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Please help me decide between Durham & LSE

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    I have posted a similar thing in the LSE University forum.

    I am currently torn between LSE & Durham and with the deadline fast approaching it's becoming more and mor eimportant to decide. I have an offer from LSE to study Geography and Economics and an offer from Durham to study Geography Bsc. So the courses are quite different as well as the universities and their locations. I would appreciate if any current / future students could give me some reasons why they think Durham is the place to go. Thank you so much for you help.
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    Which environment do you prefer? Durham and London are two very different places so you need to make sure you choose a place you will enjoy.
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    I have posted a similar thing in the LSE University forum.

    I am currently torn between LSE & Durham and with the deadline fast approaching it's becoming more and mor eimportant to decide. I have an offer from LSE to study Geography and Economics and an offer from Durham to study Geography Bsc. So the courses are quite different as well as the universities and their locations. I would appreciate if any current / future students could give me some reasons why they think Durham is the place to go. Thank you so much for you help.
    Which Durham College do you have an offer from?
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    I have posted a similar thing in the LSE University forum.

    I am currently torn between LSE & Durham and with the deadline fast approaching it's becoming more and mor eimportant to decide. I have an offer from LSE to study Geography and Economics and an offer from Durham to study Geography Bsc. So the courses are quite different as well as the universities and their locations. I would appreciate if any current / future students could give me some reasons why they think Durham is the place to go. Thank you so much for you help.
    I think you really need to pick based on the course.

    Do you want to do human geography & economics, or do you want to do physical geography?

    They're such different courses that the course should really be your first priority.
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    (Original post by undergradstudent)
    I think you really need to pick based on the course.

    Do you want to do human geography & economics, or do you want to do physical geography?

    They're such different courses that the course should really be your first priority.
    also check them out in person, they are fundamentally different places to spend 3 years.
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    I would personally go to durham, its meant to be very good, socially and academically, also your offer is for a 'and' degree for undergrad, at lse, so it won't quite be the same, as the single subject degree's at lse, not that theirs anything wrong with it. Forget about the names of the university's their both top, choose the degree you prefer, socially though durham all the way.
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    I have posted a similar thing in the LSE University forum.

    I am currently torn between LSE & Durham and with the deadline fast approaching it's becoming more and mor eimportant to decide. I have an offer from LSE to study Geography and Economics and an offer from Durham to study Geography Bsc. So the courses are quite different as well as the universities and their locations. I would appreciate if any current / future students could give me some reasons why they think Durham is the place to go. Thank you so much for you help.
    As said, you've posted two completely different universities with two very different courses - we need to know more about you to help!
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    (Original post by Awoodrow2)
    As said, you've posted two completely different universities with two very different courses - we need to know more about you to help!
    - I have been to both post offer days, both impressed me in different ways. There is nothing which puts me off living in either environment since I was born in London but I have grown up most my life in South Lincolnshire fenland I have experienced both sides of the coin. The courses don't offer enough difference for me to distinguish between them which sound odd but honestly I enjoy both Geography and Economics so I would gladly do either course hence why I put the application for them both in the first place. So location and course aside there are two more fundamental factors into making a decision. My time there and my time after. Although I know what it's like to live in both places I don't know what it's like to live on campus with students etc. and I think Durham and London are well obviously very different. I have been for nights out in London hitting the general highlights such as ministry of sound, fabric etc. They were all absolutely amazing and very enjoyable. However, when I went to them forgiving my drunken state I didn't really notice that it was full of students in particular but more general public which I guess can be expected in London, but when I went for a night out in Durham I swear everyone I met went to the university which in a way appealed to me more. Also in Durham I think I would lead a healthier lifestyle and find it easier to keep up sport then if I was in London. At this point I was quite set to go to Durham, but then I asked a few family friends QC's, bankers etc. and most of them told me going to LSE would bare an advantage mainly internationally because it is much more highly recognised abroad them Durham which is hard to argue with, which then made me think I would probably enjoy Durham more but I would probably get further, faster if I go to LSE, and it's not as if LSE wouldn't be enjoyable right? I am kind of talking to myself but this is all my thinking thus far and I am not really leaning to one or the other, just need some new perspective which gives me a nudge in one direction!

