Is Durham A Good University? Find out in this guide

Is Durham A Good University?

Choosing the right university is a crucial step in your successful career. So, if you are thinking Durham University is good for you, we’ll try to make your choice easier. 

Durham University is a highly-regarded institution that often finds itself ranked among the top ten universities in the UK. As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, it has established itself as one of the leading universities in the UK. 

However, when it comes to deciding whether Durham University is a good choice for prospective students, there are many things to consider. 

In this guide, we tried to answer you if is Durham a good university. 

How Good Is Durham University?

Durham University is considered a good and prestigious educational institution with a strong reputation for academic excellence. 

The university is consistently ranked highly in the UK and international league tables and has a diverse student body from over 150 countries. 

Durham University offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across a variety of disciplines, including highly regarded programmes in mathematics, engineering, and business. The university also provides excellent support services for students, including dedicated international student support and a range of extracurricular activities. 

The feedback of former students holds significant weight because they have firsthand experience. 

The Student Crowd has ranked Durham University 27th out of 140 universities in the UK, with an overall feedback rating of 4.24 out of 5. This indicates that current students believe Durham University is a better institution than Oxford.

Recommended guides:

Durham University Rankings

In the 2023 Times Higher Education ranking, Durham University has secured the 26th position in the UK. In the Guardian list of the UK’s best universities, Durham is ranked in 5th place. 

Additionally, the university has been recognised as the best institution for graduates in the North East region. Durham University is a highly acclaimed university in the world rankings. 

The university is in the top ten for subjects like Theology, divinity and religious studies, Archaeology, Finance, Business, Economics and Geography, which is a testament to its academic excellence.

Russell Group Universities Member

Durham has been a member of the prestigious Russell Group universities since 2012. This elite group is similar and often compared to the Ivy League from the USA.

Realising that your first choice university is a member of the Russell Group can feel like an added incentive to attend. This is because Russell Group universities receive additional funding and typically provide more opportunities for their students. Also, it’s harder to get in than in other universities. 

How hard is it to get to Durham?

The average acceptance rate for Durham University in 2022 was 74%, according to the admission report. 

If take this into account, it looks like it is relatively easy to get into Durham University, compared to other Russell Group universities like Oxford, Cambridge, or UCL.

However, the typical admission entry requirements to get an offer are high. You will need to achieve A*AA in A-Levels. Keep in mind this can slightly vary for some courses.

Very good for employability 

According to Graduate Outcomes Data, 89% of undergraduate leavers from the UK and EU in 2017-18 were either employed or enrolled in further study 15 months after graduation. 

Within the field of Computer Science, in the fact that 96% of our graduates across all programmes secure paid employment or go on to further study within the same time frame.

In the academic year 2019-20, 93% of Durham graduates secured employment or continued their education within 15 months of graduation, as reported by HESA Graduate Outcomes. 

Additionally, 91% of Economics students from Durham University went on to work and/or further study within the same time frame, indicating the strong employability prospects of graduates in various fields of study.

Targeted Uni

Durham University is considered a target university by many banks, consultancy, finance firms, law firms and businesses. These companies often host events at the university to encourage students to apply for job opportunities. 

As a result, applying to Durham University could be a great option for students interested in pursuing a career in these fields.

Additionally, the university organises Targeted Careers Weeks events, which provide students with ample opportunities to connect with high-calibre employers seeking to hire students for employment and work experience in their respective sectors. 

These events are an excellent way for students to network, gain industry insights, and learn about job opportunities that match their interests and skills. 

UCAS guides:

Companies Prefer Law Graduates From Durham

Durham University’s law department has an excellent reputation within the legal community, widely recognized for its competitiveness and quality of education. A remarkable 89% of students achieve a 2:1 or First, with an impressive 97.8% continuation rate.

In 2019, a report on Law firms’ preferred universities ranked Durham University as one of the top 3 preferred universities for recruiting law graduates. This recognition from the industry is a testament to the quality of education and training provided by the law department at Durham University, making it a highly sought-after destination for aspiring legal professionals.

Cost of Living for Students in Durham

Durham is also good on some other accounts. It is a lot cheaper to live in than London and most parts of the UK (the North East, excluding parts of Newcastle, has some of the cheapest private rental housing). Comparatively, you get more for your money and this applies to housing, shopping, food, etc. 

