University of Exeter Guide: Rankings, Courses, Fees And More

The University of Exeter was founded in 1851 as the Exeter Schools of Art and Science. After receiving its full university status in 1922 and changing its name to its current name, the university merged with St Luke’s College of Education in 1978 and expanded the Penryn Campus in 2004. Today, the Univesity of Exeter is a member of the reputable Russell Group with a Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Summary of University

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University of Exeter Overview

The University of Exeter offers more than 400 courses in 40 subject areas, stretching across its three main campuses at Streatham, St Luke’s and Penryn. Streatham Campus is the largest campus, taking in 76% of the total student population and it houses many of the university’s administrative buildings. Meanwhile, the Penryn campus shares a vibrant university life with Falmouth University. Their Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) and the Stannary – the campus’s social hub – nurture an exciting artistic, cultural and entertainment space for a memorable student experience. St Luke’s Campus is home to the university’s education, sports and medical students. 

Research-wise, the university is most famous for its environmental works. Home to the UK’s five most influential climate scientists, the University of Exeter was the Sustainability Award Winner at the Guardian University Awards in 2020. Its campuses in Devon and Cornwall were awarded the Green Flag status for their environmental-friendly practices and education. Future environmentalists will love the choice of Environmental Humanities, Environmental Science, and Renewable Energy subjects available.

Studying at the University of Exeter gives you a choice to follow a Flexible Combined Honours (FCH) pathway. You can combine up to three subjects from the university’s available list and build your bespoke degree. They can also obtain their law degree with the title “with proficiency in law” by adding a specified number of law modules to their programme. Another option is to join the two flagship multidisciplinary courses of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences for a holistic academic approach.

The University of Exeter has over 30,000 alumni in 183 countries who donated over £71,000,000 in their latest campaign. The alumi’s donations contributes to making improvements at the university and the network provides students great career opportunities after graduation. 

Graduates of the University of Exeter enjoy a high employment rate as 89% of graduates are in or due to start employment or further study fifteen months after graduation (based on full-time, first degree, UK domiciled graduates, HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19). They are also among the top 10 graduates with the highest average earning potential in the first year after graduation, earning as much as £30,088/year, according to Adzuna’s report in 2017.

Among the University of Exeter’s most famous alumni are JK Rowling, the author of the global sensation Harry Potter series; Thom Yorke – the singer, songwriter and musician for Radiohead; British royal family member Zara Phillips – daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II; Saudi royal family member – Al-Waleed bin Talal – grandson of Riad Al Solh (Lebanon’s first prime minister); and Abdullah Gül – the 11th President of Turkey.

University of Exeter Courses and Programmes

Science and humanities subjects at University of Exeter are amongst the best programmes in the world. According to Shanghai Rankings Global Rankings of Academic Subjects 2024, Exeter’s highest ranked subjects are Geography and Ecology, both ranked 9th in the top 100 globally.

Some of the University of Exeter’s best performing courses are: 

  • Drama, Dance and Cinematics programme was ranked 1st according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 and 2nd in the UK according to The Subject League Table of 2024 by The Complete University Guide. 
  • Theology and Religion programme was ranked 2nd in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research according to Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*.
  • The archaeology programme was ranked 3rd in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research based on their disaggregation of REF units of assessments categorised as 4* or 3* focusing on geography or archaeology or combined.
  • The Geology programme was among the top 10 for Geology in the Guardian University Guide 2023.


The quality of the Drama, Dance and Cinematics programme has been proven by its performance in rankings, achieving the first position in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 and the Guardian University Guide 2024. One of the university’s oldest and best-equipped departments, the Drama department here is also one of the largest in the UK. The university has invested £3.7 million in industry-standard drama facilities to best serve all the department’s learning and research needs. The lecturers are also active researchers whose research focus is specifically on improving the performance practice via topics such as the theory and practice of actor-training, transnational performance, dramaturgy and playwriting, and the politics of culture.

