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Bath or Durham

I am looking to do a 3 or potentially 4 year straight maths degree. From what I can tell the courses and places seem very similar - does anyone know any major differences between these unis and their maths courses?

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Reply 1
Original post by yellowleaf23
I am looking to do a 3 or potentially 4 year straight maths degree. From what I can tell the courses and places seem very similar - does anyone know any major differences between these unis and their maths courses?

to be honest , maths courses are more or less the same everywhere, but the places definitely aren’t. I’ve never visited Bath personally but I have visited Durham and it is honestly a shockingly small town. The town itself has very little there, you’d definitely struggle with clothes shopping for instance. It felt much more like a retirement town then a student city to be frank. Durham also had us walking through the woods to visit colleges which isn’t my personal cup of tea. Bath from what I understand is a considerably bigger city than Durham. Of course, if you do end up in Durham, you aren’t too far from Newcastle so you can go there for your shopping or a night out, but it’s something to consider
Original post by zoeburr
to be honest , maths courses are more or less the same everywhere, but the places definitely aren’t. I’ve never visited Bath personally but I have visited Durham and it is honestly a shockingly small town. The town itself has very little there, you’d definitely struggle with clothes shopping for instance. It felt much more like a retirement town then a student city to be frank. Durham also had us walking through the woods to visit colleges which isn’t my personal cup of tea. Bath from what I understand is a considerably bigger city than Durham. Of course, if you do end up in Durham, you aren’t too far from Newcastle so you can go there for your shopping or a night out, but it’s something to consider


Not really true that maths courses are more or less the same everywhere, one of the courses that varies most between universities if anything.
Hi, I would definitely agree with going to both places and getting a feel for the cities as well as talking to lecturers about the content further than what websites say. Have you considered Nottingham? One of the differences with UoN's maths course is that they offer 20 credits out of your total 120 in both 2nd and 3rd year as elective modules in other schools in the uni, eg learning french, doing a psychology module, whatever youre interested in!
Reply 4
Original post by mxtt_helm
Not really true that maths courses are more or less the same everywhere, one of the courses that varies most between universities if anything.

What i mean is the core bulk of the degree won’t change. yes, the broader choice of modules you get in different years will be dependent on the institution and the areas that the staff at the university are researching, but that can also change between then time you apply for the course and pick the modules since staff come and go. I think the modules are very similar everywhere, but teaching style is definitely not. For instance, amount of independent vs supported study, or opportunities for a year in industry etc will be very different between different unis, but I presume if the OP was particularly interested in a year in industry for instance, they would of check this is offered at both unis already
Please don’t go to durham. Worst mistake of my life. It’s a university that trades on reputation alone (other less highly ranked unis I’ve attended are far better in every subjective metric imaginable). You will not get a standard Uni experience due to the size of the “city” which is little more than a town. I can’t speak for Bath but then again you may have the same “city” experience
(edited 1 year ago)
1. Not that bothered about the 'city experience', my social skills leave a lot to be desired and I would be perfectly happy with any flavour of social life - if anything I would rather avoid 'party unis' as would feel quite out of place around party people.
2. How does 'teaching style' vary? That's quite a vague term, although I will try to investigate it. (I know Bath is very good for its placement year but am not too fussed about that, and they both offer a year abroad if I want to do that)
3. @The Orchard do you have any reasons to back up that opinion?
Thank you for all the useful contributions!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by zoeburr
to be honest , maths courses are more or less the same everywhere, but the places definitely aren’t. I’ve never visited Bath personally but I have visited Durham and it is honestly a shockingly small town. The town itself has very little there, you’d definitely struggle with clothes shopping for instance. It felt much more like a retirement town then a student city to be frank. Durham also had us walking through the woods to visit colleges which isn’t my personal cup of tea. Bath from what I understand is a considerably bigger city than Durham. Of course, if you do end up in Durham, you aren’t too far from Newcastle so you can go there for your shopping or a night out, but it’s something to consider

Maths courses certainly aren;t the same everywhere! There's a different balance in topics and assessment.
Original post by yellowleaf23
1. Not that bothered about the 'city experience', my social skills leave a lot to be desired and I would be perfectly happy with any flavour of social life - if anything I would rather avoid 'party unis' as would feel quite out of place around party people.
2. How does 'teaching style' vary? That's quite a vague term, although I will try to investigate it. (I know Bath is very good for its placement year but am not too fussed about that, and they both offer a year abroad if I want to do that)
3. @The Orchard do you have any reasons to back up that opinion?
Thank you for all the useful contributions!

Can’t speak for Bath, But for durham teaching style leaves a lot to be desired. As it is Russel group they are more concentrated with their research therefore don’t prioritise teaching undergrads as much as other high ranked non-RG unis. Durham is very much individual learning and I found I NEEDED social skills to form networks with others to work together

Durham societies really depend on which college you’re assigned too. The good sport societies are the uni ones which are competitive to get into. The night life is modest with about 5 clubs. This will not keep you entertained for your degree. Plus locals are not as welcoming to students (even though students help their economy)


Go to durham if you care what other people think of you, but a rational decision would be Bath (an equally good Uni)
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by yellowleaf23
I am looking to do a 3 or potentially 4 year straight maths degree. From what I can tell the courses and places seem very similar - does anyone know any major differences between these unis and their maths courses?


Bath is far better for Maths [I teach Maths]
Original post by The Orchard
Go to Durham trust me


Not for Maths - it's not rated for that at all
Original post by The Orchard
Go to Durham trust me


do you just like to lie to people is that what you do? lie?
Original post by 3Engineer141592
Can’t speak for Bath, But for durham teaching style leaves a lot to be desired. As it is Russel group they are more concentrated with their research therefore don’t prioritise teaching undergrads as much as other high ranked non-RG unis. Durham is very much individual learning and I found I NEEDED social skills to form networks with others to work together

I assume you were a Maths student?

