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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Deciding what colleges to pick at Durham

Hello, I have recently recieved an offer to study history at Durham and I am very pleased! But I am wondering what colleges to apply for. I like the Bailey colleges and am thinking of going catered, but am looking for some opinions before I fill in the form. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! :smile:
Well statistically most apply to University College and thus get pooled/end up at second choice colleges. So your odds of getting your first choice college are probably much higher if you put anything as your first choice except Castle. That said, if you don't put Castle as your first choice you are almost certainly not going to get pooled there.

Overall my impression is that it's not really that big a deal? A friend of my sisters' who went there said that the colleges are mostly just glorified halls of residence at Durham, with a few bells and whistles in terms of in-college bars and such.
(edited 1 year ago)
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Original post by pineapple_23
Hello, I have recently recieved an offer to study history at Durham and I am very pleased! But I am wondering what colleges to apply for. I like the Bailey colleges and am thinking of going catered, but am looking for some opinions before I fill in the form. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! :smile:


Original post by artful_lounger
Well statistically most apply to University College and thus get pooled/end up at second choice colleges. So your odds of getting your first choice college are probably much higher if you put anything as your first choice except Castle. That said, if you don't put Castle as your first choice you are almost certainly not going to get pooled there.

Overall my impression is that it's not really that big a deal? A friend of my sisters' who went there said that the colleges are mostly just glorified halls of residence at Durham, with a few bells and whistles in terms of in-college bars and such.

The colleges are a lot more than halls of residences, but the extras are commoned to all of the colleges so don't affect your decisions. For instance they all have sports teams for many different sports, so you don't have to be a megastar to play in a team as you would at many non-collegiate universities. Similarly for drama, music etc.
Original post by pineapple_23
Hello, I have recently recieved an offer to study history at Durham and I am very pleased! But I am wondering what colleges to apply for. I like the Bailey colleges and am thinking of going catered, but am looking for some opinions before I fill in the form. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! :smile:

The Bailey colleges have the best location and they are all catered (apart from Cuths which is mostly catered but has some self-catered accommodations).
What I will say about the Bailey colleges is that they are typically over-subscribed too (all of them, especially University College, which is also known as Castle). The history department building is also on the Bailey, but in the first year, you may have lectures/seminars all over the place. I am currently at Hatfield and absolutely love it, it is one of the only colleges in my opinion that is exceptionally well-rounded in terms of location, sports, and music.
Original post by pineapple_23
Hello, I have recently recieved an offer to study history at Durham and I am very pleased! But I am wondering what colleges to apply for. I like the Bailey colleges and am thinking of going catered, but am looking for some opinions before I fill in the form. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you! :smile:

Can I ask when you submitted your UCAS form and what your GCSE / A Level grades were? I’m a Y12 student thinking about applying to Durham for history but I’m not sure if my grades are good enough…
My advice would be to check how much accommodation costs at each college and decide whether you want to be catered or self-catered. Personally, I did not put an order of preference and just added self-catered as a requirement. Now I regret it as there are at least 6 other colleges I'd rather be than my current one but after year 1 it doesn't matter unless you like college formatives and events.

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