What’s it like at Durham? Watch

phoebexoxo
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Hi!

I’ve received an offer to study law at Durham and was just wondering if any current students could offer any input into what it’s like?

1) I’m curious about the college system — is it just to create a sense of unity or is there more to it? I’ve been allocated Hatfield so does anyone know more about it?
2) What’s the social life like? Coming from a big city I’m just concerned I’ll find it dull after a while as I’m used to more bustling nights with a variety of places
3) Is there an issue with elitism? I come from a poorer background and am worried I won’t exactly fit in.
4) Has anyone shared a room? This looks likely at Hatfield and it is not something I’d really want to do so has anyone had any experience with it?
5) Are there many formals and events, what societies would you recommend?
6) May be an embarrassing one, but what’s the sex life like? I’d preferably intend to just relax and have more fun but is this an approach a lot take at Durham, especially during freshers or is everyone more reserved?
7) What is catering like?

If anyone has any further input it would be very helpful
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Saffer
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Hey, I'll try answer your questions as best I can.

1) The college system is a hallmark feature of Durham University. Each college has its own traditions, societies and clubs, formal dinners, and essentially its own ecosystem. You're not restricted to your college and so you can make friends outside of it and get involved in university activities. As for Hatfield, it does have a reputation for being rather posh - if I'm not mistaken, it has the largest intake of public school kids. Otherwise its a beautiful college situated on the Bailey and is steeped in tradition.

2) Social life is what you make of it. Durham doesn't have the largest variety of clubs, but in my experience, the college system compensates for that. If you get involved in both uni and college life then you'll not have to worry about being bored.

3) Durham does attract an elite clique, but I wouldn't say this is a true reflection of the entire university or student body. Find a group of friends who you're comfortable with and do your thing. I wouldn't worry about the entitled kids.

4) No, can't say I have any knowledge on this.

5) Yes! Every college has a formal (usually weekly) and there are loads of events both in your college and as part of the wider university community. What are your interests? Sport, drama, chess? There are loads of societies and clubs which cater to pretty much all interests and hobbies, regardless of your skill or expertise.

6) Freshers is usually a time when a lot of people have sex, as is to be expected. I wouldn't say you'll ever feel pressured (nor should you) into sleeping with anyone. If you want to just relax and do your own thing, then that's perfectly fine and there are other people who will want to do the same. As I've said, make a good group of friends and enjoy yourself.

7) Depends which college you're in. I have no experience of catering in Hatfield.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by Saffer; 1 month ago
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phoebexoxo
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(Original post by Saffer)
Hey, I'll try answer your questions as best I can.

1) The college system is a hallmark feature of Durham University. Each college has its own traditions, societies and clubs, formal dinners, and essentially its own ecosystem. You're not restricted to your college and so you can make friends outside of it and get involved in university activities. As for Hatfield, it does have a reputation for being rather posh - if I'm not mistaken, it has the largest intake of public school kids. Otherwise its a beautiful college situated on the Bailey and is steeped in tradition.

2) Social life is what you make of it. Durham doesn't have the largest variety of clubs, but in my experience, the college system compensates for that. If you get involved in both uni and college life then you'll not have to worry about being bored.

3) Durham does attract an elite clique, but I wouldn't say this is a true reflection of the entire university or student body. Find a group of friends who you're comfortable with and do your thing. I wouldn't worry about the entitled kids.

4) No, can't say I have any knowledge on this.

5) Yes! Every college has a formal (usually weekly) and there are loads of events both in your college and as part of the wider university community. What are your interests? Sport, drama, chess? There are loads of societies and clubs which cater to pretty much all interests and hobbies, regardless of your skill or expertise.

6) Freshers is usually a time when a lot of people have sex, as is to be expected. I wouldn't say you'll ever feel pressured (nor should you) into sleeping with anyone. If you want to just relax and do your own thing, then that's perfectly fine and there are other people who will want to do the same. As I've said, make a good group of friends and enjoy yourself.

7) Depends which college you're in. I have no experience of catering in Hatfield.

