and 1937, as the 1909 statutes assigned the title to the Council of the Durham Colleges collectively. Its readoption in 1937 had to do with distinguishing between the two Divisions, the Durham Colleges headed by a warden and King's College (Newcastle) by a rector. It signified that the postholders were "the chief academic and administrative officers of the Divisions respectively" (art 45). After World War II, the Durham division expanded rapidly. St Aidan's Society ( St Aidan's College from 1961) was founded in 1947 to cater for non-resident women and the decision was made to expand further on Elvet Hill (where the science site had been established in the 1920s), relocating St Mary's College, building new men's colleges, vastly expanding the existing pure science provision in Durham, and adding applied science (1960) and engineering (1965). In 1947, the foundation stones for the new St Mary's College building on Elvet Hill were laid by Princess Elizabeth (later Queen
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during ...
). The new building opened in 1952. In the same year, tensions surfaced again over the Durham-Newcastle divide, with a proposal to change the name of the university to the "University of Durham and Newcastle". This motion was defeated in Convocation (the assembly of members of the university) by 135 votes to 129. Eleven years later, with the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act 1963, King's College became the
University of Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle University (legally the University of Newcastle upon Tyne) is a UK public university, public research university based in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England. It has overseas campuses in Singapore and Malaysia. The university is ...
, leaving Durham University based solely in its home city.


The modern university, 1963–1999

By the time of the separation from Newcastle the Elvet Hill site was well established; with the first of the new colleges being founded in 1959, Grey College, named after the second Earl Grey who was the
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
when the university was founded. Expansion up Elvet Hill continued, with
Van Mildert College Van Mildert College (known colloquially as Mildert) is a college of Durham University in England. Founded in 1965, it takes its name from William Van Mildert, Prince-Bishop of Durham from 1826 to 1836 and a leading figure in the University's 183 ...
and the
Durham Business School Durham University Business School is the business school of Durham University and is located in Durham, England. Established in 1965, it holds triple accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS). It is currently ranked between 7th and 67th in the wo ...
(1965),
Trevelyan College , motto_English = Truth more readily than falsehood , scarf = , named_for = George Macaulay Trevelyan , namesake = George Macaulay Trevelyan , established = 1966 , principal = Adekunle Adeyeye , vice_principal = I ...
(1966), and Collingwood College (1972) all being added to the university, along with a Botanic Garden (1970). These were not the only developments in the university, however. The Graduate Society, catering for postgraduate students, was founded in 1965 (renamed Ustinov College in 2003) and the (now closed) Roman Catholic
seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, ...
of Ushaw College, which had been in Durham since 1808, was licensed as a hall of residence in 1968. In 1988 Hatfield, the last men's college, became mixed; followed by the women's college of Trevelyan in 1992, leaving the original women's college of St Mary's as the last single-sex college. In 1989 the university started its fund-raising and alumni office, with a virtual community for alumni and several large gifts made to the university, including for the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Physics and the
Wolfson Research Institute The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary research centre within Durham University. It is based at the university's Queen's Campus in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. The institute's core staff comprises an ...
.


Development in Stockton, 1992–1999

In 1991, a joint venture between the university and the University of Teesside saw the Joint University College on Teesside of the Universities of Durham and Teesside (JUCOT) established at Thornaby-on-Tees in the borough of
Stockton-on-Tees Stockton-on-Tees, often simply referred to as Stockton, is a market town in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, England. It is on the northern banks of the River Tees, part of the Teesside built-up area. The town had an estimat ...
and the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, to the south of Durham. It opened under the name of University College Stockton (UCS) in 1992. UCS was initially intended to grant joint degrees validated by both institutions (BAs and BScs). However, Teesside, which had only become a university in 1992, had difficulties in taking on its responsibilities for the college and withdrew in 1994, Durham taking over full responsibility for UCS and the degrees to be awarded there. A programme of integration with Durham began, with the Privy Council approving changes in Durham's statutes to make UCS a college of the University of Durham. Further integration of the Stockton development with the university led to the formation of the University of Durham, Stockton Campus (UDSC) in 1998 and the separation of teaching responsibilities from UCS.


21st century

In 2001, two new colleges, John Snow and
George Stephenson George Stephenson (9 June 1781 – 12 August 1848) was a British civil engineer and mechanical engineer. Renowned as the "Father of Railways", Stephenson was considered by the Victorians a great example of diligent application and thirst fo ...
(after the
physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner ( Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a health professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring health through t ...
and the
engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build and test machines, complex systems, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objectives and requirements while considering th ...
) were established at Stockton, replacing UCS, and the new medical school (operating in association with the
University of Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle University (legally the University of Newcastle upon Tyne) is a UK public university, public research university based in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England. It has overseas campuses in Singapore and Malaysia. The university is ...
) accepted its first students. In 2002, her golden jubilee year, the Queen granted the title "Queen's Campus" to the Stockton site. By 2005, Queen's Campus, Stockton, accounted for around 18 per cent of the total university student population. In 2005, the university unveiled a re-branded
logotype A logo (abbreviation of logotype; ) is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It may be of an abstract or figurative design or include the text of the name it represents as in a wo ...
and introduced the trading name of Durham University, although the legal name of the institution remained the University of Durham and the official coat of arms was unchanged. The same year, St Mary's College had its first mixed undergraduate intake. In October 2006, Josephine Butler College opened its doors to students as Durham's newest college – the only purpose-built self-catering college for students within Durham. This was the first new college to open in Durham itself since the creation of Collingwood in the 1970s. In May 2010, Durham joined the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) together with
Dartmouth College Dartmouth College (; ) is a Private university, private research university in Hanover, New Hampshire. Established in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock, it is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Although founded t ...
(USA), Queen's University (Canada),
University of Otago , image_name = University of Otago Registry Building2.jpg , image_size = , caption = University clock tower , motto = la, Sapere aude , mottoeng = Dare to be wise , established = 1869; 152 years ago , type = Public research collegiate ...
(New Zealand),
University of Tübingen The University of Tübingen, officially the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen (german: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen; la, Universitas Eberhardina Carolina), is a public research university located in the city of Tübingen, Baden-W ...
(Germany),
University of Western Australia The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a public research university in the Australian state of Western Australia. The university's main campus is in Perth, the state capital, with a secondary campus in Albany and various other facilitie ...
and
Uppsala University Uppsala University ( sv, Uppsala universitet) is a public research university in Uppsala, Sweden. Founded in 1477, it is the oldest university in Sweden and the Nordic countries still in operation. The university rose to significance duri ...
(Sweden). In 2012, Durham (along with
York York is a cathedral city with Roman origins, sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. It is the historic county town of Yorkshire. The city has many historic buildings and other structures, such as ...
,
Exeter Exeter () is a city in Devon, South West England. It is situated on the River Exe, approximately northeast of Plymouth and southwest of Bristol. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as the base of Legio II Augusta under the personal ...
and Queen Mary, University of London) joined the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities. Between 2010 and 2012 the university was criticised for accepting funds from controversial sources, including the government of Iran, the
US State Department The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the country's foreign policy and relations. Equivalent to the ministry of foreign affairs of other ...
, the prime minister of Kuwait, and British American Tobacco.


Closure of Queen's Campus and expansion in Durham

The university announced in 2016 that it would relocate the colleges and academic activities currently at the Queen's Campus to Durham City from 2017; with the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health being transferred to Newcastle University. The Queen's Campus became an International Study Centre to prepare overseas students to study at Durham, run by
Study Group A study group is a small group of people who regularly meet to discuss shared fields of study. These groups can be found in a high school or college/ university setting, within companies, occasionally primary/junior school and sometimes middle ...
. In March 2017 Lord Rees opened the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, designed by Daniel Libeskind. The new building, named after alumnus Peter Ogden, provides extra laboratories and office space for 140 staff. In May 2017 the university announced a new ten-year strategy that proposed investing £700m in improving the campus, creating 300 new academic posts, increasing the size of the university to 21,500 students while attracting more international students, and expanding the business school and the departments of law, politics, English and history to reach "critical research mass". In 2018 the university announced that a consortium led by Interserve would design, build and operate two colleges at Mount Oswald (new buildings for John Snow College and one new college) for £105 million. The project company (in which the university has a 15 per cent stake) is financing the construction via a £90 million 46-year bond issue. Separately, the university announced that it had raised £225 million to fund its estate masterplan through the private sale of long-term bonds to British and US investors. In 2021 it was reported that there was a culture of sexism and bullying at Durham, and that the university had been reluctant to address structural problems, thereby enabling this culture to develop relatively unchallenged.


