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Durham or Newcastle university?

I got offers from Durham University to study MA Marketing and Newcastle University to study MSc Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship.

http://www.dur.ac.uk/dbs/degrees/ma/prog...marketing/

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nubs/postgrad/taught/icem/index.htm

The course at Newcastle is my favourite - thinking of running my own business one day - but the MA Marketing looks good as well. Both Durham University and its business school has a much higher ranking in league tables than Newcastle University so if I go to Durham I'll probably find a job easier... and they are both only 10 minutes of train time so which ever I go to I can easily travel to the other.

I'm not sure what I want to do right now. Should I go for a specialist course or the more general one?

My mum says I should go to Durham as it's difficult getting a place there.. :confused:

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Reply 1
MadRabbit2009

My mum says I should go to Durham as it's difficult getting a place there.. :confused:


Don't do something just because your mother wants you to do it. Chosing a university just because it's seen as being prestigious and difficult to get a place isn't a good method. Feel proud for achieving an offer there but don't think you're under any obligation to go there. It's not like Newcastle offers are easy to get anyway.

Both are very good universities. Don't exaggerate any small difference there is between "top ten" universities like Durham and the rest. Especially when the rest include solid, established universities like Newcastle or redbricks. Don't look at the league tables so literally. Durham is something like seventh or eigth in the Times and Newcastle 20th? That's not a chasm. There's even less of a difference in the domestic subject table (down to a handful of places). But it's best to pretty much ignore the league tables anyway. They're undergraduate focused and subjective.

I doubt going to Durham will give you signigicantly better job prospects. Newcastle's still an established university and fairly well targeted, performing above average in graduate employment stats (% of students employed, average salary etc.). If it's the course you prefer then I think it's your better choice.
Reply 2
The universities are on a par with each other so go for whichever course appeals the most.
It sounds like you'd enjoy Newcastle more, so go for that one. Do what you will enjoy, not the one that your mum thinks is best.
Reply 4
I got around 60% for my entrepreneurship modules at undergrad and around 80% for my marketing modules. So it's either the one I'm best at or the one I like most.

I keep hearing how Durham's Oxbridge of the north and Newcastle is just a redbrick.

My friend is currently trashing Newcastle very badly... saying it's a piece of trash city. :frown:
Reply 5
From what I've heard, Durham's reputation exceeds its league table rankings whereas Newcastle seems to suffer from the opposite. While there may not be a big difference in actual quality, differences in public perception (particularly amongst people who left education before the turn of the century) would indicate that many people might consider a degree from Durham offer more than one from Newcastle.
Just some info to consider.
Reply 6
MadRabbit2009


I keep hearing how Durham's Oxbridge of the north


It's not.
Reply 7
MadRabbit2009

I keep hearing how Durham's Oxbridge of the north and Newcastle is just a redbrick.:


Durham isn't the "Oxbridge of the north". It's just in the (arguably) fortunate position of being a historical city and ancient city of learning (but, compared to Oxford and Cambridge, still a compartively recent university). Academically it's not Oxbridge. Outside a few departments it doesn't have the staff or resources and certainly doesn't have the name,

Please don't exaggerate the difference between our country's top mutli-faculty universities outside Oxbridge (where I'd place Durham alongside UCL and Warwick) and then the redbricks. It's really not the case that Durham stands head and shoulders (and then some) above Newcastle or any redbrick like Sheffield.

MadRabbit2009
My friend is currently trashing Newcastle very badly... saying it's a piece of trash city. :frown:


What does he mean by that? Has he ever been?

It's a great city, well known as being a top student and party city. It's very vibrant and friendly with one of the lowest crime rates of any large (250,000+) city in the country. With a thriving arts and tourism sector with excellent countryside and coastline outside I really wouldn't call it a "piece of trash" city.

It has its areas of deprivation and problems as all cities do. But even these aren't as bad as many may think and violent and serious crime isn't particularly high (there's no gun culture or major knife crime....yet). But the areas where you'll be as a student (the city centre, Jesmond, Heaton) are amongst the safest and most affluent. Jesmond is particularly wealthy and leafy.

Durham isn't some picture postcard historical city, filled with well brought up, wealthy, privately educated students. A lovely cathedral and castle, lots of woodland and happy smiley people. It also has its problems, more of a town v. gown problem than Newcastle has and its fair share of "chavs".

