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North American Postgraduate Guide


Elvet, Durham City


Welcome to Durham University


Student experience


(QS World Rankings 2019)



Colleges and accommodation


Studying at Durham


Subject options


Entry requirements


Your future


How to apply






Life at Durham University


Arrival and orientation




North American Postgraduate Guide

Bill Bryson Library

Consistently ranked within the top 5 of UK league tables (The Time and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018). A World Top 100 University (QS World Rankings 2019).

Ranked 33rd globally for employer reputation (QS World Rankings 2019).

A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY Founded in 1832, Durham is the third oldest university in England and one of the UK’s most prestigious. Based around a 10th century cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage site, we may be traditional in stature but Durham has always been an innovative, forward-looking university. When you choose to study at Durham University, not only do you have access to a vast range of courses and research-informed teaching by world-leading experts in outstanding study facilities, we also offer supportive college communities and a fantastic student experience.

LEARNING WITH THE BEST Research-led education is at the heart of what we do. This means that our academic staff are more than lecturers simply teaching from a book, the research they conduct shapes and inspires the structure of our departments and directly informs our teaching. REF 2014 (the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities) identified world-leading research in every academic subject that we offer.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK Durham University is an international university with global impact. Many students from the United States and Canada choose to study here, along with students from more than 150 other countries. We will ensure that the skills you learn here will help you compete on the global stage.

“I chose Durham University because of personal recommendations, the strong and eclectic philosophy program, the high ranking, the beautiful and historic campus and city, and a gut feeling. I love the city and my studies, and I get a lot of support both from people in my college and in my program. I like the overall atmosphere here; I feel as though I’m not sacrificing a cosy/friendly vibe for a high quality education.” Caitlin McQuaide, United States, MA Philosophy www.durham.ac.uk


North American Postgraduate Guide

Durham University is not just a great place to study, it is a great place to be a student. While we expect academic excellence, we recognise that academic success is only half of the story. As a Durham University student you will find that there is so much to learn outside the classroom. Important life skills such as teamwork and leadership can be developed through extracurricular activities – and of course they can be lots of fun. Durham University currently has: • More than 200 clubs and societies offering everything from archery to world cinema, and if you do not find one that interests you, why not start your own • Students raising money for over 120 charities in the UK and abroad

Britain’s number one team sport university.

• More than 600 students volunteering in the local community through our Student Community Action initiative

• Award-winning student media, The Palatinate newspaper and Purple Radio • Music societies, groups and events for every taste, from orchestra, bands and chamber choirs, to gospel and opera • Durham University Student Theatre – offering the chance to be involved in a range of theatrical productions from behind the scenes to star of the show. POSTGRADUATE COACHING SCHOLARSHIPS Durham University’s athletic department, Team Durham, offers a number of feereduction scholarships for high-achieving athletes from North America. With no four- year eligibility requirement in British sport, there are opportunities to compete for Britain’s number one team sports university. There are around 80 places for athletes annually, for sports including Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, Lacrosse, Fencing and Water Polo.

Sport is an important part of many Durham University students’ lives with students from all levels taking part on a regular basis. Between them, our colleges have more than 500 teams across 18 different sports for more recreational competition, and for serious sportsmen and women there are opportunities to compete at a higher level in one of our 52 University sports clubs. Our aim is for any student, from an enthusiastic amateur to a future Olympian, to be able to enjoy participating and competing in sport. www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/experience

“I first heard about Durham from a previous volleyball teammate. Once I researched the school more I saw that it was world-renowned academically and I could complete my Masters degree in only one year whilst playing. I am on the volleyball team for Team Durham. I play for the first team and coach the second team and I’ve really enjoyed my MSc in Marketing. I would certainly recommend Durham, I’ve had an unbelievable experience at one of the best schools in England.” Lindsay Anderson, United States, MSc Marketing www.durham.ac.uk


