These free courses and events are being part-funded by the European Social Fund, part of the European Structural and Investment Fund 2014-2020 Programme in England, and being delivered through the Widening Participation through Skills in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Project.

Return to Learning

It was a great course - I did learn a lot that is useful for my work. It was great to have the full resources of the university available."

There was a great balance between lecture, discussion and activity. We were all given the opportunity to share our views and it was nice to see such an array of backgrounds initially. The staff were very friendly and helped everyone to feel as valued as each other in terms of their right to be there."

This project was extremely useful to me in my role and whilst challenging on an academic level, the tutor - Joanie Willett - presented the work clearly, insightfully and with magnificent enthusiasm."

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Free short courses and taster days for people in Cornwall

Do you want to increase your knowledge and develop your skills?

The University of Exeter is running a range of free short courses in 2019 across locations in Cornwall. These courses aim to develop skills and knowledge, which will be useful in your workplace or better prepare you to enter a job sector that you would like to move into; whilst also providing an introduction to higher education.

It may be that it’s a subject you want to learn more about. Or it may be that you want to take advantage of a fantastic opportunity to study for free and gain a level 3 or 4 accreditation worth 15 credits – equivalent to an A level or an undergraduate module. We want to make our courses and tasters as accessible as possible. We are supported by the European Social Fund and can often cover the cost of transport or childcare, so please ask.

Short Free Courses 2019:

Citizen Journalism News Network: 12 weeks, March – July 2019.

We are running this course from three locations in Cornwall. Click on the above link for full details.

This course consists of 12 sessions learning the skills required to research, write, read and record the important new stories from in and around your area. Each week of the course is structured to offer participants the opportunity to steadily build up skills that could lead to professional broadcasting roles such as researcher, editor, producer and presenter. Supported by media professionals and academic supervisors you will learn skills such as news gathering, audio recording, editing and writing scripts. We’re delighted to be working with three local radio stations: CHBN Radio in Truro, Radio Newquay and Source FM in Falmouth.

As with all our courses and tasters, if you need support with transport, childcare costs or other barriers to learning, please get in touch, as we may be able to help. This is an undergraduate level course and upon successful completion of this module you will receive a level 3 accreditation worth 15 credits. More here.

Political Participation in My Community: St Mary’s, The Isles of Scilly, 7-13 September 2019

Click on the above link for details.

During the course you will learn academic knowledge around political and local participation, be introduced to debates about appropriate methods for undertaking research, and learn practical skills such as designing and conducting research and writing your findings into an accessible report. You will learn how to integrate academic theory with ‘real world’ practice, producing a piece of work that has the potential to be of real benefit to your community.

This is an undergraduate level course and upon successful completion of this module you will receive a level 4 qualification worth 15 credits. More here.

As with all our courses and tasters, if you need support with transport, childcare costs or other barriers to learning, please get in touch, as we may be able to help.

Coming Soon:

Legal Foundations for Business and A Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection (to be confirmed).

Please get in touch to register your interest.

Free Tasters 2019:

Wednesday 27 February 1.00-5.00 pm and Wednesday 13 March 12.00-4.00 pm (both dates required), Penryn Campus

How do diseases spread? How does Amazon minimize its delivery costs? Professor Stuart Townley will show you how to get from pen and paper calculations to scientific computing, how mathematical formulae can help us understand trends and patterns in the world and what data looks like to mathematicians.

This enhanced taster takes place over two days. On the first day, you will be carrying out pen and paper calculations. In between sessions you’re invited to carry out your own work on a problem that interests you. In the second session, Stuart Townley will guide you on how to make use of advanced computing to bring your calculations to life.

This is a fantastic free opportunity for those who always felt they wanted to take their Maths further.

Future dates: Wednesday 19 June 12.00–4.00 pm and Wednesday 3 July 12.00-4.00 pm (both dates required), Penryn Campus

Wednesday 24 April 9.30 am - 2.00 pm, Penryn Campus

Solar energy is now an essential part of our plan for the future, but how can we best make use of this plentiful resource? And what are the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions?

Dr Senthilarasu Sundaram is a leading scientist at Exeter University and will be sharing some of the latest developments in this exciting field. He will be talking about his own research and teaching, touching on such topics as: how thermal energy can meet the needs of communities, state-of-the-art developments in solar energy conversion, flexible solar energy, storage and effective utilization and the broader impact of solar energy research on deprived communities around the world.

If you would like to request this event at a venue in your local community, please contact

Wednesday 8 May 9.30 am – 2.00 pm, Penryn Campus

Insects represent more than half of all known living organisms and more than a million species have been described. The great diversity of insect form and function means they have a major impact on the ecology and economy of the world. Most of their impact on human populations is beneficial, but in some cases it can be detrimental.

During this lecture, Professor Chris Bass will introduce you to the fascinating world of insects and discuss the complex interactions between insects and humans.

Wednesday 29 May 9.30 am – 2.00 pm, Penryn Campus

Our future may well depend upon renewable energy, harnessing the power of the sun, the wind, earth and water. This Taster will give you a rare insight into the very latest developments in renewables at the cutting edge of technology.

Richard Cochrane is well placed to let you in on the latest innovations. As Associate Professor for Renewable Energy at Exeter University and chartered engineer with a passion for sustainable engineering design, he has been closely involved in refining designs for vertical axis wind turbines, horizontal axis wind turbines, a high efficiency double-regulated Kaplan water turbine and much more.

Free Taster Days at Penryn Campus and Across Cornwall

We are offering an exciting selection of Taster days with expert lectures from academics of the University of Exeter. The sessions will take place in Cornwall and are free of charge, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) Widening Participation in Education Project.

These Taster days will also be an opportunity to gain practical advice and guidance about returning to education. There will be a chance to ask about: student life, routes to higher education, fees and finance, academic learning and support services. There will be representatives from student services and an opportunity to take a tour of the campus to explore the world-class facilities.

If transport or childcare costs are a barrier to you taking part in one of our Tasters, please get in touch as we may be able to cover these expenses. If you would like to request a Taster day with an expert lecture in your local community, we’d love to hear from you.

We will be adding to our list of Taster Days throughout the year, so please watch this space.

Please email to register your interest in any of our Taster days.

Book your place

To register or find out more about any of the above courses or higher education information events please contact: