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Student Services Centre

For Disabled, Mature and Underrepresented People 

What is Widening Access and Participation  

Our goal is to empower our students, elevate their self-belief and self-worth and demonstrate that a university education is attainable. 

We particularly welcome potential students from underrepresented communities and seek ways to reach out. Schemes like our Young Newsreaders Critical Literacy Scheme in primary schools and our school coaching days aim to reach out and show that St Mary’s is relatable, accessible and achievable.  

When students enrol, we have a series of initiatives to on-board them, along with resources to help our students succeed, whether they are just starting their academic journey or are already pursuing advanced studies. 

Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity is deeply rooted in our values, and we strive to create a supportive and welcoming environment for all.  


As a leader in education, we are dedicated to promoting social justice and equality of opportunity for all our students. 



Student services area

Students with a Disability or with Additional Needs

St Mary’s University College welcomes students with additional needs. The College has a Disability Policy which outlines its commitment to provide care and support to ensure equal opportunities for students who have a disability or a specific learning difficulty.  A wide variety of support and guidance is available in a range of areas including application to education and library boards (or equivalent) for the Disabled Students’ Allowance, dyslexia assessment, in-course support, extensions on the loan of library books and flexibility regarding assessments and examinations.

Disability Policy
St Marys University College drone picture of front carpark
Students from the U.S. taking part experiencing Gaelic games as part of the International Summer School at St Mary’s University College, Belfast.

How Do We Widen Participation

Widening participation involves targeting those groups who are underrepresented in Higher Education. St Mary’s aims to raise awareness of the current learning opportunities available and the support that students can avail of in their transition to Higher Education. 

St Mary’s has a dedicated Widening Access and Participation Officer, who will focus on access for students with disabilities, mature students and those from low participation neighbourhoods. 

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has approved the current College’s Widening Access and Participation Plan.