For students living in Durham, it is recommended to budget around £1200 per month to cover living expenses. This estimate includes various costs such as accommodation, transportation, food, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses.

However, actual expenses may vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle and personal preferences. For instance, living in university accommodation may cost less than renting a private apartment, or cooking meals at home may be more cost-effective than eating out frequently.

Collegiate system 

The Durham Colleges system offers a great support network for students. There are various resources available for students, including Disability Support located at the Palatine Centre, Student Support within the college, a Welfare Team within the college, and Counselling at the Palatine Centre. Additionally, there are informal support structures that provide additional assistance for students who need it.

Durham is also an ideal city for students because of its size. It’s not too large, which makes it less overwhelming for new students, but it’s also not too small, so students can still enjoy a vibrant social life and explore the city.

One-To-One Support For Career Planning 

Durham University offers a wide range of support services to its graduates, providing the same level and type of assistance as it does to current students. 

This includes consultations, email, and online appointments. Graduates can avail of these services to receive feedback on their CVs and application forms.

The support services are available throughout the academic year. Even after leaving Durham, you can access the support needed to help achieve success in the next steps.

This is one more thing that marks Durham University as good for students. 

Recommended guides:

Historic and UNESCO Location

Durham University is located in the heart of the city of Durham and is easily accessible on foot from all the colleges. With a walking time of around 2 hours from one end of the city to the other, students are always within proximity to their homes and friends.

Durham University college is located in a a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Photo credit: Durham University

The University is situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle founded in 1072, which is home to University College. 

These iconic historic landmarks remain integral to university life to this day. The history and heritage of Durham University extend beyond the World Heritage Site, with traditional cobbled streets and ancient buildings scattered throughout the town.

These historical landmarks and traditional architecture provide a unique and charming atmosphere that sets Durham apart from other university cities. 

Durham Subjects Ranking In The Uk

Durham University has received high rankings in various subject areas according to the Complete University Guide. In Computer Science and Economics, it is among the top 6 universities in the UK. In Psychology, Durham University is ranked 9th in the country.

The University also excels in Accounting & Finance, with a ranking of 3rd in the UK, as well as in other areas such as English, History, Theology, and Marketing. These rankings reflect the high-quality education, resources, and research opportunities available to students at Durham University.

By providing exceptional education in these subject areas, Durham University allows students to develop their skills and knowledge and prepares them for successful careers in their fields of interest.

Student Life and Activities

Durham offers a vibrant and diverse student life, with over 200 student clubs and societies catering to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re into sports, arts, politics, or volunteering, there’s something for everyone. 

The university’s sports facilities are top-notch, and it is well known for its strong sports teams and dedication to promoting physical activity and well-being.

It’s surrounded by stunning rural landscapes that consist of the North Pennines, the Durham Dales, and the Northumberland coast. It’s highly recommended to embark on a day trip to discover these scenic areas and bask in the natural allure of the region.

Is Durham University Good For Maths?

Durham University is well-known for its strong mathematics programme. The Mathematics department at Durham University has a reputation for excellence in research and teaching and is consistently ranked among the top mathematics departments in the UK. According to the Complete University Guide 2023, Durham University is ranked 4th in the UK for Mathematics. 

Is Durham University Good For International Students

Durham University is a great choice for international students. The university has a diverse student body, with around a third of its students coming from outside the UK. 

The university provides a range of support services for international students, including pre-arrival advice, a dedicated International Student Support team, and a wide range of social and cultural activities to help international students settle in and make friends.

International students should be aware that they are not alone in their experiences. Living far away from their home country can be challenging at times. However, it’s crucial to remember that help is available in the form of support from tutors and counselling services.

According to the university’s latest data, there are currently around 6,000 international students from over 150 countries studying at Durham University. 

Final Thoughts

Durham University is undeniably a top choice for students who value academic excellence, a supportive collegiate environment, and a vibrant student life. 

With its strong reputation, wide range of courses, and impressive graduate employability, Durham is a good university for those seeking a well-rounded academic experience in a historic and picturesque setting.

Guides for further reading:

Photo credits for feature image: the University of Durham official page