North American Postgraduate Guide

Durham University is located in the beautiful North East of England. The University is well-connected across the UK; 15 minutes from Newcastle, two hours from Manchester and three hours from London by train. Durham City is rich in heritage and culture, and home to Durham Cathedral and Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A picturesque English city with cobble stone roads and brick buildings, Durham is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Holy Island

Newcastle Quayside

Angel of the North

High Force

With a total population of around 43,000, Durham has a compact, friendly feel but still provides the facilities you would expect of a thriving city, including excellent cafes, bars and restaurants. We are only 15 minutes away from Newcastle by train and there you will find a wide choice of entertainment, culture and shopping. THE REGION The North East is full of exciting things to do and beautiful places to explore, including ancient monuments, beaches, national parks, bustling cities and the highest number of castles in England. The region is home to one of Europe’s largest shopping centres and music and arts venues to suit all tastes. A passion for sport runs through the North East, with two premiership football teams, Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC, and top cricket, basketball, rugby and ice hockey teams competing regularly. Newcastle International Airport is around 30 minutes away and opens up amazing travel opportunities for your spring and summer vacations. With Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Prague and Dubrovnik all less than 3 hours away by plane, this could be your chance to see the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum like you always hoped to. There are also direct flights from Newcastle International to New York, connecting to other destinations within the US and Canada.

Alnwick Castle

Left: Calman Learning Centre, Above: Durham Cathedral



North American Postgraduate Guide

Durham is a collegiate university made up of a number of college communities; 16 colleges in total.

term. Colleges offer their own sports teams, clubs, and social activities, and you can even help run aspects of your college providing you with unique leadership opportunities.

University accommodation is based in our colleges and many postgraduate students live in college. Colleges are much more than just somewhere to sleep though, being part of a college means that you get all of the benefits of a large, international university whilst living in a smaller and friendly scholarly community.

Our students say that colleges are one of the best aspects of student life at Durham University and the main reason why your experience here will be so different to anywhere else. Our colleges are located throughout Durham City which means students can easily access any department from their university accommodation. Durham has a postgraduate only college, Ustinov college, but postgraduates can join any college.

College of St Hild and St Bede

Durham is a close-knit community of students from over 150 countries.

Kirstyn Raitz, United States, MA Early Modern History

Grey College

Hatfield College

John Snow College

Josephine Butler College

St Aidan’s College

St Chad’s College

St Cuthbert’s Society

Stephenson College

St Hild and St Bede

St John’s College

St Mary’s College

Trevelyan College

University College

Van Mildert College

Ustinov College (PG only)

“As a postgraduate, I didn’t see myself getting as involved as I was during my undergraduate years but I’ve gotten even more involved especially in college life. There is a really extensive sense of community at Durham that I didn’t experience at my undergraduate university. I chose Ustinov college and I really couldn’t have chosen a better college as an international postgrad. They really do their best to make everyone feel welcome.”


Collingwood College

Colleges offer a high level of personal support, a range of excellent on-site facilities, and a full programme of studentled events and extra-curricular activities throughout the

Year of foundation








1888 /58









Self-catered, catered or part-catered

















Gowned formal dinners

















Total number of undergraduate students

















Total number of undergraduate shared rooms

















Total number of postgraduate students

















Total number of students

































UCAS code



North American Postgraduate Guide

When you join Durham University you will be joining a world top 100 University where our postgraduate students are fully immersed in the world-class research culture.

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)

TAUGHT POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMMES Postgraduate taught courses can improve your career prospects or act as a foundation for undertaking further study at research degree level. The postgraduate taught route is ideal for students who want a structured framework for their studies. Most taught degrees are one-year Masters programmes delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Our programmes blend core and optional modules in specialist subject areas with a substantial dissertation or research project.

Durham University delivers world-leading research in every Durham University subject (Research Excellence Framework, REF 2014).

