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Durham University

Durham University


Durham University offers a wide range of courses and a research-informed education, delivered by world-leading experts in outstanding facilities. We offer supportive college communities, a warm welcome to all, excellent student welfare and a fantastic wider student experience.

Located in the beautiful and historic city of Durham, we are one of the oldest universities in England, yet have a modern and forward-thinking mindset.

With over 27 academic departments and schools offering postgraduate taught and research degrees, our teaching is research-informed and led by academics, many of whom are world-leading experts in their field.

So if you are looking for excellent teaching in outstanding facilities combined with a unique college experience then look no further than Durham University.

The collegiate system

One of our greatest assets at Durham University is our collegiate system. As a Durham University student, you become a member of a college, whether you live in or out of University accommodation.

Nearly every student agrees that college is one of the best aspects of life at Durham University, ensuring that you leave here with much more than a degree. Ask any Durham graduate about the University and they will mention their college, as this is where many lifelong friendships begin.

Teaching Quality


In league tables, Durham is consistently recognised as one of the top 10 universities in the UK. The University is ranked sixth in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, sixth in The Guardian University Guide 2023 and sixth in The Complete University Guide 2023.

In the Research Excellent Framework (REF 21) 90% of our research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

World-class facilities

At Durham, students have access to world-class facilities that include state-of-the-art lecture theatres, IT rooms, laboratories and libraries. It also has an extensive range of high-tech research equipment and facilities across a range of disciplines.

Research-led education

Modules studied by students are developed as a result of this world-class research being conducted, and postgraduate research students work in collaboration with academics to push forward the boundaries of their subject.

Our academics collaborate with research partners worldwide, providing answers to global questions. Durham University is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and the Matariki Network of Universities.

Careers and Employability

Durham has an international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research that will provide an outstanding platform for your future career. Our ranking in the global Top 60 for employer reputation reflects our students' continued success in their careers.

Our graduates have found employment in a range of job roles in a variety of national and international organisations, including IBM, the United Nations, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deloitte, the NHS, EDF Energy, the BBC, The Times and the Civil Service, to name but a few.


In Durham City, you are among some of the world's finest architecture. This is a truly beautiful city, where the famous Castle and Cathedral - together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site - dominate the skyline.

Depending on which college you belong to, you could be based right in the historic centre of the City or just a short walk away in one of our purpose-built, beautifully landscaped colleges.

With a total population of around 43,000, Durham City has a compact, friendly feel but still provides the facilities you would expect of a thriving city, including excellent cafés, bars and restaurants.

Get in touch



Phone: +44 (0)191 334 1000

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Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Anthropology (2) Sociology (33) Psychology (31) Business & Management (5) Education (11) Finance (14) Economics (10) Politics & Government (30) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Computer Science (8) Creative Arts & Design (9) Theology & Religious Studies (34) Information Services (20) Materials Science (24) History & Archaeology (19) Forensic & Archaeological Sciences (16) Physics (29) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Linguistics & Classics (23) Law (22) Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27) Environmental Sciences (13) Geography (17) Geology (18) Philosophy (28) Communication & Media Studies (7) Social Work (32)

Department / School information and available programmes:

Why study at Durham?

The Centre for Applied Social Studies at the University of Durham ranks among the top five social work departments in the UK (The Guardian survey). The Durham Master of Social Work (MSW) offers excellent teaching from leading researchers and experienced practitioners from social services departments and the voluntary sector. The Department was rated excellent by the GSCC in 2002 and was judged as producing research of national and international excellence in its first submission to the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.

The Social Work programme at Durham attracts students from the North East region, from all areas of the UK and from overseas. Durham is an attractive historic city, home to Durham Cathedral voted the nation’s ‘favourite building’. The city has excellent road connections via the A1M, is 15 minutes from Newcastle and three hours from London by train. Newcastle airport has direct links to London and the continent.

Academic and personal support

All students have an academic tutor throughout the programme and all students have an approved practice teacher for each practice placement. During the first year students are also supported in tutorial groups. The programme provides support for students from minority groups, including groups for Black and minority ethnic students, and for lesbian, gay and bisexual students. The University Service for Students with Disabilities (DUSSD) provides support for disabled students, including those with dyslexia.

