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UCL or Durham for Comp sci

I'm pretty bad at making decisions for myself so I'd appreciate some input. I realise I've left this very late but the past year of my life has been pretty bad and I've been really busy so I've ended up just procrastinating.

I'm currently stuck between UCL and Durham for computer science. I've been shortlisted to take the STAT by UCL and have been given an unconditional offer from Durham (as well as Warwick, KCL and Edinburgh - I wouldn't mind any of these options but I think Durham is probably the best).
The thing is, I have to decide today whether I want to accept UCL or not. The deadline to sign up for the STAT is tomorrow and I don't see the point in spending over £100 on it if I don't end up going.
It seems that UCL would be better in terms of the course and job opportunities, however, for personal reasons, I think it'd be better for my wellbeing if I moved away from home, which I wouldn't be able to justify if I went to UCL as I live about an hour away so could just commute.

Would it be worth potentially sacrificing my wellbeing to go to UCL or is the difference not that large?

I got A*A*A*A in physics, computer science, maths and AS further maths and am predicted A* in regular further maths. To be honest, I really don't think I'll get the A* in FM, though I don't know if UCL will be considering this yet.

Thanks :smile:
Original post by kiliawawa
I'm pretty bad at making decisions for myself so I'd appreciate some input. I realise I've left this very late but the past year of my life has been pretty bad and I've been really busy so I've ended up just procrastinating.

I'm currently stuck between UCL and Durham for computer science. I've been shortlisted to take the STAT by UCL and have been given an unconditional offer from Durham (as well as Warwick, KCL and Edinburgh - I wouldn't mind any of these options but I think Durham is probably the best).
The thing is, I have to decide today whether I want to accept UCL or not. The deadline to sign up for the STAT is tomorrow and I don't see the point in spending over £100 on it if I don't end up going.
It seems that UCL would be better in terms of the course and job opportunities, however, for personal reasons, I think it'd be better for my wellbeing if I moved away from home, which I wouldn't be able to justify if I went to UCL as I live about an hour away so could just commute.

Would it be worth potentially sacrificing my wellbeing to go to UCL or is the difference not that large?

I got A*A*A*A in physics, computer science, maths and AS further maths and am predicted A* in regular further maths. To be honest, I really don't think I'll get the A* in FM, though I don't know if UCL will be considering this yet.

Thanks :smile:


Do any of your offers give you the option of a placement year? This can add a lot to your graduate CV whereas the uni you went to adds little. Also, which course do you prefer? Have you compared modules and worked out which course you'd find more interesting?
Personally I'd say Warwick and Edinburgh (although the latter has pretty persistently low student satisfaction I gather in the department) are far stronger than the other options you've listed, on an academic front. From what I've seen of the courses at UCL and KCL is that they get a big boost in interest and hence grade requirements due to being London unis but the courses themselves look rather pedestrian. I'm not as familiar with the Durham course though.

For roles in the computing sector which university you go to is generally not a major factor as I understand, relative to work experience and ability to perform in leetcode and assessment centre exercises/psychometric tests and technical interviews. For roles in e.g. investment banking or management consulting, Warwick is as good as UCL.

Personally I would suggest you not consider UCL or KCL if you are also keen to not be living in London in the first place, and focus on the other three.
Reply 3
Original post by normaw
Do any of your offers give you the option of a placement year? This can add a lot to your graduate CV whereas the uni you went to adds little. Also, which course do you prefer? Have you compared modules and worked out which course you'd find more interesting?

Both offer a year in industry and their courses seem very similar. The optional modules in the third year of Durham seem a little more interesting though.
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
Personally I'd say Warwick and Edinburgh (although the latter has pretty persistently low student satisfaction I gather in the department) are far stronger than the other options you've listed, on an academic front. From what I've seen of the courses at UCL and KCL is that they get a big boost in interest and hence grade requirements due to being London unis but the courses themselves look rather pedestrian. I'm not as familiar with the Durham course though.
For roles in the computing sector which university you go to is generally not a major factor as I understand, relative to work experience and ability to perform in leetcode and assessment centre exercises/psychometric tests and technical interviews. For roles in e.g. investment banking or management consulting, Warwick is as good as UCL.
Personally I would suggest you not consider UCL or KCL if you are also keen to not be living in London in the first place, and focus on the other three.

Yeah, I think I have this idea that I want to go to UCL because I wanted to go to Imperial (and was rejected) and the two occupy the same space in my mind. If the Uni "reputation" isn't as important as I think then I guess I'll forget about UCL and focus on the rest.
Original post by kiliawawa
Yeah, I think I have this idea that I want to go to UCL because I wanted to go to Imperial (and was rejected) and the two occupy the same space in my mind. If the Uni "reputation" isn't as important as I think then I guess I'll forget about UCL and focus on the rest.


I don't think UCL CS is remotely comparable to Imperial CS. Frankly I'd consider Edinburgh or Warwick a much closer analogue, academically.
Original post by kiliawawa
I'm pretty bad at making decisions for myself so I'd appreciate some input. I realise I've left this very late but the past year of my life has been pretty bad and I've been really busy so I've ended up just procrastinating.
I'm currently stuck between UCL and Durham for computer science. I've been shortlisted to take the STAT by UCL and have been given an unconditional offer from Durham (as well as Warwick, KCL and Edinburgh - I wouldn't mind any of these options but I think Durham is probably the best).
The thing is, I have to decide today whether I want to accept UCL or not. The deadline to sign up for the STAT is tomorrow and I don't see the point in spending over £100 on it if I don't end up going.
It seems that UCL would be better in terms of the course and job opportunities, however, for personal reasons, I think it'd be better for my wellbeing if I moved away from home, which I wouldn't be able to justify if I went to UCL as I live about an hour away so could just commute.
Would it be worth potentially sacrificing my wellbeing to go to UCL or is the difference not that large?
I got A*A*A*A in physics, computer science, maths and AS further maths and am predicted A* in regular further maths. To be honest, I really don't think I'll get the A* in FM, though I don't know if UCL will be considering this yet.
Thanks :smile:

UCL hands down, it is a target school
Reply 7
Durham wasn't doing well for Computing until recently it seems, now that they have a newish building, given that they're excited about being in 20th place for research.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by kiliawawa
Yeah, I think I have this idea that I want to go to UCL because I wanted to go to Imperial (and was rejected) and the two occupy the same space in my mind. If the Uni "reputation" isn't as important as I think then I guess I'll forget about UCL and focus on the rest.

Hi if you dont mind please could you tell me what super-curriculars you did for computing? Thanks
Reply 9
Original post by artful_lounger
I don't think UCL CS is remotely comparable to Imperial CS. Frankly I'd consider Edinburgh or Warwick a much closer analogue, academically.

What about UoM, is it better compared to mentioned unis?
Original post by Ghjknkmn
What about UoM, is it better compared to mentioned unis?


I don't think it's really of the same calibre as Imperial or Warwick. Possibly similar to Edinburgh.

That said as I recall they have crazy high entry requirements (A*A*A* I believe?) for some reason so it's unlikely to be a good option for an insurance choice, and if you are predicted A*A*A* there's really no reason to not consider Oxbridge/Imperial/Warwick in the first place.
Original post by artful_lounger
I don't think it's really of the same calibre as Imperial or Warwick. Possibly similar to Edinburgh.
That said as I recall they have crazy high entry requirements (A*A*A* I believe?) for some reason so it's unlikely to be a good option for an insurance choice, and if you are predicted A*A*A* there's really no reason to not consider Oxbridge/Imperial/Warwick in the first place.

In rankings UoM #4 for CS, and Warwick is 10 together with Bristol so idk

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