Skip to content
St Mary University College ariel picture

A Place with a Mission

This is our mission, a work in progress:

  • St Mary’s makes a distinctive contribution of service and excellence, in the Catholic tradition, to higher education in Northern Ireland;
  • The College is an academic community committed to the search for meaning and value in the intellectual life, to academic excellence and to individual attention for students;
  • We work for the development of the whole person in a Christian, values-sensitive environment in preparation for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service;
  • We want the College to be a religious, educational, cultural and social resource for the local community and to show concern for the poor and powerless;
  • We provide teacher education programmes, in English and in Irish, as well as a Liberal Arts degree programme;
  • We offer our students high-quality teaching and extensive support to foster effective learning;
  • We aim to widen access to higher education and to enable participation from a broad spectrum of society;
  • We support economic regeneration and social development initiatives which facilitate conflict resolution and peace;
  • We are committed to a rich international dimension in the life of the College;
  • We work with a wide range of partners and seek to build excellent relationships to promote our mission.


Education at St Mary’s takes place within an ethos that is nurturing for students, rewarding for staff and welcoming to visitors, where values-education is actively promoted and respect is intrinsic.

The main sources from which the ethos emerges are the guiding philosophy and principles of Catholic education, the relatively small size of the institution and its location in west Belfast, as well as the people who study and work at the College.

St Mary’s students socialising on College steps

Our core values and educational focus make us distinctive in many ways 

We have:

  • a specialist approach to educating teachers that emphasises excellence, inclusion and pastoral care;
  • an innovative Liberal Arts education that provides a range of communication, intellectual and professional skills;
  • a mutually beneficial engagement with the local community;
    collaborative academic provision with Queen’s University;
  • a high level of commitment to international student mobility.
St Mary’s students at College gates on the Falls Rd
A Reputation for Success

What Makes Us Proud

Any local applicant to the College will almost certainly have been taught by a St Mary’s graduate.

BA graduation photo with family members