Located in the North East of England three hours by direct train from London, Durham is a World Top 100 University (QS World Rankings 2019) and consistently ranked 5th in the UK (The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018)

A university with modern values but long traditions, Durham has been forward-looking since its establishment in 1832 and is the third oldest university in England.  Durham was one of the first universities to admit women on an equal footing to men (1890), to establish medical training (1834) and the first to award Civil and Mining Engineering degrees to meet regional and national needs during the industrial revolution (1838).

Durham University offers over 200 undergraduate programs, and over 130 graduate taught and research programs. The university has an international student body, with 30% of its students originating from outside of the UK, and representing over 150 different nationalities.

Durham has a reputation for academic excellence, as well as two top-ranked subjects (English & Music), Durham ranks in the top 10 for 31 out of 33 subjects offered (Complete University Guide 2019). Durham University has been awarded gold, the highest possible accolade in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). This comes as the University continues to strive to deliver world-class teaching, with significant investment in new facilities and innovative teaching practices. Durham has 9 Research Institutes and many more Research Centers focussing on areas of national and international importance.

Durham University is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for universities most targeted by leading recruiters in 2016/17 (High Fliers – Graduate Market 2018).



Durham University is a collegiate university made up of 16 college communities, which form the center of our student’s residential and social life whilst studying at the university.

The expectation is that all first-year students will live in college accommodation, and their college will be the place where they socialise and meet students and staff from all levels, disciplines and nationalities. Being part of a college means that Durham students get the benefits of a large, international university whilst living in a smaller, friendly scholarly community. As well as comfortable accommodation and a range of on-site facilities, colleges offer a high level of personal support and a full program of student-led events and extra-curricular activities.

At Durham University there is a huge emphasis on extra-curricular activities with over 200 clubs and societies available to students. 

Durham University is home to a wealth of performing talent, with colleges and student societies presenting a wonderful range of comedy, drama and music, both old and new. Durham Student Theatre group incorporates many different production companies including DULOG, Durham Shakespeare Company, Castle Theatre Company, as well as several companies based at the individual colleges, offering a lively program, showcasing performing talent and developing backstage skills. 

Durham’s musical life is so diverse and comprehensive that it is hard to escape. Ranging from orchestras, bands and choruses, to gospel choirs, gamelan ensembles, African drumming, and chamber choirs, there is something here catering for every musical taste.

Team Durham is the home of Durham Sport, and Durham University is proud to be the UK’s number 1 team sport university. Durham University supports an ever-growing number of high performing athletes and has teams that are amongst the most successful in the country. Performance teams in Basketball, Cricket, Fencing, Hockey, Lacrosse, Netball, Rowing, Rugby Union (Men's), Tennis and Volleyball are all supported by full-time coaching structures. The university’s philosophy at Durham is to provide opportunities in sport to allow exceptional people to do exceptional things. Durham’s College Sport program is larger than any other intra-mural competition offered in Britain and there is an opportunity for male and female students to participate in 15 sports, in over 380 different teams, on a weekly basis. 

If you would like to find out more about studying at Durham University, please contact one of our Across the Pond Advisors.


Student population: about 19,300

Number of international students: around 5,300

City population: 48,000

Location: Durham, North East England, 10 minutes by train from Newcastle, 2 hours from Edinburgh and 3 hours from London

Closest airports: Newcastle International Airport

Date of establishment: 1832

Areas of expertise:

  • Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience
  • Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Durham Energy Institute
  • Institute of Computational Cosmology
  • Wolfson Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Durham has 9 Research Institutes and many more Research Centers. Please contact one of the Across The Pond Advisors to find out more.

Notable alumni:

  • Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Richard Adams, founder of fair trade organization Traidcraft
  • Paul Hawkins, inventor of the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking system
  • Sir Nick Scheele, former President and Chief Operating Officer of Ford Motor Company
  • David Sproxton, co-founder of Aardman Animations who produce Wallace & Gromit
  • Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project
  • James Todd, CFO at Unilever Africa
  • Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix
  • Gordon Lord, Head of Elite Coach Development at England & Wales Cricket Board
  • Mark Waller, Chief Marketing Officer at National Football League


The university offers scholarships to which all international students can apply. Contact your advisor for more information. If you do not yet have a personal student advisor, please get in touch with an Across the Pond Advisor or use the form on this page to request one.


Noah S.
Durham University

My experience studying in the UK has been life changing, and Across The Pond was a huge help in making it happen. From applications to visas and all of the rest they made my experience run so smoothly - I can't imagine applying without them.… Read more

Krystal O
Durham University

Even though I have been to the UK many times and stayed for a few months at a time living in the UK was a completely different experience. Making friends and getting settled was easy at Durham, everyone was friendly and helpful and the city… Read more

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