Exeter Uni vs Durham Uni - really stuck? Watch

OllieWilliams16
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So I'm looking to study BA Geography but cannot choose between Exeter and Durham. Firstly, one of the biggest reasons for me swaying towards Exeter, is because I need to get AAB instead of A*AA for Durham, which I'm not remotely confident that I'll get.

I personally really liked Exeter as a uni when I went to visit, but I've read a couple of posts etc. saying that it is very deceiving and isn't what it seems to be. I also feel Durham will be full of obnoxious Oxbridge rejects (without being rude, despite the fact I am also an Oxbridge reject), which just aren't the type of people I wanna be around tbh, however Exeter may be similar idk.

Durham also seems pretty dull in terms of a place, but can't really be sure as I haven't been. Also debating whether it is worth going to see Durham as it is very far (I live near London). Which leads to another problem being that Durham is a good 6+ hr drive from home, compared to around 3hrs for Exeter.

In terms of the courses they are pretty similar, but I do really like the Exeter one.

Although I feel as if Durham is generally regarded as a much more prestigious uni and is a level above Exeter.

But yeah would be nice to hear from anyone in a similar predicament or anyone who studies at either Uni.

Thanks haha
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Isinglass
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(Posted reply, but now original post disappeared - ?)
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OllieWilliams16
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(Original post by Isinglass)
(Posted reply, but now original post disappeared - ?)
It's still there for me but I didn't get to see your reply
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JohanGRK
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ChemistryGuy1998 should be able to help
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ChemistryGuy1998
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
ChemistryGuy1998 should be able to help
What a laughable comparison
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Isinglass
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There are 'Walk and Talk' offer holder days at Durham on Tuesday and Wednesday, if you could get to one of those? (Still can't see your original post, but I think you said you hadn't visoted Durham?).
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Isinglass
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(Okay, so this is really weird - now I can see the original post again as #1, rather than my own as #1, making no sense at all. Is it full moon, or something?).

So, you liked Exeter when you visited and the offer from there is a safer bet (you are obviously not one of the Durham Geography applicants who are being wooed with reduced offers for firming the university:-( ).

One of the main 'deceptions' practised by Exeter, according to another thread, appears to be that Exeter, which the OP firmed without visiting, failed to mention that it wasn't exactly like Nottingham, which they had. Something pretty blindingly obvious to those of us who have spent even a short time in both cities. But you have seen Exeter - and presumably at least think that you could learn to love it for 3 years, even if you don't know how Exeter as a place compares with Durham (or any other random city or university you haven't visited). Aside from how the course appears on paper, which must have had something going for it, since you applied for it without having visited the university or city?

If the course at Durham attracts you enough to make you think it might be worth having a go at meeting the higher entry requirements, then I would strongly recommend trying to visit before making the decision, so that you have equal information about each place. If what you already know about Exeter attracts you, then perhaps go with Exeter. You will find people you don't particularly fancy being friends with everywhere you go, but they won't be 'everyone' anywhere.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by OllieWilliams16)
So I'm looking to study BA Geography but cannot choose between Exeter and Durham. Firstly, one of the biggest reasons for me swaying towards Exeter, is because I need to get AAB instead of A*AA for Durham, which I'm not remotely confident that I'll get.

I personally really liked Exeter as a uni when I went to visit, but I've read a couple of posts etc. saying that it is very deceiving and isn't what it seems to be. I also feel Durham will be full of obnoxious Oxbridge rejects (without being rude, despite the fact I am also an Oxbridge reject), which just aren't the type of people I wanna be around tbh, however Exeter may be similar idk.

Durham also seems pretty dull in terms of a place, but can't really be sure as I haven't been. Also debating whether it is worth going to see Durham as it is very far (I live near London). Which leads to another problem being that Durham is a good 6+ hr drive from home, compared to around 3hrs for Exeter.

In terms of the courses they are pretty similar, but I do really like the Exeter one.

Although I feel as if Durham is generally regarded as a much more prestigious uni and is a level above Exeter.

But yeah would be nice to hear from anyone in a similar predicament or anyone who studies at either Uni.

Thanks haha
The Geography course at Exeter is amazing [I know several students studying it there] - it's a great city and not too far from the sea and sand
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OllieWilliams16
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(Original post by Isinglass)
(Okay, so this is really weird - now I can see the original post again as #1, rather than my own as #1, making no sense at all. Is it full moon, or something?).

So, you liked Exeter when you visited and the offer from there is a safer bet (you are obviously not one of the Durham Geography applicants who are being wooed with reduced offers for firming the university:-( ).

One of the main 'deceptions' practised by Exeter, according to another thread, appears to be that Exeter, which the OP firmed without visiting, failed to mention that it wasn't exactly like Nottingham, which they had. Something pretty blindingly obvious to those of us who have spent even a short time in both cities. But you have seen Exeter - and presumably at least think that you could learn to love it for 3 years, even if you don't know how Exeter as a place compares with Durham (or any other random city or university you haven't visited). Aside from how the course appears on paper, which must have had something going for it, since you applied for it without having visited the university or city?

