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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Choosing Durham

I sometimes see posts on TSR that say lots of top students go to Durham, and that some of them claim to be the best in their school year etc. But if that was the case, then why would they have settled for Durham in the first place? Isn't it a case of the student being too good for this university? Wouldn't an Ivy League, London, Edinburgh or other leading European university be of greater value for the academic credentials? Durham is a great uni, but not A*A*A - A*A*A*A* good!

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Original post by Anonymous
I sometimes see posts on TSR that say lots of top students go to Durham, and that some of them claim to be the best in their school year etc. But if that was the case, then why would they have settled for Durham in the first place? Isn't it a case of the student being too good for this university? Wouldn't an Ivy League, London, Edinburgh or other leading European university be of greater value for the academic credentials? Durham is a great uni, but not A*A*A - A*A*A*A* good!


Many qualified students are rejected from the top unis like Oxbridge, London, Edinburgh etc. as a result, those students have to go to other universities.

it is also unfair that some people underrate unis like Durham. It is a decent uni and one of the top unis in the country.
Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Original post by Wired_1800
Many qualified students are rejected from the top unis like Oxbridge, London, Edinburgh etc. as a result, those students have to go to other universities.

it is also unfair that some people underrate unis like Durham. It is a decent uni and one of the top unis in the country.


I said Durham was a great uni, just like Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Bath, and many others.
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
I said Durham was a great uni, just like Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Bath, and many others.


I think many people in the UK would rate Durham above the other universities you've mentioned. It does seem to be the second choice ( after Oxbridge) for a lot of applicants.
Original post by Debs25
I think many people in the UK would rate Durham above the other universities you've mentioned. It does seem to be the second choice ( after Oxbridge) for a lot of applicants.


But is that for academic reasons, or for other ones? I don't seriously believe Durham has the best academics after Oxbridge for teaching and research, or the best academic facilities.
Original post by Anonymous
I said Durham was a great uni, just like Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Bath, and many others.


I never said you did, but some people underrate Durham or call it the uni for Oxbridge rejects.
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous
But is that for academic reasons, or for other ones? I don't seriously believe Durham has the best academics after Oxbridge for teaching and research, or the best academic facilities.


What makes you think this?
Original post by Wired_1800
I never said you did, but some people underrate Durham or call it the uni for Oxbridge rejects.


I see it the other way, and see many students seriously overrate Durham as the next best after Oxbridge for undergraduate study in the UK.
Original post by dcpr1ce
What makes you think this?


Because Durham is virtually unheard of outside the UK. The best universities would have at least some global recognition outside of their country.
Original post by Anonymous
I see it the other way, and see many students seriously overrate Durham as the next best after Oxbridge for undergraduate study in the UK.

It is up there with other decent unis
Original post by Wired_1800
It is up there with other decent unis


Certainly in the same company as many other Russell Group unis like Exeter.
Original post by Anonymous
But is that for academic reasons, or for other ones? I don't seriously believe Durham has the best academics after Oxbridge for teaching and research, or the best academic facilities.

Many people apply because of its reputation for being one of the next best universities after Oxbridge and because its graduates tend to be highly sought after.

I personally think, like most universities, some courses are better than others. Two of my daughters had offers from Durham - for engineering and Liberal Arts. Neither ended up going as one went to Oxford and the other went to Southampton. The facilities for engineering were very poor at Durham and my husband ( electronics engineer) was not impressed by the course. Southampton's course in electronics engineering and the facilities were far superior to Durham's. The Liberal Arts course though was amazing. My youngest daughter would have gone to Durham if she hadn't got in Oxford.
Original post by Debs25
Many people apply because of its reputation for being one of the next best universities after Oxbridge and because its graduates tend to be highly sought after.


Their graduates are naturally highly sought after because they are amongst the best students in the UK, with our without Durham to their name. Though that isn't the same as having the best academics or best academic buildings and facilities.
Original post by Anonymous
Certainly in the same company as many other Russell Group unis like Exeter.

Durham>>>>>Exeter

You may not rate it but it does not mean that it is not a top uni
Original post by Wired_1800
Durham>>>>>Exeter

You may not rate it but it does not mean that it is not a top uni

Exeter is also a top uni. Why is Durham better than Exeter overall?
Original post by Anonymous
Exeter is also a top uni. Why is Durham better than Exeter overall?

It is a strong reputation and prestige.
Original post by Wired_1800
It is a strong reputation and prestige.


Not across the board of subjects. Prestige is a subjective measure on the value of the university. From what I have seen at Exeter, and at other leading universities, Durham doesn't offer anything different than those universities in terms of value. There is a perception that Durham is more prestigious, but there is nothing of substance to back it up with.
Original post by Anonymous
Not across the board of subjects. Prestige is a subjective measure on the value of the university. From what I have seen at Exeter, and at other leading universities, Durham doesn't offer anything different than those universities in terms of value. There is a perception that Durham is more prestigious, but there is nothing of substance to back it up with.


If prestige is subjective, value is also subjective; how do you measure value? Few universities are strong across all subjects.

It is up to individuals to decide whether they want to study at Durham or Exeter. The Durham debate has been had on TSR so many times with no solution. I’d personally pick Durham over Exeter.
Original post by Anonymous
I sometimes see posts on TSR that say lots of top students go to Durham, and that some of them claim to be the best in their school year etc. But if that was the case, then why would they have settled for Durham in the first place? Isn't it a case of the student being too good for this university? Wouldn't an Ivy League, London, Edinburgh or other leading European university be of greater value for the academic credentials? Durham is a great uni, but not A*A*A - A*A*A*A* good!

Something else to consider is the college set up at Durham. This means two things:
You are part of a smaller community which, curiously enough, means you get to know more people.
There are many college level sports, musical activities, societies etc which means that you can take part in your hobbies without needing to be as committed time wise as would be needed for university level teams, orchestras etc.

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