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  • Locations: Durham, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Academic Year
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: CU applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Core Program Attributes: Cornell In-country Support, Direct Enrollment
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Housing Options: Dormitory/Residence Hall
Approved by: A&S, AAP, CALS, ENG, HUM EC, ILR, SHA Minimum Student Status: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Advisor: Alayne Prine Curricular Highlights: Economics & Business, Eng/Math/Computer Science, Natural Science, Politics/Policy/Law, Psychology, Sustainability
Program Description:


Few places in the world can match the city of Durham. With its dramatic setting on a rocky horseshoe bend in the River Wear, Durham is one of the most striking places in Europe. The great Norman Cathedral and nearby Castle - which is part of the University - form a World Heritage site, recognized by UNESCO as one of the most exceptional historic and architectural features on the planet. Journeys to Durham are easy by road, rail, air and sea. Everything is within easy reach. There is a good selection of shops, including several bookshops and many national brands. Sport includes first class cricket, golf courses, rowing on the river, a bowling alley, swimming pool and local sports halls, as well as the University's sports facilities. For museum lovers and heritage seekers, the city has the Durham Light Infantry Regimental Museum, the Durham Art Gallery, Heritage Centre, and the University's Oriental and Archaeology Museums. County Durham is rich in medieval remains; and it is redolent too of a more modern history which has put it at the heart of industrialization, coal, shipbuilding, iron and steel, railways, the development of the Labour Party's support, and the more recent phenomena associated with de-industrialization. It also has a spectacular coast and wild, beautiful countryside, within easy reach of Durham City.


Founded in 1832, the University of Durham, the third oldest university in England, is regarded as one of Britain's finest institutions and provides some of the best student residential accommodation. Durham is one of an elite group of universities that is recognized both for its sporting prowess and its academic reputation. The University is an integral part of the city. Most of the Arts and Social Sciences departments and the "peninsular Colleges" are set among shops and residences close to the city centre. The Science departments and some of the Social Science departments are on the self-contained Science Site, less than ten minutes' walk from the city centre. The "hill" Colleges are clustered around the Science Site.


The pattern of teaching at Durham, as at most British universities, aims to encourage and promote a high level of independent and self-directed study. As well as formal teaching sessions - lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals - students are expected to learn to work for themselves, weighing up and presenting the different material and arguments presented in extensive reading lists, all with the guidance and advice of course tutors.

Program website:


Departments at Durham are divided into the following broad subject areas: *Accounting (see Economics), *Anthropology (see also Archaeology), *Archaeology (see also Anthropology), *Biological Sciences, Botany (see Biological Sciences), Business, **Chemistry, *Classics, *Computer Science, *East Asian Studies, Economics and Finance, *Education, *Engineering, **English Studies, *French, **Geography, Geological Sciences, *German, **History (see also Classics; Russian; East Asian Studies; Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies), Italian, *Law, *Linguistics and English Language, Management (see Business), *Mathematical Sciences, *Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, *Music, *Philosophy (including History and Philosophy of Science), *Physics (including Applied Physics), *Politics (including International Relations), *Psychology, *Religious Studies, Slavonic Studies, *Sociology and Social Policy, *Spanish, Sport in the Community, *Theology, Zoology (see Biological Sciences)

Departments with an "*" received either a 4 or 5 out of 5 in the Research Assessment Exercise conducted in 2001 by the Higher Education Funding Council in England. Departments with "**" received a 5*. Rankings depend on how much of the research work is judged to reach national or international levels of excellence. Students are encouraged to consider applying to departments with 4, 5 or 5* rankings.


A year of study at the Durham campus is considered to be equivalent to the 30 credits for a normal year in the home institution in the United States. A full courseload at the University of Durham consists of 6 full year modules.


The modules combine formal work in lectures, and informal work in seminars or tutorials. Written work is produced for tutorials and seminars. As on all Cornell Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Cornell transcript, but grades are not calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Cornell on-campus policy (subject to limits depending upon number of Durham courses taken per term).


Michaelmas Term: Early October - Mid-December

Epiphany Term: Mid-January - Mid-March

Easter Term: Late April - Late June


The College System: Within the University of Durham, every full-time student is a member of an academic department and also a member of one of the Colleges or Societies. Each College and Society is a separate community within the University and because every student is a member of one, there is a strong feeling of belonging. The Colleges and Societies provide accommodation for nearly 70% of the student population, hence giving students the opportunity to make friends from each academic year and from every subject discipline. The University of Durham is made up of thirteen Colleges and two Societies. There is currently one single-sex College, St. Mary's, that is open to female students, and the rest offer mixed accommodation. The Colleges range in size from approximately 400 to 1,200 students. All Durham Colleges, except the Graduate Society, provide fully catered accommodation along with a library, computer facilities, laundry facilities and common rooms with television. Most students live in single study bedrooms. The Colleges offer a variety of life-styles, but there is a great intermingling of students amongst Colleges. There is a meals exchange system whereby students can, without extra cost, eat in other Colleges. See for further information on the Colleges.


Social circles focalize in College and spiral outwards. There is also the Durham Student Union (DSU) which provides big style entertainment, in the form of Balls, night club nights, Bops, as well as more chilled occasions such as the Jazz Cafe, coffee shops, and indie nights. Kingsgate bar, in Dunelm, the student union, is a great place to mingle with all the Colleges, and even sit outside by the River Wear on a sunny spring evening. Societies of all kinds are available through DSU, catering to every possible interest, and if it isn't available yet, you can create it! You could even join the American Line Dancing society. Sports include Basketball, Rugby, Rowing. Squash, Water Polo, Kung Fu, Netball, Gliding, Skiing and Golf. Durham City offers its range of entertainment as well, in the form of traditional old style pubs, various sandwich and tea houses, coffee shops, bakeries, cinema, and of course cuisine of all kinds. There is definitely a "night out" mentality in Durham, and the city provides a romantic backdrop to any or all social activities. And remember, Newcastle, famed for its night life, is but a short ride away! But the best socializing you will do in Durham is with the friends that you will make.


Immunization for group C meningococcus and for mumps is recommended by UK health authorities.
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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.