Agrippa
From what I've heard, Durham's reputation exceeds its league table rankings whereas Newcastle seems to suffer from the opposite. While there may not be a big difference in actual quality, differences in public perception (particularly amongst people who left education before the turn of the century) would indicate that many people might consider a degree from Durham offer more than one from Newcastle.
Just some info to consider.


What you've heard is, as far as I'm concerned, rubbish. How can Durham's reputation exceed its position in the league tables (actually, what does that even mean?) Durham's 5th in the Independent, 8th in the Times and 14th(?) in the Guardian. You can't really get any higher than that. You're suggesting it has the reputation

Maybe back in the 60 and 70s Newcastle wasn't as well thought of. After all, it only gained independence in the 1960s so was still fairly new. It was also well known for offering what were then seen as being "joke" courses by some joke academics (they've always been particularly strong in fine art, for example). But even if this was true, it's just snobbery and I see no evidence that it's still the case.

It's well established and respected and, in my experience, as well thought of in certain areas (law and engineering - I can't speak for business) as the redbricks and other unis who rank around 15 - 35. That its strongest courses and traditionally strong areas are often professional degrees (medicine, architecture, engineering) helps it perform strongly in the high paying professions and it's recognised as being a good university.

It's the person, the skills, experience and their academic record that gets the jobs and not the uni. Some universities may be more represented than others in certain sectors. But there's so much variation and it's such a complex area.
Reply 8
River85
What you've heard is, as far as I'm concerned, rubbish. How can Durham's reputation exceed its position in the league tables (actually, what does that even mean?) Durham's 5th in the Independent, 8th in the Times and 14th(?) in the Guardian. You can't really get any higher than that. You're suggesting it has the reputation


This is just based on the impressions that I get when talking to employers. A lot of (albeit, slightly older) people in the City still seem to regard Durham as the best place outside of Oxbridge for non-science degrees (i.e. a lot higher than 8th/14th place). Newcastle just doesn't have the same reputation. Of course, this may all be changing, but old misconceptions die hard...
Reply 9
Newcastle is a great place to study, as is Durham. At the end of the day it is you who will be studying and not anyone else. If you like the look of the Newcastle course, go with Newcastle. Don't let rankings come into it, as they are predominantly for undergrad courses and not postgrad. Have you visited Durham or Newcastle?
Mackem85
Newcastle is a great place to study, as is Durham. At the end of the day it is you who will be studying and not anyone else. If you like the look of the Newcastle course, go with Newcastle. Don't let rankings come into it, as they are predominantly for undergrad courses and not postgrad. Have you visited Durham or Newcastle?


Not yet but I just booked train tickets for tomorrow so I can visit both Newcastle and Durham.

The course at Newcastle is 120 credits. Is 120 credits average/a lot/not enough? :confused:
Reply 11
MadRabbit2009
Not yet but I just booked train tickets for tomorrow so I can visit both Newcastle and Durham.

The course at Newcastle is 120 credits. Is 120 credits average/a lot/not enough? :confused:


Hopefully your visits should help you get a feel for the cities. In Newcastle try and walk around the campus, see what you think of it. Also head to Northumberland Street (main shopping street) and the Quayside if you can. As for Durham, if you walk around the city centre and go up towards the Cathedral you will see some of the colleges. The rest are slightly out of the centre on the hill.

Masters degrees are usually 180 credits. 120 credits will be the postgraduate diploma I would have thought :confused:

EDIT - Just had a look at the link you provided and it does say:

"The programme has a total of 180 credits made up of both core and elective modules"

It is the correct credit count. 120 credits of modules and a 60 credit research project (i.e. dissertation)
Reply 12
I do not have a strong opinion about each universities academic credentials; you are allowed to use both universities facilities irrespective of which you choose, though. But I will give you my opinion about the cities themselves since I am a local. River85 has summed up every argument but I would strongly emphasis that Newcastle would be in my opinion a far nicer place to live and study, and cheaper too. Student culture is far stronger in Newcastle because of Northumbria University and, to an extent, Newcastle College too, especially around the Centre for Life. And there are far more varied and better facilities in and around Newcastle than Durham too.

