The Student Room Group
Student at University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh vs Durham vs Imperial for civil engineering

I am an international student with offers from Edinburgh, Durham and Imperial for civil engineering (MEng), but I am struggling to choose.

A big factor for me is city-life as I will be spending 4 years at each uni (second year entry for Edinburgh) and I believe that Edinburgh is by far the best city here. Also, as an individual having played in football academies, Durham and Edinburgh having competitive football clubs are a big bonus.

Another big factor for my family is costs. Durham is the best followed closely by Edinburgh and then Imperial costing much more.

Course-wise, they all have accreditation and flexibility in switching courses (I am not entirely sure about civil engineering being my field of engineering.)

A big factor for my parents (not that big for me) is ranking and prestige, and obviously Imperial is the best here. However, I see that each university has similar employability.

Could you guys please give me your advice and personal experiences regarding each university and course? Thanks
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous #1
I am an international student with offers from Edinburgh, Durham and Imperial for civil engineering (MEng), but I am struggling to choose.
A big factor for me is city-life as I will be spending 4 years at each uni (second year entry for Edinburgh) and I believe that Edinburgh is by far the best city here. Also, as an individual having played in football academies, Durham and Edinburgh having competitive football clubs are a big bonus.
Another big factor for my family is costs. Durham is the best followed closely by Edinburgh and then Imperial costing much more.
Course-wise, they all have accreditation and flexibility in switching courses (I am not entirely sure about civil engineering being my field of engineering.)
A big factor for my parents (not that big for me) is ranking and prestige, and obviously Imperial is the best here. However, I see that each university has similar employability.
Could you guys please give me your advice and personal experiences regarding each university and course? Thanks

Hello, I can’t help with courses but can with Unis a bit. I work in London, my brother did his Chemistry PHD at Imperial ( years ago) and I currently have a son at Durham( first year) and a daughter at Edinburgh ( first year). All 3 are great prestigious Unis. London is very expensive- not just accommodation but food, socialising (my brother lived with me to make it possible for him). I also think the uni experience there is different- uni life isn’t centred on one area and there of course are millions of people but I have friends whose children go to London Unis and they are happy and don’t feel they aren’t getting a good student experience. Durham is a gorgeous city. There are so many students - more than the general population that everything is pretty much focussed on the Uni and you can walk everywhere. There is also some lovely countryside near by. The college set up up means you can play sport for the Uni if you are amazing but you can also play for your college,eg my son wouldn’t have made the football or squash Uni teams at all as some brilliant sportsmen there but he is loving playing for his college team. It also means he can have a go at all sorts of sports he wouldn’t have otherwise tried as the colleges but teams together for all sorts.college life also seems to help people feel settled and to make friends easier and have a ready made social life. Nightlife wise there is lots going on in the colleges but it isn’t a big city with large late nightclubs etc. that suits my son but I have another daughter deciding where to go and she thinks it will be too small” for her. The college set up also means I think that more pastoral care is available as you are better known to the uni and they can help with issues. Accomodation in year 2 and 3 once out of Uni owned accommodation is expensive as it is in short supply. In my view Edinburgh in terms of City life gives you the best of London and Durham. It is beautiful like Durham but is larger and not just all about the Uni and students, there is a bigger community of locals. I don’t think a new student is as likely to feel lost there as in London. Sports wise I don’t know how many teams they have and what the chance of getting to regularly play there are - there aren’t college opportunities like Durham, so it will playing for the Uni sides. Accomodation for year 2 in Edinburgh seems less of an issue than in Durham. All brilliant places. If you have any specific further questions let me know and we can try and assist.
Student at University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
Reply 2
Edinburgh has the most history of teaching Civil Engineering (over 200 years), then Imperial (140 years), and Durham's website doesn't say how long they've been teaching it so probably for less than 60 years, if that, because for a long time they had their Newcastle campus for practical kinds of subjects. Of course, they haven't had a Newcastle campus since the 1960s because it became its own university then, Newcastle University. Imperial do rank very, very, well for this subject. Edinburgh seems to have a student satisfaction issue in general. I do think Durham colleges are very nice though and Durham has nice buildings in general, although Durham curiously feels more like a campus university that just happens to have some old buildings.
(edited 1 month ago)

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