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LSE vs Durham for law

So I've pretty made my mind up (I won't say which uni I've 'almost' decided on) but I just want to see if anyone has any advice that I haven't yet considered. I've got offers to study law at Durham & LSE this coming year and I haven't yet firmed one of them.

Although I applied for collingwood, I got allocated to Van Mildert, which I am still happy with as it has good accommodation, it's sporty and it's a hill college (which is important to me). Haven't thought about London accommodation yet but I'm worried if I went to LSE I wouldn't have a good social life and it might lack the 'uni experience' which is something I want. I'm sure I'd have this at Durham, the only thing holding me back is the prestige that LSE has, especially internationally. That being said, I'm aware that Durham is also a very good uni, just not as prestigious as LSE.

Any thoughts will be appreciated :smile:

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It sounds like you definitely prefer what Durham has to offer, so that should be your firm.

Durham still has a very good reputation in the UK. If you're studying law, you're most likely to work in the country where you're familiar with the legal system, so I wouldn't worry too much about the international reputation.

Living in London may give you better access to work experience and studentships, though.
I am in the exact same boat with an offer for Law at Van Mildert Durham and an offer from LSE. The cost of London and the atomised nature of LSE definitely has slightly put me off. I am going to call LSE and ask what exactly happens if I put them as my insurance and whether I could still go there if I change my mind, as long as I meet the grades. I deep down know that LSE is a better uni but a barrister I shadowed said that in terms of employability, a first is what is needed regardless of the uni. With that being said, LSE is far harsher than Durham, in terms of marking, and as a result far fewer students end up with a 1st. I also think the competitive and intense nature of LSE might affect my academic performance in the long term. Great to hear your thoughts too
Original post by callywoo227
I am in the exact same boat with an offer for Law at Van Mildert Durham and an offer from LSE. The cost of London and the atomised nature of LSE definitely has slightly put me off. I am going to call LSE and ask what exactly happens if I put them as my insurance and whether I could still go there if I change my mind, as long as I meet the grades. I deep down know that LSE is a better uni but a barrister I shadowed said that in terms of employability, a first is what is needed regardless of the uni. With that being said, LSE is far harsher than Durham, in terms of marking, and as a result far fewer students end up with a 1st. I also think the competitive and intense nature of LSE might affect my academic performance in the long term. Great to hear your thoughts too


Hi,

If you put LSE down as your insurance, you can swap your choices up until the UCAS change of mind deadline in July- provided both unis agree (but it's unlikely that they won't agree).

On results day, if you get into your firm choice, your insurance disappears, and you don't get to choose. It's unlikely you'd be able to switch to LSE at this stage, as it's likely all their spaces would be filled by applicants who had firmed them- You'd essentially be starting a fresh application through clearing, and LSE would have no obligation to give you a place.

I hope this helps a bit.
Reply 4
Yeah, nice to see someone who's been allocated to Van Mildert, was it your preference or nah? Yeah, I agree with you, I think the intense pressure may actually negate my academic performance.
Original post by callywoo227
I am in the exact same boat with an offer for Law at Van Mildert Durham and an offer from LSE. The cost of London and the atomised nature of LSE definitely has slightly put me off. I am going to call LSE and ask what exactly happens if I put them as my insurance and whether I could still go there if I change my mind, as long as I meet the grades. I deep down know that LSE is a better uni but a barrister I shadowed said that in terms of employability, a first is what is needed regardless of the uni. With that being said, LSE is far harsher than Durham, in terms of marking, and as a result far fewer students end up with a 1st. I also think the competitive and intense nature of LSE might affect my academic performance in the long term. Great to hear your thoughts too
Reply 5
Yeah LSE is definitely more internationally reputable and I agree that it has the edge academically. I'm choosing Durham instead not for academic reasons, but for social reasons :smile:
No applied Castle, but went to the offer holder day and fell in love with the college environment. As the proverbial "state school college" it certainly felt very social and inclusive which certainly contrasts the stories at LSE of students sabotaging each other for intern positions. However, it lacked the culture and aesthetics of say Castle, or the Oxbridge colleges, and while may be friendlier, I did feel slightly more "wowed" by LSE. Hard decisions to make
Original post by idk01
Yeah, nice to see someone who's been allocated to Van Mildert, was it your preference or nah? Yeah, I agree with you, I think the intense pressure may actually negate my academic performance.
Thank you for letting me know. This is certainly reassuring. Definitely still need time to decide between the intense academic nature of LSE to the friendlier but slightly less reputable nature of Durham.

Original post by SarcAndSpark
Hi,

If you put LSE down as your insurance, you can swap your choices up until the UCAS change of mind deadline in July- provided both unis agree (but it's unlikely that they won't agree).

On results day, if you get into your firm choice, your insurance disappears, and you don't get to choose. It's unlikely you'd be able to switch to LSE at this stage, as it's likely all their spaces would be filled by applicants who had firmed them- You'd essentially be starting a fresh application through clearing, and LSE would have no obligation to give you a place.

