The Student Room Group
Inside University of Bristol
University of Bristol
Bristol

Bristol vs Durham

I have an offer to study theoretical physics at both Durham and Bristol and I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. I went to both places and liked both very much. I would really appreciate any advice
Original post by Eytan
I have an offer to study theoretical physics at both Durham and Bristol and I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. I went to both places and liked both very much. I would really appreciate any advice

If you like them both a heck of a lot, then perhaps put it down to a coinflip or something?

Otherwise, if you can, talk to people who are currently taking, or have taken the course and decide if any criticisms they have of the uni/course make either option less appealing or any positives they mention make either option more appealing.
Inside University of Bristol
University of Bristol
Bristol
Reply 2
Bristol every time. Amazing city, amazing student life, really unique students, one of the best mathematics and physics groups in the world. World center of engineering (Concorde for example). Has so much more to offer than Durham. I studied physics at Bristol, and did a PhD there, was there for 9 years. Amazing. Probably the best uni in the uk.
Original post by Eytan
I have an offer to study theoretical physics at both Durham and Bristol and I'm having a really hard time deciding between the two. I went to both places and liked both very much. I would really appreciate any advice


For social life, Bristol.

For collegiate experience, Durham.
Reply 4
Bristol has student halls e.g. Badock, as good as colleges. Durham is much quieter. If you prefer quiet and retiring pick Durham.
Reply 5
Though Durham does have a nice physics dept. But so does Bristol.
Reply 6
Original post by alexg1987
Bristol has student halls e.g. Badock, as good as colleges. Durham is much quieter. If you prefer quiet and retiring pick Durham.


Does Basic have a bar ? And sports teams ?
Reply 7
Original post by dunnott
Does Basic have a bar ? And sports teams ?


Yes the famous Badock bar. There are many sports teams also.
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by alexg1987
Bristol every time. Amazing city, amazing student life, really unique students, one of the best mathematics and physics groups in the world. World center of engineering (Concorde for example). Has so much more to offer than Durham. I studied physics at Bristol, and did a PhD there, was there for 9 years. Amazing. Probably the best uni in the uk.

Thank you, when you say so much more to offer than Durham what sorts of things are you talking about?
Reply 9
Original post by Eytan
Thank you, when you say so much more to offer than Durham what sorts of things are you talking about?

I suppose three things: 1) Better student life. This is the most important thing as on the whole the courses are the same basic thing all over the UK. This will prove important once you get there, even if not apparently important to you now. 2) Better and more vibrant city. Difficult to get across how beautiful the city is, with Georgian architecture and intrigue at every turn, for example the Clifton suspension bridge, but the whole of Clifton where the uni is is lovely. Also Stokes Croft/Gloucester Road student life is amazing, go there Friday night in the summer and you'll see what I mean. The halls are great, the place is trendy, really can't praise it more highly. 3) Amazing physics dept. Could hardly study better anywhere else. Cambridge uni H-index for the maths dept is 101, Bristol is 108, so technically even better. Definitely regarded as one of the best in the UK for research, and super high standards (need a 1st for MSc entrance for example). Physics similar. The 3 or 4 year BSc/MSci in Physics or Physics and Philosophy is an amazing degree to have, highly respected. Don't think its all Oxbridge, 4 years at Bristol its the Oxbridge people who will have missed out, definitely.

Overall Durham is weaker on these three points. Its advantage are its quieter, and some people much prefer that. But the whole thing just ends up trying to liven itself up. Nice physics dept. though, definitely. Can't go to both and find out unfortunately....
(edited 8 months ago)
If you're after a beautiful city, Durham beats Bristol easily - just take a walk along the Bailey up to Palace Green (where the Cathedral and Castle are), or a walk around Houghall woods and the river. Everywhere is also walkable, which it isn't in Bristol - esp. if you end up in the dilapidated halls of residence (where some of the accommodation look more like 1950s army barracks) that are in Stoke Bishop.

