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    Hello, I'm looking for any thoughts about the Chemistry departments/ the atmosphere of these universities in general. Ultimately, it's an insurance choice so I (hope) I won't lose too much sleep over it, but just in case, the offers are: 36 in IB for Warwick, 37 for Durham. Can't say I was too thrilled when I visited Warwick, though I'm not too fussed. Havn't visited Durham but I just get the feeling that it has a nicer atmosphere, closer to the city etc.

    So basically it boils down to whether the extra point is worth the risk, and what the actual student experiences are like. Thanks
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    Well I can only speak from University life, as I don't study Chemistry, although I have a few friends who do.
    I adore Warwick. Yes it's definitely not as picturesque as Durham, and maybe the collegiate system has a part to play in your decision, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my year so far. Perhaps it is due to the friends I have made in my halls.

    Warwick is only a twenty minute bus ride to Leamington Spa, as Coventry isn't worth visiting (I have only been on nights out there, and there's this system called 'UniExpress' where you can get a coach from campus to the club and back again which is great). Leamington Spa is lovely and there are some really good nights out there.

    I don't have any bad points about Warwick really. The SU first term was weak, but they've really sorted it out now and it's so good. I was looking for a city university ideally but I couldn't be happier at Warwick.

    The only thing you need to think about is accommodation though, as if it's your insurance you will most likely not get your first choice, but then again Durham would be the same, and you could end up in one of the lesser colleges.

    Also, I have friends at Durham and it depends what you're after night-life-wise, as at Durham it's more pubs and bars apparently, rather than clubs.
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    (Original post by hellobonjour)
    Well I can only speak from University life, as I don't study Chemistry, although I have a few friends who do.
    I adore Warwick. Yes it's definitely not as picturesque as Durham, and maybe the collegiate system has a part to play in your decision, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my year so far. Perhaps it is due to the friends I have made in my halls.

    Warwick is only a twenty minute bus ride to Leamington Spa, as Coventry isn't worth visiting (I have only been on nights out there, and there's this system called 'UniExpress' where you can get a coach from campus to the club and back again which is great). Leamington Spa is lovely and there are some really good nights out there.

    I don't have any bad points about Warwick really. The SU first term was weak, but they've really sorted it out now and it's so good. I was looking for a city university ideally but I couldn't be happier at Warwick.

    The only thing you need to think about is accommodation though, as if it's your insurance you will most likely not get your first choice, but then again Durham would be the same, and you could end up in one of the lesser colleges.

    Also, I have friends at Durham and it depends what you're after night-life-wise, as at Durham it's more pubs and bars apparently, rather than clubs.
    Thanks :cool: For the bus to Leamington spa, do students get some sort of discount for the journey?
    Gah I've been looking at both websites and I'm just so indifferent/uncertain (especially since it's an insurance, as you said no priority in terms of accommodation).
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    (Original post by GlibByNature)
    Thanks :cool: For the bus to Leamington spa, do students get some sort of discount for the journey?
    Gah I've been looking at both websites and I'm just so indifferent/uncertain (especially since it's an insurance, as you said no priority in terms of accommodation).

    You can buy a bus pass which works out much cheaper in the second and the third year, providing you live in Leam which most people do, but there's not much point in the first year as you don't go enough so unfortunately not for the first year, weep.

    After my last post was as unbiased as I possible haha, come to Warwick, it's so so good.
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    I can speak for Durham, both as a city and the department! I love it here, it's a lovely city, small and compact but has everything you'll ever need, and if not there's always Newcastle a 15 min train journey away! You're part of a college, each of which has it's own atmosphere, and they're much more than just a place to live if you get involved!

    The Chem department is great; as a NatSci rather than a Chemist I can say it's better than the Biology department at least! For pure chemists at least the course is well structured (personally there are parts of the course I have to do but don't like, as a biological/organic chemist), the department's well organised, the labs are good...yeah. Any more questions about it feel free to ask . What's your firm choice anyway?
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    I applied to both Warwick and Durham, ended up choosing Durham as I much peferred the collegiate system to halls at Warwick, it just seemed more tight-knit? Also worth thinking about is how sporty/musical you are; Durham has both University and College sports teams (College competitions are serious business!) but I think Warwick only has University teams which will be a lot harder to join (more competition). At Durham I've found it incredibly easy to pick up a completely new sport, played for College last year and both Uni and College this year And Durham also has loads of orchestras as well, both College, Hill and Uni, whereas I don't think Warwick even has a Music degree course so there's a lot less music there. Which college have you applied for at Durham?

