Our field course team can help answer any questions you might have about the field courses on offer as part of your degree. Drop us a line if you have specific questions: Enquire online
285 students. 35 academics. 8 field courses. 6 countries. 4 continents. 1 challenging fortnight. Join us!
Global field courses
A distinct feature of studying at the Penryn and Truro campuses is the opportunity to travel as part of your degree. Field courses allow you to apply the knowledge gained from our world-leading academics in the classroom to the real-world issues around us.
From the Isles of Scilly to Italy, Scotland to Namibia, London to the Galapagos Islands. We pride ourselves on delivering in excess of 50 residential field courses a year, across all years of study, and across most of our degree programmes.
Each year destinations change. So whilst we are giving you a glimpse here of the trips that have previously taken place, please be aware that specific locations may change. Due to the current Covid-19 situation, it may be necessary to provide students with alternatives to physical field courses.
Jon, Medicine, Ethiopia
"In January 2018, I travelled with four other students and three doctors to Nekemte, Ethiopia to contribute to our ongoing relationship with Wollega University. During our two week trip, our group co-ordinated to carry out projects involving breast cancer care, orthopaedics and supply of clean water to local areas. We gained fantastic experience of lower income healthcare provision including trauma rehabilitation and witnessing the area’s adaptation into a newly built referral hospital. We were able to experience the country far beyond that of any tourist; being welcomed into schools, local community projects and meetings with university officials. Personally, I was able to run my own healthcare initiative for the first time which has led to a lasting interest in global health. This is an experience that very few UK medical students are lucky enough to be exposed to. Our cohesive team led by the excellent Dr Julie Thacker, the welcoming people of such a colourful and vibrant country, and the opportunity for academic development undoubtedly made this trip one of our best experiences throughout medical school."
Olly, Business, New York
"I visited New York City as the basis of one of my modules in my third year of studying BSc Business at the Penryn Campus. For me, it was by far the most engaging module of the year as it provided an element of practicality whereby I could take what I have learnt in the lecture hall and apply it to the real world. Not many Business Schools have the capability to host such large field trips but with the smaller class sizes at Penryn, it created a real stand-out experience for my time at university. It provided an opportunity for me to see business concepts from another perspective, in a different culture, on another continent. Alongside all of this, it was a great chance to eat some great food, see the sights and share a beer with your coursemates and lecturers!"
Ike, Medicine, Ethiopia
"As someone whose curiosity has been piqued by the opportunities that Global Health provides, the chance to travel to Ethiopia with the medical school was simply unmissable. We were based in Nekemte, a bustling and vibrant market town in western Ethiopia. Once here, we dug into a variety of fascinating projects. This ranged from the district-wide provision of clean water through the strategic excavation of wells, all the way through to the expansion of breast cancer awareness and implementation of treatment facilities. There was so much experience to be gained. Working closely with the Red Cross and various government and local entities, provided a hugely fulfilling and educational insight into tropical medicine, public health and medical management. Set against the backdrop of Africa’s natural beauty, and combined with the kindness and tenacity of the Ethiopian people, I have gained vital skills, lifelong friends and some of my greatest memories."
Megan, Surveying and Land/ Environmental Management, Anglesey
"I am studying MSc Surveying and Land/ Environmental Management. It has a high proportion of outdoor work, which I love, and the field trips I have been on with the course are always great fun. As the course is relatively small, about 18 people, it is really friendly.
This residential field trip was to Anglesey in Wales where we undertook a survey of a large disused copper mine. While the weather wasn’t great we went on an extra trip to a museum about the site and about copper mining in Wales which was really enjoyable! Academically it consolidated what I had learnt so far on the course. There was some work in the evening but it was done in the hotel restaurant/ bar so it was very relaxed. Not like any field trip I had been on before – a lot more enjoyable!"
Ellen, Zoology, Bahamas
"In my third year I went on the Bahamas field course. We studied marine ecology and conservation, invasive species, species identification, and coastal ecosystems.
We also gained practical hands on experience in the field which included tagging species such as turtles, sharks and rays; this was an amazing opportunity to be given!
The experience was one in a lifetime for all of us; we expanded our skill set massively, and worked with top researchers in the field by assisting them in data collection. So not only were we getting up close and personal with the incredible marine life, but we were also collecting data that would contribute to valuable research.
The skills I developed during the trip have since assisted me in the future, whether in my postgraduate degree or my current job.
The Bahamas field course was some of the best 2 weeks of my life; it was so exciting and we were lucky to see so much, but at the same time we came back with a wider set of skills to prepare us for graduating."
Lydia, Geography, California
We went to California (Yosemite and Sierra Nevada) for 12 days at the very beginning of third year. I was able to apply so many skills that I have learnt in the course to do my own research. It was amazing to see how my knowledge of the field has excelled and how I was now able to produce my own methodology and results as a result of my learning. The fact that I have now done two research projects in California will look really good on my CV for careers in the future.
Harry, Environmental Sciences, Isles of Scilly
In my second year I went to the Isles of Scilly on a field trip. This was a weeklong residential where we camped on the island of St Mary’s, undertaking a series of field based learning blocks. These learning blocks helped us to hone the skills we had gained in previous modules, and taught us brand new ideas and concepts that we had never considered before. These skills included presentation skills, engaging with the public, literary analysis of museum artefacts, tours of local monuments and Glacial Till analysis, which was a brand new concept for me but one that I quickly got to grasps with and loved within a matter of hours. These skills will only enhance future career prospects post-education and have proved invaluable in assisting us to prepare for our USA field trip in the final year, as well as our dissertation projects further down the line.
Betty, BSc Conservation Biology and Ecology, Scotland
I got so much out of this field trip. I really got to bond and network with my lecturers and colleagues, learn new skills to better myself as a biologist, and visit beautiful places I never would’ve gone on my own. I think the field courses in general really give us a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and further study. There’s no experience quite like it!
A small number of travel bursaries are available to students of all degree programmes at the Cornwall Penryn Campus to help with the costs of field trips and project work. How to apply for the bursary.
Whilst it varies by fieldcourse, a large proportion of the cost of the trip is already covered by your tuition fees. You may be asked to contribute to the cost of flights or living expenses depending upon which course you are going on and whether it is optional or compulsory. For more information please contact email@example.com