International Students Admission to Durham University

Durham University stands as a beacon of academic excellence, renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and exceptional educational standards. Situated in the historic city of Durham, England, this prestigious institution attracts students from around the globe seeking a world-class education in a vibrant and supportive community.

International students play a crucial role in Durham University’s diverse and dynamic student body, enriching campus life with their unique perspectives and experiences. This guide aims to provide aspiring international students with a comprehensive overview of the admission process, requirements, and opportunities available at Durham University.

Join us as we explore why Durham University is a top choice for international students and delve into the details of how to make your dream of studying at this esteemed institution a reality.

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Brief Overview of Durham University

Durham University, legally known as the University of Durham, is a prestigious collegiate public research university located in Durham, England. Founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charter in 1837, it holds the distinction of being the first recognised university to open in England in over 600 years, following the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, and is thus the third-oldest university in England.

As a collegiate university, Durham University’s main functions are divided between its academic departments and its 17 colleges. The departments are primarily responsible for research and teaching, while the colleges oversee domestic arrangements and student welfare.

The university’s estate encompasses 83 listed buildings, ranging from the historic 11th-century Durham Castle to the modern 1960s brutalist students’ union. Additionally, the university owns and manages the Durham World Heritage Site in partnership with Durham Cathedral, which includes Durham Castle, Palace Green, and other surrounding historic buildings, such as Cosin’s Library.

As of 2018, the university boasted a distinguished faculty, with 15 Fellows of the Royal Society, 18 Fellows of the British Academy, 16 Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences, 5 Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 3 Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts, 2 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and 2 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences among its current and emeritus academics. Graduates of Durham University traditionally use the Latin post-nominal letters “Dunelm” after their degree, derived from “Dunelmensis,” meaning “of, belonging to, or from Durham.”

Academic Achievements

In terms of academic achievement, Durham University has consistently demonstrated high standards, with the tenth highest average UCAS Tariff for new entrants in 2021 among British universities. However, it has also been noted for having one of the lowest proportions of state-school educated students starting courses in 2016, at 62.9 per cent, which ranks as the fifth lowest compared to its benchmark.

Durham University’s rich history, academic excellence, and stunning campus make it a highly sought-after institution for both domestic and international students seeking a world-class education.

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Why Choose Durham University?

Durham University offers a world-class learning experience, consistently ranking among the top universities globally. In the QS World University Rankings 2024, Durham University is ranked 78th, showcasing its academic excellence on a global scale.

Outstanding Staff

Students at Durham University benefit from being taught by academic staff who are experts in their fields, ensuring a high-quality education that is at the forefront of their subjects.

A Stunning Location

Located in Durham City, the university boasts some of the world’s finest architecture, providing an inspiring environment for learning and personal growth. You can get a glimpse of life in Durham through the eyes of our students on YouTube.

Unique College System

Durham University operates on a collegiate system, with 17 colleges in Durham City. Joining a college at Durham is akin to joining a new family, offering a supportive and inclusive community.

Diverse Social Community

Durham University welcomes students from around the UK and over 130 countries worldwide, fostering a diverse and vibrant social community that enriches the learning experience.

Wider Student Experience

Recognizing that student life extends beyond academics, Durham University is committed to providing an unrivaled student experience, offering a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for personal development.

Network of Support and Welfare Services

Durham University provides comprehensive support services, including both central support services and support staff within each college, ensuring that students have access to the assistance they need throughout their university journey.

Regional Information

The university has a dedicated team to assist students in applying to Durham University. Depending on your region, you can find specific information and support tailored to your needs.

Visit Durham

For international students visiting from outside the UK, Durham University offers campus visits to provide firsthand experience of the university and the city. These visits are an excellent opportunity to learn more about what Durham has to offer.

This article highlights the many reasons why Durham University is a top choice for students seeking a world-class education in a vibrant and supportive community.

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Applying for an Undergraduate Course through UCAS: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re considering applying to Durham University through UCAS, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step to ensure a smooth application experience.

1. Deadlines

  • The deadline for most undergraduate courses is 18:00 (GMT) on 31 January 2024.
  • For Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry, or Veterinary Science, the deadline is 15 October.
  • Your school or college may have its deadline for you to apply.