All Durham students are encouraged to join one of the colleges of the university, which provide a range of pastoral and academic support and social activities.

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Durham University hosts one of the largest Archaeology departments in Europe, offering an outstanding range of research and teaching expertise.

Our research is global, and ranges from early hominids to post-Medieval archaeology, with strengths in Bioarchaeology, European Prehistory, the worlds of Rome and Egypt, the Middle East and South Asia, and Medieval Europe. Our field programmes stretch from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean and involve excavation, surveys and remote sensing whilst our laboratory research ranges from human palaeopathology to stable isotopes or ancient DNA. We are also active in the north-east of England through research projects and Archaeological Services Durham University, who provide consultancy and specialist services to the development, environment and heritage sectors. We have a range of cutting-edge laboratories, extensive commercial infrastructure and a network of heritage-sector collaborators to match. Our staff are passionate about sharing their expertise with our students, and for the benefit of wider society.

Archaeology at Durham has built a tradition of excellence in teaching and research over the last 50 years. Our research, teaching and reputation are world-class: we are regularly ranked one of the top two Archaeology departments in the UK (e.g. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, The Guardian University Guide 2018, Complete University Guide 2018) and one of the top four globally (World University QS rankings 2021).

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The Department of Biosciences is composed of 51 academic staff and research fellows with research and teaching interests that span the broad spectrum of the Biosciences. The Department studies biology from the smallest to the largest scales; from the structures and functions of biological molecules, through to cells, tissues and organisms and to the entire global ecosystem. The interests of academic staff include all types of living organisms, from bacteria, through the plant and animal kingdoms, to human health and disease. The Department also has strong interdisciplinary links with the physical and social sciences. With excellent facilities for carrying out both teaching and research, we offer high quality undergraduate teaching programmes, and a supportive environment for research staff and postgraduate students.

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Chemistry is a vibrant research-led department with an international reputation for its cutting-edge science. There are 42 research groups with around a hundred Ph.D. students and about 50 post-doctoral researchers working on projects spanning organic, physical, inorganic, bioactive and computational chemistry, through to catalysis, nanoscience and materials. The Department has very close research links with many industrial partners and other universities in the UK and abroad, with leading scientists from around the world visiting and collaborating with us. On the basis of the breadth and very high quality of our science, the majority of research in the department was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and our teaching is rated as ‘excellent'; the United Kingdom's highest possible grades.

The Department is extremely well-equipped, with modern research laboratories, extensive state-of-the-art instrumentation and world-class facilities. Its very strong research activity is underpinned by extremely enthusiastic and dedicated staff and students. The success of our graduate students is clear, with many of our ex-students holding academic, industrial and commercial positions throughout the world.

The Department promotes and supports high quality postgraduate training in all branches of Chemistry. A PhD degree in chemistry will equip you to lead research projects in academia or industry, and also opens the door to numerous other careers in the financial sector, management, patent law, government and civil service, publishing and many other careers that use the transferable and critical thinking skills you will acquire.

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Classics and Ancient History at Durham University belongs to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and is one of the most vibrant Classics departments in the UK. Our academic staff specialise in a wide range of artistic, historical, literary, linguistic, cultural, and philosophical aspects of the Graeco-Roman world. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2008) we were ranked tied third for internationally excellent research: 65 % of our research has been rated as 4*, world leading.

Our 18 full-time members of staff are engaged in international-level research in most of the core disciplines of Classics, including the study of ancient literature, philosophy, history and epigraphy. This wealth of expertise has allowed us to develop some major interdisciplinary research groupings along with more distinctive lines as well. These include two major areas in which we host interdisciplinary research centres: the Centre for the Study of the Classical Tradition, and the Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.

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We are one of Durham’s newest academic departments, having split from the School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2017, we have rapidly grown to be a thriving home for staff, undergraduates, postgraduates, and visitors. Located in a brand new purpose-built building along with the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

We offer a range of Programmes, including postgraduate courses: Scientific Computing (MISCADA), Business Analytics, and Data Science. We also have a thriving research culture involving faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and postgraduate research students.

Our research strengths include theoretical computer science, computer vision, AI, high-performance & scientific computing, digital humanities, health, and networks. And our strong alumni network contributes to the department in many ways - including our External Advisory Board, visiting speakers, student placements, and philanthropic support of scholarships. We have some hugely influential alumni in the Tech Sector.

