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History at Penryn Campus: New undergraduate students

New undergraduates Penryn

New undergraduates Penryn

Welcome message from Professor Clare Saunders

Welcome to the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus and congratulations on securing a place on a programme in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences here.

You are joining a unique university community which offers you a world-class education in a small, friendly environment. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penryn is a warm and supportive community both in and out of the seminar room. The department is fortunate to have a range of vibrant student-led subject societies, in addition to the campus’ sports societies, and an active Student-Staff Liaison Committee.

We are located in one of the most beautiful areas in the UK, and I often see students heading down to the beach together after seminars. Penryn and Falmouth also offer a host of opportunities to get involved with community life beyond the campus.

We all look forward to meeting you in Welcome Week and, indeed, to the rich contribution you will make during your time here.

Professor Clare Saunders
Head of HaSS Penryn


Ahead of your arrival, please complete our online pre-arrival induction which is available via FutureLearn; your Exeter email will have a message with the link. The induction is full of important information and advice about your studies and life as a student here. It also contains activities and discussion boards so you can start to get to know other students even before you start your course.

We strongly recommend that you access this as soon as possible and make the most of this fantastic opportunity to learn more about us, your peers and your programme.

Freshers’ Week 2022: Monday 19 September - Friday 23 September

During Fresher's Week you should attend the Academic Induction events and activities for your subject/s, as detailed below. If there is any reason why you may not be here for Fresher's Week, please contact the Penryn Hub, who support History Penryn students, as soon as possible by emailing

For information regarding the Student’s Union and Society-led events during Fresher’s Week, visit the Falmouth and Exeter Student’s Union website. Events (

Please check your academic timetable during Freshers’ Week, so that you know exactly where and when you need to attend your first classes and lectures! If you have any timetable-related problems or questions, please contact the Penryn Hub at

This schedule may be subject to change - please check your personal timetable online, via My Timetable, for the latest information.

Please note:
All times below are UK time 





Monday 19th September

11AM - 12PM

Welcome to Exeter Talk

Old Chapel

Monday 19th September


12PM - 1:30PM

Welcome Lunch

Old Chapel

Monday 19th September


3PM - 4PM

History Programme Welcome

TBC – check your timetable

Tuesday 20th September

10:30AM – 4:15PM

Workshops with Active Plus, Miracle Theatre and Doorstep Arts, library escape room and orientation workshops in your group across the day

Assigned on your timetable

Wednesday 21st September


Student Union events


Thursday 22nd September

10:30AM – 4:15PM

Workshops with Active Plus, Miracle Theatre and Doorstep Arts, library escape room and orientation workshops in your group across the day


Assigned on your timetable

Friday 23rd September

09:30AM – 5:30PM


9.30 AM meet in Ampitheater

Scavenger Hunt on Campus and in Penryn

Working lunch 12.30 -2pm

Poster Display and prize giving 4.30 -5.15


Assigned on your timetable


On Monday, 19th September, you will attend a ‘welcome to the University of Exeter’ talk with all staff, in which we’ll introduce you to how we teach, and you’ll undertake some short activities delivered by academic and professional services staff and members of the Students’ Union and Staff-Student Liaison Committees. This is followed by a lunch. After lunch, you’ll take part in an introductory workshop for your particular programme of study.

We’ll also take a photo of your cohort in the amphitheatre on campus as a record of your first day at university – and we’ll take one on your graduation day, too, as a reminder of how far you have come!

On Tuesday, 20th and Thursday, 22nd September your cohort will be divided into six groups (of about 40 students each) and will then take part in six activities (three on each day). The activities will be as follows:

  • Activity 1: Miracle Theatre Workshop (Discover): Miracle Theatre will lead you in activities which have been co-created with the Department over the last three years. They revolve around getting to know people, remembering their names and ‘faking it until you make it’ when meeting lots of new people and doing new things.
  • Activity 2: Active Plus Bootcamp (Grow): The charity Active Plus will take you through the mini-teamwork bootcamp which they have delivered for us for the last three years. This is an activity of mental and physical expression which will help foster a sense of belonging and show you something of the difference between being part of a community of learners and just being an individual learner.
  • Activity 3: Doorstep Arts Workshop (Thrive): Alumni from the University of Exeter and members of Doorstep Arts will run their very successful wellbeing & mental health session – and you’ll play an active part in its shape!
  • Activity 4: Library Escape Room (Discover): You will take part in a digital library escape room which you will complete in a small group in the physical space of the library, using a tablet to allow you to explore the physical and virtual spaces of the library to find clues to unlock the next ‘door’ of the escape room.
  • Activity 5: Getting your head around the change (Grow): Co-created with staff and led by our peer transition student tutors, this workshop is all about how you transition to the new identity of undergraduate student, and the different ways of being and doing that this entails.
  • Activity 6: Navigating your wide empty calendar (Thrive): Co-created with staff and led by our peer transition student tutors, this workshop is designed to help you think about how to organise your time in such a way that you will thrive at university. We will be looking at how to plan effectively, thinking about choice and maximising all the opportunities you have at university. Getting on top of this early on will allow you to engage much (much) more effectively with your studies.

On Friday, 23rd September you’ll take part in scavenger hunts as you exploreand map the environment that you’ll be living and working in. You’ll take part in two activities on campus and a trail and hunt in the town of Penryn, supported by the Penryn Museum. You’ll create maps in your small groups which you’ll display at the end of the day at a tea with staff from campus, with prizes for the winners. Your maps will go on display in both the Penryn Museum and on campus.

Joining instructions

History Penryn suggested reading list

The following reading might be useful to you over the summer, although it is not compulsory! Each title is linked to a relevant first year module.

  • People’s History: Sources and Skills (HIC1007): Carl J Griffin & Briony McDonaugh, Remembering Protest in Britain Since 1500: Memory, Materiality and Landscape (Springer, 2018)
  • European History (HIC1008): Tim Blanning, The Pursuit of Glory: The Five Revolutions that Made Modern Europe, 1648-1815. (Penguin, 2007)
  • World History: Globalisation (HIC1306): Jack Goody, The Theft of History (CUP, 2006)

See also the History at Penryn 2022 Reading list. Please note that these reading lists are only here as guidance and for those interested, you are not expected to purchase these books. 

Choosing your modules using the Online Module Selection System

First you will need to register with the university and activate your university IT account. To find out how to do this use the links in the tabs below for the 'Before you arrive' section of the New Students’ website. Once you have activated your university IT account you will have access to iExeter, the student portal. You should find the Online Module Selection System by clicking on the 'Student Record' tab and then by following the instructions.

We will send you more information about online module selection before it opens.

Useful information

Modules are available at a range of levels via the Language Centre in:

  • French
  • German
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

We can help you get the language you study with us named on your degree title. This involves successfully completing a minimum of 60 credits in one language taken through the Language Centre. You could choose to start a new language from scratch or develop an existing one. For example, a Geography student who passes 30 credits at Spanish Beginners and a further 30 credits at Spanish Intermediate 1 could have their degree title amended to BA (Hons) Geography with proficiency in Spanish.

To find out more about language modules see our Language Centre page.