Business and Management

The winner of the Business School of the Year award of 2024 by the Times Higher Education Awards, the Business School at the Univesity of Exeter gained the Triple Crown accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. Their programmes combine the university’s research in sustainability with a practical business programme. Students get to do a year abroad as part of some programmes through the university’s global connections in Europe, USA, Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Exeter students previously received paid placements at famous workplaces such as GlaxoSmithKline, Deloitte and Apple.

Physics and Astronomy

The University of Exeter is famous for its forefront research in astrophysics. Studying Physics here means getting exposure to the latest research and cutting-edge ideas in experimental, computational and theoretical physics. There is an active and supportive Physics Society for social events all year round. Students of the department can also get paid research placement at reputable companies such as Renishaw.

Liberal Arts

This is an interdisciplinary course that combines subjects in the humanities, social sciences and business. Ambitious and versatile students will enjoy the flexibility and breadth of the course while learning new languages and applying the learned knowledge to contemporary global issues.

University of Exeter Entry Requirements

Applicants taking A Levels are expected to present at least three full GCE A Levels for entry to undergraduate courses.

There are also International Foundation Year courses which are intensive 1.5 or 2-semester programmes explicitly designed to provide you with a pathway to undergraduate degree study at the university.

University of Exeter Entry Deadline

In the UK, all university applications (including those submitted by international students like you) go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, more commonly known as UCAS.

Most undergraduate courses will share the same deadline of 31 January of every year. Some courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have an earlier deadline of 16 October in the year before admission.

For more information about key dates and other UCAS deadlines, take a look at our article UCAS Deadlines 2024.

University of Exeter Rankings

  • In 2025, the University of Exeter ranked 14th in the UK (Complete University Guide).
  • In 2024, 163rd in the world (QS World University Rankings).
  • Ranked sixth in the UK, ninth in Europe and twenty-ninth in the world in the CWTS Leiden Ranking when combining the quality of publications.
  • Ranked nineteenth in the UK with 14 subjects ranked in the top 10 according to The Complete University Guide 2024.
  • Ranked fifteenth out of the one hundred and twenty-one higher education institutions in Guardian league table 2024.
  • Named “Sports University of the Year 2015-2016” by The Times and The Sunday Times for the best-of-country academic and athletic achievement in sports. 
  • Awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the fourth time in 2020 for exposing the devastating effect of plastics pollution on the health of humans and wildlife.

University of Exeter Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees

Tuition fees will differ depending on the subject. The tuition fees for international students for 2024 entry are as follows.

  • BMBS Medicine: £41,500
  • Accounting & Finance, Business Analytics: £23,500
  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (including Law): £21,500
  • Accounting, Business & Management, Economics and Marketing: £21,500
  • Biosciences, Geography, Medical Sciences (including Medical Imaging, Nursing and Neuroscience), Psychology and Sport Sciences: £27,000
  • Flexible Combined Honours: £23,000
  • Mathematics and Computer Science (including Mathematics with Accounting/Economics/Finance/Management): £24,500
  • Engineering, Physics (including Combined Honours Maths & Physics), Geology, Mining and Natural Sciences: £27,000

The fee will increase each year following the Consumer Price Index per the university’s current policy.

University of Exeter Accommodation

The university offers abundant choices of accommodation in both Exeter and Penryn. 

Accommodation in Exeter, Devon

With the capability to host over 5,900 beds, students at Devon can choose from catered or self-catered accommodations to self-contained family flats. There are the options of standard rooms, en-suite and studio with shared kitchen ranging between approximately £4,835 and £7,500 per year, all-inclusive. Most accommodations are on-campus and up to 30% of the self-catered undergraduate accommodations are off-campus but conveniently located within a 30-minutes  walk to campus. 

Accommodation in Penryn, Cornwall

Students at Penryn Campus live in the onsite Glasney Student Village and offsite Sidings. With 2,000 beds, the student village offers self-catered flats with seven en-suite bedrooms for single and shared occupants. Students can access the fully-equipped communal kitchen/dining areas as well as card-operated laundrettes and external bike racks. Meanwhile, The Sidings offers ensuite and fully-furnished flats for up to seven students each just a 15-minute walk away from campus. All share a fully-fitted communal kitchen/dining area and a living area with sofas and a television. A small number of self-contained studios are also available for students who prefer a more private lifestyle. Accommodation fees here range from approximately £4,835 to £9,825 per year.

