Deisegirl
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My son has a good set of grades but not enough to get into his first choice university. Through clearing, he has a choice between a BSc in International Relations and Politics at Southampton, or a BA in International Relations at the Penryn Campus of Exeter University. I know that Exeter is higher ranked for both the university and the subject. But will a London student, albeit one who spent a lot of his childhood summers by the sea, find it too quiet and cut off from the rest of the world? Also, does the BSc that Southampton offers trump the BA from Exeter? And does the Penryn campus lack the quality of teaching and resources of its main base in Exeter? Time is ticking and we are keen to make a decision quite soon so that we can secure accommodation. Any thoughts?
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username4912258
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Oh, I got in for the same course at Southampton. I think personally Exeter retains a better reputation and has the gold teaching award and is also higher on the league tables whilst Southampton has a silver award and is slightly lower for politics in rankings. But in my opinion student life is very important and I can easily argue that Southampton is better in that department. Either way, they are both Russel group universities so they both have good reputations so you can't go wrong here, to be honest. When it comes to that I think it best to choose the one you think you would enjoy the most. I hope this helps, albeit biased. Well done for getting into uni !!
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Deisegirl
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(Original post by jenomary77)
Oh, I got in for the same course at Southampton. I think personally Exeter retains a better reputation and has the gold teaching award and is also higher on the league tables whilst Southampton has a silver award and is slightly lower for politics in rankings. But in my opinion student life is very important and I can easily argue that Southampton is better in that department. Either way, they are both Russel group universities so they both have good reputations so you can't go wrong here, to be honest. When it comes to that I think it best to choose the one you think you would enjoy the most. I hope this helps, albeit biased. Well done for getting into uni !!
Thanks Jenomary. His older sister is in Southampton and absolutely loves it, but she is studying bio science not politics. We have heard a great deal about the notorious Jesters and 'jesters shoes'. I think he is leaning towards Penryn because it is part of Exeter University and maybe to have a different uni experience to his big sis. But I do worry about the distance, size and remote location of the campus. Are there any students from London at Penryn who can share their experiences of studying in a very rural environment?
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S osgood
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I had a similar choice to make as your son. My first choice was Exeter at their main campus and my insurance was East Anglia. I missed my offer by one grade and Exeter offered me a similar course but at the Penryn campus. I live near London as well. The Penryn campus is a further 2 hours from the main Exeter campus which makes it around 5 hours or more from London. The campus is also in a small town with not much going on far away from everything. It would also be very difficult for your son to come home and visit. I made the decision to go to UEA as although I loved Exeter uni I knew that the Penryn campus was too small and too far away for me
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Deisegirl
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(Original post by S osgood)
I had a similar choice to make as your son. My first choice was Exeter at their main campus and my insurance was East Anglia. I missed my offer by one grade and Exeter offered me a similar course but at the Penryn campus. I live near London as well. The Penryn campus is a further 2 hours from the main Exeter campus which makes it around 5 hours or more from London. The campus is also in a small town with not much going on far away from everything. It would also be very difficult for your son to come home and visit. I made the decision to go to UEA as although I loved Exeter uni I knew that the Penryn campus was too small and too far away for me
How do you like UEA? That is also a possibility for him, though time is ticking and decisions need to be made soon.
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S osgood
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I start at UEA in September, I’ve heard lots of good things and it’s close to Norwich which is quite a big lively city if he is used to London

