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Welcome to Durham Sixth Form Centre

I am delighted that you are considering joining Durham Sixth Form Centre as a place to continue your studies. Durham Sixth Form Centre is the largest post-16 school in the North East, located in an enviable city centre location, with excellent transport links. With over one thousand sixth form students, we have a truly vibrant and adult atmosphere.

Predominantly an A-Level provider, we offer over 40 A-Level courses, as well as a discrete range of BTEC and Level 3 qualifications. Having achieved a 100% pass rate for the past five consecutive years, we continue to perform above the national average for A-Level attainment and provide award-winning careers information, advice and guidance to support our students with their progression to higher education, university, apprenticeships and employment.

I continue to be inspired by the hard work, enthusiasm and passion of our students, staff, parents and partners at Durham Sixth Form Centre and I am always proud, privileged and honoured to be part of it. Our students work hard to succeed, they adapt quickly to their new working environment and benefit vastly from the pace and focus, preparing them for the next steps in their education and careers.

Whether you are a budding J.K. Rowling or Lord Alan Sugar, or want to follow in the footsteps of our ex-students, Matt Baker and Stephanie Houghton, I look forward to welcoming you personally to Durham Sixth Form Centre in the near future.

Ellen Beveridge

About us

Opened on the 3rd September 1913, the ‘school on the sands’ was initially built to accommodate 248 girls. The building, now Durham Sixth Form Centre, was officially opened on 21st January 1914 by Dr Hensley Henson, the Dean, and, later, Bishop of Durham. The school was designed by W. Rushworth and was built in the Neo-Georgian style costing £16,250. It was originally suggested that the school should be called the ‘Johnston School for Girls’ as a tribute to the illustrious benefactor of the original school, James Finlay Weir Johnston. However, it was also felt that the part played by Durham County Council in establishing both schools should be reflected, so the name Durham Girls’ County School was granted. In 1969, the school became co-educational and, in 1984, predominantly a sixth form provider.

There are many reasons why you should study with us at Durham Sixth Form Centre. Not only are we a large, vibrant and inclusive Sixth Form offering a broad curriculum that demonstrates continued academic success, we also offer the most extensive range of A-Levels in the area – over 40 subjects in total – as well as BTEC qualifications and other Level 3 courses. That’s not all: we also offer you an exciting student experience in an enviable city centre location.

Check out the information below for even more reasons to join us:

  • We work exclusively with your age range
  • We put you first
  • We give you more choice
  • We get results
  • We are easy to get to
  • We help you develop your gifts and talents
  • We support you, whatever your needs
  • We offer you award-winning Careers Information, Advice and Guidance
  • We provide a rich, fulfilling student experience
  • We offer you financial support

Facilities available

  • Space to study
    The Hunter Resource Centre has first class accommodation for independent study and revision. It houses banks of computers from where you can access the internet, your emails or our virtual learning environment - FrogOS. There are also a wide range of the more traditional learning resources, which are all provided for reference and borrowing.
  • Space to relax
    We have a large and lively refectory area where you will find our DSFC café. Here you can gather to make new friends, meet old ones, have lunch, chat, chill or catch up with the latest news on our flat screen TVs

  • Sports and Leisure
    The stunning ‘Freeman's Quay’ complex boasts a state of the art swimming pool, fitness suite, dance studio and a large sports hall, all of which you will be able to access as a student at the Sixth Form Centre, either as part of your studies or your personal leisure time.

  • Science
    The science laboratories occupy a dedicated three storey building of their own, where the full range of science subjects is taught.

  • The Arts
    The award-winning ‘Visual Arts Centre’ opened in February 2006. With its high, airy spaces and excellent natural light, it provides superb opportunities for students to pursue their artistic interests and develop their skills in photography, textiles, fine art or graphic design.
    We also have the graphic design studio studio:6 which serves a wide range of clients and provides students with a first-hand insight into the day- to-day running of a design consultancy.

  • Take the stage
    The 220-seat Theatre is one of the largest in the City of Durham. It provides excellent facilities for dance, drama and music, as well as for lectures and presentations, aided by large screens and multi-media equipment. We have a thriving Performing Arts and Music Department who use this venue to host theatrical productions and concerts throughout the year.

  • The Dance Studio
    The dedicated, recently refurbished dance studio is in the heart of the school, and is where all of our dance and performance studies programmes are delivered from. It is also used by the Pauline Quirke Performing Arts Academy during weekends.

  • The Tennis Courts
    Our all weather pitches are perfect for students to get active during their free periods.

Additional support

You have a choice of where you want to study and we know how important it is for you to make the right decision. We know it can be a big jump leaving school to study somewhere else – academically, socially and personally.

You are not alone. At Durham Sixth Form Centre all of our students are new. They are young people who want to experience studying with others of the same age, in a place that is easy to get to, that broadens their experience, builds independence and that provides the opportunity to meet new people. Students join us from over sixty different secondary schools from County Durham, Sunderland and Northumberland.

To help you in your transition, all of our students are assigned a Tutor and a Pastoral Leader of Learning, in addition to their subject teachers. If they cannot help, there are others who can. Not sure where to go? Ask at Student Reception. Not sure about your UCAS form or need university help and guidance? Ask our Progression Team. Struggling to reference an author? Ask in our Student Resource Centre. Having IT difficulties? Ask our Systems Support Services Team. We do not want anything to come between you and your ambitions. 

Talk to us at your one-to-one interview with our Recruitment Team, talk to us at our Open Evenings, talk to us on our Taster Day, talk to us at enrolment, talk to us whilst you are studying

Learner success

Our students have an excellent record of success and continue to attain results above the national average. Good results are the key to securing a place at university, taking up an apprenticeship or securing employment. Many of our students choose university courses leading to professions such as medicine, veterinary science, accountancy and law. Others develop their artistic talents through art and design, media and drama courses. The majority of our students progress to university, whilst others take up apprenticeships or employment and some stay with us to study for an additional year at Level 4. Through our broad curriculum offer and varied pathways, students can find courses which help them to achieve their aspirations without being restricted by a limited number of subjects. We will spend time with you before, during and after you start your studies, advising you in order to optimise your chances of success.

How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Durham Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 28 July 2017
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Key information


  • A: Durham Sixth Form Centre
    • Address:
    • The Sands
    • Durham
    • DH1 1SG
    • Telephone number:
    • Main: 01913830708
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • Durham Sixth Form Centre is located in Durham City Centre next to Gala Square and Freeman’s Quay. We are a couple of minutes walk from both the bus station and the railway station. Our students enjoy having all of the city centre facilities, shops, restaurants, the city library, cinema and theatre on our doorstep. In the city itself, students find a host of lively cultural, social and educational advantages and facilities. The galleries, exhibitions, museums and book shops all play their part in enriching the student experience. A large public car-park is directly opposite and adjacent to Durham Sixth Form Centre’s main entrance.