My life at Ustinov College

Rammal Arif

Being part of the community at Ustinov has to be one of my highlights of being at Durham University! 

Postgraduate community 

I chose Ustinov College, Durham University’s sole postgraduate-only College, because I felt being in a postgraduate-only College would give me a chance to network with like-minded postgraduates and share the struggles of job-hunting with academic stress. It was easier to introduce myself to people at the College events and find common ground for fruitful conversations. Everyone has different life experiences and learnings from which I can learn and broaden my horizons. 

I found friends who encourage me to be my professional and personal best. All of us have found a support system within ourselves, and it’s truly like a big family living together. 


Another reason why I am so happy to be part of Ustinov is its location near the city centre and the Lower Mountjoy campus – a 20-minute walk to both. It is in a perfect location where everything is within walking distance, allowing more opportunities to explore Durham. Since I am a Business School postgraduate student, most of my classes are either in the Business School or the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) – both only a 15-minute walk away – which is a great motivator for me to walk to classes during the cold weather. Ustinov College has a bus stop nearby that takes me directly to the city centre and buses are frequent.  

the walk to the Business School

Ensuite rooms

Ustinov College was one of the few that offered an ensuite room (attached bathroom), which was a priority for me. Ustinov is divided into different buildings, which are further divided into flats of 6 that share one kitchen – creating a small family amidst the College. 

Self catered

Ustinov, being a self-catered College, has ignited a slow growth of love for food and cooking brewing within me; where there are days that I actually look forward to making my own meals just how I like it. And trust me; this means a lot coming from someone who never cooked once in her life. But now, it is a therapy for me. Planning out my meals, going grocery shopping, cooking with friends, and eating with friends has become a routine that we all look forward to every day after classes. 

A formal dinner in the Chapter House, Durham Cathedral

Living at Ustinov 

There’s a common misconception that choosing Ustinov means having a very serious postgraduate life, but honestly, it could not be more wrong. We have events every weekend in our Paddle like the Pub Quiz, Bingo Nights, a Fashion Show, Karaoke Parties, and obviously the Formal Dinners. So there’s plenty of fun in the college at weekends!

We recently had a formal dinner in the Durham Cathedral, which was so beautiful and so fun! We’ve also had other formals like the Christmas Dinner in Hatfield, which gives us a chance to explore other colleges as well.

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Rammal Arif

Hi, I'm Rammal! I am a postgraduate student in Marketing at the Durham University Business School. I'm really passionate about challenging my creativity and expressing it through writing, creating and editing various forms of content. It is one of the reasons why I chose to study Marketing as a discipline.
I am on a hunt to find the beauty and excitement in the mundanity of life.

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