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Undergraduate Politics at Penryn Campus: New students

Welcome to Politics at HaSS Penryn!

We are delighted to welcome you to Politics at HaSS Penryn, at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus. We are looking forward to meeting you and to beginning your new and exciting learning journey together.

You are now part of a community of engaged scholars. We will be learning, together, about processes and practices in politics, and how they have been studied and debated. You will learn about how we do Politics research and get some ideas about how to best engage in politics for yourselves and your communities. We have a supportive and diverse learning environment, which focuses on politics in action (which means understanding how politics works in the real world) and applied political studies (which means applying skills and knowledge from the study of international relations and political science to a diverse array of real-world problems). If you don’t already agree with us that politics is at the centre of almost everything humans do, then you soon will!

We are very lucky to be living in such a beautiful, vibrant, social and natural environment. Penryn and Falmouth have a lot to offer to the student community, beyond the obvious opportunities for water sports and coastal hikes! Our small, green, campus has a wide range of academic and extra-curricular activities, including an array of opportunities to engage in sporting and cultural activities, student societies, and volunteering. From the Falmouth & Exeter Politics Society to the Debating Union, there are several extra-curricular opportunities to discover. Click the link here to find out about the diverse array of political societies and groups we offer on campus and see how you can get involved.

On behalf of all our students and staff, we look forward to meeting you, working with you and mutually benefiting from your contribution to our learning environment.

Clare Saunders
Head of HaSS Penryn


We're currently planning our Induction Week activities from 19 September to welcome you to the University of Exeter, so the information provided here will be changing as new details are released. We're also working within Government guidelines meaning information and activities may change as that guidance changes as well.

Please ensure you check back here frequently for updates, as well as your personal email account, new University of Exeter email account, and your My Timetable for the most up-to date information from us. Please note you must have registered with the University and activated your IT account to access My Timetable.

If you have any questions about your induction or starting your studies, please contact your Hub: 

Phone: 01326 371800

Hubs are open Monday to Friday (term time) 9.00am to 5.00pm (UK time).

Information about things you'll need to do before arriving at Exeter can be found on our New Students website.

In addition, please complete the form as soon as you have registered to ensure that you can attend the day trip we have planned in the first week of term

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.

Join course.

This schedule may be subject to change – always check your personal timetable online for the latest information.
Last updated: 12 August

Induction module

We have created an induction module for you within ELE (Exeter Learning Environment). ELE is our virtual learning environment and enables you to access course materials and use tools such as discussion forums and learning logs to interact online. Please note you must have registered with the University and activated your IT account in order to access ELE.

Induction timetable

An overview of the induction timetable can be found below but please do check ELE and your personal timetable for up to date information.

Mon 19 September 11am Department Welcome Staff will welcome you to the Department and introduce you to your induction week and your first term. Old Chapel
Mon 19 September Midday Welcome lunch Meet other students from your course. Old Chapel
Tues 20 September 1pm Tutor group introduction Get to know your academic tutor and other students in your tutor group in a fun and interactive way. Your tutor will be your first point of contact for help and support. Various
Tues 20 September 10.30am - 4:15pm Workshops 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
Wed 21 September 11am Student Union events Learn how to use the essential tools and resources that you will need to succeed in your classes. Various locations
Thurs 22 September 10.30am - 4:15pm Workshops 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
Fri 23 September 09.30am - 5:30pm   9.30 AM meet in Ampitheatre
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, 19 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, 20 and Thursday, 22 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, 23 September you’ll take part in scavenger hunts as you explore and 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.

Please do not feel you need to conduct any pre-reading before you start; we will provide you with all the materials for the course when you begin studying. But if you would like to get a head start on studying Politics and International Relations at university, then the Department staff have put together some introductory reading suggestions from which you can choose. There is no requirement to read any of these before the term begins, but many of these books are key texts in your first-year courses.

On International Relations - Taught by Deborah McFarlane

Jenny Edkins and Maja Zehfuss. Global Politics: A New Introduction (any edition) Routledge.

John Bayliss, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens. The Globalisation of World Politics. OUP.

On Political Science and Public Policy - Taught by David Benson

Andrew Heywood. Politics. Palgrave MacMillan.

Michael Hill. The Public Policy Process. Routledge.

On British Politics and Participation - Taught by Joanie Willett

Garnett, Mark, Peter Dorey, and Philip Lynch. Exploring British Politics. Routledge, 2020.

Shilliam, Robbie. Race and the undeserving poor: From abolition to Brexit. Agenda Publishing, 2018.

Peter Mair. Ruling the Void: the Hollowing of Western Democracy. Verso.

On Political Philosophy - Taught by James Muldoon

Watch the Political Philosophy Youtube channel, created by Dr James Muldoon who teaches Modern Political Theory in the Department: Political Philosophy - YouTube

On Participating in Politics – Taught by Clare Saunders


Please follow the links below to find out more:

Original certificates: in week 1, it is important that you bring your original certificates of qualification so that we can register you at the University. Copies of certificates, such as those downloaded from a Web portal for example, cannot be used.

If you have any further questions, worries or concerns you can get in touch with us at or on + 44(0)1326 371800.


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Politics at Penryn on Facebook

Hi, I’m Leah. I hold a position as chair of the Politics Student Staff Liaison Committee for the next year. We look after and act as the bridge between anyone studying politics at Penryn (e.g., Politics, Politics and International Relations, Politics and History etc,) and the department (as well as the wider university). We also coordinate with the politics society to support the development of a community for those interested in politics on the Cornwall campuses. I look forward to meeting you all and if there is anything we can do to help please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Leah, (Final year Politics and International Relations) Politics SSLC Chair.

Welcome to those of you who are joining us in the University of Exeter’s Social Sciences and International Relations department! I’m Astrid, the Politics and International Relations Subject Chair. Subject Chairs work with student representatives and the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) to bridge the gap between student voices and the University as an institution, and ensure you are adequately supported throughout the duration of your studies. Congratulations on securing your place and we look forward to seeing you at the start of term!

Astrid (Final Year Politics and International Relations), SSLC Co-Subject Chair