Lewis Brady

BA History (Penryn Campus)

Why did you choose to study at the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus?

Unfortunately, my grades were not as strong as I had hoped and on results day and I had not achieved the triple A bench mark that Streatham campus had set. Luckily however, I was offered a place on the Cornwall campus to study the same subject. I had actually visited Exeter’s lessor known campus previously and had fallen in love with Cornwall. Exeter’s renowned history department and alumni spreads to Cornwall seamlessly and whilst there may be less module option, each module is carried out just as professionally and expertly. The real draw however must be the university’s surroundings. With a seamless mix of country and town and the close proximity to so many fantastic beaches, there really was no alternative for me.

What do you think of your course so far?

History at Cornwall is a very laid back independent affair with a wealth of support if you should need it. First year is very theory based and designed to give you a firm understanding of what it means to be a historian. As with any history course, expect to read a lot. Peter Linebaugh’s The many-headed hydra is a must read for any historian at Cornwall however don’t expect have to buy all your books; Cornwall’s library is surprisingly large and well stocked. As your years progress, expect to have to carry out much more of your own research. 

How has your experience of being a student here at Penryn been to date?

The Falmouth and Exeter Student Union (FXU) has won multiple awards for the support it gives to its students. Providing a wide range of services from financial support to mental health wellbeing you won’t have to look far to find help with anything you are struggling with. Personally I have taken advantage of FXU’s Student Led Volunteering Project Scheme which allows individuals to set up a society or group under the union’s supervision with the aim of collecting like-minded students to volunteer their time for a worthy cause of your choice. Wave Project Student Volunteers has been up and running for a whole year now and has amassed a wealth of students to help young people overcome stress and have fun in the sea through surfing. My project runs parallel to others such as Flicka Horse and Donkey Sanctuary and the Beach Clean Project that are all open to new volunteers joining their cause.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I love to explore Cornwall and its abundance of coast. The south coast is full of coves and bays that are great to explore on land or at sea. Joining the kayaking society gave me a great opportunity to delve into the caves at Flushing and discover the rocks of St Mawes. The north coast is great for surfing. From Perranporth to Gwithian there are no shortages of amazing surf spots and all come with their own adventures along the sea. Joining the surf club is the easiest way to reach this further coast and they are sure to show you some of your soon-to-be favourite places. No beach however compares to Gylly in Falmouth. Only a 10-minute walk from town, you will soon fall in love with its views over the Falmouth bay huddled around a disposable barbeque with your course mates.

How easy has it been to support yourself financially?

The University of Exeter offers a wide range of scholarships and bursaries to both its current and prospective students so even if your circumstances change then there is always support. Down at Cornwall I have received the Exeter Travel Bursary that allows me to fund my trips back home to Essex on the train that is provided as one lump sum at the beginning of the year.

I am also a recipient of the Access to Exeter Bursary, a form of funding set up to help those from low income households afford the day to day expense of living away from home. Aside from this there are a number of scholarships available with a wide range of eligibilities but with so much advice available from the student union it has been easy to support myself financially.

What would you say to other students thinking of applying to Penryn?

Penryn is a university campus like none other. With such a small number of students, you really get that community feel where everyone really does know everyone else yet, at the same time, you will leave with a world renowned degree. When applying to Penryn, consider if you want to spend some of your best three or four years of your life surrounded by the beautiful Cornish coast. Penryn campus certainly won’t give you that city experience like other campuses might however if long walks throughout the country side and pristine views over the Falmouth bay are your thing, then nowhere else compares.