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Colleges of Durham University

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Colleges of Durham University

Arms of the University of Durham

This is a list of the colleges within Durham University. These colleges are the primary source of accommodation for undergraduates and graduates at the University, also providing bursaries and scholarships to students. They also provide funding and/or accommodation for some of the research posts in the University.

Durham University has 16 colleges, of which University College is the oldest, founded in 1832. The newest college is Josephine Butler, founded in 2006. The last single sex college, St Mary's, became mixed in 2005 with the admittance of male undergraduates. One college, Ustinov, admits only postgraduates.


University college, the oldest of the 16 Durham Colleges

Durham operates a collegiate structure similar to that of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, in that all the colleges at Durham are "listed bodies"[1] under the Education Reform Act, 1988, "recognised by the UK authorities as being able to offer courses leading to a degree of a recognised body" (the "recognised body" being, in this case, the federal University). Though most of the Durham colleges are governed and owned directly by the University itself, and so do not enjoy the independence of colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, the status of the Durham colleges is similar to those in Oxford and Cambridge and the constituent institutions of the University of Wales, setting Durham colleges apart from those at the universities of Kent, Lancaster, and York. However, unlike at Oxford, Cambridge, Wales, and London, there is no formal teaching at most Durham colleges (although St John's and St Chad's have their own academic and research staff and offer college-based programmes in conjunction with the University). The colleges dominate the residential, social, sporting, and pastoral functions within the university, and there is heavy student involvement in their operation.

Formal dinners (known as "formals") are held at many colleges; gowns are often worn to these events. There is a great deal of intercollegiate rivalry, particularly in rowing and other sporting activities. There is also rivalry between the older colleges of the Bailey and the newer colleges of the Hill.

Types of college

St Chad's College, one of the two independent colleges

The University is collegiate in structure. There are four different sorts of college: Maintained Colleges and Societies, Recognised Colleges, Licensed Halls of Residence, and Affiliated Colleges.

  • Maintained Colleges are governed directly by, and are financially dependent on, the University. Their principals and staff are appointed by University Council. The maintained colleges are overseen by the Deputy Warden, who is also a member of the University Executive Committee.
  • Recognised Colleges (St John's and St Chad's) are 'recognised' as colleges of the University, but they are actually incorporated as separate institutions. They are in effect accredited, being governed, financed and managed independently of the University and being educational charities in their own right. However, as a condition of their ongoing recognition by the University, the University's Council must approve the appointment of their principals and be notified of changes to their constitutions.[2]
  • Affiliated Colleges Codrington College, Barbados (and, until 1967, Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone) is an overseas institute that presents its students for University of Durham examinations.[3] It not generally considered part of the collegiate structure of the University and is listed as an "Affiliated College" in the University Statutes rather than as one of the "Colleges and Societies". The Royal Academy of Dance also used to teach courses leading to degrees validated by Durham.

List of colleges

Most of the colleges located in Durham itself can be grouped into two areas of the city. Bailey colleges are those located on the peninsula formed by a meander of the River Wear, and Hill colleges are on Elvet Hill on the other side of the river. Queen's Campus, Stockton, is 23 miles (37 km) south of Durham, in the town of Stockton-on-Tees.

The student numbers in the table below are up to date for the 2010/11 year.