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In the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, teaching and research are tightly coupled. Academic staff are actively engaged in research at the frontiers of their subject. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) all of our engineering research output was assessed as being of international quality, with over 70% being judged as internationally excellent or world-leading, and 95% of our computer science research was of international quality, with 65% internationally excellent.

The RAE panel particularly praised the high impact of the School's research. Our computer science groups were also commended on their strong research engagement with mathematics.

The School, together with Durham's college system, has an enviable reputation for supporting overseas students. It thrives on a diverse international student population which it is constantly seeking to expand. Support for students is high in the School's priorities and the RAE panel singled out the excellent research support and training arrangements for students in its report.

Many of the School's academic staff are internationally recognised as leaders in their specialist fields with wide-ranging national and international research collaborations, providing a steady stream of international visitors and regular research seminars. Within the University, the School undertakes collaborative research with many other departments including Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Education, Psychology, Applied Social Sciences, and Medicine and Health.

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The Department of English Studies is one of the top ranked in the country. We offer a unique learning experience in a beautiful environment. Our work combines a strong sense of tradition with a commitment to innovation and new approaches, and we have a particular strength in interdisciplinary research.

Students in English Studies can choose specialised topics across the whole range of the subject area from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. The Department provides an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment in which to undertake a postgraduate degree and offers the most up-to-date training in methods and skills. Our academic staff, who produce research of the highest international calibre, strive to connect with both the local community and a global network of students, scholars, artists and professionals.

The Department is consistently rated as one of the top UK English departments by The Times Good University Guide.

The Department’s work ethos is that teaching and research should complement one another at all levels of academic enquiry. A postgraduate degree in English Studies therefore enables students to consolidate their existing skills and interests while exploring the cutting edge of the discipline.

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Founded in 1928, the Department of Geography at Durham is one of the leading centres of geographical research and education in the world. We have been ranked in the top 10 for five consecutive years in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2017). We are recurrently ranked in the top handful of programmes in the UK by various league tables. We are ranked 2nd in the Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 and 3rd in both the Complete University Guide 2017 and the Guardian University Guide 2017. The recent Research Excellence Framework found we produced the most world leading research publications and were top for overall research power in the discipline nationally.

Our ambition is to provide an outstanding education experience for each and every one of our undergraduate and postgraduate students, and for the Department to be a key research node in global networks, known for its agenda-setting research across the range of our specialisms. With 64 academics, 44 researchers, 48 professional support, administrative and technical staff, 630 undergraduates and 130 postgraduates, we teach and research across the discipline. Our specialisms span from Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic to Bangladesh, China and the emergent economies, whilst continuing to attend to the closer to home, the North east region in which we are located.

We are fortunate to enjoy a superb research and teaching environment in a wonderful City, with top class laboratory and IT facilities in a supportive and collegial atmosphere. At our core, our strength is drawn from all the people - staff and students - who together create and sustain the vibrant scholarly community that makes Durham Geography.

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Durham University is an internationally recognised centre for the study of History. The Department offers expertise across a wide range of fields, themes and chronological periods. It provides a supportive, friendly working environment with dedicated staff and a vibrant postgraduate community.

Durham is a thriving place to study History (as evidenced by the Department’s consistently high ranking in research and student satisfaction surveys). We employ around 35 leading academics whose expertise stretches from early medieval to contemporary history, and crosses Africa, Britain and Europe, North America and China. We foster an active and lively research environment at both staff and postgraduate level, and for MA and PhD students alike. The Department runs and participates in numerous seminar programmes and discussion groups which run throughout the academic year. These provide an excellent opportunity to share ideas within the Durham academic community with guest speakers from outside.

The taught Masters courses and research degree programmes provide a balance between guided and self-directed study and research, tailored to the individual needs of students. Between the University Library and the Cathedral library, Durham holds a wealth of archival and manuscript material (from the medieval and seventeenth century holdings to the Sudan Archive and other modern collections, for example the Earl Grey Family Papers). The Department works closely with library staff to ensure its research needs are met; library staff also provide specialist training in archival research and in the full range of resources, including electronic, available at Durham.

