Student life in Cornwall

Miranda Walter, BSC Conservation Biology and Ecology, Penryn Campus in Cornwall

For me it is the perfect place to study. I have always loved Cornwall and living by the sea in the country suits my lifestyle and area of study. The location offers the best variety of habitats and access to field work which is essential for studying conservation and ecology. The campus is well connected and there is a broad diversity of people which keeps things lively and exciting. The view of the harbour from the lab makes it one of the best places to be on campus.

Miranda Walter, BSC Conservation Biology and Ecology, Penryn Campus in Cornwall

Life in Cornwall

Cornwall will appeal if you want to study in beautiful surroundings and live as part of a vibrant student community where you constantly meet people you know. You’ll find a fantastic student lifestyle in a safe and friendly environment, with plenty of opportunities for sporting and outdoor activities.

The campus is a few minutes’ walk from Penryn, home to a rapidly expanding collection of independent cafés, shops, galleries and restaurants, as well as Jubilee Wharf, one of the country’s leading zero carbon buildings. It provides an inspirational environment for artists. Penryn’s railway station is a 10-minute journey from Falmouth and 20 minutes from Truro.

Falmouth is a vibrant town, thanks to the number of students in the area, with a wealth of bars, pubs and restaurants and a lively café culture. It’s the centre of Cornwall’s creative scene, with businesses, studios, shops and galleries, and great live music across the town. Falmouth’s seven beaches, beautiful rivers and the world-famous marina also make it a haven for those who love sand, sailing and surf.

Guide to Cornwall

Find out about living in Cornwall in the Cornwall section in our guide to the South West

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

The Penryn Campus is a unique place to study. Being by the beach seems to make everyone a little more chilled out. We share a campus with Falmouth University, which has meant I’ve been able to get stuck in with loads of arts-related projects – I was even an Assistant Director on a music video! I’ve secured two internships in marketing, work experience with the BBC and run my own live music events and club nights- something that would be so much more difficult in a big city.

Nadiya Hussain, BA English, Penryn Campus.

The Penryn Campus offers the very latest academic, research and residential facilities. Made up of around 4,000 students, the campus gives you intimacy and friendliness, in an arrangement that we think is unique as we share the campus with Falmouth University; a leading specialist arts institution. This combination creates a vibrant mix of students, with a diverse range of interests and backgrounds.

Though one of the smallest top ten university campuses in the UK, we excel in tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges through our research, which then informs our teaching. We do this in a way which students positively relish: students report exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with academic staff, improved communication skills and confidence.

The environment and sustainability underpin much of the ethos of the Penryn Campus. These themes consequently recur throughout our degree programmes as well as in student societies, clubs and the running of the campus.

Our newest development, the £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), puts the University and Cornwall at the forefront of research into the solutions to problems of environmental change. Its work complements that of the University Medical School’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health, based on The Truro Campus. The Centre conducts world-class research into the interconnections between the environment and health. Specifically, its researchers investigate the health implications posed by a range of environmental threats.

Further improvements include the new Exchange Building which encompasses lecture theatres, an extended and refurbished library plus informal study spaces.

You can hear more about the Penryn Campus from some of our current students.

Find out more about life in Cornwall

You can find out more in Live It - a students' guide to life in Cornwall‌.

Further information

Students’ Union (FXU)

Here at the University of Exeter in Cornwall you have the wonderful opportunity of studying at one of the best UK universities, which also belongs to the prestigious Russell Group and is in the top 100 global universities. Exeter shares its Penryn Campus with Falmouth University, which enriches and diversifies your academic and extra-curricular experience.

I am a Flexible Combined Honours (English, History and Politics) graduate and have been elected by my peers to be FXU President Exeter. I am one of four Presidents who work full time to represent students and their experiences; collectively we will ensure that the highest levels of the University hear and act on your feedback.

We are a multiple award-winning students’ union working to improve your student experience and make sure your time here in Cornwall is the best that it can be, from a world-class course to delivering over 130 sports clubs, societies and volunteering groups (including everything from Harry Potter Society to Surf Club and climbing to Everest Base Camp)!

I fell in love with Cornwall, met some of my closest friends here and have no doubt that you will do the same.

I made the best choice studying here, where else would you have the opportunity to experience the personality of a small campus at a Russell Group University, along with an amazing seaside lifestyle?

Dean Pomeroy FXU President Exeter 2017/18 .

Your students’ union

Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union (FXU) is here to represent your student voice and enhance your student experience from Freshers to graduation and beyond.

What we offer:

  • Student Voice
  • Sports Clubs and Societies
  • Advice Service
  • Volunteering
  • Raise and Donate (RAD)
  • Events

FXU is award-winning

  • NUS Officer Team of the Year 2016-17 and 2015-16
  • NUS Green Impact – Good Rating
  • National Society Awards - Best Hobby and Interest Society
  • National Society Awards – Best Cultural and Faith society: Islamic Society

Find out more at FXU

FXU Presidents

FXU has a team of four Presidents, representing both universities (Dean Pomeroy is FXU President Exeter for 2017/18), as well as roles for Student Experience (Jamal Clarke) and Community & Welfare (Harry Bishop).


There is a huge range of sporting opportunities available through FXU, including various clubs (from Quidditch to Underwater Hockey) and the Sports Bursary Scheme, which provides additional funding for students of exceptional sporting talent.


Extracurricular activities are strongly encouraged at FXU and you can get involved with everything from societies relating to your studies to something bit more quirky, such as Stitching, Fetish or Meditation.

Raise and Donate (RAD)

RAD stands for Raise and Donate and that’s exactly what we support you to do - raise thousands of pounds for local, national and internationally recognised charities. RAD is completely run by student volunteers, hosting cakes sales, Jail Breaks, sporting events, charity challenges abroad and much more.


FXU provides quality opportunities for you to volunteer in Cornwall, allowing you to try new experiences, developing skills and to make a difference. We work with a range of community partners, charities and Student-Led Projects to provide you with the volunteer experience you are looking for.


When people think of a students' union it's more than likely that the first word that comes to mind is events - and we put on some absolute crackers! On top of the outstanding Freshers programme we also host some pretty incredible events throughout the year - as do our incredible student groups.


FXU Advice Service’s primary role is to deliver free, confidential, impartial advice and guidance to all University of Exeter Cornwall Campus and Falmouth University students.

A Student's Guide to Life in Cornwall

Students from the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus describe the many features of Cornwall that make it such a rewarding place to live.