Member reviews of Durham University

  • 4Winter's avatar by 4Winter on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    It's a great uni with a really welcoming and active student community. The courses are well-taught, there are so many opportunities to get involved and find things you like whatever your preferences are.
    University:
    This is in my opinion one of the best things about Durham. There are so many societies and clubs to join - I've been able to do so many things I wouldn't have expected, like scuba diving, hot chocolate crawls or helping run a society myself.
    Course:
    The lecturers are nice and approachable. The contact hours are reasonable and especially in first year leave a lot of time to study on your own and do other extracurricular activities.
    Location:
    Durham itself is a fairly small city, but pretty and welcoming. I definitely enjoy that a large part of its population is students, as it means there are many student events going on e.g. fairs, book sales, house plant sales, student-friendly deals etc.
    Accommodation:
    The locations are generally good, most colleges are quite central and even the farthest ones are quite close to the departments.
    Settling in:
    As an international student, it was definitely difficult being away from my home and family for the first time, so I had episodes of extreme homesickness in the first few weeks.
  • Yarunika's avatar by Yarunika on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    Poor. Don't bother unless you can afford the sky-high cost and the constant overbearing pressure of being a 'top-tier' uni. It isn't worth the illness.
    University:
    Library is fantastic, though a little small. Campus is clean. Not much study space. Never used the union or societies because commuters are made to feel like outsiders. Gym is overpriced, taking advantage of the students.
    Course:
    Teachers are approachable (with the exception of a few), and have an enthusiasm for their subject. Course work is informative and interesting, but the marking system and feedback, as well as attitude towards failing students, is a little harsh.
    Location:
    Nice city, generally pretty safe, in the city centre so its fairly easy to get to. Not much to do there though, you sort of feel like you're in a fish bowl. For our geology course though, the geology is literally just out the door, so that's pretty cool.
    Accommodation:
    I commute, but as far as I've seen the college accomodation is tiny for the amount of money paid, though they are clean and the food is good. Housing in the city is dirty, worn-out and distant, unless you want to pay over £100-150 per week.
    Settling in:
    Poor attitude to commuters and those who don't "live-in", which made attending lectures, workshops and Fresher's activities hard. All societies and workshops run at late times or on a weekend, again making it difficult to fully enjoy what was on offer.
  • natho4's avatar by natho4 on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    Academic, sporty and a good environment
    University:
    Collegiate is so ncie
    Course:
    Good fun
    Location:
    Close to a big city
    Accommodation:
    Close to everything
    Settling in:
    Friendly environment
  • Amyab11's avatar by Amyab11 on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    Really love it
    University:
    Good services offered on campus. Welfare is excellent as college as well as uni wide. Lots of clubs and societies.
    Course:
    Busy timetable but good as less independent readings and work required. Course structured well. Enjoyed my modules. Teaching good, fairly fast feedback.
    Location:
    Quite far north which means I have to travel quite far
    Accommodation:
    Divided into colleges which I love. Makes it more personal and easier to meet people I think. Good location. Average in terms of price
    Settling in:
    Found it all quite smooth. Met nice people stafught away which helped
  • Tonett's avatar by Tonett on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    Your experience will defer from mine but it will never not get easier. So decide to enjoy it and you will.
    University:
    It is okay overall. You will enjoy it once you make really great friends and get settled in. You will enjoy the lessons too! Sports is great too. Durham is close to Newcastle so great shopping and clubbing.
    Course:
    Module content is really informative. Lots of drops in to help and great resources at the library.
    Location:
    The business school is on a hill, which is really inconvenient especially due to where the bus drops you off. The weather doesn't help either as we are up North.
    Accommodation:
    There are a lot of student accommodations, although not close to the Business school and with poor transport links. The private accommodations are also very pricey with little floor space. The accommodation is really poor for me.
    Settling in:
    There wasn't as much assistance as one would hope but Durham is pretty small so it's not hard to settle in on your own.
  • i_dontreallyknow's avatar by i_dontreallyknow on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    I have truly enjoyed my past two years at Durham, it really is an amazing place to study, and its departments are some of the best in the country.
    University:
    Durham is a city uni, so it doesn't really have a set campus, but what there is is alright. Welfare stuff is really good, as well as the uni welfare people there is a dedicated welfare team in every college.
    Course:
    The lecturers and the resources available are truly amazing, and if you get the right module it can be a truly amazing experience. The department are lovely, and most always reply to emails/queries quickly.
    Location:
    Durham is truly an amazing place to be. My only complaint as to location would be the hell that is travelling to Durham on a train. Avoid at all costs.
    Accommodation:
    University accommodation is really hit and miss. My first year room in itself was alright, it had everything I needed and the Wi-Fi was excellent. But the hot water was rather dodgy, and the showers in the flat weren't the nicest.
    Settling in:
    Durham's collegiate system is truly amazing for making friends and settling in. I had an absolutely amazing support network within my college, and I didn't have a problem settling in.
  • cfoster7's avatar by cfoster7 on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    Overall I am really enjoying my university experience. My course, friends, the city and the societies I have joined have really made my first year enjoyable and I would definitely recommend Durham University to others, especially for Chemistry.
    University:
    It is not a campus university but there are always services and support available to you from either the university or your college. The gym membership costs are quite high locally.
    Course:
    Most of the lecturers give interesting lectures which aid your understanding of the topic. There are lots of contact hours which suits me as it helps me to focus as there are always lecture notes to catch up on or lab sessions to prepare for.
    Location:
    Located in and around the city so shops, supermarkets and restaurants are always at most about 15 minutes away from where you are, which is very convenient.
    Accommodation:
    I lived in St Cuthbert's Society Parson's Field site and it was generally good and the cleaners generally did a good job - it was useful as they cleaned the kitchen and showers basically every other day.
    Settling in:
    The freshers reps were very friendly and I got on well with the other people living in my corridor.
  • csheary's avatar by csheary on 24th January 2019
    Overall:
    I love it. I found the thought of moving away from home daunting, however I had the best first year thanks to my lecturers making my course interesting, college staff for their support and my friends for all the wonderful memories we’ve made.
    University:
    There is the opportunity to get involved in a myriad of societies so that you will never get bored.
    Course:
    I’ve found all of my modules in first year really interesting and all the staff were engaging and supportive. The seminars provided great opportunity to consolidate and develop what we had learnt in lectures.
    Location:
    Although it is a long way from home, I love the fact it is in a small city. You can easily walk to and from any point in Durham, but it’s not too small that it suffocates you.
    Accommodation:
    Being a collegiate university, it is quite different from a standard university. I love the college system as it provides a unique sense of community and belonging that you wouldn’t get in a standard halls of residence.
    Settling in:
    The college made it easy to settle in, as the Frep team was incredible in getting everyone involved in activities
  • Nimdelgirl's avatar by Nimdelgirl on 20th November 2018
    Overall:
    Great, being part of things outside the course was my best way to keep active, making a friend or two in my course so that if I was ever ill I had someone to take notes for me. The college system at Durham is great because you feel more like a community
    University:
    There's so much to do that its possible for everyone to find something they love other than the course to get stuck into. I found plenty people who were as interested in a quiet night in as going out clubbing.
    Course:
    The course is very full on but you're getting so much out of it. a good mix of lectures, seminars and labs so its not all wrote learning. College tutors in the subject are some of the most helpful people to go for for academic advice and help
    Location:
    Small town, not much other than the university - but there's plenty within that. 20 mins train from larger Newcastle, but very North (from someone who lives south
    Accommodation:
    Great living in college for the first year, especially the sociability of eating meals together as catered, but pricey
    Settling in:
    If you throw yourself into things and are willing to put yourself out there its easy to make friends and settle in, cos everyone else is doing the same. lots of friendly people made this easier
  • caitmahoney29's avatar by caitmahoney29 on 20th November 2018
    Overall:
    Great experience, met friends for life and had such a laugh, but also got top level education
    University:
    City is beautiful so campus reflects this, and there are all the facilities you could want.
    Course:
    Tutors are really helpful, lectures are interesting though at times hard to follow but that’s all down to learning how to study at undergraduate level! I love the diversity of the course and essay writing is interesting.
    Location:
    I love the fact it’s a city but not too big - and you have Newcastle just around the corner!
    Accommodation:
    The rooms in my college (Hatfield) were somewhat dated compared to other university accomodation. However, the sense of community being in a college gives makes up for this, and I loved living in halls.
    Settling in:
    So easy to make friends and settle in because of the college system
  • alana.lammii's avatar by alana.lammii on 26th September 2018
    Overall:
    I have loved studying at Durham university and I don’t regret choosing this location. People are friendly, the course is interesting, and it has a stellar academic reputation.
    University:
    Daytime facilities are decent. Lots of brunch places and cafes. However, the library lacks space and there are few shops. Similarly nightlife is limited by a lack of clubs/bars. There are also no chains like McDonald’s and Burger King.
    Course:
    Most lectures and tutorials are engaging and interesting however there are some where notes are just read from a page for an hour. Also, after studying abroad it is clear that the law courses available are few and very standard.
    Location:
    Only desire is it not be so cold!
    Accommodation:
    Living in Josephine Butler College is great. It is self-catered and almost like living in a flat with everyone having their own en suite. The only issue I have found is it is quite expensive.
    Settling in:
    As a collegiate university and living in a flat-type accommodation there is a lot of support and opportunity to make friends. As a small city, it is easy to find your way around and get used to the area.
  • fw1's avatar by fw1 on 27th June 2017
    Overall:
    Brilliant
    University:
    Something for everyone. A unique experience
    Course:
    Good range of modules. Knowledgeable staff
    Location:
    Durham is amazing
    Accommodation:
    Colleges offer an amazing experience. Everything is a walk away. Pricey, but fully catered.
    Settling in:
    Great freshers reps and college parents
  • EsAnd's avatar by EsAnd on 12th March 2017
    Overall:
    Great reputation and great student life
    University:
    Huge amounts of sports - can play lots at college level so however inexperienced there are matches etc. Library is great, shopping is good with Newcastle not far away, welfare is through college so very supportive. SU is distant -only because of college network.
    Course:
    I have 7-10 contact hours a week, with small tutorial groups for each module which means its easy to approach a tutor regarding an essay etc. In 1st year 2 modules can be from any subject whatsoever alongside 4 compulsory anth modules. Lectures are interesting with powerpoints available before the lecture for printing out etc.
    Location:
    Durham is a small town, but very studenty and very friendly. Clubs are great fun and good variety. Newcastle is short train away (£7) which offers bigger nights out Clubs close at 2am which means you can normally make 9ams after too!
    Accommodation:
    Hatfield College: perfect location - some very modern rooms and others are well looked after with friendly cleaners. Sharing a room is fun - less people than I thought would did anyway. Expensive otherwise would receive 5*
    Settling in:
    Was very worried about leaving home but felt at home immediately. Freshers week was great fun, busy and had a lot of support to meet people etc
  • ameliahai's avatar by ameliahai on 27th February 2017
    Overall:
    I like durham
    University:
    uni is fun and cool
    Course:
    good lectures but long hours
    Location:
    on campus
    Accommodation:
    nice building
    Settling in:
    easy to settle in
  • adamgatherar's avatar by adamgatherar on 27th February 2017
    Overall:
    Great course. Great social life. Decent location.
    University:
    Very fortunate to have our JCR reps who organise everything, making fun activities for all people with all interests. Every society you could imagine and plenty on offer
    Course:
    Perfect combination between textbook theory/knowledge, clinical relevance and practical opportunities. As well as plenty of optional societies such as SurgSoc
    Location:
    Stockton campus for medicine. Teeside Park, KU and Spensleys all close (thumbs up). However would rather be in Durham or Newcastle for a better night-life.
    Accommodation:
    Stephenson College. Clean, modern and perfect location. (Slightly expensive but thats it)
    Settling in:
    Maybe lucky to have such a lovely flat but the fresher-reps and JCR execs make it so much easier. Freshers was such a good way to meet everyone!
  • SaxMan97's avatar by SaxMan97 on 27th February 2017
    Overall:
    I'm having a really great time, of course the academic rigour is still there, but you're with a group of like-minded people who can also meet the intellectual challenge, but also enjoy activities out of the academic sphere.