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The Department produces world-class research and enjoys a prominent international reputation. The Department performed very successfully in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The Applied Mathematics unit was ranked seventh in the country according to combined research impact.

The Department offers taught MSc programmes in Mathematical Sciences, Biomathematics and in Particles, Strings and Cosmology.

There are many research seminar series in which postgraduate students actively participate. Each year, several high-level conferences and workshops in Mathematical Sciences are held in Durham, including the LMS - EPSRC Durham Symposia (a prestigious series of high-quality international research conferences), and students are also given the opportunity to present their research results at conferences elsewhere.

The Department is part of MAGIC, a consortium of 16 universities offering distance learning for postgraduate students via interactive access-grid technology.

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Durham offers unique opportunities for postgraduate study in Music. The department’s location in part of an ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site is complemented by state-of-the-art studio and music computing facilities, while the University and its colleges provide many opportunities for practical music making.

Our staff are leading figures in the fields of musicology, composition and performance. They offer expertise in a wide range of areas, including nineteenth- and twentieth century music, acoustic and electroacoustic composition, performance, ethnomusicology, aesthetics and cultural/critical theory. An international body of staff and students make our department an ideal environment for a creative and intellectually stimulating experience.

The Department hosts a wide range of annual workshops, seminars and international conferences, and runs MUSICON, the University’s public concert series, featuring annual concerts by internationally acclaimed artists in the fields of classical, jazz, contemporary and world music.

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Durham has one of the largest philosophy postgraduate communities in the UK, with around fifty taught and research postgraduate studying here at any one time. We provide a welcoming, supportive, friendly and stimulating research environment for all our students. Students are invited to participate in a range of activities, including reading groups, research seminars, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures and meetings of EIDOS, our postgraduate philosophy society.

The postgraduate journal Philosophical Writings is also based here and managed by our postgraduate students. Our "postgraduate numbers, support and culture" were described by the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise Philosophy Sub-panel as "exemplary".

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The Department of Psychology provides a world-class research environment for postgraduate students in Biological, Cognitive, Social or Developmental Psychology along with more applied aspects such as Educational Psychology, Forensic/Criminological Psychology, Neuroscience (including Neurorehabilitation) and Health Psychology. Much of our research is interdisciplinary both within the department and outside of the department.

Our postgraduate community enjoys a stimulating environment both intellectually and socially. The department holds seminars each week with external and internal speakers and is a key member in many interdisciplinary research institutes within the University.

You will be working with academic staff whose output has been recognised by the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) as being of International Quality with 60% of our output being World Leading. The Psychology Department was also given top ranking in the 2004 Quality Assurance Exercise.

Our excellent research infrastructure and links with North-East NHS trusts are facilitated by our cutting edge equipment which allows us to publish high impact research, from our social, developmental, neuroscience, cognitive and clinical research groups.

There are many ways to continue your education with us. We offer taught postgraduate as well as research degree programmes.

We offer four full time taught Masters programmes as well as three research Postgraduate degree programmes which can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. Periods of study range from three terms full-time for an MA/MSc to a maximum of eighteen terms part-time for a PhD.

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Durham University's Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is a welcoming and vibrant community of world-leading academics, delivering a cutting-edge curriculum. Our taught programmes are consistently ranked in the Top 10 best sport-related degrees in the country and our department is in the 2023 Top 100 QS World Rankings for sport-related subjects. In the 2021 research excellence framework (REF) the department's research was all classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. Take a look around our lab facilities based within the £30 million purpose-built facility at Maiden Castle and find out more about our excellence in research, teaching and the employability of our students.

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Durham offers an unparalleled environment for postgraduate study of Theology and Religion, having been ranked no. 1 in research quality in the 2008 RAE. With 20 full-time staff, Durham is also one of the largest departments in Britain, and thus provides a considerable range of expertise for postgraduate students interested in all areas of Theology and Religion. The range of research seminars (in which all postgraduates are invited to participate) testifies to the department's intellectual breadth.

As well as academic excellence, we also aim to provide students with access to world-class study facilities and to a range of training and professional-development opportunities that are second to none. This may include work as a teaching assistant or research assistant, or participation in the Durham-Duke exchange scheme.

