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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Warwick or Durham as firm choice for History?

I've been offered places at both Durham and Warwick for History. I visited them both and really liked both unis so now I'm stuck on which one to choose as my firm choice. I'm more concerned about the reputation of each uni rather than the reputation of the departments. Which uni has the better overall reputation or are they more or less on the same level when it comes to reputation/ graduate employment/ prestigue? Thanks.

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Reply 1
There really isn't much difference between the reputation of the two universities, but I chose Durham because I hated the "Warwick bubble" effect. The course structures are very different, so make sure you've taken a really close look at both to allow you to decide which one you prefer.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Reply 2
Durham, probably, it's a lot more established... I think there's a big "warwick hype" at the moment because it's the fashionable one that everyone is applying to- but Durham is more established and has on balance, the better reputation of the two.
Reply 3
Yes, the two courses are very different. I think you need to decide which course structure you like best- for example, does the prospect of possibly being able to incorparate a language interest you (if you choose the renaissance stream)? And if you like medieval/ even earlier history, don't go to warwick!
Reply 4
Sophie K
I'm more concerned about the reputation of each uni rather than the reputation of the departments.


That's the wrong way round :frown:

Which area of history are you interested in? If you're interested in studying anything medieval - go for Durham. Otherwise there isn't much to separate them.

And don't choose between university history departments on the basis of 'prestige', it's such a nebulous concept that only has value to 17 year olds, lawyers and investment bankers and doesn't in anyway reflect the current state of historical scholarship. There is excellent work being done in both departments and looking at that really should be your first priority.
Reply 5
Tomber
That's the wrong way round :frown:

Which area of history are you interested in? If you're interested in studying anything medieval - go for Durham. Otherwise there isn't much to separate them.

And don't choose between university history departments on the basis of 'prestige', it's such a nebulous concept that only has value to 17 year olds, lawyers and investment bankers and doesn't in anyway reflect the current state of historical scholarship. There is excellent work being done in both departments and looking at that really should be your first priority.


I echo what Tomber's said too :smile:, you can't avoid medieval history in your first and second year here.
sod reputation. It will make very little difference when you are applying for jobs. Go where you prefer the place and course.
i still think Durham is better for history
Reply 8
While I'm always dubious about league tables, but Durham History department has better graduate prospects, better research (although this is fairly irrelevant at UG level imo) and, on average, the more academically able pupils than Warwick History department.

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/gug/gooduniversityguide.php?AC_sub=History&sub=18&x=20&y=19

Both universities and departments are excellent, but at Durham at least, History (along with English and Physics) is one of their greatest strengths. There’s a reason why Warwick usually offer AAB whereas Durham can afford to offer AAA with (almost always) a handful of A*s at GCSE level.
Reply 9
Neither are 'better' for history - and neither produces 'better' research. History simply does not work like that. Durham is harder to get into certainly - the nature of the surroundings there attracts historically minded people enabling them to raise their entry grades. Entry grades are not a reliable indication of the quality of academic staff working at an institution - they are really just an indication of the preconceptions of 17 year olds.

Research is not totally irrelevant at undergrad level, at least thematically - if a department has research centres in areas that you are interested in, then chances are they will offer some really interesting undergraduate courses that come out of that research. Warwick, for example, is really excellent for the history of medicine, Durham has strengths in medieval history and 17th century studies.

The RAE is flawed in that it tries to play different areas of research against each other, and is almost universally regarded, by all the academics I've spoken to at least, as totally unfit for purpose. Not to mention it being totally out of date at the moment.

In short op - go for the department that has the best course for you, that is a combination of interesting and diverse modules and assessment methods that suit you. Then weigh that up against how much you like the atmosphere of each university- the location, the accommodation and the department. For pity's sake ignore these ridiculous notions of 'prestige'.
Reply 10
Durham is prettier :biggrin:
Reply 11
Durham! Durham! It's pretty, it's witty, it's really quite a fitty. .ahem.:ninja2:
Reply 12
Durham!!!!!
Reply 13
Warham? Durwick?
I'd go for Durham!
Warwick is a very high class university - being ranked 7/8 respectively in the tables, whilst in the same ones Durham is around the 10. Not a huge difference I grant you but one worth considering.

How keen are you course at Warwick? - Especially as the study of a language is compulsory.

Warwick is cheaper in terms of living costs, and less... how to put it... strict(?) in terms of rules, with the Durham colleges having huge handbooks detailing fines for this and the need for permission to miss dinner and the like lol.

I think you should go for the one you will be happiest at. The weather is likely to be better at Warwick, but you could argue that Durham is in the city and close to Newcastle as opposed to Warwick being three miles from Coventry.

As you can see from my signiture, I considered Durham but chose to apply to Warwick. But, at the end of the day, only you know where you will fit in best.

Good luck =D
Reply 16
Warwick is in Coventry. It may be three miles from the centre, but it's still in Coventry.
I have no bias either way (going to Durham, living next to the Warwick campus) but I'd say the living in Warwick is rather tough, as students live in Leamington, Earlsdon, Nuneaton etc. so you could live potentially quite a way away from the university (I know of no student houses around here).
affinity89
you could argue that Durham is in the city and close to Newcastle as opposed to Warwick being three miles from Coventry.


This seems to be an urban myth :p:. As it happens I live near Newcastle and travelled by bus to Durham the other day. It took over an hour... in a car it would take a lot less time (probably 20-30 mins) but Newcastle is not right round the corner as many people seem to think.

However Durham is a lovely place and I was impressed by the amount of uni rugby players walking around the town :biggrin: I was also at one of the colleges and it seemed like a nice place. :smile:

As for Warwick I can't really comment, but I only ever really hear good things about it. :smile:

Whatever you choose, you've definatly got good choice! :smile:
jess_17_07
This seems to be an urban myth :p:. As it happens I live near Newcastle and travelled by bus to Durham the other day. It took over an hour... in a car it would take a lot less time (probably 20-30 mins) but Newcastle is not right round the corner as many people seem to think.


It is about 20 miles away - not on the doorstep by any stretch of the imagination but close enough to visit when Durham gets a bit stuffy.

Lol. Bangor university recommend Manchester for a night out, after all, which is about an hour and a half away.

Closeness depends on your perspective. But, if people thought I meant they were literally 5 minutes from each other, then sorry - wasn't my intention.

=D
Reply 19
jess_17_07
This seems to be an urban myth :p:. As it happens I live near Newcastle and travelled by bus to Durham the other day. It took over an hour... in a car it would take a lot less time (probably 20-30 mins) but Newcastle is not right round the corner as many people seem to think.

However Durham is a lovely place and I was impressed by the amount of uni rugby players walking around the town :biggrin: I was also at one of the colleges and it seemed like a nice place. :smile:

As for Warwick I can't really comment, but I only ever really hear good things about it. :smile:

Whatever you choose, you've definatly got good choice! :smile:


It's 20 minutes on the train, and 40 straight to the Metro Centre.

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