"The excellent selection of funky bars, cafes and restaurants make Exeter a vibrant place to be after dark" Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain

Exeter and the South West

Exeter is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the UK, with a high quality of life and a low crime rate. The city has something for everyone, whether your tastes are for exploring the city or enjoying the countryside.

With a population of about 120,000, Exeter is a student-friendly city which happily combines modern life with a sense of the past. Cafés, restaurants, pubs and modern shops mix easily with historic buildings, including the Cathedral, consecrated in 1133 and rebuilt in the late medieval period, the Guildhall which is the oldest civic working building in the country, Mol’s Coffee House and the Ship Inn, both favourite haunts of Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh.

‌The Exeter Phoenix is a thriving centre for the arts. Its programme includes top quality theatre, dynamic dance, live music from around the world, exhibitions of visual arts and crafts, thought-provoking film, children’s events, readings, talks and discussions. The University’s Great Hall is a major venue for concerts, and live music can be enjoyed throughout the City in pubs, clubs and concert halls and at the large Westpoint venue.

The South West has the largest growing population in the UK and around two-thirds of those moving to the region are of working age. Exeter is seen as an increasingly attractive place to do business with major firms such as the Met Office choosing to relocate.


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, and a home for Miss Peapod’s café, which has great views and regular live music. 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.

Penryn Campus

Visit our Cornwall campuses webpages for more information.

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 our 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 current students.

Useful links