Durham University

In my research and visits to different universities, I created fact files and notes about the different courses, universities and places themselves. Durham being a collegiate university means there is a lot more to consider, as choosing the right college can greatly determine your first year. So below, I created a college guide (from an outsider perspective) alongside student opinions from online (not sure of the accuracy!) to help me decide if this is the university for me.

A bit about Durham…

Durham is located in the Northeast of England, south of Newcastle upon Tyne but only a short 13-minute train journey away. The River Wear loops around the Romanesque Durham Cathedral and Norman Durham castle. It has a small population of 65,000 approx and the university enrolls 18,000 students approx; making the student population dominant in and around the city. It is built on hills but has several shops, cafes and restaurants which are all located within a small town centre area.


The Bailey:

Hatfield: number 3

  • Hatfield is right in the middle of the Bailey surrounded by other colleges. 
  • Not too far from the main campus & close to town centre. 
  • Has a reputation of ‘posh southerners’ but remains popular.
  • Nice outer buildings and close to river for scenic walks or morning runs! 
  • Shared bathrooms but nice rooms

St Chads: number 6

  • Posh college with frontage right onto the street. 
  • Cool bar, conservatory with a good atmosphere.
  • Its location favours the humanity student 
  • Parallel with cathedral means you’ll hear the cathedral bells all the time!


St John’s: number 10

  • Posh, holy & small. 
  • Right onto the street, old-style buildings. 
  • Intimate bar but alright people?


St Cuthbert’s Society: number 7

  • Rather non-descript building and exterior 
  • Cosy bar and sitting area 
  • Near a very pretty bridge and river Wear 
  • It offers self-catered flats at Parsons Field


University (Castle): number 13

  • Posh Southerners! And Infamous formals.
  • By the cathedral and main quad area – looks appealing but half get shoved in a red brick building outside the castle – mixed reviews.


Hill Colleges: 

St Mary’s: number 11

  • Well-kept with garden out front, clean buildings 
  • Close to campus and town without being in it
  • Bad Bar and possibly social activity 


Grey: number 2

  • Closest to campus
  • Sits in the middle of the hill close to the Bill Bryson Library and New Inn. 
  • Not as bleak as it sounds … good views

Collingwood: number 1

  • Second largest college
  • Right up the hill!
  • More undergrads than any other. 
  • Spacious bar and canteen area.


Van Mildert: number 14

  • Weird layout of buildings with a pond/ ‘lake’ at the back 
  • Large, sporty college with a big bar 
  • Near other hill colleges


Trevelyan: number 12

  • Ugly hexagonal buildings
  • Confusing layout and overall grey feeling.
  • Right next to Mildert, Aidans and Mary’s but awkwardly long distance from town


St Aidan’s: number 5

Long way up! Up the hill and 84 steps to a grey building! 

Good view from top and large corridors


Way up the hill:

Josephine Butler: number 4

  • Well-kept buildings and nice flats/dorms 
  • Only self-catered college
  • 20/30 min walk to town!!
  • Big bar and nice cafe 
  • Friendly people


Stephenson: number 8

  • near JB – being re-located.
  • But good rooms with en-suites, spacious kitchen. 
  • Self-catered

John Snow: number 16

  • Location for 2019/20 to be determined
  • Mixed reviews
  • Currently far from campus closer to shops. 
  • Weird buildings

Near the river:

St Hilde and St Bede: number 9

  • Close to town but disconnected from other colleges. 
  • In a pretty setting by the river however.
  • Big buildings but small accommodation. 
  • Good facilities

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