The Master’s House

The Master’s House, built in 1712, acquired by the Bishop Van Mildert in the 1830s, has been the residence of successive masters of University College since the 1860s. 

Among its notable architectural features is its interior wooden staircase dating to around 1760. 


A College and its Master

A master is the head of a college – of which Durham University has 16. Every student at Durham University belongs to a college, which constitutes a community independent of academic departments. Typically, all undergraduate students will live in their college during their first year, and many will return to live there during their final year. But colleges are much more than a place of residence: they have their own sports teams, committees, clubs – and their own traditions and identities. Membership of a college includes non-students as well. 

The master of a college is the head of this community. Traditionally, masters are academics who divide their time equally between the requirements of their academic departments, and running the college. For this reason, they live on the grounds of their college, playing a key role in many of its activities, assisted by college officers and staff. 

Find out more about Durham University Colleges.