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    Hi, i've received an offer from both UCL and Durham for natural science but im not sure which university i want to go to. I like UCL because the teachers are great and there's obviously so much to do in London and I like Durham because the course has more variety and has been longer established.

    I can't decide which university I would like to go to so I was just wondering what people (especially people who've chosen natural science biological) who went to UCL or Durham thought about the city, course, accomadation, teachers e.t.c

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    I was choosing between UCL and Durham for maths with modern languages, and I chose UCL.

    I thought London looked like a far more exciting place to spend four years, and seemed like somewhere where I'd be happier - I'm a pretty left-wing and alternative-y sort of person (without wanting to sound like a ****er! ) and Durham seemed to be like the town I live in, only bigger, while London looked interesting and new, with more chance of me finding people I'd like. I anticipated that the LGBT+ scene is also far better in London. So yeah, basically, I made my decision based on the cities - the universities and courses seemed about equally enjoyable and prestigious, and there seemed to be a similar standard of teaching quality and the like.

    If you prefer the course a lot more in one place, go for that university. But it does have to be somewhere you'd be happy spending three to four years, and that has to play some part in your decision too.
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    Which did you actually prefer? Have you visited both?

    Personally I'd choose Durham because as a Londoner, I'd like to get out of here and experience a completely different lifestyle. Also, Durham would cost less and as it's smaller there's more of a student feel.

    I like how Durham has a range of colleges (I chose Josephine Butler when I applied) and different accommodations and a real sense of history and tradition, and how the accommodation isn't far from where you lectures would be, unlike UCL where you may have to travel to get to uni.

    Both are fantastic universities and I reckon you'll have an amazing time wherever you go, but you definitely should pick the one that you prefer, and the course that you prefer because you'll be the one who has to spend 3 years there, and rankings or whatever won't seem important if you're not happy.
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    firstly thanks for he reply =) i actually haven't visited Durham and i know i should but its costing me a small fortune to get there and back and im looking at a total of 6 hours on the train :| that doesn't mean im not giving it a chance I know i have to go and check it out.

    I am probably leaning towards UCL only because i come from a place where theres absolutely nothing to do and I want to have a good time at uni. So im guessing Im looking more at the cities then the course. Am I right in saying Durham university is far from the centre of Durham? Also my friend showed me an article of a current Durham student describing the tension between locals and uni students is this true? If it is, that is kinda off putting. The college I got accepted to was collingwood so would love to hear what people think of that.
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    (Original post by socialnerd)
    firstly thanks for he reply =) i actually haven't visited Durham and i know i should but its costing me a small fortune to get there and back and im looking at a total of 6 hours on the train :| that doesn't mean im not giving it a chance I know i have to go and check it out.

    I am probably leaning towards UCL only because i come from a place where theres absolutely nothing to do and I want to have a good time at uni. So im guessing Im looking more at the cities then the course. Am I right in saying Durham university is far from the centre of Durham? Also my friend showed me an article of a current Durham student describing the tension between locals and uni students is this true? If it is, that is kinda off putting. The college I got accepted to was collingwood so would love to hear what people think of that.
    Having been to both, although only part time at UCL, these are my views on social life/ the town, I won't comment on academics. My views may also be biased because I don't really like big cities...

    First, to answer your questions, Durham University is spread out across the city. Most science teaching is done at the Science Park which is a 10-15 walk from the centre. For college accommodation you have a choice of city centre (Bailley) Colleges, Hill colleges (effectively a campus just beyond the Science Park) or Hild/Bede which is 10 minutes from town in the other direction. Durham is so small that everywhere is close anyway - I never once got on a bus in four years! Collingwood is up on the hill, convenient for the science park and I'd guess a 20 minute brisk wall down into town. I remember they had a good pizza bar but that's all I can think of, probably because if I was going to your bar I'd already have had a few pints on the way!

    There is a small amount of town-gown trouble like in any small university town. You'll probably never see any trouble in your whole time there. In general it's a very friendly place and the locals are happy to have a chat - unlike in London where they'll happily barge you into oncoming traffic. People serving you in shops even smile at you and call you "pet"!

    I'd say there's quite a bit to do in Durham but it's almost all University-related. There's loads of clubs and societies, but a lot of the social life does tend to resolve around bar crawls (The challenge being to have a drink in College bars in one evening!). The colleges also organise a lot of social events (balls, formal dinners, college day etc.), and there is a strong college-based community (which is is either friendly or stifling depending on your point of view). A new complex has recently been built with cinema/restaurants so I guess things will have improved slightly. Newcastle is only 20 mins away by train (including a late one back) if you're desperate to escape and want to visit more expensive bars/clubs.

