Study at Durham University, Degree/ Diploma Admissions and Application Information
The university was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837. It was one of the first universities to commence tuition in England for more than 600 years and is one of a number of institutions that has been described as the third-oldest university in England. The Durham University estate includes 63 listed buildings, ranging from the 11th-century Durham Castle to a 1930s Art Deco chapel. The university also owns and manages the Durham World Heritage Site in partnership with Durham Cathedral. The university’s ownership of the World Heritage Site includes Durham Castle, Palace Green, and the surrounding buildings including the historic Cosin’s Library.
Durham University (legally the University of Durham) is a collegiate public research university in Durham, North East England with a second campus in Stockton-on-Tees.
Durham University Details:
The strong tradition of theological teaching in Durham gave rise to various attempts to form a university there, notably under King Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell, who issued letters patent 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, 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 on 4 July 1832.
Student Services and Facilities:
Durham University owns a 227.8 hectare (ha) estate which includes part of a UNESCO world heritage site, one ancient monument, five grade-one listed buildings and 68 grade two-listed buildings along with 44.9 ha 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 7.3 ha Botanic Gardens, established in 1970, with over 78,000 visitors (2007/08).
Durham City is the main location of the university and contains 14 of the 16 colleges along with most of the academic departments. The Durham City estate is spread across several different sites.
The Durham University Library system holds over 1.5 million printed items. The library was founded in January 1833 at Palace Green by a 160-volume donation by the then 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”.
The undergraduate admissions process is co-ordinated by the University, but colleges are ultimately responsible for selecting and admitting their undergraduate students.
The University admits graduate students, but once they have been offered a place by the University, graduate students are also selected by a college.
Facilities and Resources:
The teaching departments of the university are divided into three faculties: Science, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences and Health. 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 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).
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.
Sport at Durham is a key aspect of student life with some 92% of students regularly taking part. There are 45 university level sport clubs, organised by Team Durham with many being predominantly based at the Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle which 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 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.
Durham University, Queen’s Campus, Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6BH
Other Useful contacts:
- University Switchboard: 0191 334 2000
- Admissions (undergraduate): 0191 334 6128
- Admissions (postgraduate): 0191 334 6492
- Business School: 0191 334 5200
- Conference and Tourism (Event Durham): 0191 334 2887
- Development and Alumni Relations: 0191 334 6305
- Graduate School: 0191 334 4570
- International Office: 0191 334 6328
- Marketing: 0191 334 6316
- Media Relations: 0191 334 6075
- Prospectus enquiries: 0191 334 6128
- University Library: 0191 334 3042
- Out of hours – Security Office: 0191 334 2222
Content accurate at the time of compilation. However, details may be subject to change. You should always confirm details with the provider. Student statistics are sourced from HESA, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2016–17 data.
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