The University of Exeter is a top ten university with 15,500 students based on 3 campuses - Streatham and St. Luke's in Exeter and the Cornwall Campus near Falmouth. Streatham is the university's main campus, where the majority of subjects are taught. St. Luke's houses sports courses and Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. The Cornwall Campus (shared with University College Falmouth) offers programmes in some of the University's strongest subjects, as well as many (often environmentally-based) courses that are not taught at either of the university's other campuses.
Exeter has around 17,200 students, about 12,250 of which are undergraduates.
At present around 4,000 students from over 130 countries outside the UK contribute to a thriving international community across the three campuses. Although Exeter is not a particularly international city, the international student body fits in well and societies such as the International Society and Erasmus Society - amongst many international focused societies - have had a long tradition of contributing to campus life. The south-west tends to be a safe place and many international students are very happy in Exeter although some do wish for a bit more multiculturalism.
Exeter's student union is called the "Students' Guild". Its sabaticals and numerous volunteers work to represent student interests in the fields of educational quality, student welfare, sports, societies, etc.
In Cornwall, the student's union (FXU - Falmouth and Exeter Student's Union) services both University of Exeter and University College Falmouth students, as the Cornwall Campus is utilised by both institutions.
1955 (can trace origins back to 1855)
Exeter, Devon, UK
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon.
EX4 4QJ, UK
The University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall.
Cornwall Campus: 01326 371801
Applicants per place:
Clubs and Societies
The Students' Guild organises and helps run clubs and societies in Exeter - these are great in number and diverse. An up-to-date list can be found on the Guild website (link below).
At the Cornwall Campus, the student's union (FXU) administers clubs and societies. An up-to-date list of clubs and societies can be found on the FXU website (link below). Regular events are organised at The Stannary, a 1,300-capacity on-campus venue which hosts themed nights, charity events, balls and gigs. The venue is the largest for such events in Cornwall and as such has been visited by many well-known artists, including Jack Johnson, Dizzee Rascal and Donovan Frankenreiter.
Freshers' Week/Welcome Week
In Exeter, Welcome Week is the week before the first term and a great occasion for freshers, including new postgraduate students, to introduce themselves to the university, campus, town and to get to know people. Freshers' Week includes several university/departmental introduction talks, e.g. on finances, the academic year, etc., as well as various activities by the Students' Guild and student societies and of course includes the Activities Fair where you can sign up to all the societies.
Cornwall students benefit from a Freshers' Fortnight, throughout which events are held every day and night. It offers a great opportunity to get to know both University of Exeter and University College Falmouth students. Popular events on campus have included Horns and Halos, 70s disco and Wild Western themed nights as well as the Freshers' Ball. Events are also held at local venues in Falmouth, and have included Hawaiian Barbecues. The Freshers' Fair offers the chance to sign up to clubs and societies and take advantage of once-only offers from local businesses.
Freshers week always sells out quickly so make sure you get your tickets early! To be prepared for Exeter Freshers Total Students help you out. To purchase tickets and information for Freshers week 2010 log on to Total Students Exeter
The majority of students are based at the Streatham Campus, which is the largest site in Exeter. The campus is one of the most beautiful in the country and offers a unique environment in which to study with lakes, parkland, woodland and gardens to enjoy throughout the year. As well as this, all the teaching buildings together with the Sports Park, the library, the shopping centre, restaurants, cafés and bars are within walking distance of each other. It offers a lively, friendly and welcoming campus environment where there’s always lots going on.
The St Luke’s Campus is individual and special in character and history. It shapes your education both academically and socially – it’s a very close knit community. Students have studied at St Luke’s for over 150 years and although much has changed over the years, the campus has retained a vibrant, collegiate atmosphere in which everyone soon gets to know each other.
The Cornwall Campus is set atop a hill near Falmouth, with unrivalled views across miles of countryside, ocean and the nearby town of Falmouth. All the buildings are highly conceptual and contemporary in design, with the main (Daphne DuMaurier) building having been nominated for architectural awards. In keeping with the campus green policy, they are built from locally and sustainably sourced materials - primarily Cornish granite, timber and slate - and the buildings are green-roofed. Formerly a convent school, the site has retained much of its greenery, with plenty of trees, gardens and lawn gracing the hillside behind the main buildings.