A typical taught structure consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials in Michelmas term and Epiphany term with your research dissertation or project in the Easter term. RESEARCH PROGRAMMES Durham University is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities and we offer a wide range of research degrees. As a research student at Durham, you will have a supervisory team comprising of at least two members of academic staff. Their roles are to help and support you to undertake your research project and to complete your degree on time. The University ensures that your supervisory team has appropriate expertise in your area of study, and we have extensive training and mentoring programmes to support them to deliver high-quality supervision.

Academic year 2019 – 2020

You can study for one, two or three years (full-time) towards a range of research qualifications including; • Master of Arts (MA)

• Master of Music (MMus)

• Master of Education (MEd)

• Master of Professional Practice (MProf)

• Master of Science (Msc)

• Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

• Master of Letters (MLitt)

• Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

• Master of Juriprudence (MJur)

• Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Induction Week

30 Sept – 06 Oct

Michaelmas Term

07 Oct – 13 Dec

Christmas Vacation

14 Dec – 12 Jan

Epiphany Term

13 Jan – 20 Mar

Easter Vacation

21 Mar – 26 Apr

Easter Term

27 Apr – 26 June

Summer Vacation

27 June – 27 Sept


US Grading Scheme

Canadian Grading Scheme



70.00 – 100.00


Class I (‘First’)

3.8 – 4.0 summa cum laude

85+ A - A+

60.00 – 69.99


Class II, Division i (‘2:1’)

3.3 – 3.7 magna cum laude

77 – 84 B+ - A-

50.00 – 59.99


Class II, Division ii (‘2:2’)

2.8 – 3.2 cum laude

67 – 76 C+ - B

40.00 – 49.99


Class III (‘Third’)

2.3 – 2.7

60 - 66

0.00 – 39.99







North American Postgraduate Guide

Durham University offers postgraduate programmes in the following subject areas:

• Anthropology

• International Relations

• Archaeology

• Law

• Biological Sciences

• Management

• Business

• Marketing

• Chemistry

• Mathematics

• Classics


• Creative Writing

• Modern Languages and Cultures

• Criminology • Community & Youth Work • Computing Sciences • Earth Sciences • Economics • Education • Engineering

USA AND CANADA Taught and research Masters programmes A Bachelors degree from a good university with a GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 or better or 77% overall. Some departments may require a Bachelors degree in a relevant subject. Research postgraduate (MPhil and PhD programmes) A Master of Art/Master of Science (Research) degree from a good university (minimum two years of study) or an MBA from a good university. You can find more information at: www.durham.ac.uk/courses and www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/course/research

• Museum & Artefact Studies • Music • Philosophy • Physics • Politics • Psychology • Research Methods

• English and Literature

• Sociology

• Finance

• Sport

• Geography


• Geology & Geophysics

• Theology and Religion

“ I initially chose Durham because of the course. I am pursuing an MSc Defence, Development, Diplomacy in Durham’s Global Security Institute, which blends peace and war studies and develops practical solutions to the integration of all aspects of national power. Durham is a world leader in this field and I couldn’t ask for a stronger faculty, more relevant coursework, or more interesting peers. It is very difficult to study war in the U.S. after the Vietnam War, so the UK was one of the few places where I could pursue my academic and professional interest in conflict. My course has been engaging and rewarding. Just as one example of my fantastic academic experiences this year, my Rethinking Counterterrorism module was taught by a former CIA director and I interviewed him for a public lecture on the rise of Islamic State (IS).” Alexandra Gutowski, United States, Fulbright Scholar, MSC Defence, Development and Diplomacy

• History



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).

North American Postgraduate Guide

A degree from Durham University is a passport to success both in North America, and in the rest of the world. Your degree will be recognised by employers in the US and Canada. Durham has an international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research that will provide an outstanding platform for your future career. Durham University graduates are highly sought after by regional, national and international employers and are in demand from companies such as KPMG, Procter & Gamble and Goldman Sachs. Many of our research graduates go on to successful careers in academia, securing employment in well-respected organisations across the globe. At Durham University, we offer support in addition to your degree and can help you on your career path. The highly trained staff in the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre provide a range of services tailored to meet the very specific career needs of our postgraduate students.