    UCL gives you access to London life, and a similar range of clubs/student activities minus the college-based ones. Plus access to everything London has to offer (but you could get that just by living in London after your graduate). You won't get the same student bubble or the close college communities that you get at Durham, so you have to decide if you want that or not (some people hate it). UCL is also much more cosmopolitan, you're likely to meet people from all over the world whereas Durham is much more (but not entirely) white and middle class.

    Durham has some really nice countryside nearby. If you like walking or running in the great outdoors (which I do) you can be out of the urban area within a few minutes of leaving your college. The riverbanks also make what is effectively a really beautiful park right in the centre of town. It has to be seen in real life to appreciate it but google "Durham riverbanks" for pictures. It's also very close to the Yorkshire Dales, and not too far from the Lakes or even Scotland. London is, well, London, and there's pretty much every city-based activity you can think of, but no countryside (except Parks) and less in the way of friendly communities.

    Durham is a hell of a lot cheaper than London, the average pint is probably about half what it is in London. You won't need to use public transport so another big saving there. And if you live out of college in your second/third year then you can get a decent room for ~ £60 per week within walking distance of the town centre and the science park.

    To sum up, I'd say Durham is unique; it's a weird little bubble all of its own, whereas UCL is much more about the location. Many people find Durham to be a magical experience whereas I guess UCL is a bit more like real life. If I had the choice now I'd definitely choose Durham, but that's just my personal opinion. Definitely visit Durham before deciding as you won't get an impression of what its like until you do.
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    (Original post by Mbob)
    Having been to both, although only part time at UCL, these are my views on social life/ the town, I won't comment on academics. My views may also be biased because I don't really like big cities...

    First, to answer your questions, Durham University is spread out across the city. Most science teaching is done at the Science Park which is a 10-15 walk from the centre. For college accommodation you have a choice of city centre (Bailley) Colleges, Hill colleges (effectively a campus just beyond the Science Park) or Hild/Bede which is 10 minutes from town in the other direction. Durham is so small that everywhere is close anyway - I never once got on a bus in four years! Collingwood is up on the hill, convenient for the science park and I'd guess a 20 minute brisk wall down into town. I remember they had a good pizza bar but that's all I can think of, probably because if I was going to your bar I'd already have had a few pints on the way!

    There is a small amount of town-gown trouble like in any small university town. You'll probably never see any trouble in your whole time there. In general it's a very friendly place and the locals are happy to have a chat - unlike in London where they'll happily barge you into oncoming traffic. People serving you in shops even smile at you and call you "pet"!

    I'd say there's quite a bit to do in Durham but it's almost all University-related. There's loads of clubs and societies, but a lot of the social life does tend to resolve around bar crawls (The challenge being to have a drink in College bars in one evening!). The colleges also organise a lot of social events (balls, formal dinners, college day etc.), and there is a strong college-based community (which is is either friendly or stifling depending on your point of view). A new complex has recently been built with cinema/restaurants so I guess things will have improved slightly. Newcastle is only 20 mins away by train (including a late one back) if you're desperate to escape and want to visit more expensive bars/clubs.

    UCL gives you access to London life, and a similar range of clubs/student activities minus the college-based ones. Plus access to everything London has to offer (but you could get that just by living in London after your graduate). You won't get the same student bubble or the close college communities that you get at Durham, so you have to decide if you want that or not (some people hate it). UCL is also much more cosmopolitan, you're likely to meet people from all over the world whereas Durham is much more (but not entirely) white and middle class.

    Durham has some really nice countryside nearby. If you like walking or running in the great outdoors (which I do) you can be out of the urban area within a few minutes of leaving your college. The riverbanks also make what is effectively a really beautiful park right in the centre of town. It has to be seen in real life to appreciate it but google "Durham riverbanks" for pictures. It's also very close to the Yorkshire Dales, and not too far from the Lakes or even Scotland. London is, well, London, and there's pretty much every city-based activity you can think of, but no countryside (except Parks) and less in the way of friendly communities.

    Durham is a hell of a lot cheaper than London, the average pint is probably about half what it is in London. You won't need to use public transport so another big saving there. And if you live out of college in your second/third year then you can get a decent room for ~ £60 per week within walking distance of the town centre and the science park.

    To sum up, I'd say Durham is unique; it's a weird little bubble all of its own, whereas UCL is much more about the location. Many people find Durham to be a magical experience whereas I guess UCL is a bit more like real life. If I had the choice now I'd definitely choose Durham, but that's just my personal opinion. Definitely visit Durham before deciding as you won't get an impression of what its like until you do.
    so true, durham gives you an all round university experience whereas UCL gives you london
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    I have studied at both - Durham is by far much better facilities wise as well as overall experience.

    UCL is an overrated university, surely good but not as good as people want to make it.!

    The money they charge you is definitely not worth it!
 
 
 
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