"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.

Exeter - it's a Capital City logoThe 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.


“The best thing about being in Cornwall is how close we are to the ocean and so many great beaches. It's one of the reasons I believe that people are so much more laid-back, relaxed and in tune with the natural pace of life - there just isn't the chaos of a big city” Paul Turner, Geography

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

Our Cornwall Campus is just a short distance from the waterfront town of Falmouth. With around 3,000 students in the local area, Falmouth has developed into a lively town, with a wealth of bars, pubs and restaurants. Its seven beaches, beautiful rivers and world-famous marina are a haven for those who love sand, sea and surf.

The Students’ Union and its clubs and societies often organise nights out in Falmouth, Truro and Newquay, as well as the regular events, club nights and live music on campus in the Stannary. Falmouth is famous for its maritime past and present. Situated on the third deepest harbour in the world, it’s the venue for a host of sailing events and races - Ellen MacArthur finished her record breaking solo round-the-world voyage here in 2005.

The cultural side of Cornwall is also thriving - there are more writers and artists living and working in western Cornwall than in any other area of the British Isles. From contemporary art at the Tate St Ives to performances on the cliff-edge at the Minack Theatre, you’ll find a wealth of opportunities to feed your creative side. Cornwall has a rapidly growing economy fuelled by investment from business, Government and developments like the Eden Project, and is leading the way in technologies such as renewable energy.

The beach and the countryside

And when you want a break from town life, some of the most stunning countryside in Britain is right on your doorstep.

The whole region is paradise for the outdoor enthusiast, whether you are looking for sport or gentle relaxation. The wild scenery of the national parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor provides an exciting challenge for hikers, climbers, horse riders, cyclists and other sports people. In contrast, their gentler landscapes of rolling hills, rivers and attractive market towns and villages are perfect for exploring in a leisurely fashion.

South West England logoDevon and Cornwall are two of Europe’s top holiday destinations – as a student here you’ll be able to enjoy it all year round. Exeter is just nine miles from the coastal town of Exmouth, with its long sandy beaches and the Exe estuary - famous for its native and over-wintering birds. Perfect for sailors, swimmers, water-skiers, windsurfers and sunbathers! Surfers do have to travel a little farther from Exeter to the north Devon and Cornwall coasts but it’s worth it for some of the finest surfing in the UK. Our Cornwall Campus students, however, have the surf on their doorstep, with easy access to internationally-renowned surfing beaches. Cornwall’s natural landscape is a unique resource which can be enjoyed through the available watersports, including surfing, kite surfing, body boarding, sea swimming, diving and sailing, or if you prefer gentler pursuits, the stunning coastline provides perfect scenery for walking. Cornwall has plenty of other attractions, including must-visit towns such as St Ives and Padstow; to National Trust gardens and the Eden Project for environmental enthusiasts (and music enthusiasts, with the Eden Sessions’ concerts drawing large audiences to see big-name acts such as Lily Allen, Muse, Amy Winehouse, Basement Jaxx and Pulp play in front of a stunning backdrop).

“There’s nothing better than crawling in after a dawn surf with just enough time to thaw yourself out before lectures!" Howie Bartrip, 3rd year student

See our Living in Cornwall webpages for a view into what life at our Cornwall Campus (and the activities and amenities you can expect to find) is really like.