St Andrews or Durham?

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Mol_ly
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#1
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#1
I've recently been so fortunate to receive offers from St Andrews and Durham to study History. I'm having a difficult time trying to decide between the two! My teachers seem to think Durham is the better institution, but I'm not sure how true this is. Opinions please and pros and cons of each? Thank you!
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EmilySarah00
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#2
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#2
Have you visited both the universities? Going to see them and seeing how much you gel with the places is very important.
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gcsemusicsucks
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Mol_ly)
I've recently been so fortunate to receive offers from St Andrews and Durham to study History. I'm having a difficult time trying to decide between the two! My teachers seem to think Durham is the better institution, but I'm not sure how true this is. Opinions please and pros and cons of each? Thank you!
I'm in the exact same position as you but for maths! Have you compared the courses/looked at the modules studied in each? Which one do you prefer/do you think you'd prefer to study? Also, have you been to visit them? The way I'm deciding is by visiting them - I'm hoping that experiencing the two places will help me decide which one I like better!

Nobody else can say which university is the better one for you, it all boils down to personal preference
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Anagogic
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Mol_ly)
I've recently been so fortunate to receive offers from St Andrews and Durham to study History. I'm having a difficult time trying to decide between the two! My teachers seem to think Durham is the better institution, but I'm not sure how true this is. Opinions please and pros and cons of each? Thank you!
Congratulations . I don't think it really matters both are highly regarded institutions, you could possibly argue that St Andrews is probably more renown globally but it's of little significance. In your case visit both areas and try to visualise yourself living at each destination and see which appeals to you more. Along with this check what resources are at you disposal and probably the most important is to see if you prefer the content of one course over the other as they will differ along with how they are assessed also. Then you should be able to make a pretty informed decision, good luck.
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Mol_ly
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#5
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#5
(Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
I'm in the exact same position as you but for maths! Have you compared the courses/looked at the modules studied in each? Which one do you prefer/do you think you'd prefer to study? Also, have you been to visit them? The way I'm deciding is by visiting them - I'm hoping that experiencing the two places will help me decide which one I like better!

Nobody else can say which university is the better one for you, it all boils down to personal preference

Congratulations on getting offers! Do you have a preference at the moment? I do think I'm slightly leaning towards St Andrews because I loved the atmosphere on the open day compared to the atmosphere at Durham. However the fact that St Andrews is 4 years, not 3, is a massive drawback for me
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Mol_ly
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Anagogic)
Congratulations . I don't think it really matters both are highly regarded institutions, you could possibly argue that St Andrews is probably more renown globally but it's of little significance. In your case visit both areas and try to visualise yourself living at each destination and see which appeals to you more. Along with this check what resources are at you disposal and probably the most important is to see if you prefer the content of one course over the other as they will differ along with how they are assessed also. Then you should be able to make a pretty informed decision, good luck.
Thank you!
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gcsemusicsucks
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Mol_ly)
Congratulations on getting offers! Do you have a preference at the moment? I do think I'm slightly leaning towards St Andrews because I loved the atmosphere on the open day compared to the atmosphere at Durham. However the fact that St Andrews is 4 years, not 3, is a massive drawback for me
Ironically they're actually the two universities I have yet to receive replies (offers/rejections) from, but assuming I got offers I would probably firm Durham and insure St Andrews, since I just prefer the collegiate system at Durham and it's supposed to be great for Music (I want to take music modules in 1st and 3rd year)! :teehee: Although I'm really not sure because I could potentially end up hating Durham as a place and prefer St Andrews, so I do think visiting them is important. For Maths you can apply for direct entry into year 2 if you do Further Maths, so I did that, meaning my course is only 3 years
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Mol_ly
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#8
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#8
(Original post by gcsemusicsucks)
Ironically they're actually the two universities I have yet to receive replies (offers/rejections) from, but assuming I got offers I would probably firm Durham and insure St Andrews, since I just prefer the collegiate system at Durham and it's supposed to be great for Music (I want to take music modules in 1st and 3rd year)! :teehee: Although I'm really not sure because I could potentially end up hating Durham as a place and prefer St Andrews, so I do think visiting them is important. For Maths you can apply for direct entry into year 2 if you do Further Maths, so I did that, meaning my course is only 3 years
I hope you hear good news soon! Let me know which you prefer once you visit
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gcsemusicsucks
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Mol_ly)
I hope you hear good news soon! Let me know which you prefer once you visit
I hope so too! Will do
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Quarkboi
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#10
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#10
Not to put down Durham in any shape or form, but this is not true. It is actually 9th oldest, being founded in 1832. The universities that are older are:

