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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Is Durham actually good?

I saw the video from Tolu duckworth where she says Durham isn’t that good and nowhere near as good as the big O…
Is this true?
It's better than all but a tiny few, so yes it is good. Very good, in fact.

Nowhere near as good as the "big O"? Well, isn't that pretty much a given since the only other comparable university in the entire country is the "big C"?
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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I'm also wondering the same thing as have an offer for Law. Stupidly didn't apply for Oxford Law (as I didn't think my LNAT score would be good enough but it was much better than expected) so am considering whether or not to accept the Durham offer or take a gap year (which I wouldn't mind doing anyway) and applying to Oxford. I've had mock Oxford interviews with current students and they've gone well so I have the same question as OP and also whether it would be a good idea to take a gap year.

Original post by fec1864
It's better than all but a tiny few, so yes it is good. Very good, in fact.

Nowhere near as good as the "big O"? Well, isn't that pretty much a given since the only other comparable university in the entire country is the "big C"?
Original post by Anonymous
I'm also wondering the same thing as have an offer for Law. Stupidly didn't apply for Oxford Law (as I didn't think my LNAT score would be good enough but it was much better than expected) so am considering whether or not to accept the Durham offer or take a gap year (which I wouldn't mind doing anyway) and applying to Oxford. I've had mock Oxford interviews with current students and they've gone well so I have the same question as OP and also whether it would be a good idea to take a gap year.


That's up to you.

I also have an offer for Durham law. Given it has the best stats for top City jobs like MC firms after Oxbridge, and is usually ranked within the top 5, I'd say just go for it. Oxford isn't going to offer so much more that it is worth delaying a year and rejecting an offer from a top law school when statistically you are very likely to be rejected, but ultimately that is for you to decide.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anonymous
I'm also wondering the same thing as have an offer for Law. Stupidly didn't apply for Oxford Law (as I didn't think my LNAT score would be good enough but it was much better than expected) so am considering whether or not to accept the Durham offer or take a gap year (which I wouldn't mind doing anyway) and applying to Oxford. I've had mock Oxford interviews with current students and they've gone well so I have the same question as OP and also whether it would be a good idea to take a gap year.


I would would affirm what fec1864, especially after reading and knowing so many people who had amazing stats on admissions tests, a genuine passion for the subject, critical thinking, amazing personal statement who I thought would definitely get in to be rejected post-interview. Over 10 people applied to law at Oxbridge in my school and none of them got in just because it is so cutthroat and competitive. Oxford law is especially competitive and the selection process can just be so arbitrary (because it’s difficult to choose between so many amazing candidates) that it is just really risky. But this is of course just one side to the story and based on anecdotes but I would highly recommend that you do your own research before deciding on what to do
Original post by sciencegcsesss
I would would affirm what fec1864, especially after reading and knowing so many people who had amazing stats on admissions tests, a genuine passion for the subject, critical thinking, amazing personal statement who I thought would definitely get in to be rejected post-interview. Over 10 people applied to law at Oxbridge in my school and none of them got in just because it is so cutthroat and competitive. Oxford law is especially competitive and the selection process can just be so arbitrary (because it’s difficult to choose between so many amazing candidates) that it is just really risky. But this is of course just one side to the story and based on anecdotes but I would highly recommend that you do your own research before deciding on what to do


This is true, but also I wouldn't want to discourage people from applying just because it is so competitive. After all, people do, of course, get in.

Given anon's circumstances, however, I would probably overall caution against it. Getting into Durham for law is an achievement in itself with an acceptance score of just ~30% for home students, one of their most competitive courses, and would put them in a very good position for jobs afterwards. A high LNAT score is by no means a guarantee of an offer at Oxford. It is but one piece of the puzzle, so to speak.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by fec1864
This is true, but also I wouldn't want to discourage people from applying just because it is so competitive. After all, people do, of course, get in.

Given anon's circumstances, however, I would probably overall caution against it. Getting into Durham for law is an achievement in itself with an acceptance score of just ~30% for home students, one of their most competitive courses, and would put them in a very good position for jobs afterwards. A high LNAT score is by no means a guarantee of an offer at Oxford. It is but one piece of the puzzle, so to speak.

Yes I think it’s well worth pointing that out. I don’t think I made it clear enough but I think that because they already have an offer from Durham which is brilliant, on one hand it is just better to stick with it than reapplying and risking not getting it next year (may be more competitive, Durham may value different parts of the application etc). On the other, if they get a Durham offer this year they’re also likely to get it next year. While I definitely can’t advise what they should do as someone who is not even in university, I recommend that they just research things more throughly and ensure that if they do apply to Oxford it is not because of the prestige but because they genuinely really like the course, as with their other 4 choices
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
I'm also wondering the same thing as have an offer for Law. Stupidly didn't apply for Oxford Law (as I didn't think my LNAT score would be good enough but it was much better than expected) so am considering whether or not to accept the Durham offer or take a gap year (which I wouldn't mind doing anyway) and applying to Oxford. I've had mock Oxford interviews with current students and they've gone well so I have the same question as OP and also whether it would be a good idea to take a gap year.

May I ask if no disadvantage for applying newly with a gap year, given that you didn't apply at Y13? In other words, your case is not reapplying. Can Oxford consider reapplying and newly applying with a gap year in a same manner? Are they going to ask why not applied before etc?
I'm considering newly applying for science related subject.
Who the heck is Tolu Duckworth ? Just another randomer trying to be an influencer ? Or someone authentic with some credentials that means her opinions matter ?
Original post by Miki M
May I ask if no disadvantage for applying newly with a gap year, given that you didn't apply at Y13? In other words, your case is not reapplying. Can Oxford consider reapplying and newly applying with a gap year in a same manner? Are they going to ask why not applied before etc?
I'm considering newly applying for science related subject.

No, I don't think they'd even check whether you're reapplying or applying to a course for the first time
Med student at Oxford
Durham doesn't do med... so it's hardly comparable
Hiya

I don't know who you're referring to but I can give you my opinion on this dilemma since it's shared by many students and comes up quite often. Everyone will have different opinions of every university. There are several people who will appreciate Durham and several others who won't (as must be pretty clear from this thread already) and the same goes for Oxford, Cambridge or any other institution for that matter. What I do know is that Durham has one of the top 5 law schools in the country and the course is highly competitive to get in. It's a real achievement if you've received an offer for it. I'm studying law here too and I have really liked my experience. It hasn't been perfect but I think it would unrealistic to expect it to be perfect. The professors and tutors have been supportive in offering guidance, the law societies offer various opportunities to network with law firms and barristers, the college system is very open and friendly which will allow you to socialise easily, there is a real focus on extracurriculars like sports, drama, music and the careers support from the uni's professional service is really helpful.

There will always be things in life that will seem better than what you have but you don't necessarily have to chase them always. I'm not saying you shouldn't apply for Oxford, but think about whether it's worth taking the risk of having no offers for next year. Also, universities always seem amazing from the outside but you only know the real picture when you actually go there. It may well be that you don't like the vibe of student life at Oxford, and that's a very important factor to consider. You could potentially go to Open Days and figure out which one attracts you more, although there may not be any coming up soon. Ultimately, I wouldn't suggest basing your decision off of one person's opinion, there is much more to the picture than just that. Talk to students at both unis, make a pros and cons list of taking a gap year, take opinions from friends and family and then decide which way your heart's swaying more :smile:

-Himieka

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