OFFERING SERVICES SUCH AS: •E  xpert advice on CVs, application forms and preparation for interviews and assessment centres •A  range of targeted talks delivered through academic departments •A  ppointments with Specialist Careers Advisers to discuss your career plans •A  dedicated programme of career development support for PhD researchers and postdoctoral research staff including career management workshops and seminars as well as individual consultations •A  wide range of opportunities for work experience, placements and internships •E  nterprise events, aimed at promoting and developing entrepreneurial skills or helping you to launch a start-up business.

“I found out immediately that a Durham degree was very sought after by many different kinds of professional fields on the international stage. Every week there were major multinational companies on campus for recruitment engagements. I knew immediately that the place I was studying was special, and would be very helpful when it came time to begin my professional career. Upon completion of my studies at Durham Business School I was able to land a job immediately with a Fortune 100 company and one of the world’s largest food companies at General Mills. It is my belief that my experience living internationally and conversations regarding my postgraduate studies abroad is a major contributing factor to what made my story unique from other prospective candidates. ” Derek Michalski, United States, MA Marketing Current position: Buyer, General Mills Worldwide Sourcing

“Durham University provides endless opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities. I was a committed member of Hatfield College Association Football Club. I also tried out new activities such as the Clay Pigeon Club and learnt how to shoot (not very well though). In addition I was part of Durham University Investment and Finance Group, taking part in the Fund Team. This was great fun while also being instructive as we managed a portfolio of £7,000 that our sponsors had provided. Ernst & Young’s fantastic reputation attracted me to apply there and my experience at Durham helped as it meant that I had a much better understanding and Ernst & Young is very keen on hiring Durham graduates. Overall my Durham experience provided me with strong evidence for the rigorous selection process which included a first interview, assessment centre and a final partner interview.”

DUNELM USA AND DUNELM CANADA The North American Foundation for the University of Durham (NAFUD), now DunelmUSA and DunelmCanada, was founded to link past students who now live and work in America or Canada and to ensure that others may follow in their path www.dunelmusa.org Board members are happy to be contacted by prospective, current and graduated students about their experiences.

Philip O. Sarthou, United States, Haiti, MSc Corporate and International Finance Current position: Assurance Associate, Mining, Oil & Gas and Utilities, Ernst & Young, London www.durham.ac.uk


North American Postgraduate Guide

STAGE 1 – CHECK ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Before you apply, check course information on the website www.durham.ac.uk/courses to ensure that you can: • Meet the academic department’s entry requirements • Meet the financial requirement of the programme you are interested in, including tuition fees and living costs (for more information on fees and funding see page 22-23) If you would like to study for a research degree you will need to contact your academic department and check your research interests are compatible and that you can find a suitable supervisor for your thesis. You should then contact your chosen supervisor with a brief statement of your intended research topic before writing your research proposal (see bottom left). Departmental web pages can be found at: www.durham.ac.uk/departments and will give the details of any special requirements plus guidance regarding personal statements, supporting documentation and references. Contact details and information about research specialisms can also be found here.

Most postgraduate programmes have no formal deadline but you should check your department web page as there are deadlines for particular programmes. Once we receive your application we will process it as quickly as possible and most applications are processed within four to six weeks of receipt. Please note that all correspondence will be sent via email.

STAGE 3 – APPLY FOR COLLEGE If you are successful in receiving an offer to Durham you will then need to apply for college application and membership as all postgraduates are members of one of our colleges. As well as being accepted by a department. You can find more information about colleges on page 11. The Colleges Postgraduate Office will contact you once you have accepted your offer from the University with an online application form. You can choose to apply for accommodation in one of our colleges or just for membership if you want to live in private accommodation. Queries should be directed to the Colleges Postgraduate Office at colleges.postgrad@durham.ac.uk


STAGE 2 – COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FORM Applications should be made using the online application form at: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. When completing the online application form you will be asked for the following information:

A research proposal is an academic statement about the topic you wish to study, which is required as part of the application to a research programme. The proposal must demonstrate that you have carefully considered what you wish to study and why Durham University is the best place for you to undertake your research, including examples of how your research fits into the department or institute’s research interests.

