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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Durham Students' Union

Whether it is representing you on academic matters, supporting hundreds of societies and volunteers or simply providing you with services and activities to make the most of your time at Durham University, we are here to help.

The Union is a genuinely student-led organisation and representation of students is at the heart of everything we do. Every member of the Union has a right to have a say in how we are run and there are many ways for you to get involved.

  • Elected Student Officers
    Each year you elect five Student Officers to work full-time. They campaign for students in Durham on issues important to them and oversee the work of the Union. There are five student officers:
    - President, Undergraduate
    - Academic Officer
    - Postgraduate Academic Officer
    - Opportunities Officer
    - Welfare and Liberation Officer
  • Academic Representatives
    At the start and end of each academic year you will elect a student from each department and faculty to speak up for students.
  • Assembly
    Assembly is made up of a number of elected representatives drawn from all major student groups, including academic reps, societies, common rooms, DUCK and media.
    They are your representatives and are there to work for you.

Durham Students' Union is the University's central Student Union under the 1994 Education Act and is the representative body for all the students of the University.

Students’ Union Forums are where you have the opportunity to directly influence the policy of the Union by contributing to one of the open meetings held each term.

Currently we have three forums, Academic Affairs Forum, Societies Forum and Media Forum. Forums offer all students the opportunity to discuss some of the big issues that are affecting Durham University students.

You don't have to be actively involved with the Union to attend a forum; you just need to care about the particular topic being discussed, or have an issue you want to raise. Forums are your chance to change things that matter to you and your life while at University for the better. Any issue that you want to discuss can be raised so make sure you get involved!

Student groups

There is much more to university life than just studying for a degree. Joining student groups is one of the best ways to have fun, relax, make friends and also learn new skills! The Union has around 200 student groups covering a range of activity. There are ten broad categories of student groups to choose from: culture, departmental, faith, general interest, hobbies and games, martial arts, music, outdoor and active, performing arts and political and causes.

You can join a student group at any time on our website. The Union works really hard to support student groups offering training to representatives and participants in a range of areas including finance training, risk management, event management and effective leadership. To get involved throughout the year check out our programme of Give It a Go activities.


The Union operates the Nightbus service in Durham City every night throughout term, providing a safe and secure way for lone students to get home in the evening. There is no fixed timetable and, just like a taxi service, students can arrange to be picked up by calling the driver on 07922 648802

The bus will be available in Durham City between the hours of:
21:00 – 02:00 Monday – Saturday
21:00 – 23:00 on Sunday

The Nightbus costs £2 per student per journey. The Nightbus is the safe way for lone students to get around Durham safely:

  • When studying late in the library to get home
  • To get to and from the train station late at night
  • To travel between colleges
  • To get to or from late bars and nightclubs
  • You’re visiting friends
  • At the cinema or theatre

Charity fundraising is a huge part of the Union.

DUCK which stands for Durham University Charities Kommittee is our student fundraising arm. There are always events and challenges designed to raise huge totals for local, national and international charities. Whether it is the annual jailbreak (a globetrotting hitchhiking race), an intercollegiate tricycle race around Palace Green or one of the weekly RAG raids (where a couple of dozen students are shipped off to a city for some bucket-shaking, sight-seeing and, on occasion, nightlife-sampling), there is a huge variety of things to get involved in.

The Union’s Advice and Help service provides free, friendly and independent advice and information to all Durham University students.

Advice and Help is independent from the University and all enquiries are dealt with in strictest confidence. Advice and Help is based in Dunelm House and you can also access the service via email or phone.

"Being part of a sports team, student societies and charity fundraising activities have all provided many opportunities for me to make friends and develop myself personally. It is these experiences that give an extra dimension to university life and make your time at Durham University so special!"

Tara Paxman, Primary Education Student.

All students are automatically a member of Students' Union unless they choose to opt out of Union membership. Opting out is a right which all students have under the 1994 Education Act and students who exercise this right should not be unfairly disadvantaged with regard to the provision of services or otherwise by reason of their having opted out. Information about the implications of opting out and the process to follow is available on the Student's Union website.

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