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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Which College should I pick at Durham University?

I just received my offer to Durham University but did not pick a College and am waiting to pick.

Some context:

- I applied for Classical Civilisations
- I adore older architecture and formal wear
- I am Christian
- I come from a state school and am half white European and half black African.
- I come from a middle class background.

I say the latter parts as I've heard Durham has a slightly negative reputation in that regard.

Which College would be most fitting with said context?
you have to rank them all and might get your bottom choice, so it doesn’t massively matter. that being said i did A LOT of very thorough research before i made my ranking, so feel free to private message me if you need any in depth help :smile:

in brief, the main things i took into consideration were:

distance from the main campus
formal dinners
old/new architecture (mary’s, castle and bailey are the best for this)
catered/self catered
probability of being in shared or en suite

also it’s worth noting that no college is specifically good or bad for a certain subject, they randomise which subject is in which college

overall, it sounds like st john’s might be a good choice for you. it has an evangelical christian background and is known for being one of the more religious colleges. it is a very beautiful building and has the formal gowned dinners that you’re after. i visited johns at the open day and it was very welcoming. it’s catered, has some modern areas and it seemed like their vibe was very wholesome and nice (summer shakespeare, garden party type things etc)
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
in terms of elitism, the main one with a bad reputation seems to be hatfield, and maybe castle, but i think that’s more in terms of people outside of the college
Original post by Anonymous #1
I just received my offer to Durham University but did not pick a College and am waiting to pick.

Some context:

- I applied for Classical Civilisations
- I adore older architecture and formal wear
- I am Christian
- I come from a state school and am half white European and half black African.
- I come from a middle class background.

I say the latter parts as I've heard Durham has a slightly negative reputation in that regard.

Which College would be most fitting with said context?

Hello,
If you're interested in knowing more about colleges and which college may be best for you, you can speak to some of our students on UniBuddy!
Unibuddy Chat with a student from Durham University - Durham University

Alternatively, you can check out some student content about colleges and how to pick the right college for you.
Colleges The Durham Student

I would like to add that whichever college you choose or are allocated to, you will generally end up loving and you'll meet some amazing people there so don't stress too much over it 🙂

Best of Luck and I hope this helps!

-Ghala
Original post by Anonymous #1
I just received my offer to Durham University but did not pick a College and am waiting to pick.

Some context:

- I applied for Classical Civilisations
- I adore older architecture and formal wear
- I am Christian
- I come from a state school and am half white European and half black African.
- I come from a middle class background.

I say the latter parts as I've heard Durham has a slightly negative reputation in that regard.

Which College would be most fitting with said context?

Hey! I also received an offer for Classics 🙂 I'm also a Christian which is pretty cool. Idk how to pick a college but I'm leaning towards one of the Bailey ones because they are so pretty and I think I'd prefer to live in central Durham.
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous #2
Hey! I also received an offer for Classics 🙂 I'm also a Christian which is pretty cool. Idk how to pick a college but I'm leaning towards one of the Bailey ones because they are so pretty and I think I'd prefer to live in central Durham.

That's amazing to hear! Might be seeing you next academic year 🙂 . I'm leaning towards Bailey ones too, I just love the whole aesthetic and its closer to the Dep of Classics. Main Bailey options are Castle and St. John's for me, possibly St. Chad's but also heavily considering St. Hild/Bede's which is a tad far but a 6 minute cycle to the Dep of Classics which is good!