    So what more do you need to know about me to help ^^
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    (Original post by NavyBlueAndPearls)
    Which Durham College do you have an offer from?
    Hatfield
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    - I have been to both post offer days, both impressed me in different ways. There is nothing which puts me off living in either environment since I was born in London but I have grown up most my life in South Lincolnshire fenland I have experienced both sides of the coin. The courses don't offer enough difference for me to distinguish between them which sound odd but honestly I enjoy both Geography and Economics so I would gladly do either course hence why I put the application for them both in the first place. So location and course aside there are two more fundamental factors into making a decision. My time there and my time after. Although I know what it's like to live in both places I don't know what it's like to live on campus with students etc. and I think Durham and London are well obviously very different. I have been for nights out in London hitting the general highlights such as ministry of sound, fabric etc. They were all absolutely amazing and very enjoyable. However, when I went to them forgiving my drunken state I didn't really notice that it was full of students in particular but more general public which I guess can be expected in London, but when I went for a night out in Durham I swear everyone I met went to the university which in a way appealed to me more. Also in Durham I think I would lead a healthier lifestyle and find it easier to keep up sport then if I was in London. At this point I was quite set to go to Durham, but then I asked a few family friends QC's, bankers etc. and most of them told me going to LSE would bare an advantage mainly internationally because it is much more highly recognised abroad them Durham which is hard to argue with, which then made me think I would probably enjoy Durham more but I would probably get further, faster if I go to LSE, and it's not as if LSE wouldn't be enjoyable right? I am kind of talking to myself but this is all my thinking thus far and I am not really leaning to one or the other, just need some new perspective which gives me a nudge in one direction!

    So what more do you need to know about me to help ^^
    Well are you looking to work internationally? Durham's in the top 5 in the league tables in the UK so all recruiters in the UK are aware of Durham's standing and we have lots of careers presentations, company-led skills events, etc all year round. If you want to work for an international company (say a bank) abroad then as a graduate you'd probably be recruited by the UK office anyway and then seconded somewhere as part of your training scheme, and even if you do apply directly to other countries, all big companies will have heard of Durham. Durham was ranked 15th globally for employability so obviously someone's heard of us!

    I definitely think that you should go where you think you'll enjoy it the most. At the end of the day, academically there's nothing separating the 2 universities (or a number of other unis). Graduate recruiters are looking for a 2:1 and transferable skills, which you gain from taking on positions in societies, being president of a sports team, playing team sports, being in a student play, being sponsorship officer of a society, etc. Those are the things that will get you passed the CV filter stage.

    (Also on the human/physical geography note, is there a reason you applied for the BSc at Durham but also to LSE which doesn't do any physical geography at all? If you do want to do human geography you might be able to ask the Durham department if you can switch.)

    EDIT - Also I doubt you could afford to go to fabric and ministry of sound very often on a student budget!
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    - I have been to both post offer days, both impressed me in different ways. There is nothing which puts me off living in either environment since I was born in London but I have grown up most my life in South Lincolnshire fenland I have experienced both sides of the coin. The courses don't offer enough difference for me to distinguish between them which sound odd but honestly I enjoy both Geography and Economics so I would gladly do either course hence why I put the application for them both in the first place. So location and course aside there are two more fundamental factors into making a decision. My time there and my time after. Although I know what it's like to live in both places I don't know what it's like to live on campus with students etc. and I think Durham and London are well obviously very different. I have been for nights out in London hitting the general highlights such as ministry of sound, fabric etc. They were all absolutely amazing and very enjoyable. However, when I went to them forgiving my drunken state I didn't really notice that it was full of students in particular but more general public which I guess can be expected in London, but when I went for a night out in Durham I swear everyone I met went to the university which in a way appealed to me more. Also in Durham I think I would lead a healthier lifestyle and find it easier to keep up sport then if I was in London. At this point I was quite set to go to Durham, but then I asked a few family friends QC's, bankers etc. and most of them told me going to LSE would bare an advantage mainly internationally because it is much more highly recognised abroad them Durham which is hard to argue with, which then made me think I would probably enjoy Durham more but I would probably get further, faster if I go to LSE, and it's not as if LSE wouldn't be enjoyable right? I am kind of talking to myself but this is all my thinking thus far and I am not really leaning to one or the other, just need some new perspective which gives me a nudge in one direction!