U = Undergraduates, P = Postgraduates, F = Female, M = Male
Shield College Campus Founded U[4] P[4] P/U Ratio % F[4] % M[4] Total[4] Website Notes
Collingwood Durham (Hill) 1972 1006 40 0.04 47% 53% 1046 [1]
Grey Durham (Hill) 1959 762 49 0.06 50% 50% 811 [2]
Hatfield Durham (Bailey) 1846 679 134 0.20 50% 50% 813 [3]
Josephine Butler Durham (Hill) 2006 728 137 0.19 55% 45% 865 [4]
St Aidan's Durham (Hill) 1947 784 204 0.26 43% 57% 988 [5]
St Chad's Durham (Bailey) 1904 351 107 0.30 55% 45% 458 [6] Recognised College
St Cuthbert's Society Durham (Bailey) 1888 1046 89 0.09 51% 49% 1135 [7]
St Hild & St Bede Durham 1975 1027 206 0.20 52% 48% 1233 [8] Merger of the College of the Venerable Bede (founded 1838) and St Hild's College (founded 1858)
St John's Durham (Bailey) 1909 347 72 0.21 53% 47% 419 [9] Recognised College
St Mary's Durham (Hill) 1899 677 68 0.10 55% 45% 745 [10]
Trevelyan Durham (Hill) 1966 610 54 0.09 53% 47% 664 [11]
University Durham (Bailey) 1832 611 115 0.19 52% 48% 726 [12]
Ustinov Durham (Hill) 1965 0 1582 51% 49% 1582 [13] Postgraduate-only, Founded as the Graduate Society
Van Mildert Durham (Hill) 1965 879 81 0.09 50% 50% 960 [14]
Stephenson Queen's 2001 927 6 0.01 54% 46% 933 [15]
John Snow Queen's 2001 800 16 0.02 60% 40% 816 [16]
Durham University 11234 2963 0.26 52% 48% 14197 [17]

Heads of Houses

The senior member of each college is an officer known generically as the Head of House. His or her specific title varies from college to college as indicated in the list below, but there is no particular significance to the variation. The Heads of House of the maintained colleges are also half-time members of an academic department.

The Principal of St Chad's is also officially known as 'President' (as was the head of Ushaw College). The titual head of that college is known as the 'Rector'. Similarly, the Chair of the St John's College Council is the 'President' of that College.

Former Colleges

A number of colleges that that have been part of the University of Durham, Durham, England, but have since folded or cancelled their association with the university.

Durham University currently recognises sixteen colleges. However, since its foundation in 1832, a number of other colleges have been part of the university. Two of these have become completely defunct; others have ended their association with the university, or left to become independent institutions of their own.

Bishop Cosin's Hall

Cosin's Hall on Palace Green was opened as the university's third college in 1851. However, the university was unable to sustain three colleges at the time, and it was merged into University College in 1864.[5] University College maintained offices and rooms in the Hall until 2006. It is still owned by the university and has been used by the Institute of Advanced Study since January 2007.[6]

Former Principals

  • 1851-1854 John Pedder[7]
  • 1854-1864 James John Hornby[7]

Neville's Cross College

Neville's Cross College was opened in 1921. It was primarily a teacher-training college; but from 1924 it was also a recognised college of the University and admitted students to read for both undergraduate courses and postgraduate degrees. The College merged with Durham Technical College in 1977 to form New College Durham, whereupon it ceased to be associated with the University.

Ushaw College

Ushaw College was a Catholic seminary located in Ushaw Moor, a village to the west of Durham. It was opened in 1808 by scholars who had fled from Douai, France, when English College was forced to close during the French Revolution. It affiliated with Durham as 'Licensed Hall' in 1968, though it retained its role primarily as a seminary. It shut in 2011 due to a declining number of vocations in the Catholic Church. Its buildings are set to be occupied for two years from April 2012 by Durham Business School, whilst its own site is redeveloped.

Colleges in Newcastle

Armstrong College Shield
College of Medicine Shield

In 1852, the School of Medicine and Surgery (founded in 1834) in Newcastle upon Tyne was absorbed into the University of Durham as the College of Medicine, allowing students to study for the Licence in Medicine in Durham, after which students could practise Medicine and take the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor in Medicine.[8] At the same time, Neville Hall was opened in Newcastle 'for the reception of Students in Medicine'.[9] The Hall closed at the end of the academic year in 1855/56. In 1871, the College of Medicine was joined by the College of Physical Science, later renamed Armstrong College.[10]

