Find out what life is really like at Durham University

Astronomy & CosmologyCollegesPostgraduateStudent experienceWelcome to Durham

My academic journey in the North East

Hi there! My name is Tom and I am a postgraduate MSc Particles, Strings and Cosmology student. I was born in Sunderland, raised in Penshaw and completed my undergraduate studies in Newcastle; for my academic upbringing I haven’t travelled far, however, I can assure you that it has been the time of my life nevertheless. I’m here today to tell you more about why you might wish to do the same!

Why Durham?

Coming to Durham has been a dream of mine since I was very young and I had the opportunity to visit through a school trip. The city holds a lot of heritage and historical significance in the North East most notably from the Cathedral and Castle, which are truly amazing and beautiful features of this city.

Beyond the eye-watering sights of the Bailey, Durham University offers an exceptionally unique university experience for its postgraduates; the colleges of Durham hold much in the way of culture and social identity: I am confident there is something for everyone and if there isn’t, maybe you could be the one to start it with old or newfound friends alike.

The Wider Student Experience

One of the most important things I took away from my matriculation into Durham was that to study here isn’t just to sit your classes and do your assessments – there’s so much more to get involved in which contributes to the wider student experience. You can choose to get involved in so many activities, ranging from quizzes at your Middle Common Room (MCR) to volunteering your support a variety of charitable causes; be you an elite athlete or a novice, everyone is welcome to try out get involved in any of the 52 Team Durham or many more college teams.

Snow at John Snow College

My home, close to home

Just like undergraduates, postgraduates get the opportunity to live in their college during their first year at Durham which I cannot recommend more – living in college puts you so close to all your college’s activities and closer to postgraduates whom you will be living with there.

As it happens and often is the case, many of your flatmates and friends will be international students or students otherwise far from home; it can be challenging to get to grips with a new environment on top of newfound academic responsibilities and the wide range of social activities. As a student from the area, I had the opportunity to help them understand the area better (places to eat, shop, go on walks and more!) Ceilidh at the Hub, Mount Oswald. Lastly, with everything Durham has to offer, if you’re already here then why would you pass up the opportunity to undertake your postgraduate studies here?

My advice for prospective postgraduates of the North East is to visit an open day if you can; they often provide exceptional insight into your course of interest as well as parts of the wider student experience.

Discover more

About Postgraduate study at Durham here

Find out more about our Postgraduate open day here

Thomas J. Reddel

Felicitations! My name is Tom; a taught postgraduate student studying MSc Particles, Strings and Cosmology at John Snow College. I am deeply passionate about equality of access to higher education, scientific communication and my research. Beyond academics, I am a sabreur of the Durham University Fencing Club, as well as a hobbyist pianist and guitarist.
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