    So what more do you need to know about me to help ^^


    I think it depends on what you want to do after you study too? If you want to go into IB (you mention bankers) then hands down LSE without a shadow of a doubt - Econ modules, top IB uni and right on financial district's doorstep.

    Socially everyone seems to say LSE students lack a social life, not 100% true as I've met LSE students while I've been out in London...but it probably has quite a lot of truth to it considering LSE students are probably more into making sure they're beating the FTSE than getting smashed in a club.

    Either way both are great universities, so don't worry about the decision too much and just pick which one feels 'right' for you
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    - I have been to both post offer days, both impressed me in different ways. There is nothing which puts me off living in either environment since I was born in London but I have grown up most my life in South Lincolnshire fenland I have experienced both sides of the coin. The courses don't offer enough difference for me to distinguish between them which sound odd but honestly I enjoy both Geography and Economics so I would gladly do either course hence why I put the application for them both in the first place. So location and course aside there are two more fundamental factors into making a decision. My time there and my time after. Although I know what it's like to live in both places I don't know what it's like to live on campus with students etc. and I think Durham and London are well obviously very different. I have been for nights out in London hitting the general highlights such as ministry of sound, fabric etc. They were all absolutely amazing and very enjoyable. However, when I went to them forgiving my drunken state I didn't really notice that it was full of students in particular but more general public which I guess can be expected in London, but when I went for a night out in Durham I swear everyone I met went to the university which in a way appealed to me more. Also in Durham I think I would lead a healthier lifestyle and find it easier to keep up sport then if I was in London. At this point I was quite set to go to Durham, but then I asked a few family friends QC's, bankers etc. and most of them told me going to LSE would bare an advantage mainly internationally because it is much more highly recognised abroad them Durham which is hard to argue with, which then made me think I would probably enjoy Durham more but I would probably get further, faster if I go to LSE, and it's not as if LSE wouldn't be enjoyable right? I am kind of talking to myself but this is all my thinking thus far and I am not really leaning to one or the other, just need some new perspective which gives me a nudge in one direction!

    So what more do you need to know about me to help ^^
    It sounds to me like you really would enjoy yourself more at Durham, and it's just because of careers that you're considering LSE. As someone else said, unless you're specifically looking for employment with a foreign organisation, Durham's reputation is really just as good as LSE's. I'm not entirely sure what you're considering doing with a geography degree, but I rarely hear geographers worrying about international reputation.

    I know quite a few geography students, and I've not heard any complaints at all about the department, so it must be pretty good. And Durham is just generally friendly and a nice place to live. Much quieter than London, but I think it's good for the soul.
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    -but then I asked a few family friends QC's, bankers etc. and most of them told me going to LSE would bare an advantage mainly internationally because it is much more highly recognised abroad them Durham which is hard to argue with, which then made me think I would probably enjoy Durham more but I would probably get further, faster if I go to LSE, and it's not as if LSE wouldn't be enjoyable right?
    I think you've hit on something very important here. I disagree with what the other people on this thread are saying about Durham having an equal reputation especially when it comes to employers abroad. I went to Durham and left the UK for an internship in America straight after graduating. I can tell you from experience that hardly anyone in the U.S. has heard of Durham whereas LSE even if an employer hasn't heard of it instantly has the kudos of being based in London and the prestigious sounding name.

    Durham is somewhat respectable but even in the UK I don't think it carries as much weight as is generally thought. It gets mocked as an Oxbridge reject, spoon-fed rich kid uni. Which incidentally is completely accurate. A saying I heard about Durham students: "they're like clotted cream, very rich and very thick."