• Personal details

As a guide, a research proposal should be approximately 2,000 words and should include:

• Information about your education and qualifications

• A working title

• The names and addresses of two academic referees

• A general overview of the topic

• A personal statement where you can highlight why you wish to apply for the programme and provide further information about your academic interests, career to date, experience and qualifications.

• Identification of the relevant literature

Please note that application to some postgraduate programmes requires payment of an application fee. Your department’s web page will provide information regarding this.

• Key research questions • Methodology • Timescale/research planning • Bibliography More guidance on how to write a research proposal for your particular subject can be found on your department’s web pages. Durham Castle



North American Postgraduate Guide

POSTGRADUATE FEES 2019 – 2020 Tuition Fees:

£17,350 – £28,000

College (accommodation) fees: depending on catering, single/ shared room, and private/shared bathroom

£5,062 – £7,883

Please check the course database for more information about specific programme fees.


International students pay the same tuition fees for the duration of their course with no annual increases. For more details on tuition fees and funding opportunities: www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance/international

River Wear



North American Postgraduate Guide

To find out more about funding opportunities provided by Durham University see: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance The athletic department of Durham University, Team Durham, also offers a number of scholarships for highachieving athletes, see page 7 for more information. Other funding opportunities for US students: • Fulbright Commission: available for Masters applicants: www.fulbright.org.uk • Marshall Scholarships: available for Masters or PhD applicants: www.marshallscholarship.org Other funding opportunities for Canadian students: • Chevening Scholarship: Available for Masters applicants www.chevening.org US FEDERAL STUDENT AID Durham participates in the US Department of Education Direct Loans programme. Eligible US students can access federally subsidised Stafford and PLUS loans to help finance their studies. Durham University is one of the biggest distributors of US Federal Student Aid in the UK, and offers guidance to students on the application process: www.durham.ac.uk/foreign.loans DEPOSITS The UK’s points-based immigration system requires international students to demonstrate that they have the finances in place in order to apply for a visa. If you are a self-financing international student you will be required to pay a deposit before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number which you will need for your visa application. For further information see: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance/international LIVING COSTS You will need to include living costs into your budget to cover expenses such as accommodation and utility bills, food, clothing and entertainment, study costs (e.g. thesis, fieldtrips, books) insurance and transport. Many postgraduate students live in our colleges, for information on living and accommodation fees see: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/accommodation/costs and www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance

Owengate, Durham city



North American Postgraduate Guide

WELFARE As a student you will need to pay a one-time healthcare surcharge to cover the total time you will be living in the UK and then you will be eligible to receive medical care from the National Health Service (NHS). There is more information at: www.durham.ac.uk/immigration/entryclearance/healthcaresurcharge It is not necessary to take out any other kind of medical insurance for your stay in the UK. You will need to register at a medical centre when you arrive, and they will also be able to recommend specialist treatment if it is needed: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/support/

WHAT TO BRING OR BUY As a full-time student you will be able to open a bank account, apply for a discount rail card for all rail travel, and purchase a UK phone and plan. We know there are many more considerations about what to bring or buy so you can find out more on our new students pages: www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/international

“My experience as an international student here at Durham has been really interesting (in a good way!). Most intriguingly, while I have introduced North American lingo to my friends, I have also gradually adopted British expressions and word equivalents. For example, what I used to call a sweater, I now call a jumper. What I used to call a truck, I now call a lorry. Although the terms I use have slightly changed, my accent remains very much Canadian, which has surprisingly proven to be quite beneficial. I believe my accent has helped me make new friends. I often have people coming up to me, and asking me where I’m from. ” Cheryl Yip, Canada, Law

