Study in Plymouth

Study by the sea in ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ – a port city that's known for exploration, gin and sealife.

I've grown up in Plymouth, and knew I wanted to stay in my home city to study. Plymouth Hoe and The Barbican on the waterfront [have] many independent shops, art galleries, and restaurants, with amazing views of the Smeaton's Tower (the red lighthouse we're famously known for), and the beautiful ocean. We have the UK's largest aquarium too! The city is a mix of historical places, like the Elizabethan Gardens and the Mayflower Steps, mixed with a postmodern vibe. (Plymouth Marjon University student)

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What Plymouth's famous for...

Launching explorers

In 1620, pilgrims set sail from here, eventually establishing America’s second English colony. Today, this is Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Plymouth nightlife, according to students

Most people go to Pryzm, which is on the edge of town (and kind of annoying to get to). I'd recommend trying some of the more expensive clubs because they have more fun events and live music. However, it's a lot easier to have a chill drink with mates. There are a lot of small, underground-style bars like Rock Bottom and The Nowhere Inn a lot closer to uni, which have a nice atmosphere and are pretty cheap. There's also a big gin culture, if you're up for a really fancy night out, with Plymouth Gin Distillery and basically anywhere on the Barbican (the posh part of town by the sea). (Third year student, University of Plymouth)

Giant jellyfish

In recent years, Plymouth has been visited by compass, moon and barrel jellyfish. Some are harmless, though as big as a dustbin lid – but be careful, some do sting.


Plymouth nightlife, according to students

I don't drink, so I was worried what activities I'd be able to enjoy with my friends. I was thrilled to discover the quirky eateries that lie around the historic Barbican area and Royal William Yard. My friends and I love to go there for post-module celebrations. Even closer to the campus is the newly built Barcode, an entertainment complex with cinemas, restaurants, and the popular jungle-themed crazy golf. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)


A former monastery, The Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working gin distillery in England, going back to 1793.

Plymouth gin still

Student life in Plymouth

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
For cheap food, you can't beat Caffeine Club. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)
Treat yourself
My favourite 'treat place' to go is either The Barbican [to have] a cocktail looking out across the harbour, or Royal William Yard, a cultural hub of restaurants and cafes. (Third year student, University of Plymouth)
Friday night out
Loads of pubs and smaller clubs have live music on The Barbican most Fridays – however these places are usually a little pricier. Przym has three rooms, which is perfect for all music tastes. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)
Sunday chilling
Dartmoor is just around the corner. Even just a walk down to the Hoe is peaceful. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)
Feeling cultural
The Box museum has won lots of prestigious awards for culture and design. The Theatre Royal has all your usual theatre shows. (Third year student, University of Plymouth)
Catch up with mates
There is a new board game cafe called Twist opposite the uni, [that’s] very popular with students. Boston Tea Party down in The Barbican, or Pier One on The Hoe, are the best for coffee in my opinion. (Third year student, University of Plymouth)
Grab a bite
The Barbican has a number of good food places, including a gluten-free chip shop. Cap'n Jaspers is famous locally, as it serves good-sized burgers and hotdogs, and also offers vegetarian options. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)

Plymouth in pictures

Smeatons Tower

A landmark of the city, and a lovely area to gather with friends for a BBQ in the summer, or a walk in the evening as the sun sets. Also, we can't forget the annual 'Screaming at Smeatons Tower' every November.  (Emma Warrington, third year student at University of Plymouth)

Drake's Place

The best part of uni, just behind Sherwell Church. I used this garden to read a lot during the summer. There's a uni cafe just beside it as well. (Jamie, third year student at University of Plymouth)

Living in Plymouth, according to students

Mutley – I live here because it is cheap to rent and very close to uni (within a five to ten-minute walk) and also other local bars, gyms, and facilities. [There are] lots of local supermarkets (Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-op). Lots of other students also choose to live in this area. I would definitely live in this area again. (Second year student, University of Portsmouth)

The Hoe

It's really nice when it's sunny and warm, but can get a bit windy. (James, second year student at University of Plymouth)


The waterfront, past The Barbican and The Hoe. When the days are cloudy, it’s nice to sit and watch the waves crash against the rocks; and when it’s sunny and warm, it’s nice to be able to dip your feet in the sea and take a little moment for yourself. (Charlotte Wilson, second year student at Plymouth College of Art)

Living in Plymouth, according to students

Greenbank is OK. It's super close to Aldi and university, and many students live there. I've got friends on the next five roads to me. It is getting safer. It is always busy, and has lots of takeaways nearby. (Second year student, University of Portsmouth)

Living in Plymouth

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips. You can also check our accommodation site if you're looking for student accommodation in Plymouth.

Where you'll find students
  • Greenbank
  • North Hill
  • Mutley
Local transport
  • Weekly ticket: £23.70
  • Skipper 1 Week Tickets for unlimited travel in Zones 1 & 2
  • Bus

Student money tips

Go to the indoor market. It's a bit of a walk, but some of the places deliver. It's a game-changer, and I eat fancier food at uni than I do at home now. For a good date, you can't beat the aquarium – buy a ticket once and you're good all year. (Second year student, University of Plymouth)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Plymouth with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.

Study options

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