Hope this helps!
Thank you that’s really appreciated ☺️ Are you glad you chose Durham then or anything else I should know?
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bellaskp
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Useful info - and well done on your offer! I've also been offered one, and was concerned about the college life. But I think that point about the societies compensating for the quieter nightlife is a good one.. Do you think there will be people there who want to go to Newcastle for a night out on, say, a weekly basis? Or am I unlikely to find those kinds of people??
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Oban27
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(Original post by phoebexoxo)
Hi!

I’ve received an offer to study law at Durham and was just wondering if any current students could offer any input into what it’s like?

1) I’m curious about the college system — is it just to create a sense of unity or is there more to it? I’ve been allocated Hatfield so does anyone know more about it?
2) What’s the social life like? Coming from a big city I’m just concerned I’ll find it dull after a while as I’m used to more bustling nights with a variety of places
3) Is there an issue with elitism? I come from a poorer background and am worried I won’t exactly fit in.
4) Has anyone shared a room? This looks likely at Hatfield and it is not something I’d really want to do so has anyone had any experience with it?
5) Are there many formals and events, what societies would you recommend?
6) May be an embarrassing one, but what’s the sex life like? I’d preferably intend to just relax and have more fun but is this an approach a lot take at Durham, especially during freshers or is everyone more reserved?
7) What is catering like?

If anyone has any further input it would be very helpful
I’m Hatfield too, for Classics! It’s a really nice college, I liked it on the open day and the surroundings were beautiful, quite traditional and near the Cathedral.
I also went to a poor state secondary and state sixth form, but I wasn’t deterred from applying there!
I can understand your concerns about the night life - I also go to college in a big city! Durham may be small but it’s very pretty and the night life (from what I’ve seen) looks fun, and there appears to be plenty of bars and events.
The dining hall at Hatfield is really nice and the food looked good - they of course cater to all kinds of diets. Sharing a room may seem daunting but if you get on with your roommate (and most apparently do!) then you will make a friend almost immediately!
The formals are varied and expensive, but I don’t know enough to be that useful I’m afraid. There are some videos of a few of them on YouTube I think?

I’m excited and nervous - just got to get the grades!
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arianeclementine
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(Original post by bellaskp)
Useful info - and well done on your offer! I've also been offered one, and was concerned about the college life. But I think that point about the societies compensating for the quieter nightlife is a good one.. Do you think there will be people there who want to go to Newcastle for a night out on, say, a weekly basis? Or am I unlikely to find those kinds of people??
Still waiting on Durham for law but I’d definitely want to go to Newcastle for nights out weekly! I’m sure plenty of people will be down no worries
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Thotania
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(Original post by bellaskp)
Useful info - and well done on your offer! I've also been offered one, and was concerned about the college life. But I think that point about the societies compensating for the quieter nightlife is a good one.. Do you think there will be people there who want to go to Newcastle for a night out on, say, a weekly basis? Or am I unlikely to find those kinds of people??
(Original post by arianeclementine)
Still waiting on Durham for law but I’d definitely want to go to Newcastle for nights out weekly! I’m sure plenty of people will be down no worries
I have my Durham Law offer, I've been allocated to Castle and I'm so up for nights out on Newcastle that I've literally scouted out the clubs already and I'm so ready to get people to go out on nights in Newcastle
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arianeclementine
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(Original post by Thotania)
I have my Durham Law offer, I've been allocated to Castle and I'm so up for nights out on Newcastle that I've literally scouted out the clubs already and I'm so ready to get people to go out on nights in Newcastle
Congrats on your offer! Applied to law at Castle too, still waiting though
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mamamia214
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ahhh does anyone have any info on hild bede? namely on if it's actually THAT desolate and far away from student campuses.

it's the one i got allocated to and i'm honestly really upset because i really hate communal bathrooms
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Thotania
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(Original post by mamamia214)
ahhh does anyone have any info on hild bede? namely on if it's actually THAT desolate and far away from student campuses.

