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Image of St Mary's University College

Education in St Mary’s takes place in an ethos that is nurturing for students 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

·       The people who study and work here and those who support its mission


St Mary’s is inspired and invigorated by these sources. The ethos therefore has a variety of inter-related characteristics as set out below, with a Catholic education identity at the core. It is this which provides for coherence and interconnectedness. We want all who come to St Mary’s to experience a higher education institution which:


Believes in the power of education to transform lives, overcome disadvantage and contribute positively to humanity


Is focused on the holistic development of its students


Was founded and continues to develop in the worldwide Christian Catholic tradition of faith-based education


Promotes the development of academic, civic, professional and religious values in addition to knowledge, understanding and skills


Is a warm and friendly place where people display a positive disposition to others


Has a specialist focus on teacher education and the formation of its students for a vocation of service in the profession


Is highly respectful of the work undertaken by our partners in the education services


Places significance on promoting the Irish language and Irish-medium Education


Is continually learning from the Liberal Arts tradition


Is committed to on-going improvement and is striving for excellence


Enjoys good relationships with its partner schools and placement learning providers


Has a vibrant student life and culture


Has a rich heritage and tradition which inspires confidence in the future


Displays a strong commitment to engagement with the local community and others who wish to use its facilities and services


Promotes an international dimension


Encourages harmonious and cooperative working relationships


Inspires loyalty and support from its alumni and


Has a strong sense of vitality and dynamism