University of St Mark and St John (Marjon)

 

Overall ranking: 116th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

History: Founded by Derwent Coleridge, brother of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, it was a marriage in 1923 of the teacher-training colleges St John's of Battersea and St Mark's of Chelsea. In 1973, it moved to Plymouth. It received University College status in 2007 and was renamed from University College Plymouth St Mark and St John, or UCP Marjon. This year they became the University of St Mark & St John.

Address: Greenfield site outside Plymouth.

Ambience: Views to die for, overlooking Dartmoor and the sea. Five miles from Plymouth centre. Modern premises swathed in shrubs, trees, flowers, hanging baskets and frolicking squirrels. Friendly, close-knit atmosphere. Set on a single campus with lecture rooms, library, accommodation, bars and more.

Who's the boss? Professor Margaret Noble took over as principal and chief executive in September 2009.

Prospectus: 01752 636 890 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: P63

What you need to know

Easy to get into? The university is committed to widening participation.

Vital statistics: 'Marjon', as it is to those in the know, has about 3,500 students, and is known for teacher training and sports degrees. Has diversified energetically, and now runs a variety of subjects, including media, speech and language therapy, English language, literature and writing, live music, outdoor adventure, sport health coaching and PE, acting, business and children, youth and community.

Added value: Began offering two-year 'fast-track' degrees in 2012. Journalism and Media Centre opened recently with two Mac suites. Fully-equipped live music lab.

Teaching: 52nd out of 124 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 122nd out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 99th out of 124 with 45.6 per cent finding graduate level employment after completing their degrees.

Any accommodation? Yes - space for 460 students in seven catered halls of residence and 38 self-catering houses. Rooms go for £85 to £110 per week.

Cheap to live there? About average. Private rents in Plymouth range between £75 and £90 per week.

Transport links: If you don't have a car, you can take the bus to and from Plymouth until midnight. Road links with the rest of the country are not bad nowadays and the A38 Devon Expressway links to M5 at Exeter. Or catch a train.

Fees: £7,995 per year for the average Marjon course.

Bursaries: Partakes in the National Scholarship Programme to help those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Sports scholarships also available.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Bopping in the students' union with a Freshers Ball and May Ball. Gigs at Plymouth Pavilion and a range of bars and clubs.

Sporting facilities: Outstanding sports facilities including sports therapy clinic, sports science lab, gym, swimming pool, climbing wall and 3G pitch.

Glittering alumni: Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe novels; Joy Carroll, the original Vicar of Dibley; Helen Glover, Olympic rower.

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