it's the one i got allocated to and i'm honestly really upset because i really hate communal bathrooms
My friend is in her 1st year at Hild Bede and she LOVES it. She was put in Hild Bede when her preference is Castle
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phoebeg76
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(Original post by mamamia214)
ahhh does anyone have any info on hild bede? namely on if it's actually THAT desolate and far away from student campuses.

it's the one i got allocated to and i'm honestly really upset because i really hate communal bathrooms
Hi! I'm in my third year at Durham right now, and although I'm not at Hild Bede (I'm St. Aidan's) I have quite a few friends at that college!
It's definitely one of the biggest colleges, so that's something that can either be a positive or a negative depending on your own personal opinions. I think it's good, it gives you a chance to meet a lot of people right from the start of your time at uni and means you'll definitely find people you click with! Everyone I know from Hild Bede is really nice.
It's the only college with its own cinema - there's a Hild Bede film society that puts on films (like new ones that are in cinemas, not just anything on netflix) either once a week or once a month (I don't know off the top of my head) which are free for members of the society and very cheap for non-members to attend.
It also has the biggest college gym (I think, maybe tied with Collingwood), and probably has the most space of any of the college's to just hang out.
It's also at a beautiful location. It's right by the river with its boat house actually at the college site.
I know you've probably heard that its "really far away from everything", but that's just not true. This is Durham, where absolutely nothing is more than a 30 minute walk away from where ever you are in the city. Honestly. Yes, it's further from town than the Bailey colleges and further from the Science Site than the Hill colleges, but it's closer to town than the Hill colleges and probably closer to the Science site than a few of the Bailey ones, so it's really not that bad.
I'd definitely recommend coming to a post offer day if you can, it really is the best way for you to get a feel for the college before you choose to firm Durham. No stats or current student's telling you their opinions will change how the college works for you. The post offer day is a really good opportunity to ask any questions you have and to see if you feel at home at the college.
If you do have any more questions, do let me know!
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mamamia214
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(Original post by phoebeg76)
Hi! I'm in my third year at Durham right now, and although I'm not at Hild Bede (I'm St. Aidan's) I have quite a few friends at that college!
It's definitely one of the biggest colleges, so that's something that can either be a positive or a negative depending on your own personal opinions. I think it's good, it gives you a chance to meet a lot of people right from the start of your time at uni and means you'll definitely find people you click with! Everyone I know from Hild Bede is really nice.
It's the only college with its own cinema - there's a Hild Bede film society that puts on films (like new ones that are in cinemas, not just anything on netflix) either once a week or once a month (I don't know off the top of my head) which are free for members of the society and very cheap for non-members to attend.
It also has the biggest college gym (I think, maybe tied with Collingwood), and probably has the most space of any of the college's to just hang out.
It's also at a beautiful location. It's right by the river with its boat house actually at the college site.
I know you've probably heard that its "really far away from everything", but that's just not true. This is Durham, where absolutely nothing is more than a 30 minute walk away from where ever you are in the city. Honestly. Yes, it's further from town than the Bailey colleges and further from the Science Site than the Hill colleges, but it's closer to town than the Hill colleges and probably closer to the Science site than a few of the Bailey ones, so it's really not that bad.
I'd definitely recommend coming to a post offer day if you can, it really is the best way for you to get a feel for the college before you choose to firm Durham. No stats or current student's telling you their opinions will change how the college works for you. The post offer day is a really good opportunity to ask any questions you have and to see if you feel at home at the college.
If you do have any more questions, do let me know!
x
(Original post by Thotania)
My friend is in her 1st year at Hild Bede and she LOVES it. She was put in Hild Bede when her preference is Castle
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thank u both so much for ur message it made me feel a lil better!!
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Ann_ette
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(Original post by bellaskp)
Useful info - and well done on your offer! I've also been offered one, and was concerned about the college life. But I think that point about the societies compensating for the quieter nightlife is a good one.. Do you think there will be people there who want to go to Newcastle for a night out on, say, a weekly basis? Or am I unlikely to find those kinds of people??