Exeter has a population of around 118,800 and is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the UK. The economy is booming, with large companies like the Met Office choosing to relocate here and 2007 saw the opening of Princesshay, a new £235 million retail centre with over 60 new shops and restaurants. The nightlife in Exeter is dominated by a diverse range of bars, pubs and restaurants in the city centre, and there are various clubs on the Quay and in the city centre, with student nights most nights of the week.
Exeter has excellent transport links to other areas of Devon and Cornwall. Places that Exeter students commonly like to visit include Dartmoor, and the seaside towns of Dawlish and Exmouth. If seaside towns and rolling moors don't appeal, the towns of Bristol, Barnstaple and Plymouth are easily accessible, and companies such as Megabus and National Express travel between Exeter and other major UK cities regularly. There are also many hidden gems within the Exeter area itself, including Darts Farm, a farm shop with several gift shops and a cafe attached (located in Topsham).
Cornwall is notable for its easy-going, outdoor lifestyle and it's precisely that which attracts many students to Exeter's Cornwall Campus. Countryside is easily accessible - on the doorstep, in fact - and notable areas nearby include the Lizard Peninsula and Bodmin Moor. Beaches are very numerous, with 3 in Falmouth alone and many more accessible besides, especially on the North Coast.
Falmouth, just 15 minutes away by the subsidised bus, is a lively student town, with many bars, clubs and restaurants. It is especially well-known for its good food and live music scene. Local businesses are very student-friendly, with the majority offering student discount and/or student nights each week. However, uniquely it manages to still retain its quaintness and is also an attractive seaside town with a great maritime heritage.
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The University of Exeter has three campuses: Streatham and St Luke's campuses in Exeter and the Cornwall campus, near Falmouth.
You can also view virtual tours of the campuses as well as some of the accommodation that is currently available and a tour of Exeter city.
Streatham Campus has a number of libraries:
- The Main Library contains over 1.2 million items and is one of only a few university libraries to benefit from 24/7 opening. The library also offers self-service machines, state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, enhanced group and silent study areas, an extended wifi network and many key academic resources online.
- The Law Library in the Amory Building hosts all law-related texts and includes the European Documentation Centre containing 40,000 volumes.
- Old Library and Research Commons: The result of a £2 million development, the new library houses research collections, government publications and microfilm facilities alongside contemporary resources, such as PC clusters, WiFi access and laptop lockers. In addition, the large, light reading room, cafe and terrace area combine to offer the perfect research environment.
- The Arab World Documentation Unit (AWDU) in the IAIS keeps another collection of Arabic literature, magazines, DVDs, and newspapers.
- St Luke’s Campus Library contains Education and Sport Science collections.
The Cornwall Campus also has ample facilities:
- The main library is open 24/7 and is stocked entirely with up-to-date texts tailored to the needs of the courses taught at the campus.
- An LLB-accredited Law library.
- Students at the Cornwall Campus have access to Streatham Campus library also - books can be requested to be bought to down from Streatham, usually within 3 days of request.
- Access is also available to University College Falmouth (with whom the campus is shared) facilities - books can be requested from their main library and their media library is housed within the main library at the Cornwall Campus itself.
All students benefit from extensive online facilities also - databases for all libraries are available online, from here books can be requested to be held for collection. The university also subscribes to a hundreds of online academic journals, with articles available in PDF format that can be downloaded by staff and students from any computer with internet access.
IT and computing
The Streatham Campus has its own residential network, Resnet, which is available in most halls of residence, in all the libraries and since 2007 also wireless on most of Streatham Campus. Every student receives their own account and mail address at the beginning of their first year. There is also a laptop clinic in the Main Library where laptops can be taken to in emergencies. Software CDs are available free of charge.
Cornwall Campus students benefit from an on-site IT team and although a relatively small campus, it houses 4 different IT suites. Every student has their own area within the campus network, accessible from any campus PC. There is wireless access across most of the campus for personal use.
Health and Fitness facilities at the University of Exeter are among the best in the region and offer members a comprehensive solution to all their training needs. The facilities are open for everyone to use – not just students or staff. From a world class cricket and tennis centre to modern gyms to a range of outdoor pitches, the facilities are available to meet all your health and fitness needs.
The University of Exeter has an excellent track record in helping people to realise their sporting goals. With an understanding that everybody is different and whilst some might enjoy attending a regular fitness class or workout, they acknowledge that others might be training to become the best in their chosen field.