Campus

Durham University owns a estate which includes part of a
UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
, one
ancient monument In British law, an ancient monument is an early history, historical structure or monument (e.g. an archaeological site) worthy of historic preservation, preservation and study due to Archaeology, archaeological or cultural heritage, heritage int ...
, five grade-one listed buildings and 68 grade-two listed buildings, along with of woodland. The estate is divided across two separate locations: Durham City and Queen's Campus, Stockton. The two locations are connected via a free bus service that runs frequently throughout the week. One of the major public attractions in Durham City is the Botanic Gardens, established in 1970, with over 78,000 visitors (2007/08). , the estate included over 300 buildings with a floor area of more than 380,000 m2 and a 2014 insurance reinstatement value of close to £850 million.


Durham City

Durham City is the main location of the university and contains all of the colleges along with most of the academic departments. The Durham City estate is spread across several different sites. The Bailey is the historic centre of the university and contains five colleges as well as the departments of Music and of Theology and Religion, the Institute of Advanced Study and Palace Green Library, housing the university's special collections. The Bailey is linked to Dunelm House, home of the Students Union in New Elvet, by the university's
Kingsgate Bridge Kingsgate Bridge is a striking, modern reinforced concrete construction footbridge across the River Wear, in Durham, England. It is a Grade I listed building. It was personally designed in 1963 by Ove Arup, the last structure he ever designed. ...
. The Old and New Elvet areas contain a number of departments in Humanities and Social Sciences including Philosophy, and Sociology. The Leazes Road site on the north bank of the Wear, opposite the university's Racecourse playing fields and Old Elvet, is home to the School of Education and Hild Bede College. Old Elvet was previously the site of the university's administration in Old Shire Hall, which has, since September 2012, been based on the Mountjoy site, in the Palatine Centre on Stockton Road.


Mountjoy

The Mountjoy site (formerly the Science site) south of New Elvet contains the vast majority of departments and large lecture theatres such as Appleby, Scarborough, James Duff, Heywood and more recently the Calman Learning Centre, along with the Bill Bryson library. Upper Mountjoy contains the Psychology and Biological & Biomedical schools, along with various research centres. Building work started in 2017 on a Centre for Teaching and Learning on the Mountjoy site, which opened in 2019; as of 2020 the university built new facilities for mathematics and computer science on the site.


Elvet Hill

Elvet Hill, south of the Mountjoy site, has ten of the colleges as well as the Botanic Garden and the Vice-Chancellor's residence in Hollingside House. It is also home to the Business School and the department of Government and International Affairs, as well as the Teikyo University of Japan in Durham and the Oriental Museum. As part of the transfer of colleges from the Queen's Campus in 2017, a number of colleges changed location. Stephenson College moved to the site at Howlands Farm (also on Elvet Hill) previously occupied by Ustinov College. Ustinov itself moved to a new site at Sheraton Park in Neville's Cross from the 2017/18 academic year. For a transition period, John Snow and Stephenson were both located at Howlands Farm during the 2018/19 academic year.


=Mount Oswald

= Two new colleges opened in 2020 at the site of the former Mount Oswald golf course on Elvet Hill. John Snow moved into one of these colleges, with the other forming the new South College, the university's 17th college. The new colleges at Mount Oswald have around 500 self-catered rooms each. As of 2016, when bids were solicited for the construction, the first 700 rooms were hoped to be available for the 2019/20 academic year and the remaining 300 by the 2021/22 academic year. Construction began in September 2018, with "Hub building" expected to be ready for 2019/20 but the first students not expected to move into the new accommodation until the 2020/21 academic year. John Snow college moved out of Howlands in 2019/20, and was located for one year at Rushford Court (owned by Unite Students) in the viaduct area of the city before moving to Mount Oswald for 2020/21.


Development plans

The university's 2017–2027 strategy document calls for the development of a new home for the business school at Elvet Waterside (Old Elvet), to open in 2021, and for the redevelopment of the arts and humanities facilities at Elvet Riverside (New Elvet), opening from 2022. The plans are, however, contingent on the university being granted a Certificate of Immunity from Listing for the current student union building, Dunelm House, which would allow it to be demolished. Following an appeal by the
Twentieth Century Society The Twentieth Century Society (C20) is a British charity which campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage from 1914 onwards. The society's interests embrace buildings and artefacts that characterise 20th-century Britain. It is fo ...
against the 2016 decision of the Secretary of State,
Karen Bradley Karen Anne Bradley (''née'' Howarth, born 12 March 1970) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2018 to 2019, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Staffordshire Moorl ...
, not to list the building, the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport , type = Department , logo = Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport logo.svg , logo_width = , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = Gove ...
reconsidered the case in 2017 and confirmed that it would not list the building and was minded to issue a certificate of immunity. The
Twentieth Century Society The Twentieth Century Society (C20) is a British charity which campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage from 1914 onwards. The society's interests embrace buildings and artefacts that characterise 20th-century Britain. It is fo ...
have placed Dunelm House on their 'Buildings at Risk List'. In total, the university expects to build four to six new colleges by 2027. The university's Estate Masterplan for 2017–2027 identified the area around Howlands Farm, the Leazes Road site (Hild Bede College), and the current Business School site as locations for new accommodation development.


Ushaw College

Ushaw College, 5 miles west of Durham, is a former Catholic seminary that is a licensed hall of residence of the university. It hosts parts of the Business School and of the Centre for Catholic Studies, with the university having committed to leasing the East Wing until 2027 and to establishing a residential research library at Ushaw. It formerly housed some students from Josephine Butler College, but since summer 2015 the only students at Ushaw are business marketing students. In 2017 the university's Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, part of the School of Education, moved to Ushaw College and has remained there since its sale to Cambridge University in 2019.


Queen's Campus

Queen's Campus in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees (
Thornaby Thornaby-on-Tees, commonly referred to as Thornaby, is a town and civil parish on the River Tees's southern bank. It is in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, England. The parish had a population of 24,741 at the 2011 census, ...
, North Yorkshire) some 30 miles from Durham City. Until 2017–18, the campus was home to around 2,000 full-time students in two colleges ( John Snow and Stephenson Colleges) and the
Wolfson Research Institute The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary research centre within Durham University. It is based at the university's Queen's Campus in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. The institute's core staff comprises an ...
. A bus connects Queen's Campus to Durham City, with a one-way journey usually taking 45 minutes. The colleges and academic departments were relocated to Durham City (or transferred to Newcastle University in the case of the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health) between 2017 and 2018, and the Queen's Campus became an International Study Centre (ISC), run by
Study Group A study group is a small group of people who regularly meet to discuss shared fields of study. These groups can be found in a high school or college/ university setting, within companies, occasionally primary/junior school and sometimes middle ...
. This prepares non-EU foreign students to enter degree courses at the university, with the first students having started in September 2017. The ISC has taken over the former college accommodation on the campus, with the former Stephenson College buildings becoming Endeavour Court and the former John Snow College buildings becoming Infinity House. The ISC also continues to use the privately owned Rialto Court accommodation, which was previously used by the Queen's Campus colleges. The university had said, as part of its 2017–2027 masterplan, that it is continuing to explore other options for the use of the Queen's Campus and will be developing a separate masterplan for the campus. The
Wolfson Research Institute The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary research centre within Durham University. It is based at the university's Queen's Campus in Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. The institute's core staff comprises an ...
was established at the Queen's Campus in 2001 to conduct and facilitate interdisciplinary research in health and wellbeing.


Libraries

The Durham University Library system holds over 1.5 million printed items. The library was founded in January 1833 at Palace Green with a 160-volume donation by the Bishop of Durham, William Van Mildert. The library operates five branches: Bill Bryson Library (the main library), Leazes Road Library, Queen's Campus Library, Durham University Business School Library and the Palace Green Library, which holds the special and heritage collections. In 2005, designated status was granted by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to two of the special collections: Bishop Cosin's Library on Palace Green (an endowed public library dating from 1669 of which the university is the trustee), which contains medieval manuscripts and over 5,000 printed books, many early, and the Sudan Archive, described by the university as "the pre-eminent archive on the Sudan outside Khartoum". Since the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council was abolished in 2012, the designation scheme has been managed by Arts Council England; the two special collections remain Designated as of July 2016, along with the Durham University Oriental Museum's Egyptian and Chinese collections. In 2012 the university, together with the
British Library The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and is one of the largest libraries in the world. It is estimated to contain between 170 and 200 million items from many countries. As a legal deposit library, the Britis ...
and
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
, purchased Europe's oldest intact book, the St Cuthbert Gospel, for the nation for £9 million. It is displayed equally in London and Durham, being shown at the university's Palace Green Library for the first time as part of the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham exhibition in 2013. In addition to the central library system, each College maintains its own library and reading rooms such as the Bettenson, Brewis, Williams and Fenton Libraries of St Chad's College, which contain over 38,000 volumes. Many departments also maintain a library in addition to the subject collections in the central and college libraries. Readers are also entitled to use the theology library housed by
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
in its cloister. In February 2017, the university announced a £2 million investment to establish a residential research library at Ushaw College. This would be the first residential research library at a UK university, and would offer researchers access to the collections of Ushaw College and
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
as well as the university's special collections at the Palace Green Library. It is planned that visiting researchers would also participate in the public engagement programme at Ushaw.