(Original post by Deisegirl)
How do you like UEA? That is also a possibility for him, though time is ticking and decisions need to be made soon.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Deisegirl)
How do you like UEA? That is also a possibility for him, though time is ticking and decisions need to be made soon.
Penryn is quite small but the campus is only 4 miles from Falmouth and a little further from Truro. Buses link the campus with these towns. The big issue is the distance to get home. If your son is prepared for a longer journey to and from home then the major obstacle will be overcome. The other issue is nightlife. Falmouth is a nice town and has numerous restaurants and pubs but as a small town not the kind of nightlife in Southampton. The benefit is that the area has many beautiful beaches and the campus is stunning except it is up a massive hill so I would advise using the bus. The benefit of being in Penryn is that the classes tend to be smaller and hence it is easier to get to know the lecturers. Due to the small numbers there is likely to be less optional modules. Really it boils down to what your son wants and what he prefers.
https://www.falmouth.co.uk/
https://www.falmouth.co.uk/eatanddrink/the-kings/
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Deisegirl
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Thanks to everyone who posted so far. It’s been very helpful. I agree that social life is what you make it and I’m sure he will make a good social life for himself, wherever he goes. Distance from home is also something we can overcome, although the cost of travel is a concern. Apparently there is a £500 travel bursary for all Penryn students to compensate for this? Is that true? My bigger concerns relate to the course itself in Penryn and the campus’s status as an academic institution within the wider University of Exeter community. For example, from what I’ve gleaned from this and other forums, Penryn seems to serve as a spill-over for UCAS applicants who didn’t quite make the grade for the main campus in Exeter. Not for all courses (e.g Zoology) but certainly for Politics and I.R, which my son wants to study. Would attending Penryn mark him out within Exeter University and to future employers as a “Clearing” student with lesser grades than his Streatham counterparts? Is there snobbery within the university about which campus someone attends? My other concern relates to sport and the possible lack of opportunities to participate on a smaller rural campus compared to Southampton, which I know has good sports facilities. My son plays rugby and football and was hoping to be able to play for his uni at some level. Would he have the opportunity to do this at Penryn to the same high level as the main Exeter campus? Could he qualify for the main Exeter uni teams? My final concern relates to the numbers of students that might be on his Politics and IR course. Small student / tutor ratios is presented as an advantage at Penryn and overall student satisfaction appears to be higher for this subject compared to Southampton. But isn’t the whole point of uni the fact that you are studying with a large and diverse group of people who can challenge and criticise your views? Would Southampton provide this more than Penryn? How many students actually study Politics and IR at Penryn and, going back to my original concern, are most of them through clearing? I would love to hear from current or past politics and I.R students from Penryn about their experiences. Thanks again for all your input.
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swanseajack1
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Firstly he wouldnt be classed any differently for future employers. His degree would show Exeter university not which campus he attended.

As far as sport it would probably be an issue. The distance between campuses would make it difficult for him to attend training. It is 2 hours drive away and he would have to get there and back for matches and training and wouldnt be able to spend time drinking like the others. Also like most universities Penryn doesnt allow cars on campus so that could be a problem although he would need to discuss whether he could get special consideration from the university.

The numbers taking subjects are likely to be 10s rather than hundreds in any year. There are approximately 2000 Exeter students in Penryn. Taking away Phd students and the number of students on 4 year courses that would mean approximately 500 intake per year across all subjects so as can be seen the numbers would be small. If your looking for figures for the course I would suggest contacting the university who could provide them. I believe the Maths intake to be around 30. As for the amount of clearing students again I suggest contacting the university who will have the figures.
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swanseajack1
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Wherever your son attends he wont be able to play both Football and Rugby for the university as they both take place on Wednesday afternoons. For rugby Exeter play in the same group as other west country and Welsh universities. It is a 2 and1/2 journey plus from Exeter to Swansea and your son would have to add on his time from Penryn to Exeter. It is also a 2 hours journey from Exeter to Bath and Exeter are likely to play Swansea, Bath, Cardiff, Cardiff Met as these tend to be the strongest university sides in the region.
Cornwall is a strong rugby region and there are clubs in both Penryn and Falmouth. Redruth have quite a strong side and play in the English National leagues. There was a British Lion from there years ago. There is a bus from the campus to Redruth. Playing for Redruth would involve considerable distance but the others play more locally.
There is a gym on campus which is similar but smaller to the one in Exeter. This opened 3 years ago. My son used it initially but has decided to join a Jolly Rodger CrossFit gym in Penryn since. There is also a multi games area on campus where you son could play 5 a side football. When my son was in Exeter they had a 6 a side league. They may have something similar in Falmouth but I dont know. That would need checking up. That way he could play both football and rugby
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HobbinsE
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The Penryn campus has its own sports teams and still good sports facilities considering it’s a smaller campus. They share a students union and campus with Falmouth University so all sports teams are mixed.
Here’s the link to the Penryn campus students union showing all societies and sports teams.