Year on year, improvements are made and additions to the class timetable aim to bring fresh and exciting classes mixed in with the ‘old favourites’. Whether you enjoy the high intensity of a Spinning or Bodypump class or the relaxing movements of Tai Chi There will be something of interest to you.
At the Cornwall Campus students can access a variety of sports facilities including a Sports Centre with cardiovascular equipment, resistance and free weight areas, and a floodlit outdoor Multi-Use Games Area. FXU supported sports clubs and societies range from windsurfing to Capoeira while the rugby, football (men’s and women’s), hockey (men’s and women’s) and cricket teams are all affiliated to local leagues and opportunity for competitive sport.
- Sports at Exeter
- [http://www.exeter.ac.uk/cornwall/facilities/sport/ Sports at the Cornwall Campus
A welfare officer is voted in each year as part of the Guild Executive. The Guild also runs a Student Advice Unit. Students at the Cornwall Campus also elect a welfare officer each year, who serves both institutions present on the campus.
The Advice Unit on Stretham Campus (first floor, Devonshire House) is the first port of call for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues, including housing, finance, and academic related matters. In addition to the service at Streatham campus there are also advice surgeries at the St Luke's campus during term time.
The Streatham Campus has its own Health Centre in Reed Mews. At the beginning of your first year, you simply register. You usually make an appointment but can walk in and try to see someone immediately in cases of an emergency. The staff are very friendly.
The Cornwall Campus has its own counselling service on-site and for medical problems, there is a nurse available twice a week for drop-in sessions, with no appointment necessary.
The Streatham Campus has several shops, including Blackwells, a supermarket, a NatWest bank (the ATMs are recognisable by a constant queue), and a Guild shop for stationery and chocolates. Furthermore, there are various food outlets in Devonshire House (DH) and Cornwall House (CH) as well as Peter Chalk Centre (PCC) and XFI where hot food and snacks can be purchased throughout the day.
The Cornwall Campus has an on-site supermarket which is open every day during term-time. There is also a small shop adjacent to the student residences open until midnight each day.
Exeter has a number of restaurants to offer, including ASK, Nandos, Wagamamas, Giraffe, Strada, La Tasca, Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, Zizzi, Pizza Express, as well as lots of great independent places and all the usual Chinese, Indian, Spanish and other international foods. All are situated within the central city. Notably, there is one of local superstar chef Michael Caines' ABode restaurants by the cathedral, offering what is generally accepted as the best food in town.
The Cornwall Campus is situated very close to Falmouth, which is well-known for its good-quality restaurants, encompassing Thai, Indian, Italian, Mexican and Spanish cuisines amongst many others and of course sea food. Many restaurants will offer a student discount on food, sometimes up to 20%.
Exeter has numerous banks and building societies, most of which are situated within the city centre. A NatWest branch can be found on the Streatham Campus.
The Cornwall Campus has a cash machine on-site and most major banks have branches close by in the towns of Penryn and Falmouth.
The University of Exeter offers numerous opportunities for students to enhance their employability and to find a job after graduation:
- The Careers and Employment Service is there for students to collect information about future careers, and talk to a member of staff about their wishes and qualification. They also organise several careers fairs each year.
- The Employability website offers a lot of information on employment and internships. The monthly newsletter is very useful.
- The Works, a Guild-run information point helps students finding internships and part-time jobs during term-time.
- Some academic schools, in particular the Business School, organise events with employers, where they do presentations and can be approached for future jobs.
The Cornwall Campus holds an annual careers fair, with dozens of employers and institutions visiting each year. Personal tutors can help with decision-making, as can the careers advisors located in the student services building on campus.
The usual student jobs of bar, restaurant and club work or shop work are all available in Exeter and can be found through the campus job-shop, The Works. Occasionally employment becomes available on campus at Blackwell's, the Ram and the Lemmy, but these jobs are highly sought after and only postgraduates are allowed to work in the university libraries. Work on campus does come up in other forms, though, mainly through alumni relations, the art society and the psychology department. If you search further afield (e.g. at nearby industrial estates), you are more likely to find flexible work that is often well-paid. There are two main industrial estates, Marsh Barton and Sowton which is located at Digby and can be reached in 15 minutes by direct train.
Jobs in Cornwall are highly sought-after by students, and so competition is fierce. Many local supermarkets employ a number of students and often transfers can be made from existing jobs. There is also work available in local restaurants, bars and clubs which ties in well with academic requirements. On campus, students are employed in the union bar, library and campus shop.