Museums

The university manages a number of museums. Built in the 1960s, the Durham University Oriental Museum grew predominantly from the acquisitions of the university's former School of Oriental Studies. Initially housed across the university and used as a teaching collection, the size of the collection led to the building of the current museum to house the material. The collection to date contains over 30,000 objects from Asian art to antiquities, covering the
Orient The Orient is a term for the East in relation to Europe, traditionally comprising anything belonging to the Eastern world. It is the antonym of '' Occident'', the Western World. In English, it is largely a metonym for, and coterminous with, the ...
and
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology and other cultural contexts, it is eq ...
to the Far East and the
Indian Sub-continent The Indian subcontinent is a physiographical region in Southern Asia. It is situated on the Indian Plate, projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geopolitically, it includes the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ind ...
, with over a third of the collection relating to China. The national importance of the Chinese and Egyptian collections can be seen in the Designated Status from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council achieved in 2008. The
Durham University Museum of Archaeology The Museum of Archaeology, founded in 1833, is a museum of the University of Durham in England. The museum has collections ranging from the prehistoric, Ancient Greece, Roman to Medieval. History In 1833, the year after the University open ...
moved to Palace Green in 2014, having previously been housed in the Old Fulling Mill on the banks of the Wear. The museum was opened in 1833, being the second university museum in England to allow admittance to the general public. The museum focuses on the heritage of North East England and includes national and international collections spanning the
Prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the beginning of recorded history with the invention of writing systems. The use ...
, Ancient Greek, Roman,
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a Cultural identity, cultural group who inhabited England in the Early Middle Ages. They traced their origins to settlers who came to Britain from mainland Europe in the 5th century. However, the ethnogenesis of the Anglo- ...
, Medieval and Post Medieval periods.


Chapels, prayer rooms and other faith resources

There are Anglican chapels at many of the colleges, including the 11th Century Norman Chapel in University College and the art deco chapel in Hild Bede College. There are also multi-faith rooms at St Aidan's College, Trevelyan College, and in the hub building shared by John Snow and South colleges. Muslim prayer rooms are located in Old Elvet and at Grey College. There is a kosher kitchen in St Aidan's College which supports Jewish Sabbath meals and other festivals.


Organisation and administration


Academic year

The academic year at Durham is divided into three terms:
Michaelmas term Michaelmas term is the first academic term of the academic year in a number of English-speaking universities and schools in the northern hemisphere, especially in the United Kingdom. Michaelmas term derives its name from the Feast of St Micha ...
, which lasts 10 weeks from October to December;
Epiphany term Epiphany term is the second academic term at Durham University, falling between Michaelmas term and Easter term, as in the Christian Feast of the Epiphany, held in January. The term runs from January until March, equivalent to the Spring term at ...
, which lasts ten weeks from January to March; and
Easter term Easter term is the summer term at the University of Cambridge, University of Wales, Lampeter, University of Durham, and formerly University of Newcastle upon Tyne (before 2004Freshers' Week Student orientation or new student orientation (often encapsulated into an orientation week, o-week, frosh week, welcome week or freshers' week) is a period before the start of an academic year at a university or tertiary institutions. A variety ...
" or Week 0) for first year students prior to the start of Michaelmas term, starting on the first Monday in October. In 2021 the university announced an extension to the end of the Easter term to take advantage of the easing of Coronavirus lockdown measures. Students at the university are also expected to "Keep Term", whereby students must fulfil their academic requirements at the university. As such Heads of Departments must be satisfied that each student has attended all necessary tutorials, seminars and practical work throughout the term and vacation period.


Colleges

Durham operates a collegiate structure similar to that of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, in that all the colleges at Durham (and the Wesley Study Centre) are "listed bodies" in part two of the Education (Listed Bodies) (England) Order 2013 made under the
Education Reform Act 1988 The Education Reform Act 1988 is widely regarded as the most important single piece of education legislation in England and Wales since the 'Butler' Education Act 1944. Provisions The main provisions of the Education Reform Act are as follow ...
, as bodies that appear to the Secretary of State "to be a constituent college, school, hall or other institution of a university which is such a recognised body" (the "recognised body" being, in this case, Durham University). Though most of the Durham colleges are governed and owned directly by the university itself (the exceptions being St John's and St Chad's), the legal status of the Durham colleges is similar to Oxbridge colleges, setting them apart from those at the universities of Kent, Lancaster, and York. However, unlike at Oxford and Cambridge, there is no formal teaching at Durham colleges (with the exception of Cranmer Hall theological college within St John's), although colleges are active in research. The colleges dominate the residential, social, sporting, and pastoral functions within the university, and there is heavy student involvement in their operation.
Formal dinner Dinner usually refers to what is in many Western cultures the largest and most formal meal of the day, which is eaten in the evening. Historically, the largest meal used to be eaten around midday, and called dinner. Especially among the elite ...
s (known as "formals") are held at every college; gowns are worn to these events at just over half of the colleges. Gowns are not worn for formals at Collingwood, St Aidan's, St Cuthbert's, Hild Bede, Van Mildert, Stephenson or Ustinov. There is a great deal of intercollegiate rivalry, particularly in
rowing Rowing is the act of propelling a human-powered watercraft using the sweeping motions of oars to displace water and generate reactional propulsion. Rowing is functionally similar to paddling, but rowing requires oars to be mechanically at ...
and other sporting activities. There is also rivalry between the generally older " Bailey" colleges and the newer "Hill" colleges. The colleges are:


Governance

The university is governed by the Statutes put in place by the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne Act, 1963, and subsequently amended by the
Privy Council A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a state, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the m ...
. The Statutes provide that: "The University shall be governed by a Visitor, Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Convocation, Council, Senate, and Boards of Studies." (Statute 4). The Visitor for the University of Durham is the
Bishop of Durham The Bishop of Durham is the Anglican bishop responsible for the Diocese of Durham in the Province of York. The diocese is one of the oldest in England and its bishop is a member of the House of Lords. Paul Butler has been the Bishop of Durham ...
. The Visitor is the final arbiter of any dispute within the university, except in those areas where legislation has removed this to the law courts or other ombudsmen, or in matters internal to the two non-maintained colleges (St Chad's College and St John's College), each of which has its own Visitor. Student complaints and appeals were heard by the Visitor until the
Higher Education Act 2004 The Higher Education Act 2004 (c 8) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced several changes to the higher education system in the United Kingdom, the most important and controversial being a major change to the fundi ...
came into force. All student complaints are now heard by the
Office of the Independent Adjudicator The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity which has been designated under the Higher Education Act 2004 to run the higher education student complaints scheme w ...
for Higher Education. The
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the or lattice work screens of a basilica or law co ...
of the university is Sir Thomas Allen, who succeeded Bill Bryson in January 2012. The Chancellor is appointed by Convocation for "a fixed period of not normally less than five years as determined by the Council", which can be renewed. The role of the Chancellor is mainly ceremonial; The Vice-Chancellor (formally the ''Vice-Chancellor and Warden'') is the Chief Executive Officer of the university and is appointed by Council. As Warden the Vice-Chancellor is responsible for the 15 maintained colleges of the university. Since January 2022 this has been Karen O'Brien, the University's first female Vice-Chancellor and Warden, succeeding Stuart Corbridge who retired in July 2021. Convocation is the assembly of the university. Membership of Convocation is open to: the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and Pro-Vice-Chancellors, all graduates, the teaching staff (lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, and professors), and the heads of colleges and licensed halls of residence. It must meet once each year in order to hear the Vice-Chancellor's Address and to debate any business relating to the university. Further meetings can be called if representation is made by a minimum of 50 members. Its powers are limited to appointing the Chancellor (and even then, only on the nomination of Council and Senate) and the making of representations to the university on any business debated (Statute 30). Council is the executive body of the university. In addition to representatives from the university it includes up to 12 lay members (not being teachers or salaried staff in the university or any of its colleges), the Dean of Durham and the President of Durham Students' Union (Statute 10). Its powers include establishing and maintaining colleges, and recognising non-maintained colleges and licensed halls of residence (Statutes 12 & 13). Senate is the supreme governing body of the university in academic matters. It nominates the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellors to Council, and recommends the establishment of Faculties and Boards of Studies. It is Senate that grants degrees, and has the authority to revoke them. It also regulates the use of
academic dress Academic dress is a traditional form of clothing for academic settings, mainly tertiary (and sometimes secondary) education, worn mainly by those who have obtained a university degree (or similar), or hold a status that entitles them to as ...
of the university (Statutes 19 & 20). The day-to-day running of the university is in the hands of the University Executive Committee (UEC), which is also responsible for the development of the policies and strategies. This is a joint subcommittee of Senate and Council and consists of the Vice-Chancellor and Warden, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost ( Chief Academic Officer), the two portfolio Pro-Vice-Chancellors (for Education and Research), the three faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden (who has responsibility for the colleges), the Registrar (chief operating officer) and the Treasurer (chief financial officer). All heads of departments and of colleges report directly to one of the members of the UEC.


