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Scholarships and Widening Participation

While a Durham English Studies degree offers excellent employability prospects, the costs of tuition and accommodation can feel daunting, as can the idea of going to university at all.

However, there are a number of scholarships, bursaries, and support funds available to help, while the Durham Grant Scheme is available automatically to home students from low-income households.

We also offer opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds to join our Access and Engagement programmes such as Supported Progression, Sutton Trust, STEP for young students of Black heritage, and Foundation. These provide students with the opportunity to explore their potential, understand more about academic and social life at Durham University, and may enable a guaranteed, alternative offer below our usual entry requirements.

Jeremy Vine Scholarship in English Literature

The Jeremy Vine Scholarship in English Literature has been established to assist a UK student of Black Heritage, in need of financial support, throughout their undergraduate English Literature degree studies. The scholarship is available thanks to a generous donation from Durham alumnus Jeremy Vine and will assist the successful applicant through their programme for up to four years of study commencing in academic year 2024/25. Find out more and apply.

Access and Engagement

Colleagues and students from our Department contribute to the following Access and Engagement programmes:

  • Supported Progression - Some students who have the potential to study with us will benefit from extra help and support. SP students will have the opportunity to come to events and activities during Years 12 and 13. Attendees will learn about Durham and all we have to offer. 
  • Sutton Trust Summer School - In partnership with the Sutton Trust we run a free week-long summer school for Year 12 students. The summer school features similar benefits to the Supported Progression summer school but condensed into one week. 
  • Space to Explore Potential (STEP) - This offers a dedicated space for young students of Black heritage, who are typically underrepresented at Durham University, to explore not only their own potential, but all that Durham has to offer as a potential university destination.

The academic content in each of these programmes is designed to give students an accurate but enjoyable sense of what it is like to study English at Durham and at university. In previous years students have worked on topics ranging from Frankenstein to 'Cities in Literature' to 'Literature and Science', as well as core skills such as academic writing and close reading. Teaching immerses students in a typical mix of seminar style teaching, lectures, and group work, along with independent research activities in the university library. 

To find out more about what our summer schools are like, explore these blogs by former English Studies attendees Mariah Bennett and Sarah E. Taylor.

Students sitting and standing in a circle

Foundation Programme

Durham University’s Foundation Programme has been delivering high quality academic preparation for undergraduate study at Durham University since 1992. It provides entry to a wide range of degree subjects for learners from under-represented groups in higher education, who need a year 0 course in order to be prepared for undergraduate studies. This includes a BA English with Foundation.