Cornwall gets its very own Dissertation Rock

Written by Annissa Warsame |


Dissertation Rock can be seen on the way to the Upper Stannary | Credit: University of Exeter Cornwall


Streatham has two of them, St Luke’s also has one and now so does Cornwall.


The Exeter Stone or more commonly known as the Dissertation Rock was unveiled at the Penryn Campus today.



It is called Dissertation Rock because it is typical for students, at the Devon campuses, to pose with the stone after the completion of their dissertation. It is also popular amongst new graduates to take photos with the stone to mark the end of their degree.


Up until today, Exeter students and graduates from the Cornwall campuses had Tremough House for this purpose.


But during his time as FXU President Exeter, Dean Pomeroy “lobbied” for students to also have the chance to legitimatise their ‘Exeter’ experience, with a Dissertation Rock. Unique to Cornwall,  it is “made from locally mined and prepared Cornish granite.”


Dean Pomeroy posing with the unfinished stone | Credit: Dean Pomeroy


Pomeroy in a Facebook post writes how having to “witness university comms showing the “Dissertation Rock” in Devon at almost every opportunity, it can degrade your sense of worth.”


Noting the issue of campus parity, Pomeroy details how the issue of campus identity at Penryn is detrimental to student experience and their sense of self-worth:


“From the confusion around the name of the campus, the comparison to the “main” campus in Devon (which is unfair to the other four campuses, not just Penryn)”

“[A]nd the classic perception that the campus takes students with lower grades, and as such, they’re not “real Exeter students” (whereas many courses now have higher tariffs than in Devon).”


Remarking on his legacy as FXU President Exeter and to the critics who will call this a “little vanity project”, Pomeroy says this:


“Not every fight has to be the biggest battle. And for me, for students to walk past this everyday and be reminded of their worth, and to have their dissertation and graduation photos in Cornwall be just as good as those in Devon.”


“That’s a small, but permanent, legacy that I’m proud of.”