Schools and faculties

The teaching departments of the university are divided into four faculties: Science, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Health, and the Business School. Each faculty is headed by a Pro-Vice-Chancellor and one or more Deputies. These, along with the heads of the departments in the faculty and the Vice-Chancellor, make up the Faculty Board for that faculty. Each department also has a Board of Studies consisting of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of their faculty, the teaching staff of the department, and student representatives (Statute 29). Associated with the first three faculties are three combined honours degrees: Natural Sciences (BSc & MSci), Liberal Arts (BA), and Combined Honours in Social Sciences (BA). The largest degree programmes offered by the university, by number of entrants from the 2013–14 admissions cycle, were Business, Accounting and Finance (395), Natural Sciences (221), Modern Languages and Cultures (216), and Geography (216). Faculty of Social Sciences & Health * Department of Anthropology * Department of Archaeology * School of Education * Department of Geography * School of Government and International Affairs
(''Including the Politics Department and the Institute for Middle East and Islamic Studies'') * Durham Law School * Department of Sociology *Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences Faculty of Arts and Humanities *Department of Classics & Ancient History *Department of English Studies *Department of History *School of Modern Languages and Cultures
(''Includes Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Hispanic Studies Departments'') * Department of Music *Department of Philosophy *Department of Theology and Religion *English Language Centre *Centre for Foreign Language Study Faculty of Science *Department of Biosciences *Department of Chemistry *Department of Computer Science *Department of Earth Sciences * Department of Engineering *Department of Mathematical Sciences * Department of Physics *Department of Psychology Faculty of Business ( Durham University Business School) *Department of Accounting *Department of Economics and Finance *Department of Management and Marketing


Academic profile


Admissions

The average
UCAS The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS ) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. It operates as an independent charity, funded by fees charged to applicants an ...
point score for new entrants in 2019–20 was 184 points, placing Durham University ninth in the country in terms of entrants' points. Durham's student body consists of undergraduates and postgraduate students (). In 2014/15, Durham had the fourth highest number of students from middle-class backgrounds at 85.8 per cent. For the same year, 34.3 per cent of the undergraduate full-time student population came from independent schools and 8.75% from grammar schools, 19.35 per cent of full-time students are of ethnic minorities. In 2014–15, 44.8 per cent of full-time undergraduate students lived in University (including St John's and St Chad's colleges) accommodation. The university gave offers of admission to 69 per cent of 18-year-old applicants in 2015, the 9th lowest amongst the Russell Group. In the 2016–17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 73:6:22 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 55:45. Durham charges undergraduate fees of £9,250 for home/EU students. Following the Government's announcement in 2016 that fees in England would be allowed to rise by 2.8 per cent (from the then maximum level of £9,000), Durham became one of the first universities in the country to announce it intended to take advantage of this to raise fees to the new maximum of £9,250 for students entering from 2017. For the undergraduate admissions cycle 2013–14, Durham received 26,030 applications (for around 4,200 places), of which 38.4 per cent were from independent schools and 13.8 per cent (of UK applications) from ethnic minorities, overall 64.2 per cent of applicants were successful in receiving an offer of admissions. Durham requires students applying for degrees in law to sit the LNAT admission test.


Widening access

Durham has been criticised for not accepting as many students from low participation neighbourhoods, and from state schools, as might be expected from its admission standards and course offerings. For admissions in 2015/16, Durham had the third lowest percentage of state school students (among higher education institutions with over 1,000 full-time first-degree entrants) at 60.5 per cent, compared to a Higher Education Statistics Agency benchmark of 75 per cent. According to pro-vice-chancellor, Alan Hudson, this was a temporary drop from the 63 per cent level the university has reached in recent years, and to which it was expected to return in 2016/17. The university also fell short of its benchmark for admissions from low participation neighbourhoods, accepting 5.1 per cent, compared to a benchmark of 6 per cent. The data for 2016/17 showed that admissions from state schools had recovered to 62.9 per cent, still short of the location-adjusted benchmark of 74.9 per cent, and that admissions from low participation neighbourhoods were 5.2 per cent compared to the location-adjusted benchmark of 6.6 per cent. Since 1992 the university has run a widening access programme, originally called the Centre for Lifelong Learning and now known as the Durham Centre for Academic Development. The centre provides access to Durham degrees for mature students who show academic promise but do not hold the traditional entry requirements. The centre runs a range of foundation year courses associated with specific degree courses. For the 2013–14 admissions cycle, 153 students took up offers of places in the programme. Durham has partnered with the Sutton Trust since 2012 to run the Durham University Sutton Trust Summer School for gifted and talented school children from underrepresented backgrounds, leading to qualification with 16 to 32
UCAS Tariff The UCAS Tariff (formerly called UCAS Points System) is used to allocate points to post-16 qualifications (Level 3 qualifications on the Regulated Qualifications Framework). Universities and colleges may use it when making offers to applicants. A p ...
points and a guaranteed conditional offer from Durham if they choose to apply. The university also runs the Durham International Summer School and partners with the Sutton Trust to run the Durham Teacher Summer School. In 2014, Durham became the first UK university to participate in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. The scheme, where students study alongside inmates, ran in Durham Prison and the high-security Frankland Prison in 2015 and was expanded to include Low Newton Prison in 2016. Durham gives a bursary, known as the Durham Grant, of £2,000 per year to students from households with an annual income of less than £25,000. The university planned to reduce this to £1,800 per year for students entering from 2016 onwards, after the Office for Fair Access encouraged moving away from bursaries to other schemes to widen participation. However, this decision was reversed after the government decided to abolish maintenance grants. The university also runs the "Supported Progression" programme for sixth-form students, aimed at helping talented young people from the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire to fulfill their potential via a two-year structured programme of events.


Research

The university is part of the Russell Group,
Virgo Consortium The Virgo Consortium was founded in 1994 for '' Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations'' in response to the UK's High Performance Computing Initiative. Virgo developed rapidly into an international collaboration between a dozen scientists in the ...
and the
N8 Group The N8 Research Partnership is a partnership created in 2006 of the eight most research-intensive universities in Northern England – Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. The N8 Research Partn ...
of Universities. According to the latest
CWTS Leiden Ranking The CWTS Leiden Ranking is an annual global university ranking based exclusively on bibliometric indicators. The rankings are compiled by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies ( Dutch: ''Centrum voor Wetenschap en Technologische Studies ...
2018 that measures the scientific performance of 500 major universities worldwide, Durham is ranked 89th in the world in terms of the proportion of its academic papers in the top 10 per cent for impact (the "PP(top 10%)" measure). Research institutes at the university include the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, the Durham Energy Institute, the Institute for Hazard and Risk Research, the Institute of Advanced Study, the International Boundaries Research Unit and the
Institute for Computational Cosmology The Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) is a Research Institute at Durham University, England. It was founded in November 2002 as part of the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, which also includes the Institute for Particle Physics Phe ...
. In the 2014
Research Excellence Framework The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a research impact evaluation of British higher education institutions. It is the successor to the Research Assessment Exercise and it was first used in 2014 to assess the period 2008–2013. REF is underta ...
, Durham was assessed to have a research profile of 33 per cent world class (4*), 50 per cent internationally important (3*), 15 per cent internationally recognised (2*), and 1 per cent nationally recognised (1*). which was an improvement on the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. However, this was in the context of a rise in the average profile from 2008 to 2015. In the
Times Higher Education ''Times Higher Education'' (''THE''), formerly ''The Times Higher Education Supplement'' (''The Thes''), is a British magazine reporting specifically on news and issues related to higher education. Ownership TPG Capital acquired TSL Education ...
ranking by grade point average (GPA; measuring average quality), Durham fell from joint 14th in 2008 to 20th in 2014 despite a rise in GPA from 2.72 to 3.14. Similarly, Durham fell from 19th to 20th in the Times Higher Education ranking by total research power. However, in Research Fortnight's ranking by total research power (which uses a weighting closer to that used by
HEFCE The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom, which was responsible for the distribution of funding for higher education to universities and further education colleges in Engla ...
in making funding allocations, with 2* and 1* research zero-weighted) Durham rose from 19th in 2008 to 18th in 2014.


