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Student-focused course design

Studying at St Mary’s University College

Education can change the world

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.

We want all who work or study in the College, and those who visit us, to experience a higher education institution which believes in the power of education to transform lives, overcome disadvantage and contribute positively to humanity.

Download a Prospectus

Explore the right course for you by downloading a prospectus

Why St Mary’s?

As a specialist institution, St Mary’s has a long-established reputation for delivering a high-quality learning experience.

Welcoming, friendly atmosphere

St Mary’s is a place where students are at the core of everything. Our students say that they feel genuinely cared for and supported in their studies and that they are not just a number.

High level of student support

At St Mary’s our students come first, so we offer academic, pastoral, and financial support as well as great digital and Library services, a Writing Centre, a Careers Centre, and the Students’ Union.

A vibrant college community

St Mary’s is known for its rich community atmosphere and for a great social life.  The Students’ Union organize legendary nights out and offer many services to assist students with their welfare, accommodation, and financial issues.

An ideal learning environment

With an enrolment of some one thousand students, our campus is a dynamic community of learners engaged by highly committed staff in teaching, research, practice and service. Our College is a collaborative partner with Queen’s University, and it contributes significantly to the educational, economic and cultural life of both the local area and the region. St Mary’s has demonstrated its resilience repeatedly in overcoming challenges to its rightful place in the higher education sector.

“I could not have predicted what university life would have consisted of before coming to St Mary’s. From the moment I set foot on campus, I was greeted with warmth, support, and a genuine commitment to helping me succeed.


The lecturers were not only experts in their respective fields but also genuine mentors who were passionate about imparting knowledge.


Reflecting on my St Mary’s experience, I am filled with gratitude for the exceptional education I received and the lifelong friendships I have formed. I leave with a profound sense of personal and intellectual growth, confident that the skills and knowledge I have gained will serve as a solid foundation for my future endeavours. “

Maeve O’Donnell

BEd Primary Music

Admissions and Course Vacancies

Undergraduate Admissions

Online applications must be submitted directly to the College by mid-January in the year of entry in order to be given full consideration.

Applications to the BEd and Liberal Arts degree programmes are welcome from 1 October in the preceding year.

Postgraduate Admissions

Applications for our full time Postgraduate programmes (PGCE and MSc) are welcome from 1 October in the preceding year.

In the case of the part-time MEd degree programme, applications are welcome throughout the year.

Join us for an Open Day

Explore the campus and meet the students and lecturers to experience first-hand the quality of education St Mary’s can offer.

View upcoming open days
The Principal Jarlath Burns with students from St Pauls High School
Open Days Student in the Science department