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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Exeter or Durham?

Hi! I have offers for Exeter and Durham to do geography but am struggling on what I want to firm. Exeter is A*AA as I have applied for the study abroad course - Durham is the same but I wasn't able to apply for the course with study abroad on UCAS. I like both equally and they both have pros/cons. I am going to defer (have spoken to both unis already and they will be happy with it) so won't go until next year. Field trips at Durham look better and Durham has more prestige than Exeter but I do like the idea of being closer to home (I live in Surrey) and near a beach. One of my main extracurriculars is music and it definately looks like there are more options at Durham. If anyone has any insider info it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you :smile:

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Have you been and looked at each one?

Durham is very different to Exeter as it is a collegiate city based uni, whereas Exeter is a campus uni.

I took my daughter to an offer holders day at Durham yesterday and I really loved the college aspect of it - I think the colleges offer much more of a community feel and I love the idea of each college having their own social spaces - bars, common rooms etc. So many more events as well that are specific to each college - dinners, balls etc. I think it provides much more of an opportunity to make a wide range of friends rather than when you're simply in halls.

Exeter is obviously a lovely uni too and I really like the city there - feels nice and safe, as does Durham.

Try and get on one of the offer holder days - I don't think you can appreciate the value of the college system without visiting.
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Reply 2
Original post by MumofAleveller
Have you been and looked at each one?
Durham is very different to Exeter as it is a collegiate city based uni, whereas Exeter is a campus uni.
I took my daughter to an offer holders day at Durham yesterday and I really loved the college aspect of it - I think the colleges offer much more of a community feel and I love the idea of each college having their own social spaces - bars, common rooms etc. So many more events as well that are specific to each college - dinners, balls etc. I think it provides much more of an opportunity to make a wide range of friends rather than when you're simply in halls.
Exeter is obviously a lovely uni too and I really like the city there - feels nice and safe, as does Durham.
Try and get on one of the offer holder days - I don't think you can appreciate the value of the college system without visiting.

The halls at Exeter have their own balls too and they have social spaces...you can't beat that campus either.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hi! I have offers for Exeter and Durham to do geography but am struggling on what I want to firm. Exeter is A*AA as I have applied for the study abroad course - Durham is the same but I wasn't able to apply for the course with study abroad on UCAS. I like both equally and they both have pros/cons. I am going to defer (have spoken to both unis already and they will be happy with it) so won't go until next year. Field trips at Durham look better and Durham has more prestige than Exeter but I do like the idea of being closer to home (I live in Surrey) and near a beach. One of my main extracurriculars is music and it definately looks like there are more options at Durham. If anyone has any insider info it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you :smile:

I'd look further at Exeter - wonderful campus and you are near beach and countryside. Why do you think there are fewer music opportunities? There's the Northcott theatre on the Exeter campus and a great local music scene.
The choice of halls is better - no sharing of rooms as there is at Durham.
What do you mean by 'prestige' - the course should be your focus and study abroad is a fantastic opportunity you'll not get at Durham.
Have you visited it yet?
Reply 4
Original post by MumofAleveller
Have you been and looked at each one?
Durham is very different to Exeter as it is a collegiate city based uni, whereas Exeter is a campus uni.
I took my daughter to an offer holders day at Durham yesterday and I really loved the college aspect of it - I think the colleges offer much more of a community feel and I love the idea of each college having their own social spaces - bars, common rooms etc. So many more events as well that are specific to each college - dinners, balls etc. I think it provides much more of an opportunity to make a wide range of friends rather than when you're simply in halls.
Exeter is obviously a lovely uni too and I really like the city there - feels nice and safe, as does Durham.
Try and get on one of the offer holder days - I don't think you can appreciate the value of the college system without visiting.

I’ve been to both unis offer holder days and loved both which is my issue! I do really like the idea of the collegiate system feeling smaller, less daunting but Exeter halls do seem just as friendly. They are just very different experiences..
Reply 5
ive heard 2nd year geography at durham is hell (im a durham student) because they have one deadline a week in second term
Reply 6
idk if that would change anything but ive seen a lot of people struggle with it
Reply 7
Original post by Muttley79
I'd look further at Exeter - wonderful campus and you are near beach and countryside. Why do you think there are fewer music opportunities? There's the Northcott theatre on the Exeter campus and a great local music scene.
The choice of halls is better - no sharing of rooms as there is at Durham.
What do you mean by 'prestige' - the course should be your focus and study abroad is a fantastic opportunity you'll not get at Durham.
Have you visited it yet?

Have visited both - Exeter only has one chapel choir whereas Durham has eight! Both have choral societies etc but there are definitely more opportunities at Durham. Prestige - I mean that if you say you have a degree from Durham people will have a higher view of you than Exeter (not that Exeter isn’t amazing and one of the best unis in the country it just isn’t quite at the same level - Durham is typically held in a similar league to Oxbridge/St Andrew’s etc..)
Prestige? Durham will fall further down the rankings tables in my opinion. It has been on the slide for a while to be honest. A massively overrated university, an opinion from a former student.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous #1
Have visited both - Exeter only has one chapel choir whereas Durham has eight! Both have choral societies etc but there are definitely more opportunities at Durham. Prestige - I mean that if you say you have a degree from Durham people will have a higher view of you than Exeter (not that Exeter isn’t amazing and one of the best unis in the country it just isn’t quite at the same level - Durham is typically held in a similar league to Oxbridge/St Andrew’s etc..)

Durham is nowhere near Oxbridge - no-one looks down on Exeter compared to Durham! For Geography they are both highly regarded. Where have you got your information from btw?