Rankings and reputation

Durham University's Strategic Plan 2017–2027 defines targets of being in the top 5 nationally on the Times/Sunday Times league table, of having 50 per cent of eligible subjects in the top 50 globally on the QS world rankings, and of being in the top three UK institutions by citations per academic staff member. The earlier 2010–2020 strategic plan called for it "to be in the top 5 universities in major UK league tables" (defined as the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide) and "to be in the top 50 universities in the Times Higher Education world rankings by 2020". The first objective was met in 2012 and 2015, the second remains as yet unmet, with Durham ranking 70th in the world in 2015. The previous 2005–2010 strategic plan called for Durham "to be ranked among the top 30 universities in Europe and the top 100 in the world in the Times Higher Education Supplement international league tables"; Durham ranked 85th in the world (19th in Europe) in 2010 and has since maintained its position in the top 100. ;National Durham consistently places in the top ten in rankings of universities in the United Kingdom.It has ranked in the Times top ten since the 2004 tables, the Complete University Guide top ten since it was founded in 2007 (2008 tables) and the Guardian top ten since the 2012 tables. The 2018 ''
Complete University Guide Three national rankings of universities in the United Kingdom are published annually – by ''The Complete University Guide'', '' The Guardian'' and jointly by '' The Times'' and '' The Sunday Times''. Rankings have also been produced in the pa ...
'' ranks Durham 6th overall, ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
University Guide 2018'' ranks Durham 4th overall and the 2018 ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
/
Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in Britain's quality press market category. It was founded in 1821 as ''The New Observer''. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News UK, whi ...
Good University Guide'' ranks Durham 5th overall. ;Subject In the 2020 ''
Complete University Guide Three national rankings of universities in the United Kingdom are published annually – by ''The Complete University Guide'', '' The Guardian'' and jointly by '' The Times'' and '' The Sunday Times''. Rankings have also been produced in the pa ...
'' subject rankings, Durham is top in the UK for English and Music. The university ranks second for French, Geography & Environmental Science, Iberian Languages, Middle Eastern & African Studies, and Theology & Religious Studies. Third for Archaeology, Chemistry, Classics & Ancient History, German, History, Italian, and Russian & East European Languages. With 30/33 subjects ranked in the top 10, Durham is one of only four universities (along with
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
,
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cambridge beca ...
, and Imperial College London) to have over 90 per cent of their subjects in the top 10 in this ranking. In ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' 2018 subject rankings Durham ranks first in Archaeology, second in Education, and third in Chemistry, Earth Sciences, English, Geography & Environmental Studies, and Religious Studies & Theology. In the 2018 ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
/
Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in Britain's quality press market category. It was founded in 1821 as ''The New Observer''. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News UK, whi ...
Good University Guide'' subject rankings, Durham is top in music and joint top in English. It also ranks second in archaeology and forensic science, East and South Asian studies, geography and environmental science, history, Iberian languages, Italian, and theology and religious studies; joint second in Russian and East European languages: and third in chemistry and education. ;International Durham has been placed in the top 100 universities in the world in both the ''
Times Higher Education ''Times Higher Education'' (''THE''), formerly ''The Times Higher Education Supplement'' (''The Thes''), is a British magazine reporting specifically on news and issues related to higher education. Ownership TPG Capital acquired TSL Education ...
'' (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings since 2010.The university monitored both THE and QS rankings as part of its strategic plan until 2017, but did not monitor the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) or other international rankings. The
Times Higher Education World University Rankings The ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings'' (often referred to as the THE Rankings) is an annual publication of university rankings by the ''Times Higher Education'' (THE) magazine. The publisher had collaborated with Quacquarell ...
for 2017 place Durham 96th in the world (12th in the UK) in 2016, down from 70th in 2015. In the individual subject area rankings for 2016–7, Durham is placed 60th (2015-6: 83rd) in the world (8th in the UK) for physical sciences, 60th (2015-6: 36th) in the world (9th in the UK) for social sciences, and 29th (2015-6: 28th)in the world (6th in the UK) for arts and humanities. Durham is not ranked on the other top-100 subject tables (business and economics; computer science; engineering and technology; life sciences; clinical, pre-clinical and health). Durham re-entered the
Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings The ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings'' (often referred to as the THE Rankings) is an annual publication of university rankings by the ''Times Higher Education'' (THE) magazine. The publisher had collaborated with Quacquarelli ...
in the 91–100 band in 2017, having not been ranked in the top 100 in 2016. The QS World University Rankings 2018 places Durham 78th in the world (12th in the UK), down from 74th in 2016/2017 and 61st in 2015 – the fall experienced by many UK universities in the rankings has been attributed to uncertainty over Brexit. In the "faculty" subject areas for 2017, Durham ranks 45th in the world (9th in the UK) for arts and humanities, 242nd in the world (26th in the UK) for engineering and technology, 368th in the world (31st in the UK) for life sciences and medicine, 72nd in the world (8th in the UK) for natural sciences, and 98th in the world (13th in the UK) for social sciences and management. In the subject rankings for 2017, Durham was ranked 3rd in the world for theology, divinity and religious studies, 4th for archaeology and 7th for geography. Earth and marine sciences (24th), anthropology (35th), English language and literature (35th), history (37th) and law and legal studies (40th) also featured in the top 50 in the world, while Durham also ranked in the top 100 for chemistry, modern languages, physics and astronomy, politics, psychology, and sociology. One of Durham's 2017–2027 strategic goals is to have half of its subjects in the top 50 globally on the QS ranking; in 2017 it had 8 in the top 50 out of 27 subjects ranked (30 per cent). Another 2017–2027 strategic goal is for Durham to be in the top three universities in the UK for research citations per faculty; the QS ranking 2018 placed Durham fourth in the UK (82nd globally) for this measure, behind the London Business School, Cambridge and Oxford, slipping from second in the UK (43rd globally) in 2017. The Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities placed Durham in the 201–300 bracket. In individual subject areas, Durham is placed in the 51–75 bracket for science and the 101–150 bracket for social science, it is not ranked in engineering, life sciences or medical sciences. In individual subjects, the ARWU places Durham 27th in the world (5th in the UK) for physics, and gives no rank for chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or economics/business. The
CWTS Leiden Ranking The CWTS Leiden Ranking is an annual global university ranking based exclusively on bibliometric indicators. The rankings are compiled by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies ( Dutch: ''Centrum voor Wetenschap en Technologische Studies ...
, based on bibliometric indicators of research, placed Durham 89th in the world (16th in the UK) in 2018. In scientific subject areas, Durham ranked 251st in the world (35th in the UK) for biomedical and health science, 104th in the world (26th in the UK) for life and earth sciences, 389th in the world (36th in the UK) for mathematics and computer science, 76th in the world (10th in the UK) for physical sciences and engineering, and 69th in the world (11th in the UK) in social sciences and humanities. The
Round University Ranking Round University Ranking (RUR Ranking) is a Moscow, Russia-based world university ranking, assessing effectiveness of 700 leading world universities based on 20 indicators distributed among 4 key dimension areas: teaching, research, internationa ...
placed Durham 94th in the world (12th in the UK) in 2016. In certain subject areas, Durham ranked 30th in the world (8th in the UK) for the humanities, 44th in the world (12th in the UK) for social sciences, 153rd in the world (27th in the UK) for technical sciences, 191st in the world (21st in the UK) for natural sciences, 269th in the world (33rd in the UK) for life sciences and 418th in the world (61st in the UK) for medical sciences. ;Employment In 2017, Durham had the highest graduate employment rate of any UK university, with 97.9 per cent of its graduates in work or further study three and a half years after graduation. In 2015, Durham was placed 47th in the world (8th in the UK) in QS's pilot global employability ranking, and 8th in the UK for graduate prospects by the Times and Sunday Times 2016. It did not, however, feature in the Times Higher Education Top 150 Global Employability rankings, but was placed joint 16th in the UK for the employability of its graduates according to recruiters of the UK's major companies. The ''High Fliers Research'' UK graduate market report for 2016 placed Durham 8th in its table of universities targeted by the largest number of top employees. ;Other indications In 2013, Durham was judged to have the best quality of student life in the country in the inaugural Lloyds Bank rankings and has never (in 2015) been out of the top three, coming in third in 2014 and second in 2015. The ''Complete University Guide'' ranked Durham as the 29th safest university in England and Wales for crime in 2016, although with large differences between the two campuses: Durham City had 24.4 incidents per 1000 residents while the Queen's Campus in Stockton had 56.0 incidents per 1000 residents. Durham is listed as part of the Sutton Trust 30 "most highly selective" British universities, and is one of the few universities to have won
University Challenge ''University Challenge'' is a British television game show, quiz programme which first aired in 1962. ''University Challenge'' aired for 913 episodes on ITV (TV network), ITV from 21 September 1962 to 31 December 1987, presented by quizmaster ...
more than once (1977 and 2000).


