The move is a result of Northumberland University's decision to withdraw funding from their teams competing in non-student national leagues in a variety of sports.
Durham met all guarantees required by BWPL, including registrations and finance. Last season's Team Northumbria squad will transfer to Durham, augmented by current Durham students.
The two universities have worked together in recent years, resulting in Team Northumbria including in their BWPL team overseas players benefiting from Durham scholarships.
Historical note! Palatines were high level administrative officials attached to European imperial or royal courts dating back to Roman times. These days, palatinates are awarded to Durham University's most successful athletes - the equivalent of a blue at Oxford or Cambridge.