From what I've researched, most of the Bailey colleges have Chapels (so very Christian friendly) but most are also catered so that's one thing I'm trying to decide between. Catered V. Self-Catered and Gowned V. Not Gowned.
Reply 6
Original post by funny-liquid
you have to rank them all and might get your bottom choice, so it doesn’t massively matter. that being said i did A LOT of very thorough research before i made my ranking, so feel free to private message me if you need any in depth help :smile:

in brief, the main things i took into consideration were:

distance from the main campus
formal dinners
old/new architecture (mary’s, castle and bailey are the best for this)
catered/self catered
probability of being in shared or en suite

also it’s worth noting that no college is specifically good or bad for a certain subject, they randomise which subject is in which college

overall, it sounds like st john’s might be a good choice for you. it has an evangelical christian background and is known for being one of the more religious colleges. it is a very beautiful building and has the formal gowned dinners that you’re after. i visited johns at the open day and it was very welcoming. it’s catered, has some modern areas and it seemed like their vibe was very wholesome and nice (summer shakespeare, garden party type things etc)

Thank you for your reply! Been working on a list the past few days. St. John's had very limited information on its interior so was really trying my best to research it. I am also slightly unsure on self-catered vs catered, I want to go to a more central college because the Dep of Classics is there and I prefer the location generally more but most are catered.

There is the College of St. Hild/Bede but they lack gowned formals which I'm unsure about because I adore that sort of stuff, though their site is gorgeous and dining hall is (imo) 2nd only to the dining hall at Castle. The self-catered site at St. Hild/Bede is also somewhere completely different that I am unsure about..
Reply 7
Original post by funny-liquid
in terms of elitism, the main one with a bad reputation seems to be hatfield, and maybe castle, but i think that’s more in terms of people outside of the college

Yeah, that's what I found as well. I don't think I'll be putting Hatfield high on my list but I really do like Castle, regardless of its demographics and how oversubscribed it is.
Reply 8
Original post by Durham Students
Hello,
If you're interested in knowing more about colleges and which college may be best for you, you can speak to some of our students on UniBuddy!
Unibuddy Chat with a student from Durham University - Durham University

Alternatively, you can check out some student content about colleges and how to pick the right college for you.
Colleges The Durham Student

I would like to add that whichever college you choose or are allocated to, you will generally end up loving and you'll meet some amazing people there so don't stress too much over it 🙂

Best of Luck and I hope this helps!

-Ghala

Thank you very much!
Original post by StaticVoid!!
Original post by funny-liquid
you have to rank them all and might get your bottom choice, so it doesn’t massively matter. that being said i did A LOT of very thorough research before i made my ranking, so feel free to private message me if you need any in depth help :smile:

in brief, the main things i took into consideration were:

distance from the main campus
formal dinners
old/new architecture (mary’s, castle and bailey are the best for this)
catered/self catered
probability of being in shared or en suite

also it’s worth noting that no college is specifically good or bad for a certain subject, they randomise which subject is in which college

overall, it sounds like st john’s might be a good choice for you. it has an evangelical christian background and is known for being one of the more religious colleges. it is a very beautiful building and has the formal gowned dinners that you’re after. i visited johns at the open day and it was very welcoming. it’s catered, has some modern areas and it seemed like their vibe was very wholesome and nice (summer shakespeare, garden party type things etc)

Thank you for your reply! Been working on a list the past few days. St. John's had very limited information on its interior so was really trying my best to research it. I am also slightly unsure on self-catered vs catered, I want to go to a more central college because the Dep of Classics is there and I prefer the location generally more but most are catered.

There is the College of St. Hild/Bede but they lack gowned formals which I'm unsure about because I adore that sort of stuff, though their site is gorgeous and dining hall is (imo) 2nd only to the dining hall at Castle. The self-catered site at St. Hild/Bede is also somewhere completely different that I am unsure about..


yeah for sure, none of them are too far away from the classics but on the bailey (johns, hatfield, castle, cuths and chads) you’d be very close to your lectures.

i absolutely adore the vibe of hild bede, but i know that it was ‘condemned’ a couple of years ago, and im not sure whether it’ll be back for this academic year. so im not sure whether, if you were allocated hild bede, whether you would actually get to be in the lovely old buildings. i think they’ve been sharing some of the newer college buildings for the past year or so

it’s also the furthest away of every college, but considering the location of your course buildings it would still only be a 17 minute walk from between the two. it is generally criticised for being by far the furthest out of town.

johns is lovely on the inside, a very homely old vibe, but the bar is very very tiny, which some people don’t like. that was really the only thing making it not make the top spot, except that it was a bit too religion heavy for me personally
Reply 10
Original post by funny-liquid
Thank you for your reply! Been working on a list the past few days. St. John's had very limited information on its interior so was really trying my best to research it. I am also slightly unsure on self-catered vs catered, I want to go to a more central college because the Dep of Classics is there and I prefer the location generally more but most are catered.