Student life


Residential life

Durham students belong to a college for the duration of their time at the university. Most students live in their college for the first year of their undergraduate life, then choose to 'live-out' in their second year, and subsequently have the option of moving back into college for their final year, usually via a ballot system. The Colleges provide a key role in the pastoral care and social centre of students with each running a college tutorial system, along with JCRs providing events and societies for undergraduate members, MCRs being a centre for postgraduate students and the SCRs for the college officers, fellows and tutors. These common rooms are run by an executive committee, usually headed by a President. Some colleges use other titles for the head of their JCR: Hatfield retains "Senior Man", having rejected a motion to move to "JCR President" in May 2014 and a motion to allow the incumbent to choose between "Senior Man", "Senior Woman" or "Senior Student" in January 2016. University College voted to allow "Senior Man", "Senior Woman" or "Senior Student" in June 2015, the incumbent switching to using "Senior Student", and St Chad's uses "Senior Man" or "Senior Woman". Each college has a unique identity and a variety of facilities for students ranging from computer rooms and libraries to tennis courts and gyms. In 2015, Durham University was voted number 1 in the UK for best university WiFi, on the review platform StudentCrowd. Most colleges have their own sports teams and compete in the collegiate leagues (such as Durham College Rowing) and have their own theatre company and orchestra which operate parallel to the university level sports teams and organisations.


Student organisations

Approximately 200 student clubs and organisations run on Durham's campuses, covering academic, arts, culture and faith, hobbies and games, outdoors, politics, law and music interests. Durham Students' Union (DSU) charters and provides most of the funding for these organisations. The DSU runs a Comedy Café, Fresher's Ball, Silent Discos and Vintage fashion fair. The
Durham Union Society This is a list of social activities at the University of Durham, including details of clubs, societies and other common leisure activities associated with Durham University. Over 200 student clubs and organisations run within Durham Students' Uni ...
, founded in 1842 as Durham's Student Debating & Union Society, claims to be the largest independent student society in Durham, and hosts weekly debates and addresses from invited guests. It is supported by both local and corporate sponsors, including
Penguin Books Penguin Books is a British publishing, publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John, as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year.Teach First Teach First (also Teach First Cymru) is a social enterprise registered as a charity which aims to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales. Teach First coordinates an employment-based teaching training programme whereby particip ...
and the Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May. There has been past speculation on the prevalence of socially elitist so-called secret societies on campus, with the 'Hatfield Cavaliers', 'Castle Fives', 'Red Poet Society', 'Elephant Polo Club', and the 'Caelians' named as examples of supposedly active groups in student articles. Most have an all-male membership, though the 'Aolian Society' (named after the Greek God of Wind), said to be based almost exclusively around students from University College, is an apparent exception. Such societies, like 'A.A.' or, in full, Arcanum Arcanorum, are said to have memberships dominated by the Bailey colleges. Alumni dinners for former members of these societies have been held at London clubs.


Diversity

BAME (Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic) students make up 32.6% of full-time Durham students in 2019/20, although students who classify themselves as 'black' number only 382 out of 18,430 full-time students (2.07%). According to a 2018 article for the youth news site ''
The Tab ''The Tab'' is a tabloid-style youth news site, published by Tab Media Ltd. It was launched at the University of Cambridge and has since expanded to over 80 universities in the United Kingdom and United States. The name originates from both an ...
'', the low representation of black students means that support structures for many young, vulnerable, black students are non-existent. Incidents of racism, sexism and elitism have been reported as occurring at Durham University. The university has stated that they condemn all racism and hate crime. The university established an independent commission on Respect, Values and Behaviours in October 2018. The report of this commission was published in July 2020, highlighting that there were multiple problems with bullying, discrimination and a lack of diversity, and that many students came to the university with a "sense of entitlement". The report also found that the lack of diversity was "at the root of a number of discriminatory and exclusionary behaviours", including racism, sexism, and disrespect of working class students. The commission made 20 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the university's management.


Civic engagement

Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach (DUSVO; formally Student Community Action – SCA) oversees over 80 volunteer projects in Durham and the surrounding area, involving more than 2,000 students each year. It was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service – the UK's highest honour for volunteer groups – in 2020. Colleges often organise their own outreach and charitable activities. Durham University Charity Kommittee (or DUCK) is the university's equivalent of student's
rag week Rags are student-run charitable fundraising organisations that are widespread in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Some are run as student societies whilst others sit with campaigns within their student unions. Most universities in the UK and Irela ...
. Originally set up as a week event, DUCK has become a permanent feature in raising money for local or national charities with events taking place throughout the year. Activities take place within each college, as well as centrally over the university. DUCK also organises expeditions to the Himalayas, Jordan and Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money as well as being involved in the university-run 'Project Sri Lanka' and 'Project Thailand'. Team Durham Community Outreach is a sports community programme aimed at giving support and opportunities through the use of sport. The programme runs projects such as Summer Camps for children from the Youth Engagement Service and fostered backgrounds along with providing coaching at local schools as well as participating in sports in action.


Town and gown relations

The relationship between the university and the wider city has not always been free of tension. University plans for expansion have also faced local opposition.


Student media

'' Palatinate'', Durham's independent student run fortnightly newspaper, has been continually published since 1948. Notable former editors include George Alagiah, Hunter Davies, Piers Merchant, Sir Timothy Laurence, Jeremy Vine and Harold Evans. Purple Radio is Durham's student radio station. It broadcasts live from the DSU 24 hours a day during term time. The station has existed since the 1980s and is a recognised DSU society. Two daily news bulletins are broadcast every weekday, as well as a Breakfast Show and an Evening Show. The Bubble, founded in 2010, is an online magazine based at the university covering various subjects, including student and university news.


