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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Durham open day college advice

Hello,
I am thinking of going to Durham open Day, but have time for 1 full day only. I don't know much about the layout and the uni / colleges, so I would be grateful for some tips about how to prioritise my schedule and which colleges may be better located.
I am thinking of applying to either Natural Sciences or Economics/Finance in due course. I may well be wrong, but my understanding is that both these departments are in the Hill area?
Which colleges would you recommend? Things that are important to me, in no particular order, are: location relative to lectures, single rooms, en-suite, not needing to vacate rooms on holiday periods or having storage facilities, catering options, international mix.
Any other thing you may think I should consider?
Thank you!
Original post by Anonymous
Hello,
I am thinking of going to Durham open Day, but have time for 1 full day only. I don't know much about the layout and the uni / colleges, so I would be grateful for some tips about how to prioritise my schedule and which colleges may be better located.
I am thinking of applying to either Natural Sciences or Economics/Finance in due course. I may well be wrong, but my understanding is that both these departments are in the Hill area?
Which colleges would you recommend? Things that are important to me, in no particular order, are: location relative to lectures, single rooms, en-suite, not needing to vacate rooms on holiday periods or having storage facilities, catering options, international mix.
Any other thing you may think I should consider?
Thank you!
I went to Durham just for one day. Everything is walkable and basically any Hill college will be no more than 10 mins walk to your department. Personally I liked Grey, Trevylan and Collingwood as these are catered Halls 7/7 3 meals per day. The rooms are not en-suite and most are single ( there are a few shared/ double rooms)All them have are nestled in trees and green so all feels very calming. They each had their own gym, bar, snackette and JCR, library, clubs and societies, some have a music room or separate playing fields etc. Greys and Trevs have a nurturing feel and do the gowned formal dinners.
You have to vacate during hols. Not a lot of storage space in the rooms but that didn’t bother me.
There isn’t a huge international student base here compared to other unis I gathered.
It definitely has a certain appeal for students who have experienced private boarding in my opinion as things will seem a bit familiar and less daunting?
I think the main thing is to get a sense of feeling and vibe of the colleges and you can decide based on gut reaction . Don’t worry about the distance as I was pleasantly surprised to see how walkable (and cute) everything is.
The only reason- sigh- I might not firm Durham after all is that the course design and content wasn’t quite what I hoped.
Wish you all the very best in your decision making!
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
I went to Durham just for one day. Everything is walkable and basically any Hill college will be no more than 10 mins walk to your department. Personally I liked Grey, Trevylan and Collingwood as these are catered Halls 7/7 3 meals per day. The rooms are not en-suite and most are single ( there are a few shared/ double rooms)All them have are nestled in trees and green so all feels very calming. They each had their own gym, bar, snackette and JCR, library, clubs and societies, some have a music room or separate playing fields etc. Greys and Trevs have a nurturing feel and do the gowned formal dinners.
You have to vacate during hols. Not a lot of storage space in the rooms but that didn’t bother me.
There isn’t a huge international student base here compared to other unis I gathered.
It definitely has a certain appeal for students who have experienced private boarding in my opinion as things will seem a bit familiar and less daunting?
I think the main thing is to get a sense of feeling and vibe of the colleges and you can decide based on gut reaction . Don’t worry about the distance as I was pleasantly surprised to see how walkable (and cute) everything is.
The only reason- sigh- I might not firm Durham after all is that the course design and content wasn’t quite what I hoped.
Wish you all the very best in your decision making!

Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post with so many good tips.
If you don't mind my asking, what course are you applying for?
Best of luck with your choices!
Original post by Anonymous
I went to Durham just for one day. Everything is walkable and basically any Hill college will be no more than 10 mins walk to your department. Personally I liked Grey, Trevylan and Collingwood as these are catered Halls 7/7 3 meals per day. The rooms are not en-suite and most are single ( there are a few shared/ double rooms)All them have are nestled in trees and green so all feels very calming. They each had their own gym, bar, snackette and JCR, library, clubs and societies, some have a music room or separate playing fields etc. Greys and Trevs have a nurturing feel and do the gowned formal dinners.
You have to vacate during hols. Not a lot of storage space in the rooms but that didn’t bother me.
There isn’t a huge international student base here compared to other unis I gathered.
It definitely has a certain appeal for students who have experienced private boarding in my opinion as things will seem a bit familiar and less daunting?
I think the main thing is to get a sense of feeling and vibe of the colleges and you can decide based on gut reaction . Don’t worry about the distance as I was pleasantly surprised to see how walkable (and cute) everything is.
The only reason- sigh- I might not firm Durham after all is that the course design and content wasn’t quite what I hoped.
Wish you all the very best in your decision making!

I’m in Trevs and I don’t have to vacate during holidays. May not be the case for all colleges but I believe a lot of them are now on 39 week contracts which means you also have access during holidays.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
I’m in Trevs and I don’t have to vacate during holidays. May not be the case for all colleges but I believe a lot of them are now on 39 week contracts which means you also have access during holidays.