There is the College of St. Hild/Bede but they lack gowned formals which I'm unsure about because I adore that sort of stuff, though their site is gorgeous and dining hall is (imo) 2nd only to the dining hall at Castle. The self-catered site at St. Hild/Bede is also somewhere completely different that I am unsure about..


yeah for sure, none of them are too far away from the classics but on the bailey (johns, hatfield, castle, cuths and chads) you’d be very close to your lectures.

i absolutely adore the vibe of hild bede, but i know that it was ‘condemned’ a couple of years ago, and im not sure whether it’ll be back for this academic year. so im not sure whether, if you were allocated hild bede, whether you would actually get to be in the lovely old buildings. i think they’ve been sharing some of the newer college buildings for the past year or so

it’s also the furthest away of every college, but considering the location of your course buildings it would still only be a 17 minute walk from between the two. it is generally criticised for being by far the furthest out of town.

johns is lovely on the inside, a very homely old vibe, but the bar is very very tiny, which some people don’t like. that was really the only thing making it not make the top spot, except that it was a bit too religion heavy for me personally
Oh?? What do you mean by being 'condemned'? I hope that (should I be allocated there) I will be able to go to at least decent accommodation and see the lovely building and grounds! I don't mind the distance at all as well, considering I am planning to cycle.

St. John's is another good option, I am not sure about it being too small and the lack of information I have on its interior but I just need to do some more research. The religious part fortunately doesn't bother me much at all.

I have had a look at Hatfield too which, although known for quote on quote "posh idiots", is a really nice College and is close to the Department of Classics. One thing I am really trying to look for is large green spaces, old architecture and of course, a nice library and nice accommodation.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Original post by funny-liquid
Thank you for your reply! Been working on a list the past few days. St. John's had very limited information on its interior so was really trying my best to research it. I am also slightly unsure on self-catered vs catered, I want to go to a more central college because the Dep of Classics is there and I prefer the location generally more but most are catered.

There is the College of St. Hild/Bede but they lack gowned formals which I'm unsure about because I adore that sort of stuff, though their site is gorgeous and dining hall is (imo) 2nd only to the dining hall at Castle. The self-catered site at St. Hild/Bede is also somewhere completely different that I am unsure about..


yeah for sure, none of them are too far away from the classics but on the bailey (johns, hatfield, castle, cuths and chads) you’d be very close to your lectures.

i absolutely adore the vibe of hild bede, but i know that it was ‘condemned’ a couple of years ago, and im not sure whether it’ll be back for this academic year. so im not sure whether, if you were allocated hild bede, whether you would actually get to be in the lovely old buildings. i think they’ve been sharing some of the newer college buildings for the past year or so

it’s also the furthest away of every college, but considering the location of your course buildings it would still only be a 17 minute walk from between the two. it is generally criticised for being by far the furthest out of town.

johns is lovely on the inside, a very homely old vibe, but the bar is very very tiny, which some people don’t like. that was really the only thing making it not make the top spot, except that it was a bit too religion heavy for me personally

Oh?? What do you mean by being 'condemned'? I hope that (should I be allocated there) I will be able to go to at least decent accommodation and see the lovely building and grounds! I don't mind the distance at all as well, considering I am planning to cycle.

St. John's is another good option, I am not sure about it being too small and the lack of information I have on its interior but I just need to do some more research. The religious part fortunately doesn't bother me much at all.

I have had a look at Hatfield too which, although known for quote on quote "posh idiots", is a really nice College and is close to the Department of Classics. One thing I am really trying to look for is large green spaces, old architecture and of course, a nice library and nice accommodation.

condemned is just the word the guy who showed me around one of the colleges used, but i think basically they're developing it because it was getting a bit too old. this is what the website has to say about it

https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/estate-
development/leazes-road/hild-bede-redevelopment/

honestly the newer accommodation that they're using as accommodation still looks lovely, but personally i would be disappointed not to be where expected (but now you know, i guess it wouldn't make the biggest difference, i didn't know the new accommodation when i applied so ranked hild bede pretty low)

johns is the second smallest college, so if you want somewhere bigger then it probably isn’t for you, whilst hatfield is about double its size. i haven’t been inside hatfield but it seems pretty nice. the only thing that put me off was its reputation and the fact that we were told it would be a half hour wait until we could enter the property (me being irritating but it defo fed into the elitist vibe for me), but i know basically everyone who gets into a college that wasn’t at the top of their list still loves it, so i wouldn’t worry too much
Original post by funny-liquid
Original post by Anonymous #1
Original post by funny-liquid
Thank you for your reply! Been working on a list the past few days. St. John's had very limited information on its interior so was really trying my best to research it. I am also slightly unsure on self-catered vs catered, I want to go to a more central college because the Dep of Classics is there and I prefer the location generally more but most are catered.

There is the College of St. Hild/Bede but they lack gowned formals which I'm unsure about because I adore that sort of stuff, though their site is gorgeous and dining hall is (imo) 2nd only to the dining hall at Castle. The self-catered site at St. Hild/Bede is also somewhere completely different that I am unsure about..


yeah for sure, none of them are too far away from the classics but on the bailey (johns, hatfield, castle, cuths and chads) you’d be very close to your lectures.

i absolutely adore the vibe of hild bede, but i know that it was ‘condemned’ a couple of years ago, and im not sure whether it’ll be back for this academic year. so im not sure whether, if you were allocated hild bede, whether you would actually get to be in the lovely old buildings. i think they’ve been sharing some of the newer college buildings for the past year or so

it’s also the furthest away of every college, but considering the location of your course buildings it would still only be a 17 minute walk from between the two. it is generally criticised for being by far the furthest out of town.

johns is lovely on the inside, a very homely old vibe, but the bar is very very tiny, which some people don’t like. that was really the only thing making it not make the top spot, except that it was a bit too religion heavy for me personally

Oh?? What do you mean by being 'condemned'? I hope that (should I be allocated there) I will be able to go to at least decent accommodation and see the lovely building and grounds! I don't mind the distance at all as well, considering I am planning to cycle.

St. John's is another good option, I am not sure about it being too small and the lack of information I have on its interior but I just need to do some more research. The religious part fortunately doesn't bother me much at all.

I have had a look at Hatfield too which, although known for quote on quote "posh idiots", is a really nice College and is close to the Department of Classics. One thing I am really trying to look for is large green spaces, old architecture and of course, a nice library and nice accommodation.


condemned is just the word the guy who showed me around one of the colleges used, but i think basically they're developing it because it was getting a bit too old. this is what the website has to say about it

https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/estate-
development/leazes-road/hild-bede-redevelopment/

honestly the newer accommodation that they're using as accommodation still looks lovely, but personally i would be disappointed not to be where expected (but now you know, i guess it wouldn't make the biggest difference, i didn't know the new accommodation when i applied so ranked hild bede pretty low)

johns is the second smallest college, so if you want somewhere bigger then it probably isn’t for you, whilst hatfield is about double its size. i haven’t been inside hatfield but it seems pretty nice. the only thing that put me off was its reputation and the fact that we were told it would be a half hour wait until we could enter the property (me being irritating but it defo fed into the elitist vibe for me), but i know basically everyone who gets into a college that wasn’t at the top of their list still loves it, so i wouldn’t worry too much

from what i’ve seen, most of the colleges on the bailey have similarly sized lawn areas, but i’m not sure how much any of them are used. johns definitely has things like summer shakespeare in their garden, and trevs and mary’s have certain events outside (trevstock etc) but i know that trevs probably doesn’t have that nice architecture that you’re after :smile:

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