Sport

Sport at Durham is a key aspect of student life with some 92 per cent of students regularly taking part. As of 2018, the university caters for more than 50 different sports, organised under the umbrella name of
Team Durham Team Durham (formerly Durham University Athletic Union, DUAU) is a student-run organisation responsible for sport at Durham University. In contrast to most British universities it is a separate organisation with the status of a students' union, ...
, with many being predominantly based at the Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle. This facility has 26 courts and pitches for sports ranging from rugby to lacrosse to netball, additional facilities include eleven boat houses and two astroturfs, a fitness studio, and a weights room. The university also owns The Racecourse which has a further eight courts and pitches for cricket, rugby (union and league), squash and football. The university is recognised as a Centre of Cricketing Excellence (one of only six university centres to play first-class matches) by the England and Wales Cricket Board. The university also has Performance Centres for
rowing Rowing is the act of propelling a human-powered watercraft using the sweeping motions of oars to displace water and generate reactional propulsion. Rowing is functionally similar to paddling, but rowing requires oars to be mechanically at ...
,
lacrosse Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. It is the oldest organized sport in North America, with its origins with the indigenous people of North America as early as the 12th century. The game was extens ...
,
tennis Tennis is a racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent ( singles) or between two teams of two players each ( doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball c ...
and fencing. Durham has been 2nd across all sports in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) table since 2011/12. In 2014/15 it became only the second University (after Loughborough) to pass 4000 BUCS points and the top university in the country for team sports. Both of these were repeated in 2015/16, which also saw Durham beat its own records for total BUCS scores in League and Cup competitions. In rowing, it has a good record at the BUCS Regatta, having won the title for ten consecutive years (2004–2013) before coming second in 2014, then regaining the title in 2015 before losing it again in 2016. In 2017 the club finished in 7th place, from 52 ranked teams. Durham University Boat Club also competes in Durham Regatta and the Boat Race of the North against Newcastle University, which ran 1997 – 2010 and was revived in 2015. In Women's and Men's
lawn tennis Tennis is a racket sport that is played either individually against a single opponent ( singles) or between two teams of two players each ( doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball co ...
, Team Durham's 1st teams have done well at the BUCS Championship, with the Women's team winning the Championship in 2011 & 2017 and the Men's team winning 4 straight Championships from 2014 to 2018. Durham University is one of four universities to compete in the unofficial "Doxbridge" Tournament in Dublin, a sporting competition between Durham University, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the University of York. Durham colleges also compete officially with colleges from the
University of York The University of York (abbreviated as or ''York'' for post-nominals) is a collegiate research university, located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, co ...
in the annual College Varsity tournament held since 2014. Durham won this tournament in 2014 (in York) and 2015 (in Durham) before York recorded their first victory in 2016 (in York). Durham also competes again long-standing BUCS champions
Loughborough University Loughborough University (abbreviated as ''Lough'' or ''Lboro'' for Post-nominal letters, post-nominals) is a public university, public research university in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. It has been a university sinc ...
in the 'BUCS Varsity', a coordinated set of BUCS matches across multiple sports, and in a competition between Durham colleges and Loughborough halls of residence, both of which were organised for the first time in 2015/16. Durham won the BUCS Varsity both home and away in 2015/16 but lost the colleges' competition, held in Durham. Palatinates (named after the colour associated with the university) are given to athletes who demonstrate a high standard (such as international representation) in their sport. It is similar to a
blue Blue is one of the three primary colours in the RYB colour model (traditional colour theory), as well as in the RGB (additive) colour model. It lies between violet and cyan on the spectrum of visible light. The eye perceives blue when ...
awarded at other British universities, though the criteria are stricter, and earning a full palatinate has been described by the university as a 'notoriously difficult' achievement. In 2020 just 18 student athletes received the full award, with a further 56 earning a half-palatinate.


Music and drama

The central body for theatre at the university is known as Durham Student Theatre (DST), with around 700 active student members throughout 27 separate, student-run theatre societies as of 2018. The Assembly Rooms is the university-owned theatre, located on The Bailey, which hosts a number of student productions each term. Alongside this, student drama productions are held at Durham City's Gala Theatre (notably Durham University Light Opera Group (DULOG) and Durham Opera Ensemble (DOE), which both perform one show in the Gala every year in Epiphany term), venues around Durham University and within the colleges, Durham Castle,
Durham Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, County Durham, England. It is the seat of th ...
, as well as in national and international venues and the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (also referred to as The Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, or Edinburgh Fringe Festival) is the world's largest arts and media festival, which in 2019 spanned 25 days and featured more than 59,600 performances of 3,841 dif ...
. Since 1975, the university has played host to the Durham Drama Festival which celebrates new theatrical and dramatic material written by Durham students. The Durham Revue is the university's
sketch comedy Sketch comedy comprises a series of short, amusing scenes or vignettes, called "sketches", commonly between one and ten minutes long, performed by a group of comic actors or comedians. The form developed and became popular in vaudeville, and i ...
group. Tracing its roots back to the early 1950s, and known under its current name since 1988, the group consists of six writer-performers (auditioned, interviewed and chosen each Michaelmas Term) and produces a series of shows each year. The group performs annually with
Cambridge University , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Schola ...
's Footlights and
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
's
The Oxford Revue The Oxford Revue is a comedy group primarily featuring students from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, England. Founded in the early 1950s, The Oxford Revue has produced many prominent comedians, actors and satirists. The Revue ...
, as well as at the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (also referred to as The Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, or Edinburgh Fringe Festival) is the world's largest arts and media festival, which in 2019 spanned 25 days and featured more than 59,600 performances of 3,841 dif ...
. Music is particularly marked by the Durham University Chamber Choir and Orchestral Societies (including the Palatinate Orchestra). The Durham Cathedral Choir offers choral scholarships to male students, and several of the colleges (University, Hatfield, Hild Bede, St John's, St Chad's, St Cuthbert's, Grey and St Mary's) also offer organ and/or choral scholarships, as does the Catholic Chaplaincy. Durham is also home to the oldest
Gamelan Gamelan () ( jv, ꦒꦩꦼꦭꦤ꧀, su, ᮌᮙᮨᮜᮔ᮪, ban, ᬕᬫᭂᬮᬦ᭄) is the traditional ensemble music of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese peoples of Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. ...
slendro set in the UK with an active community group and an artist in residence. The instruments are currently housed in the Grade II listed Durham University Observatory. Recently a set tuned to peloghas been added meaning that Durham now has a complete Gamelan orchestra. In recent years, the Durham Gamelan Society has performed at several major public events such as the Gong Festivals 2011 & 2012 and at the Gamelan Lokananta all night wayang kulit in celebration of York University's Gamelan Sekar Petak 30th anniversary in 2012, as well as many smaller performances for the International Students' Festival and college events.


Alumni


Societies

Durham alumni are active through organisations and events such as the annual reunions, dinners and balls. By 2007 there were 67 Durham associations ranging from international to college and sports affiliated groups catering for the more than 109,000 living alumni. The umbrella organisation for Durham University alumni is Dunelm, which offers a range of events and dedicated alumni services. Dunelm can trace its roots to the Durham University Society, formed in 1921, and preceded by the Society of Dunelmians in 1905 and the Durham University Association in 1866. Dunelm USA, formerly the North American Foundation for the University of Durham or NAFUD, is a philanthropic body in the United States that hosts alumni events and fundraises for Durham-related projects. A masonic lodge, University of Durham Lodge no. 3030, was founded in 1903 for university alumni and currently meets at Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden. Alumni also benefit from affiliate membership of the
Princeton Club of New York The Princeton Club of New York was a private club located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York founded in 1866 as the Princeton Alumni Association of New York. It reorganized to its final namesake in 1886. Its membership composed of alu ...
. Durham graduates do not have a dedicated private club themselves – an attempt to raise funds for a central London club (modelled on the Oxford and Cambridge Club) commenced in March 1922, spearheaded by members of the University of Durham Lodge, but was ultimately unsuccessful.