    University:
    There's such a multitude of activities to get involved in and I enjoy DU sport, Music at college and uni level and many other things on offer! Again, you get out what you put in I'd say!
    Course:
    Whilst challenging in places, I am really enjoying the Durham History Course. We get to choose all of our modules (the only requisites being at least one medieval, one early modern and one late modern). You have to learn pretty quickly to be independent in looking for reading materials for essays, so it's a bit of a trial by fire there, but one that is well worth it for building towards dissertations. Whilst we don't have lots and lots of contact hour, we have no fewer than other humanities, but it is understood that we'll go away and do a lot of reading etc. For each seminar we are supposed to do around 4 hours of reading, although not many people quite go to those extremes. Really I think it's a classic case of you get out what you put in! (Essay feedback is very helpful and they are piloting anonymous marking with us).
    Location:
    Durham is very pretty and is a nice place to live, my only comment would be we don't have many large supermarkets etc nearby.
    Accommodation:
    Very good, living in college gives a great community- although my college isn't pretty per se, it's really good fun and I now wouldn't change it! As with anywhere in Durham, still fairly close to classes. Pricing seems slightly steep, although we are fully-catered which certainly has its advantages!
    Settling in:
    I felt I was almost fully settled in by the whole Freshers' Week experience, again, I think the college community really helped for that!
  • phoebeg76's avatar by phoebeg76 on 2nd January 2017
    Overall:
    I've had the time of my life so far, and honestly cannot wait for the rest of my time at Durham!
    University:
    WELFARE. SO GOOD. With the college system, there's so many people to talk to if you ever need advice or just someone to talk to. It's absolutely incredible how easy it is to get help when you need it. The Bill Bryson library is useful, if a little sparse of available seats at times.
    Course:
    There's so many points of contact, if I ever feel like I'm struggling or need extra help to understand a certain topic I know I can contact the lecturer or any of my tutors or advisors. There's a lot of contact hours, which makes the course very structured and means that I don't have to have too much self-discipline to get my work done!
    Location:
    Durham is a very small city, which is perfect for me but understandably not for everyone. My college is one of the furthest from the city centre, but still nothing is more than a 25 minute walk from my room! Despite being a small city, there's plenty to do as a student due to the large student population. There's a variety of choices for nights out, which was surprising to me at first!
    Accommodation:
    The college system at Durham is absolutely incredible - by far my favourite part of university! Everybody - students and staff - is so lovely and approachable. There are no cliques and anyone can talk to anyone which is so nice. The accommodation depends on the college, but overall every college has nice spacious rooms, how modern they are just depends if you're in Castle or JoBo!
    Settling in:
    I felt at home within a couple of hours of arriving at my college! With all the fresher's week events set out for you, you're really just thrown into university life without much time to worry about fitting in Everyone just wants to make friends and have a good time - everyone's in the same boat! Whilst you might not make your friends for life within the first few days of freshers, you'll still meet some amazing people and have the best time!
  • Casper_'s avatar by Casper_ on 7th October 2015
    Overall:
    Durham is amazingly unqiue- formal matriculation and gowned formals in great halls - like harry potter :)
    University:
    Everything is offered
    Course:
    It's brilliantly taught and organised.
    Location:
    Durham is beautiful
    Accommodation:
    It's mainly ok but old buildings. Also it has castle accomodation
    Settling in:
    Friend immediately
  • Kate 8's avatar by Kate 8 on 7th October 2015
    Overall:
    Weird but nice and friendly. Mcore personal
    University:
    Collegiate system
    Course:
    Busy busy bit boring
    Location:
    Beautiful but small
    Accommodation:
    Shared rooms
    Settling in:
    Difficult to find proper friends
  • by Anonymous on 7th October 2015
    Overall:
    Loved everything about the city, department, uni services, accommodation and social life.
    University:
    Loads of options for everything, great sport/library/welfare facilities
    Course:
    Overall it's great but could have done with more feedback
    Location:
    Love the city, but it's not as diverse as i would have liked
    Accommodation:
    Collegiate system is great
    Settling in:
    The collegiate system made it easy to meet people and we were given loads of support
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