Relations between the two campuses were often strained. They became two autonomous parts of the same university, with the Newcastle colleges merging to become King's College in 1937.[8] In 1947 a proposal to rename the university as the "University of Durham and Newcastle" was approved by all the governing bodies, but was defeated at convocation by 135 votes to 129 in the spring of 1952.[11][12] This defeat led to King's College eventually leaving the university, to create the new University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1963.[10]

Development of the Newcastle Colleges of Durham University
School of Medicine and Surgery
Newcastle upon Tyne College of Medicine,

in connection with the University of Durham

Durham University College of Medicine
King's College
1937 - 1963
College of Physical Science
Durham College of Science
Armstrong College

Colleges abroad

Durham University has had two affiliated colleges outside of England. Of these, Fourah Bay College is a former part of the university, having ended its affiliation in 1967. It became a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone on that date.[13] The other affiliate, Codrington College, retains its links to the University.

Renamed and merged colleges

The College of St Hild and St Bede was formed from the merger of two separate colleges in 1975. The College of the Venerable Bede (usually known as Bede College) had been an all male college formed in 1838, with St Hild's College formed as an all female college in 1858. Prior to this merger and their full integration into the university, the two colleges had previously specialised in the teaching of education.[14]

A few other groupings have undergone renaming during their time at Durham. The Graduate Society became a full college in 2003 and was subsequently renamed Ustinov College.

John Snow College became separate colleges in 2001. They are located at Stockton-on-Tees and originally founded as the "Joint University College on Teesside of the Universities of Durham and Teesside (JUCOT)". When the University of Teesside pulled out of the campus in 1996 they became a full college of Durham University known as "University College, Stockton" before they later split and gained their new names.[15]

Fictitious colleges

Jesus College and Coverdale Hall are the settings for the events in Angels and Men, Durham alumna Catherine Fox's first novel (published by Hamish Hamilton in 1996). The location is nowhere stated explicitly, but it is obvious to anyone familiar with the city and the university that it takes place in Durham; Jesus and Coverdale are modelled (very closely) on St John's College and Cranmer Hall.

That Hideous Strength (1943) by C. S. Lewis is set in a fictional university town, whose resemblance to Durham is close enough to require Lewis to insist in the book's preface that it is not so.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Recognised UK Degrees
  2. ^ The approval of principals generally means that short-lists of potential principals are agreed with the university ahead of time (1) to safeguard the independence of the 'recognised' colleges and to avoid a situation where a college's preferences differ from the university's, and (2) officially to confer ex officio membership of Senate onto the principals of the recognised colleges.
  3. ^ University Calendar Part I, General Regulation XII, Affiliation of Codrington College, Barbados, to the University.
  4. ^ a b c d e "College Statistics". Durham University. 
  5. ^ Whiting, C.E. (1932). The University of Durham. London: Sheldon Press.
  6. ^ The Institute of Advanced Study Durham University, Accessed December 2006
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Durham University: Earlier Foundations and Present Colleges, Fowler, Joseph Thomas (1904)". Kessinger Publishing. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  8. ^ a b Foundation of the University Durham University, Accessed December 2006
  9. ^ Durham University Calendar for 1856. Durham University. 1856. p. 147. 
  10. ^ a b History Newcastle University, Accessed December 2006
  11. ^ Durham University Society History; see University's name not changed; Accessed December 2006
  12. ^ Bettenson, E.M. (1971). The University of Newcastle upon Tyne 1834-1971. Newcastle: Hindson & Andrew Reid Ltd.
  13. ^ University Calendar Part I, General Regulation XII, Affiliation of Codrington College, Barbados, to the University. PDF (11.2 KiB). Retrieved 7 October 2007
  14. ^ History of College College of St Hild and St Bede, Accessed December 2006
  15. ^ "Dialogue: Stephenson College". Durham University. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  16. ^ "That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, Book 3)". Retrieved 2009-02-15. 

External links

  • Durham University: Colleges
  • Some Residential Colleges of the University of Durham
  • Pasta with a side order of philosophy, please
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