At both campuses, the student ambassador scheme offers part-time work for many students. Ambassadors help on open days, conduct campus tours, give talks and presentations and help to promote the university at events. Pay rates are very good and work is available to all students. Recruitment usually takes place at the beginning of the first term each year.
The Streatham Campus has a Multi-faith Chaplaincy as well as a chapel, and a Muslim prayer room in the Old Library. There is, furthermore, a Catholic Chaplaincy near Duryard. Exeter has several churches and a mosque.
The Cornwall Campus has its own chaplaincy, which welcomes worshippers of all faiths.
Exeter is not a huge city and both campuses are within walking distance from the city centre. Much can be done by foot, though students living further away often go by bike or bus. Bus tickets are affordable (95p for students one way from the city centre to Streatham Campus).
Getting to other destinations within the UK is fairly straightforward; most cities in western England are well-connected by bus or train but going north or east will require a couple of changes. By getting a railcard and booking in advance you can save significant amounts ). Alternatively, buses connect Exeter to the rest of the south-west fairly well.
Exeter also has an international airport, which has flights to some UK cities and many European destinations. If you need to get to Exeter when flying to the UK from abroad, you will most likely fly to London, and then take the train or coach to Exeter. Alternatively fly to Bristol where possible and take the combined bus/train ticket where a bus picks you up from the airport, takes you to the train station, and from there a train takes you to Exeter St. Davids station. Bristol is preferable over London, as it is much closer and easier to get to Exeter.
Although situated in a relatively rural area of the country, transport around the Cornwall Campus is relatively good. Most 2nd- and 3rd-year undergraduates and many postgraduates live in nearby Falmouth. Bus services are frequent with around 5 buses an hour between the campus and Falmouth, and all major Cornwall services pass through the campus en route. Rates are good - the university, along with University College Falmouth, subsidises local bus companies, meaning students and staff benefit from rates less than half of those usually charged 50p each way from campus to Falmouth Moors (town centre).
Train services are also good in the surrounding area. The nearest station to campus is 5 minutes walk away in Penryn, and Falmouth houses no less than 3 stations. The service goes to Truro, from where connecting trains go through Plymouth to Exeter. Travel from there to elsewhere in the country is as above.
Newquay airport is relatively close by, however services to here are limited. If travelling by air, it is more likely that you will arrive in Exeter or Bristol airports, however getting to Cornwall from either is easy.
Teaching and Research
The University of Exeter features in the list of the the top 1 per cent of universities in the world according to The Times Higher Education World Rankings 2014.
The teaching quality is frequently rated excellent by the major league tables and the university also scores consistently well in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) - nearly 90% of Exeter’s research was rated as being at internationally recognised levels in the 2008 RAE. All academics are actively involved in research at all three campuses and so students benefit from information that is up-to-date and cutting-edge in the fields they are being taught.
Exeter is ranked 8th in the UK in The Times Good University Guide 2014. We score particularly highly for student satisfaction as measured by the National Student Survey, completion rates and the proportion of students getting good Honours degrees.
University-owned & managed
- University of Exeter Accommodation website
- Virtual Tour of University Accommodation
- Cornwall Campus Accommodation (Glasney Student Village)
Streatham and St Luke's campuses: The Accommodation Office,
University of Exeter,
The Queen's Drive,
Devon. EX4 4QJ,
Tel: +44 (0) 1392 722524
University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus,
Tel: +44 (0) 1326 370436
There is plenty of private sector accommodation in Exeter and Falmouth. The Accommodation Office in Northcott House on the Streatham Campus keeps lists of private accommodation throughout the year. Applications usually start in January of the previous year. The Guild holds annual meetings where they explain what to look for and what to pay attention to in contracts with landlords. The Guild also run their own letting agency, ExeLets.
The Accommodation Office at the Cornwall Campus holds lists of all available private accommodation in and around Penryn and Falmouth. Accommodation is often of very high quality as many student houses act as holiday lets in the summer. It is not usually hard to come by and as the towns are relatively small and close by, students are close to friends' houses as well as the campus itself.
- StudentPad (Private Sector Accommodation database)
- Students' Guild letting agency, ExeLets
- Get help from the Guild with private sector accommodation
Applying to Exeter
Thinking of applying to Exeter? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?
Also find out what the University is looking for in your personal statement:
Other Exeter Articles
Why not read these other Exeter Articles?