University of Exeter Reviews

Matthew - BA History (with Employment Experience Abroad) at Penryn Campus

“When I came to visit Penryn for the first time, it felt as though it was made for me. A beautiful place to study with a totally unique lifestyle, plus a shared campus with another university. What could be more appealing? When I get time to myself just to be able to walk to the beach or watch the stars next to the sea is something I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else. Living in the South West, it’s the kind of lifestyle that made me able to actually live. It is amazing and in my opinion, incomparable to anywhere else.”

Pimonpan - BA Energy Engineering at Penryn Campus

“I got into the University of Exeter through clearing. Studying BEng Energy Engineering in Penryn, Cornwall has been a great experience, including beautiful scenery, helpful and supportive staff, friendly locals, hundreds of interesting activities – off and on campus – and much more.

Lecturers and support staff are easy to approach and willing to help, which has helped me get the most out of university life. Not only I have learnt a huge amount, but I also have had some wonderful experiences both academically and socially. Every single activity and lesson has made me more confident and strengthened my skills, from being a society committee member to an intern on campus.”

Zoe - English and Film at Streatham Campus

“I did a lot of research when it came to choosing which universities I wanted to apply to and Exeter really stood out. It allowed me to do a combined honours course, both sides of which had some of the best teaching reputations in the UK.”

Ernestina - LLB Law with Business at Penryn Campus

“I love the fact that my course is more than just about reading lots of books, it’s very practical. In my first year, we had a mock tribunal in one of our seminars. The University invited someone from London to act as a head judge, and we got to present to our clients as if we were in court. We’ve had the opportunity to go to court and watch trials and sentencings, which has been really interesting.”

University of Exeter Facilities


The Streatham and Penryn libraries are open 24/7 during term time with 1.2 million e-books and 1 million print books to help students study. There are some rare items in the Special Collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum for curious minds.  

Research facilities

Each department owns the most cutting-edge facilities for their field, for example, rehearsal studios and costume collections for the Drama department, the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the Penryn Campus, the Living Systems Institute and Digital Humanities Lab at the Streatham Campus and the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development Centre (RILD) at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.


The University of Exeter has invested more than £20 million to create one of the best sports facilities in the South West. The university is the best sports university in the South of England thanks to the combination of the Sports Park at Streatham Campus, the outdoor and indoor pool at St Luke Campus, the off-campus Boathouse and sports grounds in Exeter as well as the various sports facilities in the Penryn Campus. Students can also access special supportive facilities to improve their performance such as the performance analysis suite, the Athlete Development Centre and the Physiotherapy Clinic.

University of Exeter Student Activities and Clubs

Over 180 different Guild-affiliated societies make the student life here an exciting one. There are various societies, from conventional ones to the more niche ones, such as the Chocolate Society and Hide and Seek Society. The presence of green-movement clubs such as Renewable Energy and Sustainability Society is expected for a sustainability-focused university such as Exeter. Students have many channels to voice their opinion, from the Xpression FM, Exeposé and XTV channels at Streatham Campus to the Flex newspaper and Radiowave radio station in Cornwall. Exeter students also contribute significantly to society via the Raise and Give student fundraising group and the Exeter Student Volunteers community volunteering projects. The National Trust, Surfers Against Sewage and the Monkey Sanctuary are also regular partners of The SU Community Action in Cornwall.

Sports is the highlight of the University of Exeter’s student life. With 51 sports clubs, the most cutting-edge sports facilities in the South West, and a special Performance Programme, elite athletes have all the supports they need to excel in their studies and professional sports careers. There are options for everyone from yoga and Balletfit to Cricket and karate. Watersport lovers can explore their hobby at Penryn Campus, Cornwall – one of the best locations in the country for the purpose. Exceptional sporting performers can access extra funding from the Sports Bursary Scheme to further expand their horizons.

University of Exeter Contact

  • Official website:

  • Address: University of Exeter Reception, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4PY.

  • General information for international students: +44 (0) 300 5550444

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