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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Why is durham good?

Hello. can somebody please tell me why durham is so good? i am really split between durham, where i have applied to st chads for economics, and UCL. I know that the course is better at UCL, but i am not won over by London. I come from a village, and think i will find london too daunting and impersonal. I did like Durham due to its size, but i dont really know what else it has going for it. Can somebody please help me out??

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Reply 1
Having been at Durham and now at Cardiff, I can tell you that college based universities are better than halls based universities. You get to meet a far broader range of people in a shorter period of time, there are more activities to participate in at all levels, and its just a nicer quality of life in college than in halls (you have more communal areas to mingle in). Durham will be a lot cheaper for your living costs than UCL. Being in London as a student would be my idea of hell.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
ucl deffo better for course and prospects in the city and stuff - not to put durham down cos i do love it but the course/dept arent amazing and the links with finance stuff are barely in the same league as oxbridge/london unis.

having said that durham is ****ing lovely. i honestly cant imagine myself having a better uni experience anywhere else. the college system is freaking awesome. the town is beautiful, and newcastle is 20 mins away if you're really that desp for anything more in the way of big cityness
Reply 3
mightymouse
Hello. can somebody please tell me why durham is so good? i am really split between durham, where i have applied to st chads for economics, and UCL. I know that the course is better at UCL, but i am not won over by London. I come from a village, and think i will find london too daunting and impersonal. I did like Durham due to its size, but i dont really know what else it has going for it. Can somebody please help me out??


I'm choosing between Durham (Chads) and UCL too. It's tough.

I think the only way I can decide is by visiting the two.
Reply 4
TKR
ucl deffo better for course and prospects in the city and stuff - not to put durham down cos i do love it but the course/dept arent amazing and the links with finance stuff are barely in the same league as oxbridge/london unis.

having said that durham is ****ing lovely. i honestly cant imagine myself having a better uni experience anywhere else. the college system is freaking awesome. the town is beautiful, and newcastle is 20 mins away if you're really that desp for anything more in the way of big cityness


I don't know how accurate that is. I was at Durham and I worked in the city at two top investment banks with a lot of other Durham people. The city puts a lot of stock in Durham because of the college system - I think they recognise the benefits it brings in terms of inter-personal skills. The course was also pretty highly regarded (economics) when I was there.
Reply 5
I'm choosing between Durham and... Loughborough :redface: .

I think I'd prefer the course better at Loughborough, but then there is the whole 'sports uni' stigma attached to it. And the reputation of Durham wipes the floor with Lufbra. But then Lufbra offer a year in the industry...:hmmmm:

Seriously don't know what to do... I am going to both open days, but i think I will end up liking both and still be in the same situation after. Might have to toss a coin in the end lol.
Ok I'll add my dilemma!
I think Durham would be just perfect for me (will find out when I come for the open day) as I'd love the college system and the course is quite good (modern languages) as I think I could get round doing literature and I could also learn Catalan, not really sure why I want to do that, I just do!
BUT, and it's quite a big but, there's no linguistics which is also something I really want to study. So I guess course wise I should probably go for St Andrews, if I get an offer, where I can do French, Spanish and linguistics (but no Catalan, and a bit of literature) or Southampton (linguistics and no literature, but no Catalan and I don't like the place as much)
Sorry to ramble, I guess it's as much to get it a lil more clear in my head as anything else.
So I'm stuck. If anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it!
Reply 7
GHG, my best friend is at Loughborough, and while his course is totally unrelated.. the sports uni thing sticks...

Good GOD, I have some horror stories and I was there for only two days... My friend isn't much of the macho, jock type and so he really isnt impressed with the overflow of testosterone at that university (which has I think one of the biggest male:female ratios, like 60:40 at very least). He really does struggle with the atmosphere, and I can see why.

So if thats putting you off, I can definitely see why, and would advise you to see for yourself.

Ideal if you are a sportsman, though...
Reply 8
jrhartley
I don't know how accurate that is. I was at Durham and I worked in the city at two top investment banks with a lot of other Durham people. The city puts a lot of stock in Durham because of the college system - I think they recognise the benefits it brings in terms of inter-personal skills. The course was also pretty highly regarded (economics) when I was there.