Every college has organised "newcastle nights" where you take the coach, which are amazing. I wouldnt say its a regular thing to go to newcastle. durham has many clubs (Klutes, Jimmy's, Fabios, Lloyds, Missoula) I have been to newcaslte on a few nights out with friends, but its a struggle to get back at night, because the last train leaves quite early. A friend of mine walked back to durham from newcastle after a night out totally wasted. I am sure you would find people who would be up for it now and then, but i have never heard of anyone doing it on a weekly basis, given that there is so much stuff going on in durham especially with societies, formals and balls.
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Ann_ette
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Hild Bede will be knocked down at the end of next year!
(Original post by phoebeg76)
Hi! I'm in my third year at Durham right now, and although I'm not at Hild Bede (I'm St. Aidan's) I have quite a few friends at that college!
It's definitely one of the biggest colleges, so that's something that can either be a positive or a negative depending on your own personal opinions. I think it's good, it gives you a chance to meet a lot of people right from the start of your time at uni and means you'll definitely find people you click with! Everyone I know from Hild Bede is really nice.
It's the only college with its own cinema - there's a Hild Bede film society that puts on films (like new ones that are in cinemas, not just anything on netflix) either once a week or once a month (I don't know off the top of my head) which are free for members of the society and very cheap for non-members to attend.
It also has the biggest college gym (I think, maybe tied with Collingwood), and probably has the most space of any of the college's to just hang out.
It's also at a beautiful location. It's right by the river with its boat house actually at the college site.
I know you've probably heard that its "really far away from everything", but that's just not true. This is Durham, where absolutely nothing is more than a 30 minute walk away from where ever you are in the city. Honestly. Yes, it's further from town than the Bailey colleges and further from the Science Site than the Hill colleges, but it's closer to town than the Hill colleges and probably closer to the Science site than a few of the Bailey ones, so it's really not that bad.
I'd definitely recommend coming to a post offer day if you can, it really is the best way for you to get a feel for the college before you choose to firm Durham. No stats or current student's telling you their opinions will change how the college works for you. The post offer day is a really good opportunity to ask any questions you have and to see if you feel at home at the college.
If you do have any more questions, do let me know!
x
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mamamia214
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oh boy, i saw one of your posts in another thread that i can't remember rn talking about hild bede - is it really that bad? i ask because i got allocated to it and i wasn't very happy with it, but i'm trying to prepare myself for it!!
(Original post by Ann_ette)
Hild Bede will be knocked down at the end of next year!
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random_matt
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(Original post by mamamia214)
oh boy, i saw one of your posts in another thread that i can't remember rn talking about hild bede - is it really that bad? i ask because i got allocated to it and i wasn't very happy with it, but i'm trying to prepare myself for it!!
They have a new site in 2020, to accommodate 50% of students. They do not need all of them now.
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mamamia214
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but is hild bede really that bad? and are they going to completely knock down the buildings or just do large scale renovations? because the exterior of the buildings seem nice, so it'd be a shame if they are completely replaced with more modern buildings that are also likely to be not as pretty
(Original post by random_matt)
They have a new site in 2020, to accommodate 50% of students. They do not need all of them now.
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random_matt
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(Original post by mamamia214)
but is hild bede really that bad? and are they going to completely knock down the buildings or just do large scale renovations? because the exterior of the buildings seem nice, so it'd be a shame if they are completely replaced with more modern buildings that are also likely to be not as pretty
Unless someone provides an article or what not saying it is being knocked down, then it probably is not. I do not believe someone would destroy that old building. I myself have not been there, however, it looks nice.
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mamamia214
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you're probably right, i should look around to confirm that first but it would be really sad if they would actually knock it down because it is really nice in the exterior. thanks anyways!!
(Original post by random_matt)
Unless someone provides an article or what not saying it is being knocked down, then it probably is not. I do not believe someone would destroy that old building. I myself have not been there, however, it looks nice.
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Anonymous #1
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Also a Durham offer holder here. I've been following some Durham student pages and seeing quite a lot of complaints surrounding new changes to the college system, centralising more of the organisations or something. If any Durham students can comment on this that would be great

Also, I've seen lots of complaints about the Law department on Durfess. OP might want to try and find out about that - I've not applied for law so I didn't really look into it.
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