There are many other choirs in Exeter itself - I did not think you just meant associated with the chapel! My students have joined choirs in the city itself not just the uni.

The choice of halls is far better at Exeter - no sharing of rooms like some Durham colleges.

The environment around Exeter is far more varied - the year abroad is priceless in terms of getting a job.
Reply 10
Original post by random_matt
Prestige? Durham will fall further down the rankings tables in my opinion. It has been on the slide for a while to be honest. A massively overrated university, an opinion from a former student.

For geography it’s higher than exeter :smile:
Original post by Anonymous #1
For geography it’s higher than exeter :smile:

Whoopie doodah, it is not going to change your life outcomes.
Original post by Anonymous #1
Have visited both - Exeter only has one chapel choir whereas Durham has eight! Both have choral societies etc but there are definitely more opportunities at Durham. Prestige - I mean that if you say you have a degree from Durham people will have a higher view of you than Exeter (not that Exeter isn’t amazing and one of the best unis in the country it just isn’t quite at the same level - Durham is typically held in a similar league to Oxbridge/St Andrew’s etc..)

If you're looking for music opportunities but aren't doing a degree in music, then Exeter is def your 1st choice uni. It doesn't have an academic music course any more, but perversely that means you're not competing with any music students for places in choirs etc. Also, the chapel choir at Exeter has an appointed, professional Director and concentrates the best talent, whilst most of the chapel choirs in Durham are run by students with the talent being spread out among so many options. Personally, I'd go for quality, not quantity.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hi! I have offers for Exeter and Durham to do geography but am struggling on what I want to firm. Exeter is A*AA as I have applied for the study abroad course - Durham is the same but I wasn't able to apply for the course with study abroad on UCAS. I like both equally and they both have pros/cons. I am going to defer (have spoken to both unis already and they will be happy with it) so won't go until next year. Field trips at Durham look better and Durham has more prestige than Exeter but I do like the idea of being closer to home (I live in Surrey) and near a beach. One of my main extracurriculars is music and it definately looks like there are more options at Durham. If anyone has any insider info it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you :smile:

hey just a heads up, Exeter doesn't offer music as a course so they put a ridiculous amount into music extracurriculars, I'm pretty sure at one point (in the last couple of years) it was voted the uni with one of the biggest if not the biggest music extracurricular department. I wouldn't dismiss Exeter's music dep based on one chapel choir, they have 20+ different music societies. The only reason durham has 8 is because its a college based uni so each choir is comprised of members of its college. Ex's chapel choir is probably bigger than any given choir at Durham.

they have a stupid amount of practice rooms, and frequently host events have a look at ExTunes, that's one of their music groups.
durham is defo more prestigoeus but if that makes any difference career wise, i doubt it
Original post by Anonymous #1
Hi! I have offers for Exeter and Durham to do geography but am struggling on what I want to firm. Exeter is A*AA as I have applied for the study abroad course - Durham is the same but I wasn't able to apply for the course with study abroad on UCAS. I like both equally and they both have pros/cons. I am going to defer (have spoken to both unis already and they will be happy with it) so won't go until next year. Field trips at Durham look better and Durham has more prestige than Exeter but I do like the idea of being closer to home (I live in Surrey) and near a beach. One of my main extracurriculars is music and it definately looks like there are more options at Durham. If anyone has any insider info it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you :smile:

There is a beach close to Durham - Seaham. It’s about 20 mins away by car and you can get a bus directly 👍
Reply 16
Original post by Anonymous #4
There is a beach close to Durham - Seaham. It’s about 20 mins away by car and you can get a bus directly 👍

Seaham beach is lovely - for bracing walks. It's not going to be somewhere you go in the summer to swim in the sea/sunbathe + it'll take you an hour+ to get there by public transport.

Exmouth beach is the exact opposite - 30 minutes by train from Exeter St Davids (right next to the campus) - and a proper summertime beach. Post exams - end May/early June - Exeter will be far warmer (sunny south west) than Durham
Prestige is such a subjective thing and being brutally honest, both aren't considered "prestige" in the academic sense (neither have produced or been affiliated with a Nobel Laureate) and rank quite poorly when compared domestically but that owes to the fact they are smaller, less research-intensive universities. Their high doemstic rankings and "prestige" probably stems from the stereotype that they attract a lot of private school students or as some might say "Oxbridge Rejects". Do they offer a similar level of academic rigor or prestige though? Not really, maybe in some subject areas like History or Medicine (at Exeter).
I have the same Offers Durham and Exeter, A*AA but if I firm Exeter they will allow a drop of 1 grade. I have dyslexia and work takes me quite a long time, going back over lectures etc. Can anyone comment on the workload for Geography BA at Durham and Exeter? Also how much help do you get arranging your placement years. I was going to firm Durham because they seemed to give lots of help with placements, but I have not been able to go to an open day yet at Exeter. I am going after Easter. Also if anyone knows about Athletics at each place that would really help, as I am a keen runner
Original post by Anonymous
I have the same Offers Durham and Exeter, A*AA but if I firm Exeter they will allow a drop of 1 grade. I have dyslexia and work takes me quite a long time, going back over lectures etc. Can anyone comment on the workload for Geography BA at Durham and Exeter? Also how much help do you get arranging your placement years. I was going to firm Durham because they seemed to give lots of help with placements, but I have not been able to go to an open day yet at Exeter. I am going after Easter. Also if anyone knows about Athletics at each place that would really help, as I am a keen runner
Yes exeter said the same for me! The guaranteed study abroad and dropping the grade is making me feel more towards choosing them but i’m still deciding

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