English (Penryn)

  • Ranked top 5 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and top 10 in The Complete University Guide 2020
  • Top 100 for English in the QS World University Rankings 2018
  • 4th in the UK for research power in English
  • Participate in events involving internationally acclaimed authors, actors and filmmakers
  • Opportunities to study abroad at a range of partner institutions in Europe, USA, Canada and elsewhere

English at Penryn is founded on exceptional student experience. We offer bespoke, research driven programmes in a unique environment: friendly, vibrant and collegiate.

The department’s building on our state-of-the-art eco-campus is a place where lecturers and students, from the disciplines of both English and History, all work side-by-side, creating a distinctive and intimate sense of community.

On our English programmes, you will explore the work of some of the giants of English literature, as well as discovering more unusual works from the past and engaging literary and cultural works from the contemporary moment. Through our carefully designed degree structure, which balances both core and optional modules, we will introduce you to the full range of critical, creative and intellectual approaches to literature: from the mechanics of how a poem works, to the social and ethical contexts of Dickens; from ideas of the body in Shakespeare, to how contemporary novels interrogate globalisation.

Your lecturers will be world-class researchers who are experts in their respective fields. This expertise influences the innovative ways in which you will be taught and the content of modules alike: particularly in the third year, where you will have the skills to pursue with confidence your own research interests, in both optional modules and a dissertation.

During your time at Penryn, you will develop into an articulate, analytical and above all independent thinker, well-equipped for a range of graduate careers or postgraduate study – as well as taking with you, of course, a deep knowledge and love of literature.

As our teaching is inspired by our research, you’ll benefit from direct access to the latest thinking, and our unique scale means you’ll have lots of contact with your lecturers. Teaching comprises interactive lectures, small group seminars, workshops and field trips, backed up by a wealth of digital resources and online support. We use a range of assessment types, including essays, exams, presentations, reviews and more experimental work, in order to develop both academic writing and analysis as well as employability-focused transferable skills.

The academics at Penryn English, working alongside other disciplines in Cornwall and with colleagues from Streatham English, produce a diverse range of world-class research spanning the early modern to the present day. Whilst we aim to attract simply the most exciting and engaging individual scholars, we have also developed specific clusters of research expertise such as literature and place, or affect and embodiment. Publishing prolifically, our academics have also led and participated in a range of collaborative and international funded projects.

The student-run Tremough English Society (TES) is a society for both Falmouth and Exeter students from all disciplines who share an interest in literature and want to enjoy it outside of the class room.

Find out more about the English Society.

Open Days, campus tours and virtual tours

If you are interested in studying Politics and International Relations at our Penryn Campus, Cornwall, we would encourage you to visit the campus and offer a number of ways in which you can do this.

Open Days

Our Open Days are a great way to find out more about the University and decide whether Exeter is the right choice for you. To find out more about our next events visit our Open Days page

Offer Holder Visit Days

If you’ve already applied to Exeter and you are offered a place, you’ll be invited to an Offer Holder Visit Day during the spring term. Offer holders can book a place on one of our Offer Holder Visit Days online using your UCAS id number and date of birth.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly during term-time, with a limited number available outside of these dates. To find out more visit our campus tours page.

Virtual tours

You can also view the campus via our virtual tours.

Contact us

For more information about the opportunities to visit the University please contact the Student Recruitment Office.

Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801
WebEnquire online

Meet our students

student profile

Studying English at our Penryn Campus

Watch our video to learn more about our exciting English programme at the Penryn Campus, Cornwall.

Student's guide to life in Cornwall

Watch our video to learn about what makes Cornwall such a rewarding place to live.

Fresher's Week at the Penryn Campus

Watch our video to see the highlights of Fresher's Week at our Penryn Campus.