Skip to main content

Why study History at our Cornwall Campus?

Locations and facilities

History at the University of Exeter is unique in that you can choose to study in one of two locations, our Streatham Campus in Exeter and our Penryn Campus in Cornwall. While these campuses offer different experiences, both offer rewarding and exciting opportunities for those wishing to pursue a degree in History.

The Penryn campus is set in 100 acres of countryside, close to the waterside town of Falmouth, and boasts beautiful views over the Fal estuary. 

At the Penryn Campus, our dynamic and supportive department focuses on using history to understand the challenges posed by globalisation, ethnic conflict, crime, technological innovation, and scientific and environmental change. We are a modern department, focused on history from 1500 onwards and have particular expertise in the First World War; 19th-20th century North American History; oral history; party politics; environmentalism and environmental politics; Cornish history, culture, memory and heritage. A key characteristic of History at Penryn is our emphasis on public history, built through relationships with museums, galleries and schools.

The educational experience in Cornwall, with its intimate, small-group teaching and close contact with academics, is ideal for studying History, all based in an idyllic, seaside setting. Our Penryn Campus is shared with Falmouth University, and there is a wide range of facilities and resources to support you in your study of History.

Penryn is one of Cornwall’s oldest market towns, steeped in history and culture. Many of its buildings date back to Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian times, and it is home to the Penryn Town Museum and the oldest gardens in Cornwall, Enys Gardens. Close to coastal town, Falmouth and cathedral city, Truro, in the former you can visit Pendennis Castle (English Heritage) and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, and the latter hosts both Truro Cathedral and the Royal Cornwall Museum. Our department have had collaborations with the Royal Cornwall Museum, the Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno, the Penlee House Museum and Gallery and Geevor Tin Mining Museum. Further afield in Cornwall, you will find Tintagel Castle (English Heritage), St. Michael's Mount and Lanhydrock House.

Aside from the exciting intellectual community our staff and students in Cornwall have helped to create and develop, we have also established links with organisations outside of the university. These links are particularly in the heritage sector, but also with local businesses and social enterprises on research work that has a direct economic impact. Our commitment to public history gives students the chance to carry out work experience within museums, galleries and similar organisations, making a real difference to the community.

Find out more about Penryn campus.

How to find us

University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

Streatham campus

The Streatham campus, the University’s largest site in Exeter, is built around a country estate overlooking the city and is readily acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the country.

At the Streatham Campus, based in the Amory Building, our research in the History department expertise ranges from pre-history through to the twenty-first century incorporating international, economic, cultural and social history and many geographical areas including the Americas, parts of Asia, Britain and Europe. We have strengths in Medieval history, Early Modern British history, Modern European and global history, and particular specialisms in the histories of power (including security and conflict), identity (including faith, gender and nation), knowledge (including medicine) and resources (including consumption and sustainable development). Our research centres include Medical History; Medieval Studies; Early Modern Studies; War, State and Society; Imperial and Global History; Maritime Historical Studies. They are a focus for interdisciplinary activity across the institution and beyond.

The Streatham Campus is based in Exeter, a small cathedral city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. It is known as having one of the longest and most celebrated histories of any British city, making it an ideal location to study History.

On campus, not only do you have access to a range of historical resources in the libraries, the Special Collections teams manage the University’s unique and exciting collections of archives, rare books and objects. The campus is also home to The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which contains one of the largest collections of material relating to the moving image in Britain, featuring over 75,000 items; students have had the opportunity to host their own exhibitions there. We have also invested £1.2 million to open a Digital Humanities Lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artifacts. 

In the heart of the city lies the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM); their collection consists of over one million individual objects from all across the world, from pre-history to the present day. Explore Exeter’s history through the RAMM’s Time Trail app, a collaboration between the Centre for Intermedia in the College of Humanities, the RAMM and 1010 Media. Near Exeter, Killerton House (National Trust) also exhibits excellent historical collections. Exeter hosts an eclectic range of Grade I* and Grade II* listed buildings, from religious buildings, most notably Exeter Cathedral and St Nicholas Priory, to secular buildings like Custom House, Poltimore House, The Guildhall and Tuckers Hall. There are castles nearby, including Rougemont Castle, Powderham Castle and Castle Drogo. The two-thousand year old City Wall highlights Exeter’s Roman roots, as 70% of the original wall survives today. The city’s medieval heritage shines through not only in buildings like Exeter Cathedral, Tuckers Hall, the Guildhall and St Nicholas Priory, but also its Underground Passages and Medieval Exe Bridge Ruins. The Exeter Ship Canal is one of the oldest canals in the country.

You will have a wealth of resources at your fingertips, not only on campus, but also Exeter Cathedral’s Library and Archives, the RAMM Collections, Exeter Central Library, the Grecian Archive, etc. Furthermore, students have the exciting opportunity to engage in volunteering and work placements on campus and in local heritage sites.

How to find us

University of Exeter
Streatham Campus