The Student Room Group

Durham or Bristol University for Law

Hi,

I currently have offers from both Durham and Bristol for the LLB course, both of which just require me to achieve a B grade in my A level. I’m really stuck on which one I should firm. A grade B is completely achievable for me so there’s no use putting the other as my insurance as I’m bound to get into my firm.

I apologise if this may be a long read but some advice is really needed right now!!

I like Bristol because of the city; it has lots of energy and there are many places I can go to socialise and plenty of part time job opportunities. Plus, as it’s a bigger city, there is likely to be more connections to law firms (I would assume? I may be wrong). I’ve visited and I do like the facilities and it seems that they are very good at supporting first year students at settling in to their degree.

Durham is obviously renowned for being very prestigious, and I wonder if my career prospects would be better if I ended up attending Durham. I’ve looked at the national student survey statistics for both unis and people seem to be happier with the LLB at Durham than at Bristol, and think they get more out of the course. Plus the collegiate system has the potential to be really supportive and great for my wellbeing.

The con’s of Bristol has to be that it’s more expensive to live in; my maintenance loan doesn’t cover my accommodation fees as it is so I know I will struggle financially. And as mentioned, people seem less satisfied with the LLB at Bristol than at Durham

The cons of Durham is that it’s a very quiet city (or at least that was my experience of it when I visited the other day) and if doesn’t seem like there’s much at all to do. I come from a town so I was really looking for a more vibrant and fun place to live in with a bit more life to it. And of course, there’s the issue with some of the students at Durham being very classist; I grew up in a working class background so this for me would be an extremely uncomfortable environment.

I know there’s so much more to this than just prestige, but Durham seems to be slightly better on paper. I am veering towards Bristol just because of the lively city, because that seems more of the sort of place I would want to live, but I would feel awful to reject Durham and pass up such a rare opportunity.

If anyone could give me some advice that would be amazing! I know the decision is mine alone to make but I’m really lost right now, and with Durham’s college allocation process beginning shortly, I feel like I need to make a choice soon!
Original post by Squiggles1238
Hi,

I currently have offers from both Durham and Bristol for the LLB course, both of which just require me to achieve a B grade in my A level. I’m really stuck on which one I should firm. A grade B is completely achievable for me so there’s no use putting the other as my insurance as I’m bound to get into my firm.

I apologise if this may be a long read but some advice is really needed right now!!

I like Bristol because of the city; it has lots of energy and there are many places I can go to socialise and plenty of part time job opportunities. Plus, as it’s a bigger city, there is likely to be more connections to law firms (I would assume? I may be wrong). I’ve visited and I do like the facilities and it seems that they are very good at supporting first year students at settling in to their degree.

Durham is obviously renowned for being very prestigious, and I wonder if my career prospects would be better if I ended up attending Durham. I’ve looked at the national student survey statistics for both unis and people seem to be happier with the LLB at Durham than at Bristol, and think they get more out of the course. Plus the collegiate system has the potential to be really supportive and great for my wellbeing.

The con’s of Bristol has to be that it’s more expensive to live in; my maintenance loan doesn’t cover my accommodation fees as it is so I know I will struggle financially. And as mentioned, people seem less satisfied with the LLB at Bristol than at Durham

The cons of Durham is that it’s a very quiet city (or at least that was my experience of it when I visited the other day) and if doesn’t seem like there’s much at all to do. I come from a town so I was really looking for a more vibrant and fun place to live in with a bit more life to it. And of course, there’s the issue with some of the students at Durham being very classist; I grew up in a working class background so this for me would be an extremely uncomfortable environment.

I know there’s so much more to this than just prestige, but Durham seems to be slightly better on paper. I am veering towards Bristol just because of the lively city, because that seems more of the sort of place I would want to live, but I would feel awful to reject Durham and pass up such a rare opportunity.

If anyone could give me some advice that would be amazing! I know the decision is mine alone to make but I’m really lost right now, and with Durham’s college allocation process beginning shortly, I feel like I need to make a choice soon!


Well done to achieve offers from both, and I'm sorry you are struggling with the decision. You have shown great thoughtfulness and care in setting out the pros and cons from your personal perspective. On paper there doesn't seem to be a significant difference in student accommodation costs between the two, depending on the room you choose. Both cities have been in the news for students struggling to find accommodation after the year 1 guarantee so that is an issue you might have to address in either place. Both are excellent universities and highly regarded for law. Half of the people you ask will say Bristol is more highly regarded, and the other half Durham. Truly, pick whichever university you like best, perhaps looking more closely at the specifics of how they structure law and the options available - there is no wrong choice here and you will do well and be happy at either of them! I would personally be extremely wary of taking the National Student Survey too seriously...
Reply 2
Original post by ClarissaBella
Well done to achieve offers from both, and I'm sorry you are struggling with the decision. You have shown great thoughtfulness and care in setting out the pros and cons from your personal perspective. On paper there doesn't seem to be a significant difference in student accommodation costs between the two, depending on the room you choose. Both cities have been in the news for students struggling to find accommodation after the year 1 guarantee so that is an issue you might have to address in either place. Both are excellent universities and highly regarded for law. Half of the people you ask will say Bristol is more highly regarded, and the other half Durham. Truly, pick whichever university you like best, perhaps looking more closely at the specifics of how they structure law and the options available - there is no wrong choice here and you will do well and be happy at either of them! I would personally be extremely wary of taking the National Student Survey too seriously...


Hi thanks for replying! Yeah that makes a lot of sense to be honest. Do you say not to take the NSS too seriously because it’s not very representative or?
I think Durham's has the better law faculty, but there isn't enough of a gap to justify studying in the middle of nowhere if you've got a Bristol offer too. And Bristol has a lot of good law firms + closer to London so it would probably be easier to attend work experiences/internships.
Original post by toxicgamage56
I think Durham's has the better law faculty, but there isn't enough of a gap to justify studying in the middle of nowhere if you've got a Bristol offer too. And Bristol has a lot of good law firms + closer to London so it would probably be easier to attend work experiences/internships.


I agree with you here. If you care about living in a proper city and social life, then the difference between the 2 unis, it isn’t worth firming Durham over Bristol.
As the cost of rent is an issue in Bristol (and traditionally Durham was second only to Oxbridge) perhaps go for Durham. I am from the NE so probably biased but despite that 3 of my lawyer children chose Bristol over Durham and had offers from both. Their reasons were proximity to London where we live and Bristol as a city being a bit more fun. I would have been happy whichever they chose and you certainly cannot go wrong with either.

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