Durham University

Clubs and social environment

Please tell us more about the social environment, sports clubs and societies and anything else you think candidates need to know about life at your university.


"There are a LOT of sports and societies. Name anything, we have it. We also have excellent training facilities and very good coaches. My friend represented Team GB in the U23 championships in July! It goes to show that we go all out."
"Sport and music are both big at Durham, but if you're not into that there's societies based around pretty much anything: theatre, the environment, politics, charity work, writing, gaming, food & drink etc."
"Sports facilities include County Council's Freeman's Quay and University's Maiden Castle. Colleges have their own sport teams and so does the university. Durham has been consistently ranked as the best sports university by BUCS for several years. There is a huge range of societies to choose from, that cater to all kinds of interests. Societies are run by students yet are very professional and offer great opportunity for personal development as well. So is the case with the huge number of volunteering opportunities available to serve people of all age groups."
"Amazing opportunities to do everything you would ever want from sport to drama to volunteering or walking dogs with disabled people."
"Endless amounts of societies to join, join the champagne society. The gin society is also a must."
"The social environment is excellent. The many college bars and JCRs serve as good meeting/socialising points across the city and university sites (as well as the cafés in the different buildings). There is the opportunity to get involved in sport both on a social and fun level within the colleges, and on a more competitive level to represent the university itself. The range of societies is incredible too (and there's a good process to create your own if you want to fill a niche gap), from academic ones like Model Westminster or the Think Tank to more fun and sociable ones such as the Assassins Society and Game of Thrones Society."
"Each college has its own clubs and societies and there are plenty of them. In terms of sports, each college has at least 5-6 football teams, which means that it does not matter how good you are at football, there will always be a team for you. Same applies to all other sports."
"Durham is a very sporty university. There are a huge range of sports available and Durham compete and often have big wins in sports competitions. There are lots of societies at the collegiate level and at the University level."
"The social environment is excellent due to the collegiate system. There are sports clubs and societies at both college and university levels which allow for inclusion for people of all abilities. At lots of universities only the best athletes get to participate but at Durham, you can be a complete novice and still play in plenty of teams."
"There are both college-level societies and university-level societies, and the same goes for sports teams. There are a huge range of societies to appeal to everyone, including a university newspaper, online newsite and radio station. It's even possible to start your own society. It's a very social university, with bars and cafes in all the colleges, the students union and the library."


"Great opportunities for clubs. There is a great selection for sports like football, netball and tennis. We also have more unique ones like quidditch. As well as sports, there are drinking societies for wine and cider, and food societies include baking and culinary skills."
"Durham has a very strong sporting culture. We also perform very well in sports and in BUCS (inter-uni nationals) as well. So if you're serious about sports, Durham won't disappoint. But for the less serious, there is also accommodation for leisure sporting, so that's awesome as well."
"Sport is massive at Durham. Most students play in at least one sport at some level. You can play at any ability and the facilities for sports are amazing. However, if you don't like sport (even though there are alternative activities) it can feel quite isolating as so much of the social calendar revolves around sport. Nevertheless, drama and music are also really popular at Durham. Again with a range of abilities."
"Durham University has amazing facilities for a vast array of sports. The Maiden Castle facility is world class, it's one of the university's strongest selling points."
"Durham is definitely the place to be for sport. The university has a long tradition and record of producing great athletes and providing the right conditions to help aspiring sports people to grow and thrive. There's also a ridiculously huge number of societies to cater to the varied interests of practically every student."
"Durham will never be as academically excellent as Oxbridge, but the student experience must be one of the best. Sports teams are frequently very successful and the orchestral society is very prestigious and puts on fantastic concerts. There is also at least one performance every day and loads of great volunteering projects to sign up for. Always plenty to do and get involved in!"
"Social environments and societies are spread widely between college and university level, providing a wide variety of participation. Very low entry barrier to college sports that allows people of all aptitudes to participate. The university societies are for a much higher level of sports."
"There are a lot of sports clubs, even within the colleges, so if you like sport Durham's the place. There are a good variety of other societies within the university and the colleges too."
"Lots of societies and sports and the university is generally quite good about setting up new ones if you tell them. Also, you can join college sports and societies so you're not just limited to university wide ones."
"There are so many opportunities to get involved. Whether it's in drama, music, sport (you can try new things, like cheerleading) or charity work."

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