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES When you study in England you will not only notice differences in education systems, but you may see cultural differences as well. Navigating these cultural differences can be fun (‘you use that word for what?’) but at times it can also be confusing and therefore helpful to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. Some of our current students have blogged about their time living in Durham and some of the highlights of their experiences: www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/life/experience/blogs Durham City

WEATHER The North East of England has a somewhat small range of temperatures throughout the year. In the winter average temperatures are typically between 3-9C (37-48F) and in the summer average temperatures are typically between 15-20C (60-70F) though we do get more warm and sunny days. The North East does not get as much rain as other parts of the country, but we do have a good number of rainy days. Durham’s weather, overall, is fairly mild but changeable, so layers of clothing and a waterproof jacket (or umbrella) are always recommended.

www.durham.ac.uk Durham Castle

University College


North American Postgraduate Guide

IMMIGRATION Unless you have an UK or EU passport, you will require a student visa to study in the UK. Students who require a visa to study will be responsible for applying for and obtaining their own visa. As immigration regulations change regularly, we recommend students refer to guidance online: www.durham.ac.uk/immigration and www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

ARRIVAL Newcastle International Airport is the most convenient airport for Durham City and Queen’s Campus, Stockton. If you choose to arrive at another airport in the UK, we recommend that you connect to Newcastle airport via an internal flight, or, if you prefer, you can take a train to Durham railway station or Thornaby railway station (for students studying at Queen’s Campus in Stockton).

MEET & GREET SERVICES Durham University offers a collection service to welcome international students at Newcastle Airport and Durham Railway Station and provide a coach service to their accommodation. Students can sign up for the service and find more information at: www.durham.ac.uk/international/newstudents

ORIENTATION The International Office hosts an international student orientation event after Meet & Greet to introduce services you may need during your degree and time in the UK, for example: setting up a bank account and cell phone, registering with the medical centre, accessing our library services, and disability services. Colleges and departments then offer an induction week for all new students to introduce the services, activities, and support they each offer. The induction week is an excellent way to start getting involved in college life, sign up for clubs and societies, meet other students, and get to know more about your departments and advisors. Each student can build their own induction week schedule to incorporate their college and department events: www.durham.ac.uk/international/newstudents

“Leading up to my time at Durham I was pretty nervous about how I would fit in as a foreign student. I’ve never had a warmer welcome than the one they gave me. In no time, Durham felt like home and before I knew it, I had made close friends with people from all over the world.” David Kirk, United States, MSc Computer Science. www.durham.ac.uk




International Office, Durham University

The Palatine Centre Stockton Road Durham DH1 3LE UK T +44 (0)191 334 6328 F +44 (0)191 334 6326 E international.office@durham.ac.uk

Beth Pearson, Regional Manager, East Coast USA & Canada (UK Based)


T: +44 (0)191 334 6323 E: beth.g.pearson@durham.ac.uk

@durhamIO /durham.internationaloffice

/durhamuniversity /DurhamUniversity

This University publication is intended as a general guide to the University of Durham’s courses and facilities and forms no part of any contract between you and the University except as provided below. The publication is prepared in advance of the academic year to which they relate. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. Although reasonable steps are taken by the University to provide the courses and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility. Any course may be altered or withdrawn owing to circumstances beyond the University of Durham’s reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in Government policy, withdrawal or reduction of funding, change of Law. The University will take such steps as are available to it to minimise the effect of any alteration or withdrawal of a course. Such steps may include the offer of a place on an alternative course. Please note that the University’s website is the most up to date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments. Durham University and Durham University logo are registered Trade Marks of the University of Durham. Unless otherwise stated, all material in this publication is copyright of the University of Durham. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of the University. WARM/08/18/423

Profile for Durham University

North American Graduate Guide 2019 Entry  

North American Graduate Guide 2019 Entry