1. Oxford (1096)
2. Cambridge (1209)
3. St Andrews (1410)
4. Glasgow (1451)
5. Aberdeen (1495)
6. Edinburgh (1583)
7. Manchester (1824)
8. UCL (1826)
with
9. Durham (1832)

This makes Durham the 9th oldest univeristy in the UK and 5th oldest in England. Hope this information may be of some use.
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DarkEnergy
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#11
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#11
Also in the same position but for Computer Science. Most likely going to choose Durham as even though I think the St Andrews course is slightly better, I much prefer Durham as a city and I think the college system is great.
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Jay Smith
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#12
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#12
It depends what you want out of the experience. I'd say the unis are pretty much on par, especially for history. St. Andrews doesn't have any clubs, so you won't get a nightlife if that's what you're after. I'm just finishing at Durham and I've had a great time. I've got a mate at St. Andrews who hasn't. Best of luck.
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A02ft1
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#13
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#13
I had to make the same choice in 2014. Back then Durham had a slight edge in the rankings, now, St Andrews has the edge.

The reality is they’ll both be quite similar experiences. These are the two most prestigious UK universities behind Oxbridge, some at Durham even joke that it’s ‘Doxbridge’. Unlike the London universities, Durham and St Andrews give a similar-to-oxbridge life, with societies, gowned dinners and balls.

I chose Durham mainly because the undergrad is 3 years rather than 4 at St Andrews. Also, for Durham, it depends if you got into a Bailey (old) or Hill (newer) college.
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A02ft1
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#14
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#14
I went to Durham and it’s great. Academically, one could argue Durham is on par with Oxbridge for English, Theology and Geography (that is, the faculty is just as good). But that’s only for the academics, because for overall reputation/prestige “Doxbridge” is unfortunately not a reality.
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Wormit
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#15
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#15
Eh you mean England not Britain......... Durham founded 1832. St Andrews 400 hundred year earlier in 1413, the third oldest university in the English speaking world after Oxbridge. Durham is not one of the 'ancients' (Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dublin). Durham and St Andrews are indeed similar in prestige and quality, traditions, robes, beautiful buildings, setting etc. St Andrews has consistently edged slightly ahead in UK league tables in last 5 years or so, currently no 5 in Complete University Guide (Durham 6), 3rd in Guardian (Durham 5) but essentially they are both Top 5/10 institutions with high rankings in subject tables. I agree, go and visit and decide which one you prefer
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caitlinhayes
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#16
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#16
Hi, I’m in the exact same position as you but this year- what did you choose in the end??
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Anonymous #1
#17
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#17
(Original post by caitlinhayes)
Hi, I’m in the exact same position as you but this year- what did you choose in the end??
St. Andrews in the end! Definitely the right decision
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vanessaneilson
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#18
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#18
Hi! I’m in the same position as you - I’m debating on whethere I want to attend St Andrews or Durham for a History undergrad - what has your overall experience of St Andrews been so far? I’ve never really been a big-city girl, but is the town too small? I’ve loved internationally all my life, so I’m wondering how the international population in St Andrews is?
(Original post by Anonymous)
St. Andrews in the end! Definitely the right decision
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StarLinyx
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#19
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#19
(Original post by A02ft1)
I had to make the same choice in 2014. Back then Durham had a slight edge in the rankings, now, St Andrews has the edge.

The reality is they’ll both be quite similar experiences. These are the two most prestigious UK universities behind Oxbridge, some at Durham even joke that it’s ‘Doxbridge’. Unlike the London universities, Durham and St Andrews give a similar-to-oxbridge life, with societies, gowned dinners and balls.

I chose Durham mainly because the undergrad is 3 years rather than 4 at St Andrews. Also, for Durham, it depends if you got into a Bailey (old) or Hill (newer) college.
Sadly, Durham and St Andrews are way, way behind the leading universities in London (LSE, ICL, UCL, KCL), and some way behind the likes of Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester and Warwick. Do not be fooled by the domestic rankings - they are utterly unreliable in determining the prestige of a university.
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Anonymous #2
#20
Report 3 years ago
#20
Sadly this is nonsense at undergraduate level. The OP wanted to do History and LSE & ICL don't even offer it.

International rankings are mainly based on research output, which puts smaller universities like St Andrews at a disadvantage. Even so, despite its small size, St Andrews is still able to do highly regarded world beating research. But for them it's quality not quantity. Having said that, both Durham and St Andrews are still ranked in the top 100 in the world - which isn't bad.

At undergraduate level I would rather be taught by people who are passionate about their subject and teaching it. Not some professor who who is only interested in their own research and career and doesn't have the time, or passion, to teach mere undergraduates.

Both Durham and St Andrews are excellent, highly regarded universities that will give an excellent, well regarded degree for people who don't want to study in London.
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