Notable people

A number of Durham alumni have made significant contributions in the fields of government, law, science, academia, business, arts, journalism, and athletics, among others. These have included
Justin Welby Justin Portal Welby (born 6 January 1956) is a British bishop who is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. He has served in that role since 2013. Welby was previously the vicar of Southam, Warwickshire, and then Bishop of Durham, serving for ...
, Archbishop of Canterbury (St John's, 1992), Sir Milton Margai, first prime minister of
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone,)]. officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It is bordered by Liberia to the southeast and Guinea surrounds the northern half of the nation. Covering a total area of , Sierra ...
(MD, 1926), the 7th Queensland Premier John Douglas (Queensland politician), John Douglas (BA, 1850), Henry Holland, 1st Viscount Knutsford, Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1887 to 1892 (Law, 1847), Herbert Laming, Baron Laming, head of the
Harold Shipman Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004), known by the public as Doctor Death and to acquaintances as Fred Shipman, was an English general practitioner and serial killer. He is considered to be one of the most prolif ...
inquiry and the investigation of Britain's social services following the death of Baby P, (Applied Social Studies, 1960), Dame Caroline Swift, the lead counsel to the Shipman inquiry, Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah (PhD Geography, 1999), and
Mo Mowlam Dr Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam (18 September 1949 – 19 August 2005) was a British Labour Party politician. She was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Redcar from 1987 to 2001 and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mi ...
,
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland A secretary, administrative professional, administrative assistant, executive assistant, administrative officer, administrative support specialist, clerk, military assistant, management assistant, office secretary, or personal assistant is a w ...
at the time of the Good Friday Peace Agreement (Sociology and Anthropology). Durham graduate Libby Lane was the first woman to be consecrated bishop in the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
. Durham graduates also hold noteworthy positions in the law, including Supreme Court Justices Lord Hughes (Law) and Lady Black (Law), the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane and the current Lord Chancellor
Robert Buckland Sir Robert James Buckland (born 22 September 1968) is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Wales from July to October 2022. He previously served as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor from 2019 to 2021. A m ...
(Law) amongst others. Within the military graduates include General Richard Dannatt, Baron Dannatt (Economic History), the
Chief of the General Staff The Chief of the General Staff (CGS) is a post in many armed forces ( militaries), the head of the military staff. List * Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ( United States) * Chief of the General Staff (Abkhazia) * Chief of General Staff ...
, the professional head of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces along with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. , the British Army comprises 79,380 regular full-time personnel, 4,090 Gur ...
, Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence (Geography), Chief Executive of Defence Estates and husband to The Princess Royal, and Rear-Admiral
Amjad Hussain Rear Admiral Amjad Mazhar Hussain, (born 15 May 1958) is a senior retired Royal Navy officer. He was the highest-ranking member of the British Armed Forces from an ethnic minority. Background and personal life Born in Pakistan, Hussain and his ...
(Engineering, 1979) highest-ranking officer from an ethnic minority in the British Armed Forces. In academia, Durham graduates include
John D. Barrow John David Barrow (29 November 1952 – 26 September 2020) was an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and mathematician. He served as Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College from 2008 to 2011. Barrow was also a writer of popul ...
(Mathematics and Physics, 1974), winner of the Templeton Prize, Sir George Malcolm Brown (Chemistry & Geology, 1950), invited by
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) is an independent agency of the US federal government responsible for the civil space program, aeronautics research, and space research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding ...
to work on the moon rock samples recovered from the Apollo 11 lunar mission, George Rochester (1926), co-discoverer of the kaon sub-atomic particle, alongside Sir Harold Jeffreys (Mathematics, 1919), winner of the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society and the United Kingdom's national academy of sciences. The society fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, re ...
's
Copley Medal The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society, for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science". It alternates between the physical sciences or mathematics and the biological sciences. Given every year, the medal is ...
, Sir Kingsley Charles Dunham (Geology 1930) former director of the British Geological Survey and E. J. Field, early discoverer of what are now called
prion Prions are misfolded proteins that have the ability to transmit their misfolded shape onto normal variants of the same protein. They characterize several fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases in humans and many other animals. It ...
s and significant contributor to MS research. The current Vice-chancellor of the University of Wollongong ( Paul Wellings), former Vice-chancellor of Cardiff University ( David Grant), and Chris Higgins, former vice-chancellor of Durham, are also graduates. Several alumni hold top positions in the business world.
Richard Adams Richard George Adams (9 May 1920 – 24 December 2016) was an English novelist and writer of the books '' Watership Down'', '' Maia'', ''Shardik'' and '' The Plague Dogs''. He studied modern history at university before serving in the British A ...
(Sociology), founder of fair trade organisation Traidcraft, Paul Hawkins (PhD in Artificial Intelligence), inventor of the
Hawk-Eye Hawk-Eye is a computer vision system used in numerous sports such as cricket, tennis, Gaelic football, badminton, hurling, rugby union, association football and volleyball, to visually track the trajectory of the ball and display a profil ...
ball-tracking system, Dame Elisabeth Hoodless (Sociology), former Executive Director of Community Service Volunteers, Sir Nick Scheele (German, 1966), former president and chief operating officer of
Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company (commonly known as Ford) is an American multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobi ...
, entrepreneur Brenda Lindiwe Mabaso-Chipeio, David Sproxton (Geography, 1976), co-founder of Aardman Animations who produce Wallace & Gromit,
Tim Smit Sir Timothy Bartel Smit KBE (born 25 September 1954) is a Dutch-born British businessman, famous for his work on the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the Eden Project, and the Charlestown Shipwreck & Treasure Centre, all in Cornwall, England. Early l ...
(Archaeology and Anthropology), co-founder of the Eden Project and David Walton (Economics and Mathematics, 1984), member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Prominent journalists and media specialists include: George Entwistle, former Director-General of the BBC, Sir Harold Evans (Politics and Economics), editor of ''
The Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in Britain's quality press market category. It was founded in 1821 as ''The New Observer''. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News UK, wh ...
'' from 1967 to 1981 and ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
'' from 1981 to 1982, Nigel Farndale (Philosophy), '' Sunday Telegraph'' journalist, George Alagiah (Politics), presenter of the '' BBC News at Six'', Matthew Amroliwala (Law and Politics, 1984),
BBC News BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is the world's largest broadc ...
channel presenter,
Biddy Baxter Joan Maureen "Biddy" Baxter, MBE (born 25 May 1933) is a British television producer, best known for editing the long-running BBC TV children's magazine show '' Blue Peter'' from 1965 to 1988. As editor of the programme, Baxter devised much of ...
(1955), former producer of '' Blue Peter'', Arthur Bostrom (BA Hons), Officer Crabtree in ''
'Allo 'Allo! ''Allo 'Allo!'' is a British sitcom television series, created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, starring Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera, Guy Siner and Richard Gibson. Originally broadcast on BBC1, the series focuses on the life of a French c ...
'',
Nish Kumar Nishant Kumar (born 1985) is a British stand-up comedian and television presenter. He became known as the host of satirical comedy ''The Mash Report'', now known as '' Late Night Mash''. He has also presented BBC Radio 4 Extra's topical comedy ...
(English with History), stand-up comedian, Jamie Campbell (English Literature), filmmaker, Alastair Fothergill (Zoology, 1983), series producer of '' The Blue Planet'', ''
Planet Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large volumes of water can be found throughout the Solar System, only Earth sustains liquid surface water. About 71% of Earth's surf ...
'' and the director of ''
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large volumes of water can be found throughout the Solar System, only Earth sustains liquid surface water. About 71% of Earth's surfa ...
'', Shelagh Fogarty (Modern Languages, 1988), host of the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show, Lorraine Heggessey (English Language & Literature), the first female Controller of
BBC One BBC One is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network owned and operated by the BBC. It is the corporation's Flagship (broadcasting), flagship network and is known for broadcasting mainstream programming, which includes BBC News ...
and Chris Terrill (Anthropology and Geography), documentary maker, writer and adventurer. Other BBC hosts who have graduated from Durham include Chris Hollins, sports presenter on BBC Breakfast, Gabby Logan (Law, 1995), Kate Silverton (Psychology), Jeremy Vine (English), Tim Willcox (Spanish) and Nina Hossain (English Language and Linguistics). Noted writers include Edward Bradley author of '' The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green'', Minette Walters (French, 1971), author of '' The Sculptress'' and '' The Scold's Bridle'', Graham Hancock (Sociology, 1973) author of '' The Sign and the Seal'', Tim FitzHigham, comedian and author, James Kirkup, travel writer, poet and playwright, Patrick Tilley, science fiction author, and Lorna Hill (born Lorna Leatham, English, 1926), children's writer, author of the Sadlers Wells series.In the sports realm, former England rugby captains Will Carling (Psychology), Phil de Glanville (Economics), and vice-captain Will Greenwood (Economics, 1994), alongside Olympic gold-medal triple jumper Jonathan Edwards (Physics, 1987), Beijing Olympics Bronze-medallist rower Stephen Rowbotham (Business Economics), London 2012 Gold-medallist rower Sophie Hosking (Chemistry and Physics), former England cricket captains Nasser Hussain (Geochemistry) and
Andrew Strauss Sir Andrew John Strauss (born 2 March 1977) is an English cricket administrator and former player, formerly the Director of Cricket for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). He played county cricket for Middlesex, and captained the Engla ...
(Economics) are among the most famous. In the area of polar exploration, Stephanie Solomonides is the first Cypriot person to reach both the North and the South Poles.


See also

*
Armorial of UK universities The armorial of British universities is the collection of coats of arms of universities in the United Kingdom. Modern arms of universities began appearing in England around the middle of the 15th century, with Oxford's being possibly the oldes ...
* Common Awards * Historical list of Durham University Colleges *
List of modern universities in Europe (1801–1945) The list of modern universities in Europe (1801–1940) contains all universities that were founded in Europe after the French Revolution and before the end of World War II. Universities are regarded as comprising all institutions of higher e ...
* List of UK universities


Notes


References


Further reading

* Brickstock, Richard. (2007)
Durham Castle: Fortress, Palace, College.
' Huddersfield: Jeremy Mills Publishing. * Fowler, Joseph Thomas (1904),
Durham University: Earlier Foundations and Present Colleges
', Kessinger Publishing * Heesom, Alan, (1982) ''The founding of the University of Durham'', Durham Cathedral lecture 1982 (Durham, 1982) * The Surtees Society, (1853
The Durham University Calendar with Almanack
Durham: W. E. Duncan and Sons * Watson, Nigel (2007), ''Durham Difference: The Story of Durham University'', James & James * Whiting, C.E., (1932) ''The University of Durham 1832–1932'' (London, 1932)


External links

* {{Authority control
Durham University Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate university, collegiate public university, public research university in Durham, England, Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charte ...
Durham University Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate university, collegiate public university, public research university in Durham, England, Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charte ...
Durham University Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate university, collegiate public university, public research university in Durham, England, Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charte ...
1832 establishments in England Buildings and structures in Durham, England Cross country running venues Universities UK