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Durham University


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Durham, England

Main Campus:


Student Population:

15 768

Website details



Anthropology, Applied Social Sciences, Archaeology, Biology and Biological Sciences, Business School, Chemistry, Classics and Ancient History, Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computing Sciences, English Language Centre, English Studies, Foundation Centre, Geography, Government and International Affairs, History, Law School, Mathematical Sciences, Medicine and Health, Modern Languages and Cultures, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Theology and Religion

Why study at the University of Durham?

Durham University is the third oldest university in England and one of the world's leading centres of scholarship and learning and is recognised world-wide as a University 'shaped by the past - creating the future’. The city of Durham has been a leading European centre of learning for over a 1,000 years.


Teaching Quality

A world-class learning experience. Durham University's high quality teaching is underpinned by world-class research. A place at Durham is one of the most sought-after in Britain.

  • Durham welcomes the most talented students, whatever their background. Its student body comes from 130 countries worldwide, and offers an enriching experience for all. Competition for places is high.
  • At Durham, students have direct access to some of the world's finest academic minds. Students are taught by leaders in their fields - people who themselves are making a difference through their research and teaching.
  • The Complete University Guide 2012 ranked Durham in fourth place out of 116 of the country's Higher Education institutions. Ranked 6th overall in the Times Good University Guide 2010/11
  • Durham was highest in the UK for the amount it spends on facilities for education, social and leisure purposes, such as its colleges and sports facilities.
  • The University had the third highest degree completion rate in the country after Oxford and Cambridge and was in the top four in terms of graduate prospects. Entry standards also ranked highly.
  • Durham also performed well in individual subject league tables with the University featuring in the top five or top ten in almost every subject across the sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities, emerging top in History.
  • Top five subjects according to the Complete University Guide 2012 were: Archaeology; biological sciences; chemistry; classics and ancient history; English; French; geography; geology (earth sciences); German; history; Iberian languages; law; Middle Eastern and African studies; physics and astronomy; sociology; sports science; and theology and religious studies.
  • Top ten subjects were: Anthropology; economics; education; general engineering; Italian; mathematics; music; philosophy; politics; psychology; and Russian and East European languages.


Research Quality

  • Durham University is a world-class university with research at its core. Research shapes and inspires the disciplinary structure of academic departments, several of which lead the UK - and even the world - in their fields.
  • Durham offers the highest levels of excellence in education and research, learning from and exemplifying the best in the world in research-led education for the most able students with the greatest potential.
  • At Durham many academics are acknowledged as experts in their fields and are at the forefront of developments in their subject area. This is demonstrated not only through the research and teaching that they undertake, but also by the worldwide demand for their expertise.
  • Durham is the most research intensive of the 1994 Group of Universities (when taking into account both the quality and volume of research activity).
  • The strength of its academic excellence is reflected in the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) where many of its departments were ranked among the best in the UK. In 2008, 90% of Durham's research was of international quality.
  • Durham was independently assessed as having world-class research in every single area of assessment across the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
  • The results show that 19% of its research was graded at 4* - world-leading.
  • 59% of its research was graded at 3* or above - internationally excellent.
  • Many of Durham's departments, including Applied Maths, Archaeology, Geography, German, and Theology and Religion are ranked among the best in the UK.



A world university, Durham strives to be a university for and of the world, learning from and embedding best international practice in everything it does. It will continue to proactively develop international partnerships that influence national and international agendas.

  • International collaboration is key to Durham's excellence in teaching and research. Durham has affiliations with many institutions and organisations worldwide.
  • 130 countries worldwide are represented across Durham’s staff and student bodies.
  • 21% of all students studying at Durham are from international backgrounds.
  • 3,854 staff work at the University and 32% of academic staff are international.


Student Satisfaction

Students at Durham University are among the most satisfied in the UK, according to the 2011 National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS).

  • 87% of respondents agreed that overall they were satisfied with the quality of their course compared to a national average of 82%.
  • Durham University departments such as English and History registered particularly high satisfaction ratings of 97% and 98% respectively.
  • Durham was ranked 2nd position in the Best University Halls category at the 2009 National Student Housing Survey (NSHS) awards, while the City of Durham was awarded the 2009 Best Student Living Experience.


Employable Graduates

Durham graduates are highly valued by the world’s leading employers.

  • It is committed to instilling in its students the ability to learn and think, together with an emphasis on leadership, respect for others and social and environmental responsibility. Durham prepares its graduates for the rest of their life.
  • Durham degrees open doors: 87% of its graduates secured employment within six months of graduating and many of the remaining 13% took time out to travel.
  • What Durham students achieve academically and experience as a person whilst at Durham will say a lot about them in the future. One of the main reasons for its system of colleges and college mentors is to equip students with adaptable and marketable workplace skills.


Variety of Courses

Durham University offers its students a challenging and rewarding education through its ethos of research-led teaching combined with opportunities for personal development.

  • Durham University has 3 faculties: Arts and Humanities, Science, and Social Science and Health.
  • There are 25 academic departments or schools within the faculties.
  • Durham operates a collegiate system. There are 16 colleges - Durham's distinctive residential and educational communities – each student belongs to a college for the duration of their studies.
  • There are 11,175 undergraduates (2009/10): Arts and Humanities (2,595), Science (3,950), and Social Sciences and Health (4,630).
  • 4,593 postgraduates (2009/10): Arts and Humanities (578), Science (671), and Social Sciences and Health (3,344).
  • All international students wishing to receive English Language tuition and support are required to take an in-sessional English language test, as are students with acceptance offers conditional on improving their English Language level.
  • The Language Centre offers free English language support to international students during term-time and via the in-sessional language course.



As a community to call home for three or four years, Durham University takes some beating.

With a population of around 43,000 Durham is a truly beautiful, compact city in North East England, located 17 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne. Durham University has a unique estate, which includes 63 listed buildings (mostly I and II*), ranging from the 11th-century Castle to a 1930s Art Deco Chapel.

The city has a rich heritage and culture, with the world-famous Castle and Cathedral sitting on top of a peninsula overlooking the River Wear. The panoramic view of the Cathedral and Castle has been described as 'one of the finest architectural experiences of Europe'. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is at the heart of the university. Durham University is the only university in the world whose community owns, lives and works in a World Heritage Site.

Durham is a collegiate university with 14 colleges in Durham City and 2 colleges - Queen's Campus, in Stockton-on-Tees - www.dur.ac.uk/colleges. The colleges offer a strong sense of community, provide pastoral care, support its students’ developments and have sports, arts and social facilities – a college as a home-away-from-home.

Durham has a compact, friendly feel but still provides the facilities you would expect of a thriving city including many excellent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, a variety of cultural attractions, museums, and a popular indoor market. Recent investment in the Walkergate centre has provided a new cinema, fitness facilities and a theatre. Walking along the leafy river banks or hiring a rowing boat are just a few ways students can choose to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. And it’s only ten minutes away from the major city of Newcastle by train where students will find a wide range of choices for entertainment, culture and shopping. Durham really does offer the best of both worlds.

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