Derwent's unique character owes much to the original design of the college and to the activism of its students, which together have fostered a strong college identity.
Located in the parkland of the Heslington west campus next to the lake and Heslington Hall, Derwent College was one of the first colleges to open in 1965. The original design of the college aimed to create an integrated academic community of staff and students. Staff flats and student bedrooms were located in large residential blocks around a nucleus of social and academic spaces.
The success of the original design in facilitating sociability and a sense of community is still evident, despite numerous changes over the years. The large residential blocks foster extensive social networks, while the Dining Hall remains at the heart of college identity and the best event venue on campus.
Every year Derwent students organise an end of year event for 1500 students. They book bands, organise insurance, deal with health and safety, and redecorate two colleges for the night. Big D, and its predecessor the Derwent BBQ, have grown over the past decades to become the premier event on campus and raise thousands of pounds for charity each year.
Big D is only one expression of student involvement. There are endless opportunities to get involved in the JCR Committee, RAG, volunteering, running bar events and organising college sports. This student involvement enhances the integration between different years and blocks.
We look forward to welcoming you into our community.
Derwent is irreverent and lively ... everyone wants to be part of Derwent
Ron Weir, Provost 1980-2009