    EDIT: Feel I should say something about Chemistry as well! I'm a pure Chemist so I spend all my time in the department, my advisor is brilliant and any lecturer I've ever asked a question outside lectures has been really keen to answer and make sure I understand everything Optional modules are thin on the ground in Chemistry; in first year you have to do at least one module from a dept that isn't Chemistry - doesn't have to be a science, I ended up doing an Archaeology module that was basically Ancient History. Labs are stressful but generally well-run; tutorials can be a bit hit-and-miss but that depends on who you get really. So I would definitely recommend Durham
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    I had to make this choice when I was applying for uni - I ended up firming Warwick even though it had a lower offer (by 1 grade). I just didn't like Durham as a place, it was nice, but really small and a bit... grim? It may have been because it was during the holidays or something (I think) but it was so empty and really small. The chemistry department seemed ok though. It's hard to judge stuff like that without having studied there, mind.

    As for Warwick - the campus is great, really nice and everything is close by. Coventry is a bit of a dump but it depends where you go - Leamington Spa is very very nice though. Chemistry is pretty good here, the lectures are good (sometimes - one or two of my Physical lecturers are rubbish). The labs are nice (and brand new, upstairs at least), but also stressful (someone at Durham above mentioned that, it's probably the same wherever you go. Potentially 5 hours of stressing in a lab isn't always great.). The tutorials have been quite helpful, though the difficulty is quite variable and you'll have to read some textbook for most of them so you can do the questions. That's if you can't be arsed thinking too hard though, partly However, I do wish there were more tutorials - a friend at St Andrews was telling me he gets 3 a week - one in each type of Chemistry. o_O I barely get 1 a week. We've been suggesting more tutorials as an improvement though, so this may hopefully change (for you next year and me in my second year).

    Hope this helps. It's definitely down to which place you like the most though, each department will give you just as good an education. You should go and visit Durham to at least see what it's like - I had a post-offer visit thing where I stayed overnight for 1 or 2 days and looked around the city/college and met all the other potential people going there. I was at St. Aiden's - I must admit the college itself put me off a bit, it was a bit 60s and grim. The people all seemed nice enough, though it had a lot of posh fellow Oxbridge rejects who were a bit stuck up. Actually met a friend of mine there who I'm at Warwick with - he does Chemistry too.

    Oh, and as for optional modules - at Warwick for Chemistry you don't (or at least I didn't) get to have any in the first year. It's all core modules up until the second year, I believe. However those definitely take up enough time as it is so I'm glad I don't have any others. :P

    Good luck!
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    Thanks for all the responses! (Though we've managed a 50:50 split, god you guys ). I really would be happy going to both of them, though I can't help feeling that I would pick Durham straight away if the offer was 36 points as well. Then again it's a bit (well 3 times ) further from London than Warwick. Think that's all, since both departments/unis seem equally good otherwise. I suppose Warwick felt a bit remote, but from the look of things Durham is as well?

    (Firm is Oxford, tbh I should just get off TSR and work)
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    (Original post by GlibByNature)
    Thanks for all the responses! (Though we've managed a 50:50 split, god you guys ). I really would be happy going to both of them, though I can't help feeling that I would pick Durham straight away if the offer was 36 points as well. Then again it's a bit (well 3 times ) further from London than Warwick. Think that's all, since both departments/unis seem equally good otherwise. I suppose Warwick felt a bit remote, but from the look of things Durham is as well?

    (Firm is Oxford, tbh I should just get off TSR and work)
    Durham is incredibly easy to get to by train from London, East Coast trains run all the way up to Edinburgh from King's Cross and stop off at Durham pretty much every hour, that should be about 3 hours journey time. Warwick idk, but a quick search on National Rail reveals 1hr 40mins from Marylebone. Durham's a small city, not much choice of clubs or shops, but then it's only 20 mins to Newcastle. I wouldn't call it remote tbh, just small and perfectly formed Although you'll probably end up at Oxford anyway!!
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    I wouldn't say it's easy to get to, but yeah the connections are there...

    (Original post by Number6)
    just small and perfectly formed
    Ok.... :sexface:

    Anyway cheers, I'm not any closer to reaching a decision but at least it'll be a somewhat informed one now.
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    P.s. someone said something about music at warwick and thought I would correct it. There is no music degree but the music centre is incredible. There is so much going on.
 
 
 
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