Best places to study

We all have work to do in Durham, whether we like it or not (usually not). Finding an ideal place to get those essay deadlines met, or to finish those lecture notes, is absolutely crucial. But everyone is different! Luckily for us, there are so many different places in Durham to get your head stuck into that book (or laptop). Here are just some ideas that might just make those assignments that little bit easier.

At home

Whether you’re living in college or living out, a nice communal area can be a great place to get stuff done if you don’t like sitting still with no one to talk to for hours. Maybe get together with people on the same course as you, so that you can get help and advice from each other. Try using friends rooms or houses,  or even swap rooms with your housemates so you get a change of venue to take you away from distractions.


The obvious place to study but can it get very busy during exams, but there are several to choose from; Bill Bryson main library, Palace Green Library, School of Education Leazes Road Library, the library at Durham Business School, your college library and there’s also Clayport Library in the city centre. So if you can’t stand ANY kind of noise when you’re working, then get yourself to the library – there are plenty to choose from!

Bill Bryson has 1200+ study spaces and two computer rooms, all of which are nice and quiet so it’s easy to concentrate. Don’t forget to check your own college libraries too, where books are only available to members of your college, making it a little bit easier to get your hands on those sought after readings.  Library 24/7 services are available throughout the Easter term up until 1st June.


We are lucky in Durham to have an abundance of cafes dotted about in every nook and cranny. There are the coffee shop chains such as Starbucks and Café Nero, that often have space for you, your laptop and a nice cuppa. Alternatively, there are lots of great independent cafes. Check out Sophie Johnson’s “Taking a break in Durham” post for more café inspiration here.

From 28 April and throughout May 2018, the Calman Cafe on the Science Site, will be open every weekend to offer addtional study space with refreshments, giving students a break from the nearby library. The Calman Cafe opening times are 11am-2pm every Saturday and Sunday – Plus students can get 20% discount at the weekend!

Try them all out until you find one that is suited best to you, and tell us where your perfect spot to study is with #DUmakeithappen

Students’ UnionDurham Students Union

In the Students’ Union building there are also several spaces that can be used to study – such as Kingsgate Bar and the Riverside Bar & Cafe. You can also pick up a FREE Revsion Planner from the Students’ Union to help you timetable your workload to make sure you include regular breaks.

Out and about

As well as your college library, bar or café, there are quiet outdoor spaces in gardens and courtyards where you can revise outside of your room. If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying good Spring weather, make the most of it and head outdoors. You can benefit from natural sunlight and fresh air, plus enjoy a change of scenery in the Botanic Garden or any one of the lovely outdoor spaces around colleges and the city.
Additional study spaces are made available across the university, ask about using rooms in your department or main university buildings, such as the Palatine Centre.

Further information

Click these links for full details and calendars of events:
SCA Stress Less Campagin
– Library ‘Bee Bright and Study Responsibly’
Student’s Union 







Katy McRae

Katy McRae

My name's Katy and I'm a third year Psychology student at Hatfield College, originally from Wigan.I've blogged for Durham since my first year here, alongside producing numerous productions for Durham Student Theatre and fundraising for Dig Deep - a charity working to provide clean water and sanitation to rural communities in Kenya. Last summer I climbed Kilimanjaro with the charity, and this year I'll be climbing Mount Kenya with some daring Durham students, and YOU could be one of them.

Check out for more information, or check out the facebook group 'Durham University Climb Mount Kenya to Make A Change'.
Katy McRae

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