If the course at Durham attracts you enough to make you think it might be worth having a go at meeting the higher entry requirements, then I would strongly recommend trying to visit before making the decision, so that you have equal information about each place. If what you already know about Exeter attracts you, then perhaps go with Exeter. You will find people you don't particularly fancy being friends with everywhere you go, but they won't be 'everyone' anywhere.
Thanks that definitely helped and I literally applied to Durham based off of its reputation and rankings tbh haha and yeah I'm going to try go and have a look at it
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OllieWilliams16
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(Original post by ChemistryGuy1998)
What a laughable comparison
explain...
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phoebeg76
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(Original post by OllieWilliams16)
Thanks that definitely helped and I literally applied to Durham based off of its reputation and rankings tbh haha and yeah I'm going to try go and have a look at it
When I was applying to uni I really struggled with the same decision! Although mine was for a Natural Sciences course, I also was very torn between Exeter and Durham. I'd visited both and originally preferred Exeter - I liked the campus and the area and the accommodation - but I was still considering Durham for the reputation. In the end, I went to both post offer days and the course at Exeter worried me (it was a brand new course with no grads yet, so I didnt really know what I could expect when I graduated), whilst the course at Durham seemed better to me. I also had a weird experience where I was looking around the college I was allocated to in Durham and I walked in expecting to not like it (because it wasn't as new as a lot of the accommodation at Exeter, and there was a chance I'd have to share a room), but as soon as I looked round I could really see myself living there which I hadn't experienced anywhere else.
I also had teachers at school who had studied Durham and they all had a chat with me and said that they think Exeter is a good uni, but they knew me and they thought I'd really love the college system at Durham and that I would overall prefer it there.
So I ended up choosing Durham, and I'm now coming to the end of my final year here.
I personally have loved my time at Durham. I'm not going to tell you to choose Durham over Exeter because its a personal choice and a personal preference, but if you want to ask me anything about Durham then send me a message and I'd be happy to help!
Either way, I'd 100% recommend at least going to have a look around Durham, because its a lovely city and I don't think you can get a real feel of a uni until you've seen it in person!

(edit: oh also, I hadn't applied to Oxbridge and I was worried about being surrounded by bitter, posh, Oxbridge rejects and whilst a lot of people here did apply to Oxbridge, a lot didn't. Also, people might bond over Oxbridge rejection and use traumatising interview experiences as a conversation starter in fresher's week, but once you actually get to know people you very rarely even think about it. It's not as bad as you would expect haha)
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artful_lounger
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Which campus will you be studying on? I've heard very positive things about the Cornwall campus in general and from friends specifically studying geography there, so that may be favourable. The main campus is...not that. The people I know who studied at Durham liked it (including one who did geography) but they did make a point of involving themselves in what there was to offer there; they got very into the clubs and societies at their respective colleges, one joined the rowing team and was very into that etc.

Aside from that, if you like the Durham course and the university itself and your only reservation is you think you won't get the grades, that is no reason not to put it as your firm choice. That is all the reason to put it as your firm, and another university you also like very much with lower grade requirements as your insurance. This is the point of the system, so if you miss the grades for your firm choice then you still have somewhere to go.

If you're driving to Exeter from London, I guarantee it will take more than three hours. It'll be closer to four, even without traffic/road closures/etc - which there is often a lot of down that way (especially the latter around winter/spring breaks as Somerset way floods a lot around then). By train it's about 3 hours if you're going Waterloo->Central or 2 and a half if you're going Paddington->St Davids though. I recommend the latter line, as the former tends to be pretty busy up until Salisbury usually (although then you are on the top end of town nearer the uni; good if your halls are on/near campus, less convenient if you live in the centre or on the other side of town).
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ChemistryGuy1998
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(Original post by OllieWilliams16)
explain...
There’s a massive difference in reputation of the universities you’re comparing. Firm Durham and I sure Exeter I don’t see what the problem is here it’s an easy choice.
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OllieWilliams16
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Which campus will you be studying on? I've heard very positive things about the Cornwall campus in general and from friends specifically studying geography there, so that may be favourable. The main campus is...not that. The people I know who studied at Durham liked it (including one who did geography) but they did make a point of involving themselves in what there was to offer there; they got very into the clubs and societies at their respective colleges, one joined the rowing team and was very into that etc.

Aside from that, if you like the Durham course and the university itself and your only reservation is you think you won't get the grades, that is no reason not to put it as your firm choice. That is all the reason to put it as your firm, and another university you also like very much with lower grade requirements as your insurance. This is the point of the system, so if you miss the grades for your firm choice then you still have somewhere to go.