Original post by Muttley79
Bath is far better for Maths [I teach Maths]

What makes you say this? They seem to be very similar in league tables.
Original post by yellowleaf23
I assume you were a Maths student?


What makes you say this? They seem to be very similar in league tables.


League tables are unreliable. I go on what my students and students in other schools say.
Original post by Muttley79
League tables are unreliable. I go on what my students and students in other schools say.

Have they said bad things about Durham / good things about Bath? Can you share any particular things?
Original post by yellowleaf23
I am looking to do a 3 or potentially 4 year straight maths degree. From what I can tell the courses and places seem very similar - does anyone know any major differences between these unis and their maths courses?

I did quite a lot of research into both (although applied to neither) but wrote down my research and have just fished it out to tell you what I know.
- So firstly look into the offers, they’re slightly different, although at both unis it depends on if you do entrance exams and further maths so not as simple as one is just higher than the other.
- Bath only have compulsory modules in first year, where as Durham have compulsory modules in their second year too.
- At Durham everyone does the same modules in first year (Analysis, Linear Algebra, Calculus, Programming, Dynamics and Stats) except the last module which you can either do Discrete Mathematics or take a module from another department.
- At Bath everyone’s first year consists of exactly the same topics: Applied Maths A&B and Pure Maths A&B which will contain Algebra, Reasoning, Linear Algebra, Calculus, Programming, Modelling, and Stats (the knowledge you come away with from first year really shouldn’t differ too much between the unis)
- Durham seem to put a bigger emphasis on independent study. they say you should have 12 hours of lectures, 3 tutorials (with about 12 students) a week, plus 2 hours of optional drip in sessions a week and lecturer hours.
- Bath say to expect 10 hours of lectures a week, 5 tutorials (with 10 students in first year as 15-30 in following years) a week, 5 examples classes a week, 1 computer lab a week, plus they have the ‘MASH’ support service which has drop ins, and you will also get a peer mentor as well as having meetings with your personal tutor.
- In terms of living, Durham have a big tesco and aldi but you will likely be trudging up hills carrying grocery shopping just coz of the nature of the area.
- Durham is home to what is actually rated the worst club in the UK which is kinda funny but honestly the “city” is more like a high street if i’m honest, so be prepared to be travelling to newcastle
- Bath campus is about a 15 minute bus ride to the city which is much larger than Durham with high street clothes shops like primark, urban outfitters, h&m etc which Durham have none of so you’d be in newcastle if you need a new pair of jeans.
- Bath also means living in accommodation on campus in first year, where as Durham would mean living in a college which are in different locations depending on the college
also idk about bath but durham does have a reputation for being very upper class and not very diverse, and i must say, when i visited, i definitely felt that
hope this is helpful
Original post by zoeburr
I did quite a lot of research into both (although applied to neither) but wrote down my research and have just fished it out to tell you what I know.
- So firstly look into the offers, they’re slightly different, although at both unis it depends on if you do entrance exams and further maths so not as simple as one is just higher than the other.
- Bath only have compulsory modules in first year, where as Durham have compulsory modules in their second year too.
- At Durham everyone does the same modules in first year (Analysis, Linear Algebra, Calculus, Programming, Dynamics and Stats) except the last module which you can either do Discrete Mathematics or take a module from another department.
- At Bath everyone’s first year consists of exactly the same topics: Applied Maths A&B and Pure Maths A&B which will contain Algebra, Reasoning, Linear Algebra, Calculus, Programming, Modelling, and Stats (the knowledge you come away with from first year really shouldn’t differ too much between the unis)
- Durham seem to put a bigger emphasis on independent study. they say you should have 12 hours of lectures, 3 tutorials (with about 12 students) a week, plus 2 hours of optional drip in sessions a week and lecturer hours.
- Bath say to expect 10 hours of lectures a week, 5 tutorials (with 10 students in first year as 15-30 in following years) a week, 5 examples classes a week, 1 computer lab a week, plus they have the ‘MASH’ support service which has drop ins, and you will also get a peer mentor as well as having meetings with your personal tutor.
- In terms of living, Durham have a big tesco and aldi but you will likely be trudging up hills carrying grocery shopping just coz of the nature of the area.
- Durham is home to what is actually rated the worst club in the UK which is kinda funny but honestly the “city” is more like a high street if i’m honest, so be prepared to be travelling to newcastle
- Bath campus is about a 15 minute bus ride to the city which is much larger than Durham with high street clothes shops like primark, urban outfitters, h&m etc which Durham have none of so you’d be in newcastle if you need a new pair of jeans.
- Bath also means living in accommodation on campus in first year, where as Durham would mean living in a college which are in different locations depending on the college
also idk about bath but durham does have a reputation for being very upper class and not very diverse, and i must say, when i visited, i definitely felt that
hope this is helpful

but since everyone else here seems to be blunty telling you where to go, although i’m trying to give u unbiased info, my blunt opinion would be pick bath. where else are you thinking?
Original post by yellowleaf23
Have they said bad things about Durham / good things about Bath? Can you share any particular things?


Seriously Durham isn't well-know for Maths at all. Bath is a strong department with loads of options and a great placement programme. I've vistied both and far prefer the location of Bath; much warmer and fewer Oxbridge rejects!
Original post by Muttley79
League tables are unreliable. I go on what my students and students in other schools say.


And why are they reliable? Almost no one is doing maths at both Durham and Bath so won't be able to compare that way.
Original post by The Orchard
Why the **** would I lie fool


why wouldnt you?

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