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St Mary’s Campus

A Modern Hub for 21st-Century Learning

St Mary’s campus has been carefully designed to offer an optimal environment for teaching and learning, ensuring an exceptional experience for our students. Evidence of our commitment to progress is the recent addition of the Cardinal Newman/Tobar Mhuire Library, which opened in Spring 2023. 

Modern aesthetics with charming Edwardian features

Our present-day campus reflects the culmination of extensive redevelopment and modernization efforts, strategically crafted to furnish all onsite learners with a cutting-edge 21st-century student experience. The overarching goal in every stride of progress and development is to future-proof the campus, meeting the evolving needs of our students, staff, and the broader community. 

Architecturally, our college buildings seamlessly blend pleasing modern aesthetics with charming Edwardian features. The original building, the first teacher training college in Belfast, was designed by John O’Shea and E J Byrne and opened in 1900. That building, which can still be readily identified today, was a fashionable mixture of several historical styles.

The enthusiastic response from our students attests to the success of this design fusion, creating a well-organized and inspiring space for learning. 

The campus offers diverse environments to cater to different learning styles, including spaces for quiet individual study, areas for collaborative group work, and vibrant communal spaces where students can gather and socialize. 

College library

Excellent IT Infrastructure and Digital Spaces

The introduction of the new library brings a wealth of learning resources, featuring various study spaces, exhibition areas, and a dedicated courtyard, all enhanced by state-of-the-art digital technology. Additionally, we are excited about the redesigned dining hall, new entrances, the restoration of windows, and a Welcome Area, all contributing to an enriched campus experience. 

Recent upgrades encompass a range of improvements, such as the establishment of a new Student Services Centre, the modernization of teaching and learning spaces, refurbished facilities and utilities, plus health and safety enhancements. Informal break-out spaces have been created for both students and visitors, and contemporary Digital Spaces have been integrated, all while respecting conservation considerations for the original brick and roof. 

The Cardinal Newman Library

The Cardinal Newman Library stands as a beacon of progressive learning, seamlessly merging IT infrastructure and online resources with the timeless essence of a traditional library. This dynamic fusion creates a comprehensive resource hub for study, research, and continuous learning. 

Modern Facilities – Cardinal Newman Library

  • 230 study spaces (Individual study booths, collaborative tables, group study rooms, workstations with PC’s). 
  • All study spaces have power and charging points. 
  • Silent study spaces (level 02).  
  • Quiet and collaborative study spaces (levels 00 and 01). 
  • Digital services (computer workstations, laptops, interactive screens, self-service kiosks). 
  • Journals / wellness reading room (level 02) 
  • Group study rooms x 5 (bookable – level 00). 
  • Welcome desk (level 01) 
  • Accessible toilets (levels 01 and 02). 
  • Passenger lift (all levels). 
  • Collaborative stair. 
  • Writing Centre (teaching and peer tutoring – level 00). 
  • Multifunctional devices (print, scan, copy services – all levels). 
  • Informal study spaces (soft seating / breakout spaces). 
  • Wi-Fi (all levels). 
  • Reprographics. 
  • Vending (snacks, tea/coffee). 
  • Library Courtyard. 
  • Beechmount Dining Hall (via Student Lounge area).