https://www.fxu.org.uk

I’m starting there in September so there’s not much more I can tell you about the campus but on the open days I went to it seemed lovely and new constructions were going on at the time (last September/October) not sure if they’re finished now or not.
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Deisegirl
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He and his Dad are heading down to Penryn tomorrow to get a sense of the location, even there won’t be much happening at the uni itself. We’ll see how it goes. The link to the Students Union site is really useful.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Deisegirl)
He and his Dad are heading down to Penryn tomorrow to get a sense of the location, even there won’t be much happening at the uni itself. We’ll see how it goes. The link to the Students Union site is really useful.
Can I suggests he goes from the campus to Falmouth rather than Penryn as there isnt much in Penryn. Is he travelling by car or train. If by train he will be better off getting off at Truro and catching the Falmouth bus which goes to the campus from there as it is a hell of a walk from Penryn station up a never ending hill to the campus. I hope he and his father enjoy themselves. Shame you couldnt join them.
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Deisegirl
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Can I suggests he goes from the campus to Falmouth rather than Penryn as there isnt much in Penryn. Is he travelling by car or train. If by train he will be better off getting off at Truro and catching the Falmouth bus which goes to the campus from there as it is a hell of a walk from Penryn station up a never ending hill to the campus. I hope he and his father enjoy themselves. Shame you couldnt join them.
They are driving down early in the day and then staying with family in Dorset on the way home. They might detour via Southampton uni on the way back to London to compare the two. I wish I could join them but I have a work meeting that I can’t wriggle out of. I will pass on the recommendation about visiting Falmouth which does look gorgeous.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Deisegirl)
They are driving down early in the day and then staying with family in Dorset on the way home. They might detour via Southampton uni on the way back to London to compare the two. I wish I could join them but I have a work meeting that I can’t wriggle out of. I will pass on the recommendation about visiting Falmouth which does look gorgeous.
Yes it was awarded the best town in the South West a couple of years ago. Very touristy lots of small hotels and restaurants and a lovely harbour. Gilly beach is quite close to the town and apparently there is a nice cafe there.
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swanseajack1
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How did the visit go
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Deisegirl
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
How did the visit go
440 miles covered today, from London to Falmouth to Dorset. Off to Southampton for the seond leg of the University road trip tomorrow. Information from Dad and son has been sparse, other than "Mum, you would dig it the most!" Hopefully decisions will be made tomorrow. Thanks for all the advice. I will let you know how it goes. :-)
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Deisegirl)
440 miles covered today, from London to Falmouth to Dorset. Off to Southampton for the seond leg of the University road trip tomorrow. Information from Dad and son has been sparse, other than "Mum, you would dig it the most!" Hopefully decisions will be made tomorrow. Thanks for all the advice. I will let you know how it goes. :-)
I take it he liked it then
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Deisegirl
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Hurray - we have a decision. Son and father both loved the Penryn Campus and Falmouth. They visited Southampton to compare but this just consolidated the decision. Son likes the fact that there will be plenty of opportunities to play rugby at his level (recreational!) and hopes to take up surfing as well. They were both blown away by the beauty of the whole area. He recognises that distance from home might be an issue, but not enough to affect his choice. So he's accepted the place to study Politics and International Relations. The adventure starts here.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Deisegirl)
Hurray - we have a decision. Son and father both loved the Penryn Campus and Falmouth. They visited Southampton to compare but this just consolidated the decision. Son likes the fact that there will be plenty of opportunities to play rugby at his level (recreational!) and hopes to take up surfing as well. They were both blown away by the beauty of the whole area. He recognises that distance from home might be an issue, but not enough to affect his choice. So he's accepted the place to study Politics and International Relations. The adventure starts here.
It certainly is a beautiful area very Celtic like the Welsh. The drawbacks are how far it is from most places and the small size of the town. Shame you couldnt go
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