The department offers seven taught MA courses, along with a variety of research degrees (PhD, DThM and other Research Degrees). We also now offer a four-year Integrated PhD. All of these may be studied full time or part time. Entry into a research course normally requires the completion of a taught MA, during which a proposal for independent research can be developed and refined.

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Durham University Business School is part of Durham University, ranked 6th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 5th in The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. We offer a range of programmes, delivered by world-class academics at the forefront of research and teaching in business, management, economics and finance.

Whilst learning is academically rigorous, many assignments are intensely practical – based on real life case studies and business issues. This not only creates a more enjoyable learning experience, it helps to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills.

Our working environment is truly diverse. We welcome international students representing over 100 nationalities to the School every year – a melting pot of talents that helps keep our thinking fresh and globally relevant.

Here are just some of the many reasons why students from around the world choose to study with us:

Hands-on business experience
To really understand what business is all about, you need to experience it for yourself. Which is why we give you plenty of opportunities to get involved. From partnerships with global organisations, to collaborative research with industry, you can gain real world experience of the public and private sectors through live business case studies, simulated investment experience, and an international study tour.

Rigorous and comprehensive curriculums
We are part of an elite group of UK business schools with three internationally recognised quality assurances – from the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Together, these accreditations demonstrate the exceptional standard of our programmes.

A thriving location
Our programmes are delivered in the beautiful city of Durham. And as a Masters student, joining our collegiate system will further enrich your Durham experience.

World-class research informs your learning
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 79% of research submitted by staff across Durham University Business School was assessed as 'internationally excellent quality' or 'world leading', that is 3* or 4*. This means we continue to qualify for considerable external funding to further our work, and you will have access to the most relevant and contemporary research to inform your own learning.

Gain valuable insight through speaker events
We host an extensive schedule of guest speaker events. These combine thought leadership with the opportunity to network with business leaders and senior managers from top companies around the world.

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Durham University's School of Education has a thriving and diverse community of taught and research postgraduate students and is an outstanding centre for teaching and research, capitalising on the academic strengths and diversity of our teaching and research staff.

We offer a range of high quality postgraduate provision to suit your needs. Many of our courses are designed to offer optimum flexibility through their mode of delivery, whether through part-time teaching at evenings/weekends to suit those engaged in full-time employment, or through part-time International Postgraduate Programmes (IPPs) which are delivered through a combination of summer school teaching and distance learning. Our PG provision offers training and development for the teaching profession as well as programmes for those interested education as an academic discipline in its own right.

Our students benefit from an extensive on-site Leazes Road Library with comprehensive print and online information resources, study facilities, generous opening hours and dedicated staff to support all users. Meanwhile our research students have access to a recently refurbished dedicated research block which provides shared office space and areas for relaxation.

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The School's place amongst the top UK departments for Politics and International Relations has been confirmed by the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results in which 50% of our research rated in the top two categories: ‘world leading' and ‘internationally excellent'.

The School submitted work by every member of its academic staff to the RAE, with the results showing research excellence throughout the School. With a further 30% of research rated ‘internationally recognised', 80% of the School's research output falls in the top three grades of the exercise.

Providing a unique environment for learning, training and research, the School has a truly international base
with students from over 40 different countries studying on both our taught and research courses. The School prides itself on the support it provides for postgraduate students and has dedicated IT and study room facilities. Special collection library facilities are located within the main University Library, which is a short walk from the School.


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Durham Law School was ranked fourth highest Law School in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, having returned 100% of its staff in the RAE. The ranking is based on the percentage of submissions graded 4* (world-class).

Durham Law School has particular strength in the areas represented by the Human Rights Centre (HRC), the Institute for Commercial and Corporate Law (ICCL), the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (CCLCJ), the Durham European Law Institute (DELI), the Centre for Gender and Law at Durham (GLAD) and the Law and Conflict at Durham (LCD) cluster.

The main part of the Law School is located just a few yards from Durham's ancient castle and from our own dedicated law library. Our postgraduate office is opposite the County Court. Our excellent library resources include electronic access to journals, case law and update services through databases such as HeinOnline, Westlaw, LexisNexis and other Butterworths' packages, as well as hundreds of direct electronic law journal subscriptions.


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