Questions for Current Durham Students! x

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madpaddington
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If there are any Durham students out there, Law students in particular, I have a few questions;

1. How many modules do you take per semester?
2. Is your first year schedule created for you or do you get to arrange it yourself?
3. Do exams take place before or after the Easter/Christmas breaks?
4. Is it beneficial to have three semesters instead of two?
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annabelle51
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I have another question! What are the colleges like / what are the stereotypes and are they true/accurate?
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Theobromine
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(Original post by annabelle51)
I have another question! What are the colleges like / what are the stereotypes and are they true/accurate?
I'm not a law student so couldn't answer the original post, but maybe I can help with this one.

The colleges are generally separated into Bailey colleges, located on the Bailey in the town centre and generally older, and more modern Hill colleges South of the river.

In the Bailey colleges, the accommodation is mostly catered and most are shared bathroom and kitchen, but some self-catered and ensuite options are available. The most well known Bailey college is Castle college, where some of the residents actually live in the castle although this isn't guaranteed. Most of the accommodation on the Bailey is townhouses and shared flats, but there are some newer builds too.

The Hill colleges are located south of the river Wear, and are generally more modern, in particular the youngest colleges South, Josephine Butler, Stephenson, and John Snow. Most of the Hill colleges, like the Bailey, are catered and shared bathroom, but the aforementioned newest ones are almost fully ensuite and self-catered. They are somewhat more remote, maybe 15-20 minutes into the town centre, but they are very close to the science site. They do lack some of the 'atmosphere' that the Bailey colleges, especially Castle, have, but the hill colleges have a reputation for being more laid back and spacious, and also the scenery is quite a bit greener.

The Bailey colleges have a reputation for attracting the private school, upper middle-class students (which is not entirely untrue) but that's no hard and fast rule and certainly no indication of their character. As a hill college resident I can't comment on the validity of the reputation but often, with a few exceptions, the Bailey colleges are more in demand (again especially Castle) so there is a somewhat higher chance of being reallocated. Regardless of college there will always be a mix of the upper, middle, and lower classes. If you want to feel like you're in Oxbridge, the Bailey colleges are a decent approximation of that feeling.

The hill colleges, as said before, have a more laid-back reputation (critics would say boring) but some of them are known for their range of societies; Collingwood is 'the sporty college' and Van Mildert and Trevelyan are very musical. Every college has a range of societies, but these are the stand-out ones.
The big price to pay is the longer walks into town for shopping and lectures, if you're a humanities student.

I personally, as a science student, don't have such a long walk and can order food deliveries so the distance isn't a problem.

I'm glossing over a lot of information here and probably have allowed some of my biases in, so I would really recommend that you look on the durham website to investigate the different colleges, and covid-permitting, you should attend an open day and look at as many of the colleges as you can.

If you have any more questions I'd be happy to answer them!
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annabelle51
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(Original post by Theobromine)
I'm not a law student so couldn't answer the original post, but maybe I can help with this one.

The colleges are generally separated into Bailey colleges, located on the Bailey in the town centre and generally older, and more modern Hill colleges South of the river.

In the Bailey colleges, the accommodation is mostly catered and most are shared bathroom and kitchen, but some self-catered and ensuite options are available. The most well known Bailey college is Castle college, where some of the residents actually live in the castle although this isn't guaranteed. Most of the accommodation on the Bailey is townhouses and shared flats, but there are some newer builds too.

The Hill colleges are located south of the river Wear, and are generally more modern, in particular the youngest colleges South, Josephine Butler, Stephenson, and John Snow. Most of the Hill colleges, like the Bailey, are catered and shared bathroom, but the aforementioned newest ones are almost fully ensuite and self-catered. They are somewhat more remote, maybe 15-20 minutes into the town centre, but they are very close to the science site. They do lack some of the 'atmosphere' that the Bailey colleges, especially Castle, have, but the hill colleges have a reputation for being more laid back and spacious, and also the scenery is quite a bit greener.

The Bailey colleges have a reputation for attracting the private school, upper middle-class students (which is not entirely untrue) but that's no hard and fast rule and certainly no indication of their character. As a hill college resident I can't comment on the validity of the reputation but often, with a few exceptions, the Bailey colleges are more in demand (again especially Castle) so there is a somewhat higher chance of being reallocated. Regardless of college there will always be a mix of the upper, middle, and lower classes. If you want to feel like you're in Oxbridge, the Bailey colleges are a decent approximation of that feeling.

The hill colleges, as said before, have a more laid-back reputation (critics would say boring) but some of them are known for their range of societies; Collingwood is 'the sporty college' and Van Mildert and Trevelyan are very musical. Every college has a range of societies, but these are the stand-out ones.
The big price to pay is the longer walks into town for shopping and lectures, if you're a humanities student.

I personally, as a science student, don't have such a long walk and can order food deliveries so the distance isn't a problem.

I'm glossing over a lot of information here and probably have allowed some of my biases in, so I would really recommend that you look on the durham website to investigate the different colleges, and covid-permitting, you should attend an open day and look at as many of the colleges as you can.

If you have any more questions I'd be happy to answer them!
THANK YOU SO MUCH this was so helpful!! I applied to Castle when I did my UCAS last month but now I am really worried and kinda regret it - I really want to be in one of the Bailey colleges as they are closer to my subject building and am worried that I am going to be pooled to another college if I get an offer. If this did happen, would I be able to change my college once I got there?
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Theobromine
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(Original post by annabelle51)
THANK YOU SO MUCH this was so helpful!! I applied to Castle when I did my UCAS last month but now I am really worried and kinda regret it - I really want to be in one of the Bailey colleges as they are closer to my subject building and am worried that I am going to be pooled to another college if I get an offer. If this did happen, would I be able to change my college once I got there?
Hmm, unfortunately I'm not sure.
To my knowledge, you can contact them to ask for a change in college, but only if they haven't made you an offer yet, so by the sounds of it you may be able to change.
College allocations usually don't happen until February so I assume that you can still ask for it to be changed. However I'm not sure what their policy on allowing college reallocation is so i would think it best to check. It would be best to look online to find out and if in doubt try contacting their admissions department.

Hope this helped.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by annabelle51)
THANK YOU SO MUCH this was so helpful!! I applied to Castle when I did my UCAS last month but now I am really worried and kinda regret it - I really want to be in one of the Bailey colleges as they are closer to my subject building and am worried that I am going to be pooled to another college if I get an offer. If this did happen, would I be able to change my college once I got there?
Hi I'm a history student who originally applied to one of the Baily colleges (for the same reason as you) and ended up and Josephine Butler (one of the hill colleges). I don't think you can ask them to change your college after it's been allocated, but I can honestly say that the walk seems A LOT worse on paper than it is in reality. Chances are you'll be somewhat far out for second and third year anyway. Most people end up falling in love with their college wherever they end up.

Good luck on your application!
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Anonymous #2
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You can request to change college preference at any point before allocation you just need to email admissions, however once allocated a college you cannot change except on medical grounds.
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