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Daughter of Cornwall leads new law degree programme

Professor Melanie Williams is heading up the University of Exeter's Law School in Cornwall, which brings an opportunity to study for an Exeter law degree on the Tremough campus near Falmouth.

Professor Williams has Cornish roots in a tin mining family. Her grandfather, Isaac Hosking worked the winding engine at South Crofty for 40 years. Her father Ernest Hosking grew up in Pool and scored the top marks in the county in the school examinations before joining the Navy at 15. He then taught himself sufficient law to become Probate Registrar for Devon and Cornwall.

She has been Professor of Law at the University of Swansea since 2005 and previously worked at the University of Aberystwyth. She studied law at Cambridge, having passed the open entrance exam aged 27 with two young children. She is moving to Falmouth with her husband.

Professor Melanie Williams says: "I am excited to be heading up this new law degree that combines the quality and reputation of the University of Exeter course with the fantastic location of studying in Cornwall."

She adds: "Studying law is tough but also immensely rewarding. It has an incredibly broad scope – you can help your community or apply law to wider fields, such as my personal interest in looking at the law in works of literature. I came into law as I have a great interest in moral questions and what makes people decide what is right and wrong. I look forward to sharing my passion with the new law undergraduates in Cornwall, whether they are eighteen years old on the threshold of life or mature students – both groups with which I have an empathy and shared experience."

The University of Exeter will offer degrees in law at its Cornwall campus from September 2007. The course will be delivered at the Tremough campus in Penryn, which the University of Exeter shares with University College Falmouth as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. There is an open day for prospective students on Saturday 14 October.

Melanie Williams takes up her post of Professor and Founding Chair in Law in January 2007. The first law undergraduates on the Cornwall campus will start in September 2007.

Professor John Usher, Head of the University of Exeter's Law School says: "Professor Williams' appointment and the addition of these prestigious Law programmes underlines the University of Exeter's commitment to delivering high quality education in Cornwall and is a prime example of how the money invested in CUC by Objective One and the Government is providing real opportunities to study and prosper here."

In addition to the law degree, the University will offer BA honours degrees in 'History and Law' and 'Politics and Law in Cornwall' from 2007. Novel optional courses are being drawn up that can be enjoyed by students based in Exeter via video-link, or links can be made to Exeter courses. Modules from the law degree will also be available as part of an innovative Flexible Combined Honours scheme, which can be studied either full or part-time and allows the student to combine elements from several degree programmes to match their subject interests and career objectives.

For more information please contact Sarah Hoyle at the University of Exeter on 01392 262062 or email:

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2 through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The University of Exeter is a partner in the CUC.


Editor's notes:



Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
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