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What Does Common Awards Provide?

There are many services that we are able to provide to you as a Common Awards student. Because you are registered at your Theological Education Institution (TEI) rather than at Durham University – and are therefore a student of that TEI rather than of the University – there are some limits on the services that we can offer you. 

Find out more:

What does Common Awards provide? 

  • Student events and conferences (see our Events  for Students page for more information) 
  • Opportunities for student engagement, including: 
    • Student representation on Theological Education Institution (TEIManagement Committees and the Common Awards Management Board 
    • Getting involved in organising student events and conferences
    • Taking part in quality management processes
    • Providing student feedback.
  • Access to relevant subject-specific electronic resources (including journals and databases) on the Common Awards Hub, via your TEI’s Moodle site 
  • A university campus card, which offers the following benefits: 
    • Access to student discounts
    • Physical access to Durham University libraries (but please note that you will not be able to request that books be posted out to you via the Postal Loan Service, order books and articles through the Document Delivery Service, or order articles through the Copy Service)
  • Eligibility for TOTUM (formerly NUS Extra) cards. Please note: as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the process for ordering TOTUM cards has changed. Students looking to request a card must contact their TEI directly, requesting a verification link. TEIs will then need to contact the Common Awards Team who will issue verification codes upon request. The URL link will allow students to order TOTUM Cards directly, rather than being posted to their institution or college. If you encounter any issues with the new process, please inform the Common Awards Team
  • An academic appeal process if you are unhappy with an academic decision taken by a TEI (see our page on Complaints and Appeals)
  • A review of academic complaints if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaints process undertaken by your TEI (see our page on Complaints and Appeals)
  • Transcripts and parchments upon completing your programme
  • The option of attending a formal congregation (graduation ceremony) in Durham, if you successfully complete an eligible programme

What does Common Awards not provide?

Disability Support 

Your TEI is responsible for providing you with disability guidance and support. Durham University is able to provide disability support guidance to staff at TEIs, but is not permitted to offer guidance and support directly to students. You can view our guidance for TEI staff on the Financial and Disability Support pages of the Common Awards website. The Church of England’s  Ministry Development Team may be able to provide disability guidance and support to ordinands. 

Student Finances 

The University is not able to provide you with confirmation of Durham University student status for statutory support purposes through Student Finance England (i.e. Tuition Fee Loans, Maintenance Loans/Grants and supplementary grants). If you mistakenly apply for statutory support as a Durham University student, you will need to contact the University on 

You may, however, still be eligible for statutory support if your TEI has been designated for statutory support under the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011. A small number of TEIs do have designated course status; you are advised to contact your TEI directly to confirm whether this is the case. 

Additionally, financial support may be provided by Ministry Development Team to ordinands. You are advised to contact your TEI for advice in the first instance. 

IT accounts and email addresses 

You are provided with access to IT facilities directly through your TEI, rather than through the University. You will not, therefore, be given a University IT account and email address. If the University needs to contact you (for example, to invite you to Congregation), it will do so through your TEI. 

We have regularly been asked why we can't provide email addresses. The main reason is that these addresses provide access to various resources and that the licenses for these resources do not cover Common Awards students. To extend them to cover Common Awards students – who number in the thousands – would result in a prohibitive increase in the cost of Common Awards to the churches and to TEIs. 


As it is outside the scope of its current licensing agreement, the University is not able to provide you with access to Eduroam. 

Other electronic resources 

As noted on our 'What we provide' above, Durham University, in conjunction with Ministry Development Team, provides all Common Awards students with access to certain electronic resources. Access to these resources is subject to the terms of the licensing agreements. This means that the University is not able to provide you with access to further specific electronic resources, as this would contravene the terms of our current licensing agreements – and extending those licenses would be prohibitively expensive. Access to electronic resources is available through Moodle; please contact your TEI's key contact if you are unsure how to access these resources (you can find the name and contact details of your TEI’s key contact on the Contact us  page of the Common Awards website). 

Where to look instead: support from your TEI 

For the following services, you should contact your TEI directly: 

  • Proof of student status 
  • Council tax exemption letters 
  • Guidance on the entry requirements of any individual TEI (generic minimum entry requirements are provided in the overarching Common Awards programme specifications, but individual TEIs are able to define their own entry requirements within these parameters) 
  • Guidance on the content of any individual TEI’s Common Awards programmes (such as module content, assessment requirements). An overview of individual TEIs’ programme pathways is available in the TEI programme regulations and TEI module overview tables; however, you are advised to contact your TEI directly for advice on which modules will be offered by your TEI in any specific academic year 
  • Guidance on a TEI’s academic complaints and appeals process 
  • Issues with accessing electronic resources or the TEI’s VLE 
  • Your TEI is responsible for providing appropriate services to support you through your programme, and the University’s support services (such as the Careers Service, the Student Immigration Office, the Counselling service) are not able to provide off-site access to students. 

See our page on How Does the Common Awards Framework Shape Your Programme? for more information on which elements of your Common Awards programme are the responsibility of Durham, which are the responsibility of Ministry Development Team, and which are the responsibility of your TEI.