University of St Mark & St John

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Coordinates: 50°25′14″N 04°06′36″W / 50.42056°N 4.11000°W / 50.42056; -4.11000

Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John)
University of St Mark & St John logo.jpg
Motto Abeunt studia in mores
"out of studies comes character".
Type Independent Church of England voluntary
Established 1923 (joint college)
St John's (1840)
St Marks (1841)
Vice-Chancellor Rob Warner
Students 2,415 (2016/17)[1]
Undergraduates 1,990 (2016/17)[1]
Postgraduates 415 (2016/17)[1]
Location Plymouth, United Kingdom

Plymouth Marjon University, legally the University of St Mark & St John, commonly referred to as Marjon is a university based on the northern edge of the city of Plymouth, England. It has a single campus, a long heritage and specialisms in creative arts, education, health sciences, speech and language therapy and sport.

Formerly called University College Plymouth St Mark & St John, the institution was awarded full university status in 2012.[2] The Vice-Chancellor of the university is Professor Rob Warner who joined in March 2017. Plymouth Marjon University is a trading name of University of St Mark & St John.


A model of the Chelsea Campus

The university's history dates back to the foundation by the National Society (now National Society for Promoting Religious Education) of the constituent London colleges of St John's College in Battersea, London (1840) and St Mark's College in Chelsea, London (1841).

The St Mark's College was founded on the belief of Rev. Derwent Coleridge, its first principal and son of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge that its primary purpose was to widen the educational horizons of its students. St John's College was established by Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, together with Edward Carleton Tufnell, to provide teacher training to meet the social and economic needs of 19th-century industrialisation and promoted the concept of education as self-realisation. Both colleges stressed the importance of applied education, the interface between academic study and broader experience and the role of an enlightened teaching profession in furthering social and economic development. The two colleges were among the first to open access to degree level study outside the established universities.[citation needed]

The colleges merged in 1923, establishing a single institution in Chelsea which developed a wider reputation for academic excellence and commitment to teaching. The College of St Mark & St John then moved to Plymouth in 1973 when the Chelsea site became too small, and its educational activities have continued to evolve in response to local, regional, national and international needs.

In 1991 the college became affiliated to the University of Exeter, which accredited it to run undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to degree awards of the University of Exeter. In 2007, the College of St Mark & St John gained University College status and was able to award its own degrees. With the new status came the temporary name of University College Plymouth St Mark & St John. Plymouth Marjon University, which now awards its own undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees, still enjoys a strong relationship with the University of Exeter which continues to award research degrees to students of the university.


The main entrance to the campus in Derriford, Plymouth in April 2014

The university campus is between Dartmoor National Park and the coast, a few miles from Plymouth city centre and next to Plymouth's teaching hospital and a range of sports facilities north of the city. There are frequent buses to the city centre.

In 2013 a major investment programme in campus facilities was completed. Students now enjoy some of the best sports facilities of any UK university, including sport and exercise science laboratories, a 90 station fitness suite, swimming pool, climbing wall, sports hall, gyms and outdoor pitches. There are new state-of-the-art teaching facilities for business innovation, theatre, JaM centre (Journalism and Media) and live music production studio. Library and dining facilities are also new and upgraded residential accommodation is provided on campus with all first year students guaranteed a place in residential accommodation. Other students tend to share rented accommodation in the popular student quarters of Plymouth such as Mutley which is close to the campus.

The university campus houses the Peninsula Allied Health Centre (PAHC) which enables 814 University of Plymouth students to study a range of allied health professions that complement the university's expertise in sports therapy, speech and language therapy and physical activity and health.

Academic profile[edit]

Global rankings
National rankings
(2019, national)
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[4] Silver

The university has over 70 taught programmes of study with teaching informed by research. There are two faculties. These are Faculty of Education, Enterprise & Culture and Faculty of Sport, Health & Wellbeing. It has a reputation for teaching quality and student support and offers small classes. Programmes have links with employers. In 2013 the university became the first in Devon and Cornwall to be awarded Stonewall Diversity Champion status.[5]


In 2016, students gave the university 89% overall satisfaction, making the university joint 35th out of 160 universities across the country. Several of the courses received a 100% satisfaction rate (Acting Degree, Sport Development with Physical Education and Sport Journalism).[6]

The University as a whole scored well across a breadth of measures such as Teaching (90% satisfaction), Personal Development (89% satisfaction) and Learning Resources (88% satisfaction). This positioned it above eight of the 10 other universities in the South West including Plymouth, Bristol, UWE, Bath Spa and Falmouth. Out of the 24 Russell Group universities in the UK, only six came in higher than Marjon for student satisfaction[7]



  1. ^ a b c "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "Marjon officially the University of St Mark & St John". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2018. 
  4. ^ "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  5. ^ "University of St Mark & St John is first in Devon and Cornwall to sign up to Diversity Programme". 
  6. ^ "Marjon is the highest riser for student satisfaction in 2016 | The University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth". Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  7. ^ "Marjon is the highest riser for student satisfaction in 2016 | The University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth". Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  8. ^ "Starting new chapters". The Herald. Local World. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Laing, Dave (28 October 2011). "Bob Brunning obituary". The Guardian. London. 
  10. ^ "The real Vicar of Dibley gets her own TV role". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Spartacus Educational". Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "SR Olympic Sports". Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Cover Story". Marjon Today. 6. 1999. 

External links[edit]

Media related to University of St Mark and St John at Wikimedia Commons