Take a look at league tables, sponsorship levels, event frequency and profile etc. as well as plain old nos. of people going into the city from Durham econ courses. Durham eats the dust of Oxbridge, London Unis, and even Warwick to some extent... anecdotal evidence doesn't change that.
Reply 9
TKR
ucl deffo better for course and prospects in the city and stuff - not to put durham down cos i do love it but the course/dept arent amazing and the links with finance stuff are barely in the same league as oxbridge/london unis.

having said that durham is ****ing lovely. i honestly cant imagine myself having a better uni experience anywhere else. the college system is freaking awesome. the town is beautiful, and newcastle is 20 mins away if you're really that desp for anything more in the way of big cityness


^ seconded. durham is still one of the most prestigous unis as a whole you can go to though, in my opinion!
Having applied to (and visited) both Loughborough and St. Andrews, I feel qualified to compare them to Durham.
Starting with Loughborough:
I only applied to Lobo (as it shall henceforth be known) because it was a uni that would accept me for physics with a C in maths, due to it having a specialist maths help unit. When I visited, the importance of sport within the community there was obvious from the start. Having acquired a distaste for sport after having 5 years of cross-country running inflicted upon me by my school's PE department, this was not one of the things that impressed me much about the uni. The location of the uni seemed OK, but somewhat isolated (lobo itself didn't appear to have much to do, and Nott'm was a bus ride to the station, then a long train ride away), and the on-campus, non-sporting facilities seemed pretty average. All the people I met there seemed friendly, but there didn't really appear to be any non sport-related community there. I had to accept Lobo's offer, as it was the only place that gave me an offer including a C in maths (which I thought I might drop down to), and in the weeks before results day, I spent quite a lot of time searching for other unis that might let me in with various results combinations if I didn't get into Durham, because I felt so strongly that I didn't want to go there.

St. Andrews, on the other hand, is a beautiful place, and had a lovely atmosphere (much like Durham's), but is very, very, very isolated, with Edinburgh being the nearest other civilisation, and a 2 hour train journey away. I know I sometimes (but not often) find that Durham can be a bit of a 'bubble', and I'm certain that this must be the case at St. Andrew's, although I'm not sure whether the non-collegiate atmosphere might attenuate this. The fact that all first year students share a room also put me off St.A's (although I did share a room at Durham incidentally, and had a great experience, but that's a different story).
Well there you go, there's my opinions on the places, take 'em or leave 'em...
I'll leave the others to tell you why Durham is so amazing...
TKR
Take a look at league tables, sponsorship levels, event frequency and profile etc. as well as plain old nos. of people going into the city from Durham econ courses. Durham eats the dust of Oxbridge, London Unis, and even Warwick to some extent... anecdotal evidence doesn't change that.


Well. there's statistics and there's statistics - how do you define "going into the City" - what level, etc, etc. I am just going what I saw at two large investment banks. I never met one person who'd been to Warwick during my time there, and I met a few hundred people in quite senior roles. Can't think of a UCL person either. I know its anecdotal, but within certain areas, that is more granular. A lot of these surveys about "going into the city" include stuff like IT support, accountants, project managers, some other drossy jobs. But as I said, that was a while back, so I'm not sure how the department has changed. When I was at Durham, it was definitely high on the calling card list for the milk round presentations of the big investment banks.
everyone seems to have dilemma's (you'll find mine in the thread 'sociology at durham')

do i do sociology at a better uni, or politics (a better course) everywhere else?
Reply 14
Because of the amazing weather here.
Reply 15
Far warmer than Essex, the sunny sunny north is.
Reply 16
My dilemma - Durham, York, UCL or St Andrew's for English???
Jelkin
My dilemma - Durham, York, UCL or St Andrew's for English???


Durham!! I've got an offer for York but I think its a shithole
Reply 18
Clearly a shithole, it has walls!
Reply 19
I thought York seemed quite pleasant, despite the fact that some of the building were ugly (although Durham's guilty of horrible buildings also) it didn't seem as striking as other universities that I visited. It was just...nice...unoffensive?