We Are so Much More

Student Experience

Durham encourages student participation in drama, music, sport, culture and voluntary activities, with great success.

It prides itself on the engagement of the student body in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, and the opportunities they provide in enhancing student employability, stimulating personal development and contributing to the wellbeing of the community, both within and outside of the University.

These activities provide students with the opportunity to develop additional skills outside of academic education such as leadership, teamwork and the ability to give back to the University and society more generally. The University boasts 45 sports clubs, from archery to ultimate frisbee, and has been Team Sport University of the year for the past three years.

Experience Durham

Experience Durham is responsible for coordinating University sport, staff and student volunteering and outreach, student theatre and music. At Durham we believe that a unique student experience, where there are exceptional opportunities for personal growth and development, is a crucial part of the education process and through student performance, participation and volunteer programmes Experience Durham, in partnership with both the Colleges and the Students’ Union, provides many of these exceptional opportunities.
This fusion of an outstanding academic offer with a superb extra-curricular experience helps to give Durham its unique character and, we believe, a competitive advantage over other academically focused institutions, as the University strives to attract some of the most talented students from across the globe.

Sport, Music & Theatre

Durham has more Music and Theatre ensembles, companies and societies than any other University in the UK and our support structure helps to ensure that students regularly receive awards and recognition on both the national and international stage. In sport and physical activity, participation rates hover at 75% whilst Durham has been ranked as Britain’s Number 1 Team Sport University since 2013.


The University’s community engagement programme is far reaching and is set to grow in the coming months and years. In the context of volunteering our students support projects for over 25,000 hours per year across 80+ initiatives within the local and regional community. Through these projects our students add value to the lives of others whilst developing their own understanding of the community they live and study within. In addition, Durham’s Staff Volunteering & Outreach programme has become one of the preeminent Employer Supported Volunteering programmes in the UK; uniquely allowing staff to volunteer for up to five days per annum in work time.

Outstanding Research

Durham has a worldwide reputation for research excellence.

Its research shapes local, national and international agendas, through interaction among departments, research centres, and institutes, working in partnership with policy-makers, industry, the public and private sectors and communities around the world. Each of our academic departments is fully engaged in our research agenda.

The University has nine Research Institutes which carry out leading-edge interdisciplinary research and are increasingly developing synergies and working together across research initiatives. The Institutes draw together critical mass in ground breaking thematic research.

The University’s research-led approach to education ensures that study programmes are intellectually challenging and delivered by leading academics which creates a researcher mind-set amongst our students.

The University has won funding for prestigious doctoral training centres from national research councils including AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC and NERC. Durham is in receipt of scholarships and fellowships from a range of prestigious sources including: the European Community; Fulbright Commission; Leverhulme; Chevening; British Academy and the Commonwealth.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) the University’s research breadth and power was demonstrated in a submission of more than three-quarters of staff from all three faculties across 22 Units of Assessment. 83 per cent of research was assessed as internationally excellent quality or world-leading. Overall, 98 per cent of research was assessed as international quality. REF 2014 identified world-leading research in every Durham University subject. More than 25 per cent of the Durham University subjects entered for REF 2014 were in the top five subjects nationally for grade point average. You can view the results here.

Outstanding Education

Durham provides research-led education for both undergraduates and postgraduates.

The University offers a variety of degree routes allowing students to tailor their degree to meet differing needs.

In addition to discipline-based single honours degrees, the University’s modular degree system offers considerable flexibility so that at an undergraduate level, students can study a range of subjects across all disciplines. In the Complete University Guide 2017, 90 per cent of the University’s subjects were ranked in the UK top 10. Durham offers a student-centred approach to education in which all students are supported to be independent learners.

The University welcomes the most able and motivated students, whatever their background. Students engage directly with world-leading scholars within academic departments and are supported by exceptional opportunities for personal development in their college communities.

Durham students are challenged by the biggest issues in their academic discipline, while at the same time they develop and hone skills such as teamwork, creativity and leadership through a wide-range of opportunities for personal development outside a formal learning environment. In this way students develop the intellectual and personal qualities that will prepare them for their future lives and employment.

Durham provides a stimulating environment that helps all to learn and develop to their full potential; student satisfaction remains amongst the highest in the country. In 2015 Durham maintained its high overall rating in the National Student Survey, with 90 per cent of students expressing their satisfaction with the quality of their course compared to a national average of 86 per cent.

Durham is a world top 100 university with a global reputation for excellence in research and education. But we are So Much More. Let us tell you how.