Tremough Campus Review
The Tremough Campus is a relatively new university campus located just outside of the Cornish town of Penryn in Cornwall, England. The campus itself is shared between two universities - the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth. I have spent almost three years studying at this campus, and so I feel I am able to give a good explanation of it along with my own review.
Why was this location chosen?
Unbeknown to many people, Cornwall is one of the poorest regions in the UK. In fact there is so much poverty that it was one of the only English region that was able to qualify for European Union Objective One funding. As such it was possible to get some money from the EU to improve higher education provision within the county. University College Falmouth had purchased the site of the old Tremough convent school and so they decided that this would be a good location for the new campus. In addition, Exeter University already had a higher education presence within Cornwall through Camborne School of Mines so this institution decided to join University College Falmouth in pursuing the option of getting EU funding for a new campus at Tremough.
Phase One was the first part of the campus to be built by 2004. This included the first part of Glasney Parc which is the on-site student accommodation along with various teaching and other facilities. The original Glasney Parc is the buildings which stradle the road along the left side of the picture below.
The largest building of this phase has since been renamed the Daphne du Maurier after the Cornish author. This building is very large and is spread across the side of a hill and is th large building in the background of the below photo. This leads to an interesting effect as at one end of the building there is one storey, yet down the other end there are four stories! This building contains a number of features. It has a couple of lecture theatres, and many seminar rooms all of which are wi-fi enabled throughout and have the latest in audio-visual equipment. The main campus library is located here, along with computer facilities, both of which have very generous opening times of approximately 9am-12am although at certain times of the year both of these become 24 hour.
This building also contains many course specific areas such as the design centre which hosts University College Falmouth design based courses such as 3D Design and Garden Design. This building also contains the University of Exeter academic departments for the bioscience, renewable energy, geology and mining engineering undergraduate courses, which all have dedicated labs.
The Daphne du Maurier building also contains social areas which are shared between both institutions. These include the stannary which is a two storey area; the ground floor of which is used as a canteen and the upper level as a bar. However, this area can be used flexibly and so this space is used for big events such as Jack Johnson, Zane Lowe and Pendulum who have all played at this location.
The Media Centre is an adjacent building which is used primarily by University College Falmouth as it contains a large cinema, as well as broadcasting and other facilities and it is also home to the campus radio station.
Another adjacent building is Tremough House and other buildings. This is where the student union is based (the FXU), along with various other support services including counselling and careers. Tremough House is where the old convent was based and so there is a chapel which has now been converted into a new lecture theatre. Tremough House itself is older and contains mostly administrative staff now. Outside this building there are old ornamental gardens which are still maintained and so are very popular with students and staff alike when the weather is fine.
After the initial success of phase one it was decided by the institutions that they would try to get further European Union funding for a second stage of building (so called phase two). This funding was granted, and by summer 2007 phase two had been completed. Phase two contained two main parts.
Firstly it included further accommodation units (so called Glasney Parc 2), which for simplicity were virtually identical to the older building. This provided a further 300 rooms, in addition to the existing 500. This is shown bythe buildings to the right of the original Glasney Parc on the above picture.
Secondly there was an increase in academic space. This is contained within the Peter Lanyon building (named after the famous Cornish artist). This building is split into two parts, and is shown by the zig-zag shaped building above. One section is for University College Falmouth and contains such academic departments as photography and broadcasting. The second section is used by the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus and contains several new academic departments. These are law, geography, English, history, politics and Cornish studies. Once again there are shared areas between both institutions - a further four lecture theatres, many seminar rooms and computer areas. Finally a Multiuse Games Area of MUGA for short was included and this is basically an astroturf like area form sports like football and hockey and this is shown in the construction phase by the large circular area towards the centre of the photograph.
After large interest in the campus over the preceding two years, it was decided that the on-site accommodation would need to be increased further and so Glasney 2b was constructed for the summer of 2009 and this has been built on the green space adjacent to Glasney 2 and the MUGA.
Despite the lareg amount of growth from nothing in less than 10 years there are plans to increase the size of the campus further.
Following the takeover of Dartington College of Performing Arts by University College Falmouth it has been decided that there is the need for a performing arts centre which will be added over the next few years.
The University of Exeter also has plans to expand, taking advantage of it's leading knowledge of the renewable energy and conservation areas by establishing an environment and sustainability centre on site.
To cater for this growth in the academic areas there will need to be an increase in the provision of on-site accommodation, and support services, and this is also in the masterplan. There are also well developed plans for an innovation centre to be set-up on site to help the growth of spin-off companies.
The surrounding area
Whilst it would be possible to never leave the campus if living in Glasney Parc, it is extremely likely that at least sometimes students will leave the campus. This is particularly true of students outside of their first year, as then they tend ot live off campus.
The nearest settlement to Tremough is Penryn. Penryn is a small town, with limited facilities but is non-the-less a relatively popular area for students to live. There is a large ASDA and B&Q, which are also situated very close to the campus, and can be walked in about 15 minutes. Alternatively, ASDA provide a free bus from Tremough for those who wish to shop at ASDA. Aside from this there is a small high-street in Penryn which contains a small convenience store, a branch of Lloyds and a branch of Barclays banks, a post office, as well as pharmacies, sandwich shops, chips shops, charity shops and various art and design shops.