If you're driving to Exeter from London, I guarantee it will take more than three hours. It'll be closer to four, even without traffic/road closures/etc - which there is often a lot of down that way (especially the latter around winter/spring breaks as Somerset way floods a lot around then). By train it's about 3 hours if you're going Waterloo->Central or 2 and a half if you're going Paddington->St Davids though. I recommend the latter line, as the former tends to be pretty busy up until Salisbury usually (although then you are on the top end of town nearer the uni; good if your halls are on/near campus, less convenient if you live in the centre or on the other side of town).
The main campus.. why do you say it's not that.

Yeah very true about the grades but then again if I don't firm Exeter then the grades go up to AAA, probably should've mentioned that.

3 hours was just a rough estimate as well just to give people and idea of where I live (I actually live about 45mins of London hahaha)

But thanks for the help
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OllieWilliams16
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(Original post by ChemistryGuy1998)
There’s a massive difference in reputation of the universities you’re comparing. Firm Durham and I sure Exeter I don’t see what the problem is here it’s an easy choice.
yeah i know but you don't choose a uni solely based off reputation, hence the other points i made
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Muttley79
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
If you're driving to Exeter from London, I guarantee it will take more than three hours. It'll be closer to four, even without traffic/road closures/etc - which there is often a lot of down that way (especially the latter around winter/spring breaks as Somerset way floods a lot around then). By train it's about 3 hours if you're going Waterloo->Central or 2 and a half if you're going Paddington->St Davids though. I recommend the latter line, as the former tends to be pretty busy up until Salisbury usually (although then you are on the top end of town nearer the uni; good if your halls are on/near campus, less convenient if you live in the centre or on the other side of town).
I am pro-Exeter and I think you need to own up to your bias against Exeter, you've posted about it enough ... three hours is quite normal from London. Much quicker than a trip by road or rail to Durham!

The line from Paddington is the better choice, I agree, I think you exaggerate the issues with flooding.

Geography is well-regarded at Exeter [main campus] ...
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Muttley79
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(Original post by OllieWilliams16)
yeah i know but you don't choose a uni solely based off reputation, hence the other points i made
I really don't agree that Durham is 'ahead' of Exeter .. go where you will be happier as you will work harder
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by OllieWilliams16)
The main campus.. why do you say it's not that.

Yeah very true about the grades but then again if I don't firm Exeter then the grades go up to AAA, probably should've mentioned that.

3 hours was just a rough estimate as well just to give people and idea of where I live (I actually live about 45mins of London hahaha)

But thanks for the help
Exeter is usually extremely flexible with "near" (or in fact often quite far) misses on results day. If you wouldn't put Exeter as your firm if they weren't giving you a lower grade offer, you absolutely shouldn't just because they are making you a lower grade offer. This is the kind of behaviour universities are currently under investigation for as it may in fact be classified as a form of pressure selling.

Your reasons for considering Exeter seem to be a) it's closer (either way, the trip is likely to be something of an ordeal) b) they have made you a "x if firm" offer to try and pressure you into firming them, and c) you think there's more to do in Exeter as a city (Exeter is extremely small and quiet compared to London. Every single person I knew who came to Exeter from London hated that aspect of it, things closing at 5-6pm every day and at 4pm on Sundays, no 24 convenience stores, few clubs/bars etc). You may want to reflect on the fact that none of these things have anything to do with the actual course itself you'll be studying, and several may not even be accurate anyway...

Exeter is on the whole held up by the reputation of better departments and by extremely effective marketing tactics for the main campus. Their track record in supporting students is also rather patchy at best. The Cornwall campus on the other hand is well known for it's strong environmentally oriented courses in geography, earth sciences, renewable energy and mining engineering etc, which is why I asked.

(Original post by Muttley79)
...
As I can tell only one of us had the misfortune of studying there, so I think I'm rather better qualified to pass judgement on it, hmm?
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Muttley79
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So knowing hundreds of people - peers at school and ex-students who have studied and are actually still studying there does not count for anything? I've visited there numerous times and Exeter has got far more to do than Durham has - how on earth can you compare the journeys from London as both 'tedious'.
I know you were unhappy there and I think you need to state that so people can judge your comments in context
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Arisapo
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Having read everything, you’ve said, it seems a relatively easy decision and I’d go with Exeter.

You say you find Durham dull, it’s too far away from home and you’re concerned you won’t meet the offer and the only reason you’re considering it is because of reputation and prestige. Trust me, no employer will care if you’ve studied geography at either Durham or Exeter. They’re both very good and there’s a negligible difference between the two that it shouldn’t really factor into your decision. If you were choosing between Durham and Swansea or something, I’d understand, but it’s Exeter which is also very good.

As for the people and the “Oxbridge rejects” tab, you’re likely to find these types of people at both unis as they’re both full of middle-class, privileged students. I’m sure you’ll be able to find people you’d like at both unis however.

You prefer the course at Exeter, the grades alleviate some of the A Level pressure, it’s closer to home and it’s also a very pretty campus.

The only reason you’re thinking of Durham is because it’s more prestigious; even if it is, it’s not enough that it makes a difference in the real world.

Pick Exeter.
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