Tough Uni choice, Need help asap.

Hey guys so I need help choosing Universities. Here are my options:

  • BA Economics Nottingham
  • BSc Economics and Finance Bristol
  • BSc Finance Durham

First of all I just wanted to say I've had other discussion about this topics but I cant really choose since most of them were just like "subject doesn't matter go with Durham" or some other posts were clearly biased towards one Uni. Second I Absolutly don't carry about environment whether that be that Durham is elitist or Bristol is nightlife friendly. So my main reservations are that:

  • I know that subjects doesn't matter in the UK but does Finance at Durham give me too much of a disadvantage of joining IB since they might preferer Econ students so I might have to go with Nottingham or Bristol. Also when I look over here on LinkedIn most guys that make it into FO IB did econ so I don't really know if the guys that say that subject doesn't matter truly mean it or is they're just salty some guy who studied classics at Cambridge took their FO position. Moreover if you take the proportion of guys in BB IDB and divide it by the amount of student who studied econ at each school the results are somewhat similar.
  • the Durham finance society far outclasses the other unis finance societies since they have way better sponsors while having less students. However again its mostly dominated by people who studied classics or econ and I cant find one person on the team that studied something else. Where as the Bristol finance society has multiple people who didn't study econ or classic and more so something similar to my course.
  • Is LinkedIn really reliable when choosing since I feel like most of the numbers are wrong when you misspell one letter you find something completely different or when you adjust slightly the search the results drastically change.
  • Then entry requirements of each course are very different and while for instance Durham requires a AAB Bristol asks for AAA and I feel like that would make the course and Durham not feel as academically challenging as the one from Bristol thus making it less appealing to recruiters.

Thanks a lot people. I appreciate any and all advice if you are knowledgeable in this matter.

Most Helpful

I would say Durham=Bristol>Nottingham to be honest. You could make an argument that Bristol is better because it’s an Econ course, or that Durham because it’s slightly more of a target, but ultimately the difference is so negligible that it doesn’t matter.

As such, I would just choose the course and city you would enjoy more. I know you said that you don’t care about student environment etc, but remember that IB is a very demanding career and you’re likely not going to have the amount of freedom you’ll have as a student in the near future (especially whilst you’re this young). So think about which one of the two you will have more fun in and enjoy more, and go with that one.

Re your last point, literally no one would ever ever ever care that one uni requires AAB and the other AAA. Like ever.


Hi, I was in the same position as you last year - I got into both Durham Finance and Bristol Economics. I just finished my first year at Durham and was very happy with it, the course was pretty good and relatively straightforward for the first year. The Durham Finance Soc is extremely extremely good - I can't praise it enough, they had amazing networking sessions and multiple workshops to improve your CV/CL and technical skills. 

I ended up with one SW this year and my friend doing Econ at Bristol didn't end up with any. I am not saying this is because I go to Durham or something it's just because there isn't much of a difference with the course - IBs typically don't really care for course. Durham tends to be an overall stronger Semi-Target (maybe even close to a target) compared to Bristol. At the end of the day I would say choose Durham or Bristol based on which course content you prefer - the Durham Uni name might give you a slight advantage but honestly it is not a massive difference and if you were at Bristol with a better CV + Interview you would undoubtedly get the internship/grad job. 


Hey, I don’t know if you are still struggling with this but I have just finished my first year at Nottingham doing Econ so thought I may be able to give some insight. From my experience with springs all 3 of your options will put you in a similar position and instead what will really differentiate you will be your work experience / extra curriculars. I can’t speak for Durham and Bristol but Nottingham’s Econ soc has many divisions for varying interests which will allow you to have something to put on your CV, which I believe is more valuable than networking events. Also, there is many other societies which give you tangible experience as well, for example, 180 degrees consulting.

In my opinion don’t worry so much about the prestige of the university, as all are very similar in that sense. But instead focus on choosing a place where you will personally have a good time. For example, look at the societies each uni has to offer that are non career focused, look at which campus and city you prefer, what uni has better accom etc. From my experience enjoying university will also help you stay motivated through the draining applications seasons as well which is vital to success.

Hope that helps your decision. Let me know if you want to know anything else.


Hey thanks for the comment I decided to firm Durham and put Bristol as my insurance. Although I was strongly considering Nottingham at first I decided not to pick it for different reasons:

1- it ranks a bit too low on global rankings and uk rankings also it's reputation isnt the best in the UK since that goes to Durham or abroad since that goes to Bristol so if I wanted to continue by doing a top master in the UK or abroad ti wouldnt be suitable

2- the ratio of economics to investment bankers at banks wasnt that great while Nottingham has like 15 thousand econ grads on linkedin it has the same amout of guys in FO BB's as Durham who only has 8 thousand and Bristol who has 10 thousand. So it would be hard to differentiate myself from the 15 thousand econ grad at Nottingham


Hey I'm kind of reconsidering my choice about Nottingham. After taking a closer on linkedin look it seems that Nottingham might be one of the best semi-targets. I can still change my choices on UCAS. Would you mind if I pm you so you could give me some insight?


Went to Durham, had a really good experience. While I did study Econ and don’t know the intricacies of the course differences, I enjoyed my time there, the friends I made etc.


Thanks a lot for the comment. Do you perhaps know anyone who studied accounting, accounting and finance, finance or business that made it into BB IBD?


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