Thank you! I will look into it.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post with so many good tips.
If you don't mind my asking, what course are you applying for?
Best of luck with your choices!
MPhys and I want to do a year abroad that counts to the degree
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous
MPhys and I want to do a year abroad that counts to the degree

Thanks, good luck !
Original post by Anonymous
Hello,
I am thinking of going to Durham open Day, but have time for 1 full day only. I don't know much about the layout and the uni / colleges, so I would be grateful for some tips about how to prioritise my schedule and which colleges may be better located.
I am thinking of applying to either Natural Sciences or Economics/Finance in due course. I may well be wrong, but my understanding is that both these departments are in the Hill area?
Which colleges would you recommend? Things that are important to me, in no particular order, are: location relative to lectures, single rooms, en-suite, not needing to vacate rooms on holiday periods or having storage facilities, catering options, international mix.
Any other thing you may think I should consider?
Thank you!

Hi there

Attending an open day is a great idea!

You're right in saying that the teaching for these courses happens on the science site/lower Mountjoy. For Econ/Finance, you may also need to go to the Business School sometimes which is about a 12-15 minute walk from the science site.

Because Durham's quite small, all colleges are a fairly short distance from the science site. But the hill colleges are located closer to it than the bailey ones so they might be more accessible for you. If you go to the business school, you'll probably see all of them on your way to it. Trevs, Grey, Marys, Collingwood and Van Milert are the five hill colleges that are catered and have mostly single rooms. Ensuites are mostly offered in the self-catered hill colleges out of which South and John Snow are almost next door to the business school and about 12 mins walk away from the science site.

For Marys, Mildert and Trevs, you're allowed to stay in during Christmas and Easter breaks no matter what room you're in. For Collingwood, you only have to move out during these periods if you're in an ensuite room (although some belongings can be left in the under-bed storage). Grey offers both short and standard lets and those on short lets must vacate their rooms in the Easter vacation as Grey College trades at this time. Although I think all undergraduates are usually offered standard lets only so it shouldn't be a problem.

Depending on what else you're planning to see (like the department buildings, course presentation, sports facilities at Maiden Castle, etc), I think you might have sufficient time to tour max 3-4 colleges and see the rooms (if possible) at maybe 1-2 of them. You will also be able to see other colleges when you walk past them. I would suggest looking at a room in Trevs as they're shaped differently due to the college's pentagonal structure, and one of the single standard rooms at any of the other catered colleges. If you're seeing a self-catered college, check out either South or John Snow as they have quite similar ensuites and flat systems.

Here's also some top tips from our student ambassadors on attending an offer holder day but it runs quite similarly to an open day so worth looking at: https://www.tiktok.com/@thedurhamstudent/video/7349996266165669152

Hope that's helpful, let me know if you have more questions :smile:

-Himieka
Reply 8
Original post by Durham Students
Hi there
Attending an open day is a great idea!
You're right in saying that the teaching for these courses happens on the science site/lower Mountjoy. For Econ/Finance, you may also need to go to the Business School sometimes which is about a 12-15 minute walk from the science site.
Because Durham's quite small, all colleges are a fairly short distance from the science site. But the hill colleges are located closer to it than the bailey ones so they might be more accessible for you. If you go to the business school, you'll probably see all of them on your way to it. Trevs, Grey, Marys, Collingwood and Van Milert are the five hill colleges that are catered and have mostly single rooms. Ensuites are mostly offered in the self-catered hill colleges out of which South and John Snow are almost next door to the business school and about 12 mins walk away from the science site.
For Marys, Mildert and Trevs, you're allowed to stay in during Christmas and Easter breaks no matter what room you're in. For Collingwood, you only have to move out during these periods if you're in an ensuite room (although some belongings can be left in the under-bed storage). Grey offers both short and standard lets and those on short lets must vacate their rooms in the Easter vacation as Grey College trades at this time. Although I think all undergraduates are usually offered standard lets only so it shouldn't be a problem.
Depending on what else you're planning to see (like the department buildings, course presentation, sports facilities at Maiden Castle, etc), I think you might have sufficient time to tour max 3-4 colleges and see the rooms (if possible) at maybe 1-2 of them. You will also be able to see other colleges when you walk past them. I would suggest looking at a room in Trevs as they're shaped differently due to the college's pentagonal structure, and one of the single standard rooms at any of the other catered colleges. If you're seeing a self-catered college, check out either South or John Snow as they have quite similar ensuites and flat systems.
Here's also some top tips from our student ambassadors on attending an offer holder day but it runs quite similarly to an open day so worth looking at: https://www.tiktok.com/@thedurhamstudent/video/7349996266165669152
Hope that's helpful, let me know if you have more questions :smile:
-Himieka

Thank you so much for all this information, very helpful indeed. I may come back to you with more questions after the visit!

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