University College, Durham University, UK
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Is Durham A Good University?

Jasmyne Jeffery November 15, 2022

Picking a good university is crucial to making your decision. When asking whether Durham university is good, or if it is hard to get into, there are a few ways of finding out.

Everybody wants to know if the university that they want to attend is good, and Durham is no different. We take a decisive look at whether academics and students believe Durham university is good.

Is Durham University Good?

No opinion quite matters like that of past students, after all, they have lived the experience themselves. According to The Student Crowd, students rank it 27 out of 140 universities in the UK. With an overall rating of 4.24 out of 5, meaning that students believe that Durham is actually better than Oxford.

A detail of the entrance door to the old University Library building on Palace Green in Durham, UK, which was established in 1833. Taken from gettyimages Creative

All of the subcategories, Campus/Facilities, Students Union, Clubs and Societies, Internet/WiFi and Careers Service all receive a 5 out 5 rating. One student review couldn’t praise the university enough:

“It was an amazing experience that I truly needed to grow and learn to take responsibility for my work. I was given great access to great and very reasonably priced accommodation. Both the course and accommodation provide great value for money.”

On The Student Room, students also believe that Durham is a ‘target uni’ that employers in the finance sector look for. Whilst this claim isn’t backed up, it shows that students have seen success since attending Durham university.

“Durham is a target uni. Many banks, consultancy and finance firms host events and encourage Durham students to apply. So yes, very good, I would apply.”

On Quora, one student said that Durham university gave her “the best experience.”

So, it’s clear that students believe that Durham is a good university, and even that’s better than the top-ranked in the world.

Is Durham University A Russell Group?

Seeing that you’re desired university is a Russell Group feels like an extra reason why you should attend. After all, Russell Group universities get extra funding and often have more opportunities for students.

You’ll be pleased to know that Durham university is a Russell Group and has been since 2012. On accepting the invitation, the university was thrilled to work with the association:

“I very much look forward to working with colleagues in the Russell Group and contributing to the powerful voice and leadership which the Russell Group provides for research-intensive Universities in the UK and worldwide.”

The other Russell Group universities are:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics & Politic Science
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

Where is Durham University Ranked In The UK?

Durham England – July 1, 2011: Plenty of people convey in front of the Cathedral (Palace Green) to celebrate the graduations of the School of Engineering of the University of Durham. Image taken from gettyimages Creative

According to the Times Higher Education ranking of 2023, Durham University is ranked 6th in the UK. As well as that acclaim, the university was also ranked top for graduates in the North East.

It also scores very highly in the world rankings too. According to QS Top Universities, Durham currently sits at 92nd in the world and ranks in the top ten for the following:

  • Theology, divinity and religious studies 
  • Archaeology 
  • Geography

However, in the world ranking list for Times Higher Education, Durham dropped to 198 for 2023. This is still a very admirable place and just proves how tight the competition was in the rankings.

Is Durham University Hard To Get Into?

According to Save The Student, Durham’s acceptance rates are higher than you might think. The university has an acceptance rate of 70 per cent, meaning you’re more than likely to get in if you apply. The average acceptance rate is around 72 per cent, meaning Durham University accepts more students than average.

This is much higher than others that are highly ranked in the UK. For instance, both Oxford and Cambridge have an acceptance rate of under 22 per cent…

Due to its similar collegiate system, many of those who don’t get into Oxbridge attend Durham.

So, Durham really does seem like a great choice. It might not have the same esteem as Oxford or Cambridge, but past students think you’ll have a better all-around experience anyway!

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time writer on Freshered after working freelance with GRV Media previously. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger. In 2022, she graduated with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Jasmyne worked briefly for her local newspaper before heading to university and completing an internship at a publishing company. She is now pursuing and loving a career in journalism. Jasmyne has a particular interest in student news, entertainment, and social media, whilst also (trying!) to help put the world to right. Originally from North Devon, she is currently loving the small-city life in Cardiff.