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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Ranking preferences for Durham colleges

Hi

Wondering if anyone could help me out here. I recently got an economics offer from Durham for 2023 intake. I'm an international student. Which college is the "best" (although I know that's highly subjective)? Any answers would be appreciated, I'm so confused.
There is no "best". Remember your teaching will be departmentally organised so it's purely non-academic (e.g. pastoral, living, social) endeavours that are college linked, and I'm fairly certain you can engage in the activities at other colleges anyway.

Most people put University College as their first choice because they like the architecture, and consequently most putting it down end up at another college because it's oversubscribed. There are downsides to University College though, such as actually having to share a room (not just a flat) with someone else at least in first year (literally two beds in the same room), which is quite unusual in the UK (although more common in the US and some other countries).

Have a look at the colleges and see what each offers, and at the end of the day don't worry too much about it because it's not going to make or break your experience at the uni.
(edited 1 year ago)
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
I agree with @artful_lounger, I would firstly understand if you want a catered or self-catered college. After this the other big difference is Bailey and Hill (it's quite different vibes between Hill and Bailey so understanding which one you prefer is quite important)
Original post by oprahwindfuryy
Hi

Wondering if anyone could help me out here. I recently got an economics offer from Durham for 2023 intake. I'm an international student. Which college is the "best" (although I know that's highly subjective)? Any answers would be appreciated, I'm so confused.


Hi there

As others have said, there is no "best" college. All of them offer more or less similar opportunities but can vary in terms of location, size, type of rooms etc. Here are some steps to follow to help you narrow down your choices:

1. Start with whether you want a catered or self-catered college. Out of the 16 colleges (excluding Ustinov which is postgrad only), 4 are purely self-catered and 2 are party self-catered. The rest are all catered.
2. Once you have a list of the type of college you want, think about whether distance is going to affect your choice. Economics lectures usually take place on the science site so and although all colleges are within a short walking distance to that, hill colleges are closer than the bailey ones so you can rank them higher up.
3. Then look at the type of rooms these colleges offer- some may have shared rooms only, others may have singles and some may have ensuites. Depending on your preference, narrow down your choices. For instance, self-catered colleges like South, John Snow, Josephine Butler have more ensuites so you may want to rank them higher up if you fancy an ensuite.
4. You can then look at the facilities the colleges offer- all of them will have a library, gym, some sporting facilities, bar etc. but the size will vary. Smaller colleges like Chads will have a smaller gym while the bigger ones like Collingwood will have a bigger one. Irrespective of which college you're in, you'll always have access to the Sports and Wellbeing Centre (Maiden Castle) which offers plenty of facilities including a subsidized gym membership.
5. You can lastly look at the societies each college has (these are different from the uni wide societies the SU offers). Each college has varied ones, so if some really stand out to you then you can weigh that into your decision.

Hope that helps :smile:

-Himieka
(edited 1 year ago)
I'm in St. John's. Although I may be biased, I really do think our college is the best. The food is great, there is free laundry, free formals, it is very very close to town (where there's shops, restaurants, clubs, etc.). It is so friendly, the staff are wonderful, and it really does feel like home even after being there for a short while.
If you like the look of older colleges, I suggest the Baileys. St. John's is one of them, along with University College (a castle!), Chad's, Hatfield and Cuth's. Accommodation tends to be more expensive for these as they are catered, but they are conveniently located and more traditional.
Obviously, consider if you want a self-catered or catered college. Also, if you want an en-suite, I'd say look at the more modern hill colleges for example John Snow and South, rather than the Bailey colleges as they tend to have less en-suites. However, if you would like a Bailey college, and you have a medical reason for an en-suite, you will definitely get one.
Don't be put off of ranking certain colleges high because they are really popular. The way it works is that if your first preference is full, they will just keep going down your list until there is space for you. So I suggest researching all colleges and ranking all of them accordingly. I know some horror stories from last year where people would only rank 2 or 3 but they didn't get any of them and instead was put in a random college.

However, don't worry too much about what college you end up in. Everyone ends up loving their college, as cliche as it seems. I do suggest John's for the benefits though:smile:
Original post by Durham Students
Hi there

As others have said, there is no "best" college. All of them offer more or less similar opportunities but can vary in terms of location, size, type of rooms etc. Here are some steps to follow to help you narrow down your choices:

1. Start with whether you want a catered or self-catered college. Out of the 16 colleges (excluding Ustinov which is postgrad only), 4 are purely self-catered and 2 are party self-catered. The rest are all catered.
2. Once you have a list of the type of college you want, think about whether distance is going to affect your choice. Economics lectures usually take place on the science site so and although all colleges are within a short walking distance to that, hill colleges are closer than the bailey ones so you can rank them higher up.
3. Then look at the type of rooms these colleges offer- some may have shared rooms only, others may have singles and some may have ensuites. Depending on your preference, narrow down your choices. For instance, self-catered colleges like South, John Snow, Josephine Butler have more ensuites so you may want to rank them higher up if you fancy an ensuite.
4. You can then look at the facilities the colleges offer- all of them will have a library, gym, some sporting facilities, bar etc. but the size will vary. Smaller colleges like Chads will have a smaller gym while the bigger ones like Collingwood will have a bigger one. Irrespective of which college you're in, you'll always have access to the Sports and Wellbeing Centre (Maiden Castle) which offers plenty of facilities including a subsidized gym membership.
5. You can lastly look at the societies each college has (these are different from the uni wide societies the SU offers). Each college has varied ones, so if some really stand out to you then you can weigh that into your decision.

Hope that helps :smile:

-Himieka


thank you so sooo much!! 💗this is so helpful

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