About Us

A  globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

We are an international family of extraordinary people comprising 27 departments across four faculties, with over 4,000 staff and over 22,000 students, and operating income of over £468 million (2022 Annual Report). All our students belong to one of 17 colleges which support and inspire our students to become the best they can be, in their studies and beyond. Because we hire and develop the most talented academic and thought-leaders, our boundary breaking research makes an impact across the globe.

According to the league tables we are a world top 100 university and one of the top universities in the UK, placing 6th in the Guardian University Guide, 6th in Complete University Guide and 6th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide in 2023.

But we are so much more than our league table positions and so much more than a research-intensive university which offers outstanding teaching. Our students benefit from being members for life of one of our Colleges, each of which offers a diverse and supportive community in which they can thrive and develop both personally and academically. Additionally, the Durham Students’ Union and Experience Durham, which co-ordinate our renowned drama, music, leadership, sport, and volunteering programmes, ensure that our students enjoy an unrivalled student experience.

Durham University combines academic excellence with a commitment to producing the highly motivated, well-rounded, and socially engaged leaders of tomorrow.

Our Purpose and Values

As part of the refresh of our Strategy, we have developed a new set of core lived values which set out the principles by which we will act across everything we do.


Our Purpose

We enrich lives and change the world through the advancement of learning.

We achieve this by:

  • Inspiring and supporting staff and students to create and translate knowledge and enhance understanding, locally and globally.
  • Promoting inclusivity, civic responsibility, sustainability, social well-being and prosperity for the benefit of present and future generations.

Our Core Lived Values

  • Inclusivity – Together we celebrate difference, value one another, and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.
  • Integrity – We are open, honest, ethical, lead and manage by example and follow through on our commitments.
  • Collaboration – We listen to each other, disagree well, with a commitment to academic freedom, are compassionate, and work as a team to achieve our goals.
  • Commitment to Excellence – We strive for the highest standards of achievement in everything we do with an enthusiasm to learn, succeed, and flourish.
  • Citizenship – We develop well-rounded people who make a positive difference to local, national, and international communities and change the world.


Durham University is a legally independent and autonomous institution established by Act of Parliament in 1832 and Royal Charter in 1837. It is also an educational charity.

Council is the governing body of the University and its Trustee Board. The University is led by the Vice-Chancellor and Warden, supported by a Senior Leadership Team.