Linked to Penryn is the much larger town of Falmouth. Falmouth is one of the largest settlements in Cornwall, and whilst never being able to match the facilities of a major city it does have considerable facilities. Falmouth is where the majority of students live, partly due to it being the traditional student area from when there was only University College Falmouth in the area and also it is a larger town with more going on. The centre of town is approximately 15 minutes away on the subsidised bus service (currently 40p from Tremough to Falmouth) and the buses are relatively frequent, running at least every 10 minutes. Bus timetables for number 2 which runs from Penzance to Falmouht via Tremough, number 41 which runs from Camborne/Troon to Falmouth via Tremough, number 68 which runs from Tremough to Falmouth and number 88 which runs from truro to Falmouth. The numbers 2 and 41 are quickest and so I would recommend these, the 68 takes a very longs time (but not the 68A).
There are a number of supermarkets in Falmouth - Co-op, Lidl, Iceland and two Tescos as well as a branch of every major UK bank. There are a number of other shops, from clothing such as Peacocks, New Look and Dorothy Perkins through to hardware stores including Trago Mills. It is worth noting that Falmouth is a relatively large sea-side town in Cornwall and so also contains many surfing/surf-clothing based shops. In addition, the Fal estuary is one of the major UK sites for sailing, and so some upmarket sailing companies also have a presence. There are a handful of clubs, and many pubs/bars, and as would be expected for a major tourist town many restaurants and hotels. Falmouth is also famous for it's beaches, which are reltively near to the centre of town, and these are a draw for students particularly when the weather is nice. Finally, since Falmouth is a Cornish sea-side town there are a large number of both chip shops and pasty shops!
The nearest city to Tremough is Truro, and this can be accessed by train, bus or car. It is about 15 minutes by train, but longer for car and even longer by bus as this goes via several villages. However, the train is both cheaper than the bus, and quicker, so this is the mode of transport I would recommend. Within Truro there are the wide array of shops that can be found in any UK city, as well as some smaller independent shops. There are probably more venues for night-time entertainment in Truro, and so this can provide some variation to the clubs in Falmouth.
Further afield there is much to do. Obviously as this is Cornwall there are a lot of watersports, especially surfing. However there are also lots of onshore activities. These include hiking and conservation, as well as all the normal sports such as rugby, cricket and football.
Getting to Tremough
It is possible to get to Tremough in several ways. A map of Tremough, as well as the local area can be found by clicking here. When looking at this map in satellite view none of the new buildings can be seen - this is due to the Google maps being slightly old.
As it is a green campus the use of public transport is actively encouraged. The campus is only about 5-10 minutes walk away from Penryn railway station, and is well signed from here. There is however a relatively large number of steps to climb so if disbaled or with a lot of baggage it may be worth getting a bus or taxi. This is on the Maritime Line branch line, which runs from Truro to Falmouth. Truro is served by trains from a wide variety of locations, including London Paddington. At present there can be a wait of over an hour in Truro, although this problem is being rectified somewhat by work being carried out on the Maritime Line to increase the frequency of trains which run on it. Further information on train times and costs can be found on the National Rail website.
It is also possible to drive to the campus, with some pay and display car parking available on site (although for events this charge is sometimes waived). If approaching from outside of Cornwall, follow the A30 from the M5 southwards. Turn off the A30 onto the A39 towards Truro and Falmouth. Continue on this road through Truro. Follow this road towards Falmouth after exiting Falmouth. There will be several roundabouts on the way, just continues to follow the signs to Falmouth. Straight after passing the two wind turbines at Roskrow Barton (they will be on the right) there should be a roundabout. Turn left at this roundabout, signposted Penryn and Tremough, and then take the first right into Tremough.
For those coming from further away the nearest airport is Newquay. If flying into here it is possible to get either a bus, train, hire car or taxi to the campus (but due to the distance a taxi will be expensive). For more information see the airport website.
As I have already said I have spent almost 3 years studying at this campus, the first year of which was also spent in the on-site university accommodation. Due to my course choice there were not many places where I could study it, and yet I really loved the Tremough Campus and so it became my first choice, and in fact I would have probably tried getting on a different course if I had been unsuccessful with my first choice.
This opinion has not changed since being at the campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my time down here, from the campus itself, to the local region and most importantly the people. The whole campus and wider community has a very relaxed atmosphere, yet still dedicated to work. This might be due to the size of the campus, or the courses it offers and therefore the people it attracts, or the location although I would guess it is a combination of all three. I would definately recommend studying at the Tremough Campus.
As I mentioned previously this is only intended to be the briefest of introductions, however if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me using the comment box below.
- Glasney Parc Review
Glasney Parc is the student accommodation on the Tremough site, and this is my review of it.
- University of Exeter Cornwall Campus Homepage
This is the homepage for the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus.
- University College Falmouth
This is the general homepage for University College Falmouth.
- Tremough Campus Services - A service provided by University of Exeter and University College Falmout
This is the website for Tremough Campus Services, the company owned by both institutions to maintain the campus.