I hope this helps a bit.
Original post by callywoo227
Thank you for letting me know. This is certainly reassuring. Definitely still need time to decide between the intense academic nature of LSE to the friendlier but slightly less reputable nature of Durham.


I wouldn't describe Durham as not being reputable. I accept that LSE obviously has a world class reputation, but Durham is also a good uni and has a strong reputation in the UK.
I feel as though Durham for Law is equally as reputable, with it only being behind Oxford and Cambridge in terms of employment in magic circle firms, but as someone who is doing science and maths alevels I could see the benefit of LSE's contacts for banking etc. Just polar opposite places so it is just a very hard decision to make
Original post by SarcAndSpark
I wouldn't describe Durham as not being reputable. I accept that LSE obviously has a world class reputation, but Durham is also a good uni and has a strong reputation in the UK.
How long ago were you a student there? And did you really dislike your time at LSE? From what I have heard, you can have a great social life at LSE if you have the money to go to Fabric every week and make friends/join societies from other unis but that will almost certainly ensure u sacrificing good grades.
I also felt that at LSE, the stereotypical type of individual was the polar opposite to Durham's stereotypical student, with a very strong focus on social policy with lectures like "the private school problem" denouncing anyone from an upper class background.
(edited 4 years ago)
Original post by callywoo227
I feel as though Durham for Law is equally as reputable, with it only being behind Oxford and Cambridge in terms of employment in magic circle firms, but as someone who is doing science and maths alevels I could see the benefit of LSE's contacts for banking etc. Just polar opposite places so it is just a very hard decision to make


I agree they are very different places- surely one of them must appeal to you more than the other, though?
Durham is where I want to live, LSE where I want to study. Really just need to decide which is more important
Original post by SarcAndSpark
I agree they are very different places- surely one of them must appeal to you more than the other, though?
Original post by callywoo227
Durham is where I want to live, LSE where I want to study. Really just need to decide which is more important


That's quite tough.

I guess it comes down to what's more important then- having a great student experience or having a uni that you think will give you the very best opportunities.

Where do you think you'd be happiest?
I think I know I'll be happy at Durham as I have met so many nice people at my college and know a lot of people going to Durham and Newcastle. I feel as though, as a very social person I could survive LSE, and sure I could mingle my way through UCL etc - but it is just a much bigger risk and I know no one else going to LSE. Equally, I would feel a little guilty for choosing a uni just for the social life, especially if I'm turning down a uni in the top 10 globally.
Original post by SarcAndSpark
That's quite tough.

I guess it comes down to what's more important then- having a great student experience or having a uni that you think will give you the very best opportunities.

Where do you think you'd be happiest?
Original post by callywoo227
I think I know I'll be happy at Durham as I have met so many nice people at my college and know a lot of people going to Durham and Newcastle. I feel as though, as a very social person I could survive LSE, and sure I could mingle my way through UCL etc - but it is just a much bigger risk and I know no one else going to LSE. Equally, I would feel a little guilty for choosing a uni just for the social life, especially if I'm turning down a uni in the top 10 globally.


I wouldn't say that not knowing anyone going to the same uni is a problem- most people are honestly in this boat.

London is great and the London unis can still offer a great social life. It is obviously very different to the college based social life at unis like Durham, but that can have its own issues too.

However, equally there are no guarantees in life and you can never know what will happen after graduation, so IMO it's best to choose a uni that will make you happy.
Most people at Durham didn't attend private school. It's around 37% who did; LSE is around 32%.

You probably simply met a few bad eggs.
Original post by callywoo227
I am in the exact same boat with an offer for Law at Van Mildert Durham and an offer from LSE. The cost of London and the atomised nature of LSE definitely has slightly put me off. I am going to call LSE and ask what exactly happens if I put them as my insurance and whether I could still go there if I change my mind, as long as I meet the grades. I deep down know that LSE is a better uni but a barrister I shadowed said that in terms of employability, a first is what is needed regardless of the uni. With that being said, LSE is far harsher than Durham, in terms of marking, and as a result far fewer students end up with a 1st. I also think the competitive and intense nature of LSE might affect my academic performance in the long term. Great to hear your thoughts too


I wouldn’t even say LSE is necessarily a better uni, or not big enough that it makes a significant difference unless you want to work abroad or something.

From what you’ve said, I’d pick Durham. It’s still first-class and a degree, not even a first, from there will put you in great stead so long as you have other elements to your application.

Honestly can’t think of anywhere worse to study than LSE; it sounds soul crushing. A lack of a social life, atmosphere and quiet, nerdy students.

That might be your thing though.
Reply 18
Thanks for the advice everyone, just so you know, although I'm yet to do it, I am going to firm Durham (kinda knew that when I made this thread lol). Anyways, thanks :smile:
Will likely do the same tbh. Might see you at Van Wildert in October.
Original post by idk01
Thanks for the advice everyone, just so you know, although I'm yet to do it, I am going to firm Durham (kinda knew that when I made this thread lol). Anyways, thanks :smile:

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