The Student Room Group

University - Plymouth or Exeter (Penryn)?

These are the two universities I’m stuck between. Exeter University is part of the Russel Group and is way above Plymouth in the rankings, however, my issue is with its location. Penryn would require a lot more travelling than Plymouth - just to get to a city (Falmouth), whereas Plymouth is located right in the city centre - which is my main issue as I hate travelling and I’d be more concerned about getting a part-time job or there being less people on my course since it’s not on the main campus.

I guess my main question is how important is prestige? I’m just doing history to have a degree, not because I need anything specific.
Original post by flxttering
These are the two universities I’m stuck between. Exeter University is part of the Russel Group and is way above Plymouth in the rankings, however, my issue is with its location. Penryn would require a lot more travelling than Plymouth - just to get to a city (Falmouth), whereas Plymouth is located right in the city centre - which is my main issue as I hate travelling and I’d be more concerned about getting a part-time job or there being less people on my course since it’s not on the main campus.
I guess my main question is how important is prestige? I’m just doing history to have a degree, not because I need anything specific.

wrong section to probably ask in, but it should be up to as you've pointed out location is a big thing, or something you want to be convenient. Exter may be "prestigious" but does prestige matter to you.
Original post by flxttering
These are the two universities I’m stuck between. Exeter University is part of the Russel Group and is way above Plymouth in the rankings, however, my issue is with its location. Penryn would require a lot more travelling than Plymouth - just to get to a city (Falmouth), whereas Plymouth is located right in the city centre - which is my main issue as I hate travelling and I’d be more concerned about getting a part-time job or there being less people on my course since it’s not on the main campus.
I guess my main question is how important is prestige? I’m just doing history to have a degree, not because I need anything specific.

Hi there! Glad to see you're considering Plymouth for your university of choice! :smile:

When applying for university, I was in a very similar position to you. However, after visiting Plymouth for an open day, I immediately knew it was right for me from the atmosphere on campus and the great location.

Plymouth is very accessible with great transport links (I frequently go home for weekends via train) and the journey isn't too bad by car either. Being a central city campus, Plymouth has minimal travel required to get from A to B and I often find that I don't need to walk any more than 20 minutes to get where I need to go! The city also has great bus links and e-bikes for hire, but I rarely use them as the university is right next to the main high street, shopping centre, and entertainment venues.

I currently have a few part time jobs in Plymouth- one of which is just a 10/15 minute walk for me from my accommodation, whilst the university also offers part time jobs to students, such as being an ambassador, working in the SU/shop, or for the careers service etc. (all of which very flexible with little to no travel required!) The university holds frequent part time jobs fairs and the careers service promotes part time roles (and helps you to apply for them!) which are relatively easy to find throughout the city from the central location and having many popular shops and venues.

I would highly recommend visiting the open days/offer holder days or just going for a look around the cities if you can as it will give you an idea of what it's like to live there and be a student within both locations.

As far as rankings go, they can be an indicator of some variables but I didn't focus too much on them and I'm glad I didn't as I wouldn't have made the right choice for me! Plymouth is also a triple gold TEF university (the highest possible ranking), meaning there are great student outcomes and experiences at the university.

As I study a different subject, I can't comment much about history as a course, however if you have any more questions, feel free to reach out!

Best of luck! :smile:

-Alfie, University of Plymouth Undergraduate Student Ambassador
Original post by flxttering
These are the two universities I’m stuck between. Exeter University is part of the Russel Group and is way above Plymouth in the rankings, however, my issue is with its location. Penryn would require a lot more travelling than Plymouth - just to get to a city (Falmouth), whereas Plymouth is located right in the city centre - which is my main issue as I hate travelling and I’d be more concerned about getting a part-time job or there being less people on my course since it’s not on the main campus.
I guess my main question is how important is prestige? I’m just doing history to have a degree, not because I need anything specific.

Hi, I’m at penryn campus studying zoology!

The course content and your ability to get on with what you are learning is so much more important than either location or prestige! If you are at a prestigious uni or in a nice city, but find your course really boring, or really difficult, you are not going to have a good uni experience.

In my opinion, penryn is a very nice place to live and study. I really like my course so the nice beaches, nature reserves and Cornish wildlife are an added bonus!

Falmouth isn’t really a city, just a nice seaside, touristy town. There is only one city in Cornwall, Truro. It is roughly the same distance from the main campus as the centre of Falmouth is. About 25 minutes on the bus, or around 20 minutes by car. Some of the accommodation choices are nearer to Falmouth than the main campus, so this may be a smaller journey into the town if you don’t live in Glasney.

For jobs, you can apply for all of the food and drink jobs on campus using one application in September and there are plenty of pubs and shops in the Penryn Village (~10 mins from main campus) and in Falmouth/Truro.

I dont personally know a lot about Plymouth, but I have a friend who goes there. She loves it and says having the city nearby is very handy if you really need it. Plymouth is quite big, so depending on where you want to get to, most of the accommodation is between 5-30 minutes away from most things.


I think my main point here is that for jobs and travel to shops or activities, the two uni options aren’t really that much different. The only things that makes them different is one is a campus and the other is in a big city. Plymouth would obviously be better if you really want to live in a big city, but I would always recommend comparing the courses and picking whichever one would suit you best and ensure you have fun studying history for 3 years!
(edited 1 month ago)

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