The Student Room Group
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website

Picking a college at Durham

Hi. I’ve got an offer and will most likely be starting uni at Durham this autumn but I’m not sure about what college I’d be a good fit at. What advice do you guys have? What do I need to know about the crowds, catering, accommodation, location etc.?
Well, I don't know you so I wouldn't be able to tell you what college you'll be a good fit at...

However, I'd recommend you to look at where your subject takes place and then see which colleges are closest to it. Hill and bailey colleges etc. I'm sure you'll also find information about whether the college is self catered or not. (I don't know what your preferences are either). Also take a look at what types of rooms the college has. Would you minding sharing?
Apparently st.chads is a very popular college and ofc so is university college. So I assume the "crowds" would be bigger there. I'm not sure though.

The information is all available online! But I'm sure a Durham representative could speak on the more niche things.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Original post by Anonymous
Hi. I’ve got an offer and will most likely be starting uni at Durham this autumn but I’m not sure about what college I’d be a good fit at. What advice do you guys have? What do I need to know about the crowds, catering, accommodation, location etc.?

Hi there

Congratulations on your offer!

I don't think anybody can say which college would be the best fit for you but I can offer some advice to help you narrow down your choices. I've given this advice on another thread too:

1. Start with whether you want a catered or self-catered college. Out of the 16 colleges (excluding Ustinov which is postgrad only), 4 are purely self-catered and 2 are party self-catered. The rest are all catered. Both types of catering have their pros and cons. With catered, you don't have to worry about cooking meals or buying groceries but will have to stick to a fixed time slot for each meal. With self-catered, you get more control over what and when you eat but of course you'll have to spend more time buying groceries and cooking.

2. Once you have a list of the type of college you want, think about whether distance is going to affect your choice. You can look up where lectures for your course are taught and then find the distance between each college and your department building on google maps. Just be aware that your lectures will not necessarily be in your department building so keep that in mind. I'd be happy to tell you where yours will be if you can let me know your course

3. Then look at the type of rooms these colleges offer- some like Chads have a majority of shared rooms, others like Castle and most hill colleges have majority single standard rooms and only 4 hill colleges have majority ensuites (South, John Snow, Stephenson, Butler). Depending on your preference, narrow down your choices.

4. You can then look at the facilities the colleges offer- Some colleges have gowned formals while others don't- it doesn't really matter in the end but gowned formals appeal more to some students. All colleges will have a library, gym, some sporting facilities, bar etc. but the size will vary. Smaller colleges like Chads will have a smaller gym while the bigger ones like Collingwood will have a bigger one. Irrespective of which college you're in, you'll always have access to the Sports and Wellbeing Centre (Maiden Castle) which offers plenty of facilities including a subsidized gym membership.

5. You can lastly look at the additional costs of each college. Gym memberships, JCR levies and college society membership fees can vary across different colleges. For instance, Trevs gym membership is £30 while the same for South is £75 albeit the South gym is much bigger and more recent with better equipment.

Based on these criteria, if you tell me what your preferences are, I'll be able to signpost you to some colleges by matching them to your preferences. In terms of social life, you'll get a good vibe at any college you go to. They all have social spaces like the bar and JCR where you can hang out with friends. Ultimately it will all be down to the kind of people you meet so I wouldn't worry too much about this! I would suggest steering clear of stereotypes about certain colleges- like Hatfield being too posh, or Castle being too popular or Chads being the friendliest. In my experience, there's always a mix of students at all colleges so you'll be able to have a good experience wherever you end up being allocated to.

You can read some student blogs about life in different colleges as well as check out our social media content here: The Durham Student

Hope that helps and let me know if you need any help finding more information!

-Himieka
(edited 1 month ago)

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending