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College life

York is one of a handful of UK universities with a college system. When you join us you’ll become a member of a small, distinct community, which will become your home from home whether you live on or off campus.

More than a place to live

As well as a place to live, your college will provide you with a network of support and a calendar of events and activities to help you settle in, develop skills and explore interests. You’ll meet people of all ages, nationalities and disciplines and most likely make friends for life.

Some of our colleges are home to Living Learning Communities built around shared interests where students live and learn together.

Activities and events

Getting involved with college events during Welcome Week is a great way to help you settle in.

Most college events are organised by and for students. They're usually open to everyone no matter which college you're a member of.

Events include big summer parties, club meet-ups, live music events, guest lectures, Christmas fairs, bake-off competitions and much more.

Organising, or simply attending college events is a great way to get to know people from across the university and get fully immersed in campus life.

Find out more about student life at York.

College sports and clubs

Every week colleges compete in over 20 college sporting leagues. There is regular training and coaching for all team members - who range from beginners to seasoned pros - so whatever your sporting ability you can take part.

You could even play for your college against Durham University in our annual College Varsity competition.

Leadership and volunteering

Our Careers service and the Students' Union also offer a range of volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

Run for a position on your college committee and you could deliver campaigns, design and sell college clothing, co-ordinate the sports teams or arrange socials. You’ll also have the chance to organise volunteering and charity fundraising for projects you’re passionate about. 

For anything you take part in, you can also get your skills and experience recognised through the innovative York Award.

Support and guidance

Your college team will welcome and support you while you’re here. Resident tutors provide someone to talk to and a team of Second and Third Year Contacts (STYCs) will help you move in and settle quickly.

The support you can access from your college, is complimented by a support network which will include your academic supervisor, student support services and the Students' Union.

Second and third year students will be on hand to help you move in!

Different personalities, common goals

Each college has its own personality depending on its history, accommodation, layout, location, facilities and the people who live there. But every college aims to cultivate your academic curiosity, develop your skills and employability and support your health and wellbeing.

You’ll grow to love your college, whichever it is.

Although some departments are located within college buildings, you don't need to apply for a particular college based on your course.  Our campus location means that all our colleges are a short walk to our departments and teaching buildings.

College membership fee

All students starting a full-time degree programme must pay a small one-off college fee. This helps to fund all the activities listed above. The fee is:

  • £30 for students on a course lasting three years or more
  • £20 for students on a two-year course
  • £10 for visiting students or those on a one-year course.