Since you are getting the train down you will get a good sense of each city because of the location of the railway stations, but I would suggest you are missing a lot of Newcastle's facilities, especially cultural and shopping when only walk through the town centre. With Durham what you see you get.
evantej
I do not have a strong opinion about each universities academic credentials; you are allowed to use both universities facilities irrespective of which you choose, though. But I will give you my opinion about the cities themselves since I am a local. River85 has summed up every argument but I would strongly emphasis that Newcastle would be in my opinion a far nicer place to live and study, and cheaper too. Student culture is far stronger in Newcastle because of Northumbria University and, to an extent, Newcastle College too, especially around the Centre for Life. And there are far more varied and better facilities in and around Newcastle than Durham too.

Since you are getting the train down you will get a good sense of each city because of the location of the railway stations, but I would suggest you are missing a lot of Newcastle's facilities, especially cultural and shopping when only walk through the town centre. With Durham what you see you get.


How does that work? So if I went to Newcastle University and wanted to borrow books from one of Durham University's libraries, I can do that? And if I went to Durham and wanted to use Newcastle's computers I can do that? Don't they have some swipe card to just enter the buildings?

Got around 8hrs to shop around and site see Newcastle and Durham. :rolleyes: Should be enough time for everything.
Reply 14
MadRabbit2009
How does that work? So if I went to Newcastle University and wanted to borrow books from one of Durham University's libraries, I can do that? And if I went to Durham and wanted to use Newcastle's computers I can do that? Don't they have some swipe card to just enter the buildings?

Got around 8hrs to shop around and site see Newcastle and Durham. :rolleyes: Should be enough time for everything.


There is the SCONUL Access scheme which allows students and lecturers to access to other universities resources. For example, I used the Newcastle University library this summer despite the fact my university is in Manchester. But Newcastle also run a scheme with Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teeside universities, which allows access without a SCONUL card. Likewise the universities in Manchester have a similar regional access scheme, though, it is a little more official: NoWAL - a "consortium of all the UK University and Colleges of Higher Education libraries in Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside".
Reply 15
I love Newcastle and it's one of the nicest, coolest unis situated in one of the nicest and coolest cities on earth, but a Durham education is just tooooo tempting, especially when you don't have offers from Oxbridge, LSE, Warwick or Imperial. I'd take the Durham offer, though I think it's going to be painful for me to do it. :biggrin:
Reply 16
In which extent is important being graduated from one Univeristy or another in the UK ?

I´m about to start a PG in Chemistry in Newcastle this September.
What are going to think the employers of me when they see that I´m a postgraduate from Newcastle ( hopefully, of course) ?
What would be the difference if I were a postgraduated from Durham, for example ?

And in my case, what are they going to think of both my Spanish undergraduate and work experience ( as a chemist, of course ) ?
Reply 17
^ Very minor difference, if there's at all any. I'm talking about the view of the employers.
The difference is in the student's self-esteem and worth. Because Durham is slightly more prestigious, s/he may feel better going there. So, in short, it's about personal satisfaction and worth.

I'd go for Newcastle for medicine. I think medicine is one of Newcastle's fortes.
Reply 18
GCDPI83
In which extent is important being graduated from one Univeristy or another in the UK ?

I´m about to start a PG in Chemistry in Newcastle this September.
What are going to think the employers of me when they see that I´m a postgraduate from Newcastle ( hopefully, of course) ?
What would be the difference if I were a postgraduated from Durham, for example ?

And in my case, what are they going to think of both my Spanish undergraduate and work experience ( as a chemist, of course ) ?


I think you are in a good position since most British employers probably do not know much about the Spanish education system so you could easily use this to your advantage, especially regarding how your work experience was conducted. Nevertheless, Newcastle is a respected Russell group university, and you should have no problem.

Generally, particular universities are perceived to be more prestigious, but that the generalisations are perpetuated by those who benefit from this perception, or those who are not university educated. There are tangible differences but these can only be changed over time - the size of a department, and quality of its students for example so to suggest that Durham is a better university than Newcastle because more of its research was classified as world leading in RAE seems sensible but does not take into account that Durham has more than twice as many staff, and can cherry pick their submissions.

I would suggest the most important thing is how you spend your time at university rather than which university you go to.
Reply 19
MadRabbit2009, how did the visit go and what were you impressions of the cities?

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