    Also worth considering is the fact that Durham is a very homogeneous place. Especially in a college like Hatfield nearly everyone seems pretty much the same. Rich, privately educated, Southeasterner stereotype. Ends up working in London, living in Clapham, etc. At LSE you will be in a far more metropolitan environment with people from all over the world and who will end up working all over the world. You will be in the nation's capital, a global city with all of the best internships and part-time work opportunities. Durham on the other hand is a small market town of 30,000 people stuck up in the most backward part of the country.

    I spent three years at Durham and I do not consider it to have been a good decision, it is a bubble and regression back into boarding school. The most apt description I have found of it is "Boarding School 2.0."
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    (Original post by durhamppegrad)
    Also worth considering is the fact that Durham is a very homogeneous place. Especially in a college like Hatfield nearly everyone seems pretty much the same. Rich, privately educated, Southeasterner stereotype. Ends up working in London, living in Clapham, etc. At LSE you will be in a far more metropolitan environment with people from all over the world and who will end up working all over the world. You will be in the nation's capital, a global city with all of the best internships and part-time work opportunities. Durham on the other hand is a small market town of 30,000 people stuck up in the most backward part of the country.
    Durham is small but it is not a market town.

    What do you mean by the region being "backward"?

    I spent three years at Durham and I do not consider it to have been a good decision, it is a bubble and regression back into boarding school. The most apt description I have found of it is "Boarding School 2.0."
    The collegiate system, as I've probably said before, can appear very paternalistic and this is what I assume you mean by boarding school type. I never got this impression elsewhere, beyond perhaps a small section of SGIA.

    As for an employment perspective, repeated employer reviews demonstrate that there isn't a great deal of difference between the two in terms of how highly they are targeted and global CEOs.
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    (Original post by River85)
    What do you mean by the region being "backward"?
    Buy a dictionary why don't you:

    1. Reluctant or unable to advance.
    2. Of a culture considered undeveloped or unsophisticated.
    3. Pertaining to a thought or value that is considered outdated.
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    (Original post by durhamppegrad)
    Buy a dictionary why don't you:

    1. Reluctant or unable to advance.
    2. Of a culture considered undeveloped or unsophisticated.
    3. Pertaining to a thought or value that is considered outdated.
    I hope you didn't have this arrogant and patronising attitude at Durham. If you did then that might help explain why you didn't have a good time.

    I'm aware of what it means but what do you mean specifically and why?

    It's a region that was once one of the industrial heartlands of the country and helped drive the economy, but has been consistantly ignored by successive governments with lack of investment. Innovation and advancement have typified the history of this region. It is the region that gave the world the lightbulb and the modern railway, for example and it continues to be an innovater in new industries such as the off shore energy sector. Newcastle and Gateshead, after their industral decline, have enjoyed a reinnaissance and re-invented themselves. Sunderland too with its car and IT industries. I don't see that as being "backwards".

    It is also home to fantastic culture, including international class galleries and theatre. The Royal Shakespeare Company has its second home in Newcastle. The Turner Prize was recently hosted at the Baltic.

    Perhaps if you actually spent time getting to know the region, its cities and fantastic countryside, you'd see this.
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    (Original post by River85)
    I hope you didn't have this arrogant and patronising attitude at Durham. If you did then that might help explain why you didn't have a good time.

    I'm aware of what it means but what do you mean specifically and why?
    No, I did enjoy going to Durham, it is a very stress-free way of life, the city does has a quaint charm and I was fortunate enough to make great friends -- which some who went to Durham cannot say. But the Northeast just does seem very backward and past its prime to me. I think you partly agree given your post. It's the fault largely of the industrial decline rather than the region itself.

    Durham is just not in any way a center of media, politics, international finance and trade, diplomacy, art, fashion, film making, commerce, culture, entertainment, etc. in the way London or even smaller cities like Glasgow Edinburgh are.

    As I said, I did have a pretty good time but when I look back objectively, the choice of restaurants, bars and clubs, museums, cultural points is very limited within Durham and not very impressive at all in the region generally. I did go to galleries, exhibitions, cinema in Newcastle, went to many student productions at that place on the bailey. But looking back from where I live now in Washington, DC, it just seems like a complete backwater if I am being honest. I also found the people in the region to be very rough and the general atmosphere to be extremely unsophisticated.

