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DUCK Expedition Ethos

DUCK expeditions are the best in the country and last year DUCK expeditions were awarded the DSU 'best student led group'. That’s exactly what expeditions are about! Expeditions develop student leaders and offer opportunities for everyone to enjoy experiences that they may not have had before coming to Durham. We raise thousands of pounds for charities every year and we are looking at continuing this, whilst moving forward.

We offer Durham University students a year long journey like no other. Each student is invited to develop and mature as an individual, learn to grow as part of a team, travel overseas to complete a challenge or contribute to a charitable project and fundraise for international charities. DUCK Expeditions use DUCK's Giving Statement and Giving Strategy to assess the suitability of potential partners, and they are led by students, for students.

What sets DUCK Expeditions apart from other expedition, gap year, and challenge providers?

We are part of Durham Students' Union and fall under their governance, providing the students with an array of diverse fundraising events to get involved with.

Student development

Upon joining a DUCK Expedition, there will be opportunities to be involved in team building sessions, fundraising workshops, team meetings to plan Expedition logistics, travel, and project planning.

You get out as much as you put in. Using DUCK's extensive network of charities and businesses, any Expedition participant can organise events for their team or themselves. This is often in discussion with the Expedition Leader. Coupled with motivation for success, individuals can learn skills such as event management, risk assessment, and team development.

For many of our participants, this is the first opportunity for a long-haul overseas Expedition. Each year, every individual grows and matures, in an environment surrounded by a team of students who all go through this same development. Team members come back with increased confidence, initiative, independence, team-centeredness, leadership, creativity...the list goes on!



The Expeditions Co-ordinator, Expedition Leaders and Deputies are all students. For the individuals in these positions, their personal development is phenomenal, and each student learns a huge range of hard and soft skills.


High quality external partners

We seek to work with charity partners who adhere to our Giving Strategy and that offer adequate support for DUCK Expeditions participants. Such evaluation includes:

  • Assessing the quality of participant fundraising support
  • Evaluating the true usefulness and ethics of our overseas projects
  • Extensive Expedition Leader de-briefs, on return to England
  • Feedback at all levels in the organisation, both pre- and post-expedition
  • Evaluating elements of the Leadership Development Programme provided by both external partners and internal links.



Naturally, we use a huge range of external partners, and we must make sure that we understand each other. Our partners know that all proposed costs to the student should be completely transparent, so we ensure that our partners follow this same principle.


more information

We are always trying to get more and more people involved in expeditions, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email at