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Exeter vs Durham

Hi, I am applying for History and Economics, I have already received an offer from Exeter, but I am currently waiting on Durham. If I do get an offer, I am currently struggling to decide between the two! I prefer Exeter as a university but I have visited it more, and I know people who have loved Durham. Could anyone help?
A bit more context:
- I attend a top private school and I am an academic scholar, so as Durham is regarded as more prestigious I am not sure if going to Exeter would be doing myself a disservice
- Exeter is closer to me, and I like the campus aspect, self-catering is also important to me
- I am a bit concerned that Durham is quite small, and as I already go to a boarding school, I don't want uni/ the college aspects of Durham to feel like a boarding school again
-I like both courses, but Exeter's does seem a bit more flexible
So I don't have much knowledge on both those schools but I can try to help your decision. First of all, you have to think which uni is going to grant you better opportunities. You mentioned that Durham is regarded as more prestigious. Obviously, an employer will prefer someone that went to a top school compared to other schools. This might be a big aspect, so do reflect upon it. Moving on to travel distance. If Exeter is closer, that might be more handy (obviously), you just have to consider if the time you use to travel will be worth it. There's no way to fully understand if it's worth it, I recommend asking people their personal experience of their uni. If size is a big concern then obviously Exeter is the right choice, + the fact that it seems more flexible is quite good. Durham might be small, but I'm sure it has a great personality. As a final choice, I recommend making a table with two titles, Exeter and Durham and then just write what each offers and what you like about them. Whichever has the most lines wins. Don't look back after making a decision, it'll hurt more.
Original post by studentuser2022
Hi, I am applying for History and Economics, I have already received an offer from Exeter, but I am currently waiting on Durham. If I do get an offer, I am currently struggling to decide between the two! I prefer Exeter as a university but I have visited it more, and I know people who have loved Durham. Could anyone help?
A bit more context:
- I attend a top private school and I am an academic scholar, so as Durham is regarded as more prestigious I am not sure if going to Exeter would be doing myself a disservice
- Exeter is closer to me, and I like the campus aspect, self-catering is also important to me
- I am a bit concerned that Durham is quite small, and as I already go to a boarding school, I don't want uni/ the college aspects of Durham to feel like a boarding school again
-I like both courses, but Exeter's does seem a bit more flexible

It is interesting that you have chosen these two universities as both are particularly popular with students from private schools. They are almost equally highly regarded for Economics and History and you would not be doing yourself a disservice if you chose Exeter. Assuming you do get an offer from Durham, my advice would be to visit both cities if you possibly can and spend some time looking at the Exeter campuses and the Durham colleges. As well as considering any difference in course structure and assessment methods, it's worth pondering how it might feel to live in and around each university, with particular regard - in the case of Durham - to any preferred college you had in mind and its location in relation to the buildings where teaching takes place for your chosen subjects.

It struck a chord with me when you said, "... as I already go to a boarding school, I don't want uni/ the college aspects of Durham to feel like a boarding school again". That's exactly how I felt, many years ago, when I chose Warwick for my undergraduate studies! Years later, I did a short postgraduate course at Durham, based at Hatfield College. Yes, it had something of that boarding school feel about it but I actually loved the place! I have often called Durham the 'Harry Potter version of Oxford' and I think that just about sums it up.

So, give them both a good look, talk to some of the current students and then make up your mind. At the end of the day, these are two excellent universities and you will prosper best where the course suits you and where you most feel at home.
Original post by studentuser2022
Hi, I am applying for History and Economics, I have already received an offer from Exeter, but I am currently waiting on Durham. If I do get an offer, I am currently struggling to decide between the two! I prefer Exeter as a university but I have visited it more, and I know people who have loved Durham. Could anyone help?
A bit more context:
- I attend a top private school and I am an academic scholar, so as Durham is regarded as more prestigious I am not sure if going to Exeter would be doing myself a disservice
- Exeter is closer to me, and I like the campus aspect, self-catering is also important to me
- I am a bit concerned that Durham is quite small, and as I already go to a boarding school, I don't want uni/ the college aspects of Durham to feel like a boarding school again
-I like both courses, but Exeter's does seem a bit more flexible


Hi @studentuser2022,

Exciting that you're thinking of Durham University. I went through a similar decision and I ended up studying History at Durham. In terms of the History department, it's extremely exceptional with scholars specializing on a range of topics and they're always listening to students to expand module topics. In the first year you get to pick your 5 modules, in the second year it becomes 4 and in the third year it becomes 2.

When looking at the university, I was apphrensive about choosing it as it was so far from home but it did push me to stay at university more and acclimatise. It also gave me the chance to live in a city that was completely different to where I was from. I also found self-catering extremely important so I chose a college that was self-catered with good kitchen facilities. I understand you may be apprehensive of how small Durham is but it's very easy to find your own spaces inside of college and outside of college. You only live in college for the first year so you can tailor your experience how you like through what societies, sports, activities you engage in.

Definitely, try and visit both universities and speak with more students to see where you'd be more comfortable and where you'd thrive the best :smile:

Hope this was helpful!

-Lamesha (Official DU Rep)

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