    I'm just one person expressing an opinion so I don't think it warrants you getting so defensive.

    I think Durham can be doable if you really make the effort to link up internships elsewhere during the summer and get out enough so that you are not trapped in the bubble and your growth as a person and transition into adulthood doesn't get stunted by how limited it is. However, I've found that people who go to universities in larger cities, particularly London, New York, Boston and Washington, DC, to have grown up more quickly and gotten with the program in terms of being an adult, earning a living, applying to jobs, thinking internationally, knowing the culture of work, budgeting, etc. etc. I know this is anecdotal evidence, but it's just a trend I've observed and pass on to people who are looking for advice.
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    (Original post by ellyrie)
    I have posted a similar thing in the LSE University forum.

    I am currently torn between LSE & Durham and with the deadline fast approaching it's becoming more and mor eimportant to decide. I have an offer from LSE to study Geography and Economics and an offer from Durham to study Geography Bsc. So the courses are quite different as well as the universities and their locations. I would appreciate if any current / future students could give me some reasons why they think Durham is the place to go. Thank you so much for you help.
    What brilliant choices. Both universities neck deep in corruption and dodgy dealings with corrupt Arab dictators.

    If I were in the position you were, I wouldn't be going to university at all.
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    (Original post by durhamppegrad)
    No, I did enjoy going to Durham, it is a very stress-free way of life, the city does has a quaint charm and I was fortunate enough to make great friends -- which some who went to Durham cannot say. But the Northeast just does seem very backward and past its prime to me. I think you partly agree given your post. It's the fault largely of the industrial decline rather than the region itself.
    Exactly. Somewhere being "past its prime" is a bit different to being "backward". Your own definition of backward appeared to place the blame on the region and its people for being "unsophisticated" and unable to progress.

    But you will also see that I mentioned how areas have experienced a reinaissance. Newcastle-Gateshead were favourites for European Capital of culture in 2008, and have received widespread praise for their culture regeneration efforts. Sunderland has Nissan and the IT industry. These are just two examples.

    Durham is just not in any way a center of media, politics, international finance and trade, diplomacy, art, fashion, film making, commerce, culture, entertainment, etc. in the way London or even smaller cities like Glasgow Edinburgh are.
    Who'd have thought that? It's a small historic city! London is a global city, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and Edinburgh is its capital.

    Newcastle, however, is a centre of fashion and regional media. If a student were interested in these areas they will still find opportunities within the region.

    A fairer comparison (with Durham) would be somewhere like Stirling.

    As I said, I did have a pretty good time but when I look back objectively, the choice of restaurants, bars and clubs, museums, cultural points is very limited within Durham and not very impressive at all in the region generally. I did go to galleries, exhibitions, cinema in Newcastle, went to many student productions at that place on the bailey. But looking back from where I live now in Washington, DC, it just seems like a complete backwater if I am being honest. I also found the people in the region to be very rough and the general atmosphere to be extremely unsophisticated.
    Washington DC is the capital of the United States of America. Of course it's going to offer more.

    Again, a fairer comparison would be Seattle or New Orleans.

    What Durham offers in terms of museums is decent for a city its size, you even have Europe's largest living museum not far outside the city (Beamish). It also has a good selection of restaurants for its size even if half of them seem to be Italian.

    You might not think the wider region offers much but experts (Lonely Planet, Weissman travel) strongly disagree with you.

    These criticisms of a lack of amenities in Durham can be applied to any city of its size anywhere in the country. It's not specific to the region.

    I'm just one person expressing an opinion so I don't think it warrants you getting so defensive.
    It's the way you do it. Would you get offended if someone called your region "backward"? I wasn't being defensive, just asking specifically what you meant, then you gave a very arrogant reply.

    But, yes, you're expressing an opinion and you have every right to. I'm also expressing mine. It's what the forum is here for - discussion.
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    (Original post by Rennit)
    What brilliant choices. Both universities neck deep in corruption and dodgy dealings with corrupt Arab dictators.

    If I were in the position you were, I wouldn't be going to university at all.
    What links with Arab dicatators do Durham have? I'm aware of the Iran but Iran isn't an Arab country.

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