Gracelizabeth
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Hello people!
I'd like a second opinion, I am thinking about turning down my physics offer at Imperial to go to Durham. Is this a wise idea?
I'm not sure I like the look of life at Imperial due to social and financial reasons, but it is a world class university, especially for physics. I want to go into research/PhD after my MSci, and preferably in Europe. I just think I could be out of my depth living in London, and the high grades are a worry too. On the other hand, Durham is beautiful, quieter and relatively cheap. The university is still a good one, I may have more time to learn languages and study at an easier pace. I'm not sure I will have the same opportunities after graduating though.
Still, I just can't make my mind up as I didn't even expect to get an interview at imperial, nevermind an offer. Maybe 4 more difficult years at Imperial would be worth it in the long run?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
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Anonymous #1
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You might find these threads interesting (although they're a little old):

Imperial vs Durham (Physics)
Imperial vs Durham

I would say that Durham isn't generally considered to be an "easy" place so I would be careful about thinking you'll have more free time there, but I understand that Imperial is quite intense. Both have good reputations which should help your future prospects, although being in London might help you with networking, but that all depends on how you take advantage of opportunities.
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Imperial College London
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(Original post by Gracelizabeth)
Hello people!
I'd like a second opinion, I am thinking about turning down my physics offer at Imperial to go to Durham. Is this a wise idea?
I'm not sure I like the look of life at Imperial due to social and financial reasons, but it is a world class university, especially for physics. I want to go into research/PhD after my MSci, and preferably in Europe. I just think I could be out of my depth living in London, and the high grades are a worry too. On the other hand, Durham is beautiful, quieter and relatively cheap. The university is still a good one, I may have more time to learn languages and study at an easier pace. I'm not sure I will have the same opportunities after graduating though.
Still, I just can't make my mind up as I didn't even expect to get an interview at imperial, nevermind an offer. Maybe 4 more difficult years at Imperial would be worth it in the long run?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
Hi there,

I'm an official Imperial rep. You might find it useful to speak with a current student through our new 'Chat to students' feature: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/chat-to-our-students/

Hope it helps you make your decision.
Lawrence
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s7lt
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Honestly I’d just say go with your heart in terms of which place you can imagine yourself living in. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the quality of teaching, it’s your life for the next 4 years. I had unconditional offers from durham, ucl, king’s and nottingham, and as someone who has been really competitive all my life in terms of education, it was hard to turn them down for royal holloway, but I knew that the actual environment and the general vibe of royal holloway was what I wanted. You could have amazing academic opportunities at imperial, but if you’re not going to enjoy your actual LIFE there? Then your mental health is going to suffer. Durham is an amazing university, if it’s right for you then go for it !!
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Gallstone
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Just make sure you don't break social distancing for a shag.
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Gracelizabeth
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(Original post by s7lt)
Honestly I’d just say go with your heart in terms of which place you can imagine yourself living in. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the quality of teaching, it’s your life for the next 4 years. I had unconditional offers from durham, ucl, king’s and nottingham, and as someone who has been really competitive all my life in terms of education, it was hard to turn them down for royal holloway, but I knew that the actual environment and the general vibe of royal holloway was what I wanted. You could have amazing academic opportunities at imperial, but if you’re not going to enjoy your actual LIFE there? Then your mental health is going to suffer. Durham is an amazing university, if it’s right for you then go for it !!
This is really helpful advice, thank you!
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Gracelizabeth
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(Original post by Imperial College London)
Hi there,

I'm an official Imperial rep. You might find it useful to speak with a current student through our new 'Chat to students' feature: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/chat-to-our-students/

Hope it helps you make your decision.
Lawrence
Thank you I will have a look at this
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Sumi Shanks
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Hi I’m going to imperial this year also. And i think imperial is better for undergrad atleast
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Gracelizabeth)
Hello people!
I'd like a second opinion, I am thinking about turning down my physics offer at Imperial to go to Durham. Is this a wise idea?
I'm not sure I like the look of life at Imperial due to social and financial reasons, but it is a world class university, especially for physics. I want to go into research/PhD after my MSci, and preferably in Europe. I just think I could be out of my depth living in London, and the high grades are a worry too. On the other hand, Durham is beautiful, quieter and relatively cheap. The university is still a good one, I may have more time to learn languages and study at an easier pace. I'm not sure I will have the same opportunities after graduating though.
Still, I just can't make my mind up as I didn't even expect to get an interview at imperial, nevermind an offer. Maybe 4 more difficult years at Imperial would be worth it in the long run?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
These are all perfectly reasonable reasons to choose Durham over Imperial, although as anon says above, I wouldn't regard Durham as being an "easy" alternative to Imperial.
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FortitudeBank
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Durham is well respected in physics but ICL much more reputable in the field I presume. I studied at ICL and there's plenty of opportunity to socialize and have a great social life. ICL vs Durham feels like an "easier" choice than if you told us ICL vs UCL or ICL vs Oxbridge where choosing UCL or Oxbridge over Imperial makes sense, if you get what I mean. Some people turn down Imperial for Durham but it's rare.
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harper_
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(Original post by FortitudeBank)
Durham is well respected in physics but ICL much more reputable in the field I presume. I studied at ICL and there's plenty of opportunity to socialize and have a great social life. ICL vs Durham feels like an "easier" choice than if you told us ICL vs UCL or ICL vs Oxbridge where choosing UCL or Oxbridge over Imperial makes sense, if you get what I mean. Some people turn down Imperial for Durham but it's rare.
I agree - I started physics in Manchester in 2016 and I believe ICL/Oxford/Cambridge was considered the 'golden triangle' with places like UCL, Durham, Warwick, Manchester in the tier below.
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Imperial students
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Hey!

I'm Nitish and I'm a 5th year medic at Imperial

I have a lot of friends who did physics and really enjoyed it, it is hard work but I think the degree won't change too much wherever you you go. (so pick Imperial )
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