Durham - the University of Durham

Durham Chevening scholar Introduction

Regularly placed amongst the top ten UK universities by national newspaper league tables, the University of Durham is one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions. Durham sets high standards for its students, the result of which is high levels of achievement from graduates: 93% of our students achieve a first or second class level degree. As a result our graduates are highly sought after by regional, national and international employers.


The University of Durham is the third oldest University in the UK. An act of parliament allowed for the creation of the University in 1832. Since then Durham has grown is size and stature. In 1992, the University of Durham opened Queen’s Campus in Stockton, enabling more students from the local area, and all over the world, to gain access to this prestigious institution.

World Class Standards

We take the quality of our teaching and research very seriously, because we want you to get the best. Recent independent research exercises placed twenty of Durham’s thirty-three subject areas into the top grade 5 or 5* areas. In the latest national Research Assessment Exercise (2001), some 85% of our academic staff were recognised as conducting research of national or international standing.

 Durham students

Academic Strengths

The University has a broad portfolio of academic strengths. In Science these include the Departments of Physics and Chemistry, which are amongst the very best in the country, with world-class laboratory facilities and highly specialised equipment. Similarly the History, Theology and English Studies Departments have international reputations for the excellence of their teaching and research. Among the Social Sciences, the Department of Geography is internationally leading in its research and the Business School has particular strengths in Finance, SMEs and Executive Education. The Department of Law is known for its expertise in areas as diverse as Human Rights Law, European Law and Commercial Law.

The Colleges

Residential accommodation at the University of Durham is based in fifteen Colleges. Students based at Queen’s Campus automatically become a member of either John Snow College or George Stephenson College. Students based at Durham City can apply to be a member of one of the other thirteen Colleges or Societies. Membership of a College is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students with one exception; Ustinov College is for postgraduate students only.

Durham University studentsFacilities

The University has excellent academic and social facilities. Most students have network points in their study bedrooms, but for those who do not bring computers with them to University, there is ample access in the library, colleges, departments and the 24 hour access IT Centre. In addition to the main University library, the School of Education, the Business School and the Law Department all have specialist libraries, and Colleges maintain a library of the most frequently used course texts. There are 60 acres of sports fields and a purpose-built sports centre in addition to College facilities such as tennis courts and multi-gyms.

Student Life

All students at Durham become members of one of the Colleges. These are mixed residential communities of undergraduates, postgraduates and academic members of staff. Many of the Colleges provide food and all provide social facilities. Many events are organised by the students themselves, ranging from inter-collegiate sports to concerts, discos, plays and spectacular College balls. There is also plenty of social opportunities in the Durham and Stockton should you grow tired of the College’s activities. The Students’ Union also provides social entertainment for all the students at the University.


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Your Comments

Chevening profile
Name: Andree Gindt

Course: LLM
Year of Entry: 2004
Country of Origin: Luxemburg

"I was attracted to the LLM programme at the University of Durham because of its ranking in the newspaper league tables, and because of a recommendation from a professor from my home University. I also chose Durham because of its size, I don’t feel at ease in big cities, so Durham seemed perfect for me.

I was looking forward to my LLM year. Arriving at Durham was definitely exciting, and I was amazed at the warm welcome that the Law department had reserved for the LLM students.

I am in Ustinov College (postgraduate college) and live in Howlands Farm, which in general seems to be a very beautiful site. I have most of my lectures and seminars at Palace Green, near to the Cathedral and Castle, which I definitely appreciate because I am very fond of the historic buildings.

Up until this point I’ve really enjoyed my social life here at the University of Durham, and I would definitely recommend the University to other Chevening Scholars, I like this place very much.

Chevening Profile
Name: Jordia Tabaku

Course: MA Management
Year of Entry: 2004
Country of Origin: Albania

"When I began to think about where I would like to study I was very confused. It took me about six months to decide which University to attend, but in the end I decided to choose Durham. It was a number of factors that drew me to Durham. Firstly, the reputation of the Business School was very good, secondly the British Council in Albania recommended the University of Durham as a good University, and thirdly the course was perfectly structured to fulfil my personal objectives.

I didn’t know what Durham would be like before I arrived. I tried to imagine what it would be like, but never believed that it could be so exciting. I can never forget my first impression; I was on the train and could see the castle and cathedral surrounded by beautiful light. I was told it was beautiful, but never imagined it would be so amazing.

The MA in Management turned out to be the perfect course for me. I am improving my knowledge, but what is most important is that I am learning the skills of how to get that knowledge. I am now able to see and understand things from different viewpoints as well as being able to analyse and evaluate facts, which before I was not able to do.

The professors are ready to help and collaborate at every opportunity. They are always happy to meet and discuss problems, and come up with solutions. In particular, my research methods lecturer, Dr Joyce Liddle, has been very helpful to me.

Durham is the perfect place to study. The old buildings represent its history and tradition, and make studying here all the more exciting. You can find a quiet place to study when you need to, or somewhere festive when you want to party. The International Student Association organises all kinds of activities from parties to pub visits, from visits to other UK cities to football matches, and so on. There is always an opportunity to enjoy life. I am a member of Ustinov College which is the graduate society. It is very exciting to be a part of this College and be involved in the numerous activities that they organise.

I would urge other Chevening Scholars to apply to Durham. You can have a wonderful time here, it is one of the best Universities in the country, and the cost of living is not high compared to other places."

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Key Dates / Events

  • International Student Arrival 29th September 2005
  • International Student Induction 30th – 2nd September 2005
  • Academic Year 2005-2006
    Michaelmas Term 5th October – 14th December
    Epiphany Term 16th January – 17th March
    Easter Term 24th April - 23rd June

    British Council  10-Jan-2005
    Categories:  Where to study



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