In terms of nightlife, yes if you want a wide selection of clubs - and the drugs that go with them - theatres, cinemas etc. Bristol has more variety. But if you're more content with pubs and bars, and just the occasional theatre/clubbing night, Durham will suffice + Newcastle is 10 minutes away by train.
Original post by Anonymous
If you're after a beautiful city, Durham beats Bristol easily - just take a walk along the Bailey up to Palace Green (where the Cathedral and Castle are), or a walk around Houghall woods and the river. Everywhere is also walkable, which it isn't in Bristol - esp. if you end up in the dilapidated halls of residence (where some of the accommodation look more like 1950s army barracks) that are in Stoke Bishop.

In terms of nightlife, yes if you want a wide selection of clubs - and the drugs that go with them - theatres, cinemas etc. Bristol has more variety. But if you're more content with pubs and bars, and just the occasional theatre/clubbing night, Durham will suffice + Newcastle is 10 minutes away by train.

Interesting that you felt you needed to put Bristol down to make your point about Durham whereas Alexg1987 didn’t. This tells me more than the content of your reply so thanks.
Original post by Anonymous
Interesting that you felt you needed to put Bristol down to make your point about Durham whereas Alexg1987 didn’t. This tells me more than the content of your reply so thanks.

You're very welcome. Would love you to explain what it tells you?

And don't bother going down the route of saying it shows something about Durham students, as I went to Nottingham.

But I know both cities relatively well and have friends that went to both - just offering my opinion that I think Durham is a better place to live than Bristol
Original post by Anonymous
You're very welcome. Would love you to explain what it tells you?

And don't bother going down the route of saying it shows something about Durham students, as I went to Nottingham.

But I know both cities relatively well and have friends that went to both - just offering my opinion that I think Durham is a better place to live than Bristol


nice reply, nice persuasive argument tactics - you sound ace
Original post by Anonymous
nice reply, nice persuasive argument tactics - you sound ace

Followed by an unintelligible, sarcastic response from yourself - the lowest form of wit, as Oscar Wilde once said (google him if you're not sure who he is)
Original post by Anonymous
Followed by an unintelligible, sarcastic response from yourself - the lowest form of wit, as Oscar Wilde once said (google him if you're not sure who he is)


Wow. Hoisted by your own petard with that reply 😂
Anonymous should be banned, users talk the talk and hide behind anonymity.
Original post by alexg1987
I suppose three things: 1) Better student life. This is the most important thing as on the whole the courses are the same basic thing all over the UK. This will prove important once you get there, even if not apparently important to you now. 2) Better and more vibrant city. Difficult to get across how beautiful the city is, with Georgian architecture and intrigue at every turn, for example the Clifton suspension bridge, but the whole of Clifton where the uni is is lovely. Also Stokes Croft/Gloucester Road student life is amazing, go there Friday night in the summer and you'll see what I mean. The halls are great, the place is trendy, really can't praise it more highly. 3) Amazing physics dept. Could hardly study better anywhere else. Cambridge uni H-index for the maths dept is 101, Bristol is 108, so technically even better. Definitely regarded as one of the best in the UK for research, and super high standards (need a 1st for MSc entrance for example). Physics similar. The 3 or 4 year BSc/MSci in Physics or Physics and Philosophy is an amazing degree to have, highly respected. Don't think its all Oxbridge, 4 years at Bristol its the Oxbridge people who will have missed out, definitely.

Overall Durham is weaker on these three points. Its advantage are its quieter, and some people much prefer that. But the whole thing just ends up trying to liven itself up. Nice physics dept. though, definitely. Can't go to both and find out unfortunately....


no skin in this game, but as I have an irresistible urge always to even things up and redress imbalance, please allow me to pitch in and say
- if you want to play a teamsport eg., rowing 🚣*♀️ rugby or basketball
there could be an advantage in the collegiate structure of Durham.
Likewise, choirs and orchestras.
It is just something to consider.
On the other hand, there is the weather during the university term months which is likely to be several degrees colder in Durham than down in the SW

Quick Reply

Latest