For many students, sport is a defining factor in their overall student experience, whether this is for fun, or something a bit more serious. Whatever your level of sporting ability you’ll have every chance to take part in sport at Exeter using our facilities which are amongst the best in the UK.

Success in sport at the University of Exeter continues each year, both in competition, where we finished 5th in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) rankings 2015/16, and in recreational sport with increasing numbers of individuals and teams enjoying the facilities across our campuses. 

Our teams compete for national titles in numerous competitions including cricket, golf, hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby union, sailing, surfing, tennis and windsurfing.

We named as The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2016, in recognition of excellence in sports performance, education and research. The award acknowledged us as the best in the country in academia and athletic achievement across a wide range of sports. It took into account our outstanding support for athletes, very high student satisfaction in sport-related programmes, and world-leading research which enhances athletic performance at all levels.

More details are on our Sport website.

Sports scholarships

Our Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the best in the UK. It provides a comprehensive package of support and financial benefits of up to £5,500 to help meet the needs of individual athletes. More details are available on our Sport site.

Facilities - a £12 million investment

In addition to our brand new fitness centre on the Streatham Campus, which boasts a 200- station gym, our excellent facilities at our Exeter campuses include:

  • indoor and outdoor pitches;
  • squash courts;
  • gym with the latest fitness equipment and free-weight areas;
  • exercise studios;
  • cricket centre;
  • sports halls;
  • swimming pools – indoor sat St Luke's Campus and outdoor at the Streatham Campus;
  • a fleet of boats at the Roadford RYA Sailing Centre;
  • a new, well-equipped boathouse on the Exeter canal.

Sports clubs in Exeter

  • American Football
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoe
  • Cheerleading and Gymnastics
  • Clay Shooting
  • Climbing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Jiu Jitsu
  • Karate (Shotokan)
  • Korfball
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Polo
  • Riding
  • Rifle
  • Rowing
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Sailing
  • Snooker and Pool
  • Snowsports
  • Speleology (Caving)
  • Squash
  • Sub Aqua
  • Surf
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Trampolining
  • Triathlon
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Waterpolo
  • Windriders

Fitness classes and personal training

Classes include pump and tone, Nike Training Club, spinning and circuits as well as yoga, zumba, pilates and pole fitness. Personal training and fitness testing are available from highly trained staff.

High Performance Programme

The programme offers assistance to top level student athletes in a wide range of sports. We also manage 10 focus sports which receive the very best coaching, sports science services, physiotherapy, athlete lifestyle support and strength and conditioning training.

Find out more

Further information on facilities, programmes and scholarships can be found on our Sport website.

We offer a wide range of student-run sports clubs, ranging from the competitive to recreational and social. Many clubs play in local leagues as well as University-related competitions. FXU, our Students’ Union, is registered with British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS).

Water sports feature strongly in Cornwall; it’s one of the best places in the country for surfing and sailing and the campus has great links with local water sports providers and clubs, including traditional Cornish gig-rowing clubs. The Cornwall-based surf team has recently enjoyed consistent success in the BUCS surf competitions.


The spacious and modern campus Fitness Centre offers the latest fitness equipment, a free-weights area and a fitness studio. Regular classes include spinning, yoga, pilates, kettle bells, boxercise and zumba. You can join as a member or just pay-as-you-go.

Away from the gym, the campus has new one- and two-mile running routes and an orienteering route. These have been set up with the help of the FLEXSI project, which is funded by Sport England, part of a national Active University plan to encourage students to participate in sports and physical activity. We also have a multi-use games area, which offers an all-weather, floodlit facility for 5-a-side football, hockey skills and tennis, for use by students.

Sports clubs

All the FXU supported clubs are set up and run each year by students, and change each year to reflect current interests. Current clubs include:

  • Badminton
  • Capoeira
  • Climbing
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Expeditions
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Horseriding
  • Kayaking
  • Kung Fu
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Sea swimming
  • Shooting
  • Snorkel and dive
  • Snowsports
  • Squash and Tennis
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tang Soo Do
  • Tremorz (Street Dance)
  • Ultimate Frisbee

For further information, please see our Penryn Campus Sport Centre page.

FXU sports bursary and volunteering scheme

Students with exceptional sporting talent can apply for the FXU Sports Bursary Scheme (new window). FXU will make every effort to accommodate students’ training and performance needs.

The Sports Volunteering Scheme provides students with a range of volunteering opportunities.

Katie Bradbury, BA Accounting and Finance

Being an international golfer I wanted to ensure that I would be able to continue with my sport whilst achieving a high-level degree. This is exactly what the University of Exeter Sports Scholarship allows me to do.

Being a golf scholar I have access to weekly gym sessions as part of the high performance squad with two strength and conditioning experts and fitness instructors. I also have practice sessions with the whole squad twice a week and we can arrange to have one-to-one coaching with our top professional. Although the programme is very busy, I have a golf manager who sorts everything out for me giving me plenty of time to focus on my studies, and plenty of support to ensure that I am keeping on top of both my academics and my golf.

Katie Bradbury, BA Accounting and Finance

Tom Sargeant, BA Geography

Having played rugby professionally for two years before coming to university, I chose to come to Exeter because it was far and away the best place for me to combine academic studies at an excellent university with playing rugby to a high level. As part of the sports scholarship scheme, I’ve benefited from elite level support from top class strength and conditioning coaches, cookery and nutritional workshops, and mentoring throughout my time here. I’ve also had the chance to give something back through talks about sport to local school children.

Being part of the rugby club has been a real highlight. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a social player there are opportunities for everyone. Teams are coached by players from Exeter Chiefs and you really benefit from their professionalism. 

Our annual Varsity match against Bath was at the home of Exeter Chiefs, Sandy Park, where we won in front of nearly 4,000 students, which was an amazing experience. I’ve also captained England Students, playing matches against France Universities and the Portuguese national side. I hope to return to playing rugby after graduating, and Exeter has been the perfect place to springboard me into in the future.

Tom Sargeant, BA Geography