2. Registering with UCAS

  • Register on the UCAS website.
  • If applying through school or college, you’ll need a buzzword.
  • Remember your username, create a password, and keep your UCAS personal ID safe.

3. Starting Your Application

  • Applications typically open in September for the following year.
  • Application sections include personal details, qualifications, course choices, a personal statement, and a reference.

4. What Happens Next

  • UCAS will confirm receipt of your application and send it to your chosen universities.
  • Universities will review your application and make decisions, which you can view on UCAS.

5. Changing Your Mind

  • You can make changes to your application if your interests change or your circumstances alter.
  • Refer to UCAS guidance for more information on changes to your application.

Hints and Tips

  1. Research your course and universities early. Attend Open Days and talk to current students to make informed choices.
  2. Complete your application well before the deadline to avoid rushing.
  3. Double-check all information before submission, especially your qualifications.
  4. Use a personal email address for university communications.
  5. Utilize UCAS resources and seek advice if needed.

Applying for an undergraduate course through UCAS can be a straightforward process if you follow these steps. Start early, gather all necessary information, and submit your application before the deadline to increase your chances of receiving an offer from Durham University.

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Applying for a Postgraduate Taught Degree at Durham University

Entry Requirements

All postgraduate courses at Durham University have their own specific entry requirements, which can be checked on a course-by-course basis by visiting the respective course pages. As a general guideline, the minimum requirements for admission to a postgraduate taught degree include:

  • Attainment of an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university or an equivalent degree qualification from an overseas university.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency for applicants whose first language is not English.

Specific or additional entry requirements for each course will be listed on the course page. Durham University has a diverse and thriving international postgraduate community, and information about qualification equivalences can be found on the country information pages. If you require advice about entry requirements or if your qualifications are suitable for entry, you can contact the university for assistance.

Dates and Deadlines

Most postgraduate courses at Durham University start in September or October. Some courses may offer alternative start dates, such as in January or April, which will be indicated on the course search and the applicant portal.

Applications can typically be submitted throughout the year, with applications opening in October of the year preceding the start of the course. To ensure a timely start to your studies at Durham for the 2024/25 academic year, applicants requiring a student visa should apply for their postgraduate programme by no later than 31 July 2024, while applicants not requiring a student visa should apply by no later than 31 August 2024. It is essential for offer holders to provide the necessary evidence to meet any offer conditions as soon as possible, but no later than 14 August 2024 for those needing a student visa and 14 September for those not needing one.

For some courses, particularly those that are highly competitive, early application is advisable. International applicants needing a visa should also apply with enough time to arrange this. Some MSc courses at the Business School have specific application deadlines, and admissions to any programme may be closed if oversubscribed.

The Full-Time MBA programme, MSc Business Analytics, and MA Conservation of Archaeological & Museum Objects operate a staged admissions process, with application deadlines throughout the year.

How to Apply

For most postgraduate taught degrees at Durham University, applications are submitted through Durham’s Applicant Portal. The application process is organized into sections, allowing applicants to save their progress and return to it at any time. Certain documents are required for the application process, including:

  • Transcripts of qualifications
  • English language test certificates (if applicable)
  • Personal statement (if not written directly into the portal)
  • Scholarship documentation (if applying for scholarships)

Applicants do not need to have all documents ready at the time of application, as they can be uploaded later through the portal. Communication regarding the application process is conducted through the applicant portal, where applicants can receive action requests and notifications. It is advisable to log in to the portal regularly to check the progress of the application.

Application Fee

All MSc programmes at the Business School require applicants to pay a small application fee before their application can be considered. Instructions on how to pay the application fee will be provided through the applicant portal after submitting the application. Applications cannot be considered until the fee is paid, so it is recommended to pay the fee as soon as possible.

Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

Applicants interested in applying for a PGCE International programme can do so via the postgraduate Applicant Portal.

This blog section provides comprehensive information on applying for a postgraduate taught degree at Durham University, covering entry requirements, dates and deadlines, application process, application fee, and specific information for PGCE International programmes.

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Applying for a Postgraduate Research Degree at Durham University

Making Contact with a Department and Finding a Supervisor

When applying for a research degree at Durham University, it’s essential to ensure that your academic department shares your research interests and that there is a supervisor with expertise in your subject area to support you. All of our departments are open to discussing their areas of expertise, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them before applying.

Checking Entry Requirements

Each course has specific entry requirements, so it’s important to check what they are for the course you’re interested in. Generally, you’ll need at least a 2:1 honors degree or its equivalent. Applications from overseas students are welcome, and you can check our country information pages for details on how your qualification compares to the UK system. Additionally, ensure your English language proficiency meets our requirements.

Writing a Research Proposal

This is a very important part of your application. Contact the department where you are interested in studying to discuss your research proposal with them. Depending on the department, they may nominate potential supervisors who will help you develop your research proposal before you make an application.

Dates and Deadlines

Research degrees often have multiple start dates, including the autumn term, January, and April/May. Specify your preferred start date in your application and allow enough time for the application process to be completed before the start of your course. Some applications may specify a deadline, so ensure you apply in time.


Make an application through our Applicant Portal after you’verefined your researchproposal. The application is organized into sections, so you can save it and come back to it at any time. Upload documents such as transcripts, English language test certificates, a personal statement, two references, scholarship documentation (if applicable), and your research proposal. You can upload these documents later if you don’t have them all when you apply.

Communicating with Durham University

We communicate with you through your applicant portal, sending action requests and notifications. It’s advisable to log in regularly to check the progress of your application.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to apply for a postgraduate research degree at Durham University.

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Support for International Applicants

Durham University prioritizes providing comprehensive support services for international applicants, from the initial application process to graduation, ensuring a fulfilling academic journey in the UK.

1. International Office Assistance

  • The International Office offers personalized advice and support for prospective international students.
  • Staff members frequently attend international education fairs and events to meet with potential applicants and provide guidance.

2. Pre-Application Support

  • Assistance with understanding entry requirements, application procedures, and deadlines.
  • Guidance on choosing the right course and program for individual aspirations and academic background.

3. Application Guidance

  • They provide step-by-step instructions on completing the online application form.
  • Information on required supporting documents, such as academic transcripts and English language proficiency certificates.

4. Visa and Immigration Support

  • Information and advice on the UK student visa application process.
  • Assistance with understanding visa requirements and obligations during the study period.

5. Accommodation Services

  • Guidance on finding suitable accommodation options, both on and off-campus.
  • Advice on tenancy agreements, budgeting, and settling into student accommodation.

6. Pre-Arrival Information

  • Guidance on preparing for life in the UK, including information on culture, climate, and healthcare.
  • Information on what to expect upon arrival at Durham University and how to prepare for the first few weeks.

7. Welcome and Orientation

  • Welcoming events and orientation programs to help new international students settle into university life.
  • Introduction to academic and social support networks available at Durham University.

8. Academic Support

  • They provide academic support services to aid students excel in their studies.
  • Access to academic resources, such as libraries, study spaces, and online learning platforms.

9. Cultural and Social Integration

  • Provide student opportunities to participate in cultural exchange programs and events.
  • Support networks for international students to connect with peers and the local community.

10. Graduation and Beyond

  • Guidance on post-graduation options, such as further study or employment in the UK.
  • Alumni networks and support for staying connected with Durham University after graduation.

Durham University is committed to ensuring that international applicants receive the support they need to thrive academically and personally during their time at the university.

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In conclusion, Durham University stands out as a premier destination for international students seeking a world-class education in the UK. With its rich academic heritage, state-of-the-art facilities, and vibrant student community, Durham offers a truly immersive and rewarding experience.

International students choosing Durham University can expect a rigorous yet supportive academic environment, where they will have access to renowned faculty, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a wide range of academic programs to suit their interests and goals.

Moreover, Durham’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity ensures that international students feel welcomed and supported throughout their time at the university. From student support services to accommodation options, Durham University goes above and beyond to ensure that international students have everything they need to succeed.

Durham University also offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help international students finance their education. These scholarships recognize academic excellence and provide opportunities for students to further their studies without financial burden.

In conclusion, Durham University provides a unique and enriching experience for international students, combining academic excellence with a supportive and inclusive environment. If you are considering studying in the UK, Durham University should be at the top of your list.

To learn more about international student admission at Durham University, visit their official website at Durham University International Students Admission.

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