Plymouth University


Plymouth University is a public university based predominantly in Plymouth, England where the main campus is located, but the university has campuses and affiliated colleges all over South West England. With 23,155 students, it is the 30th largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students (including the Open University). It has 2,915 staff. Whilst the university has been known as Plymouth University since June 2011 as a result of a rebrand, the formal name and legal title of the university remains “University of Plymouth”. The university was originally a Polytechnic Institute, with its constituent bodies being Plymouth Polytechnic, Rolle College, the Exeter College of Art and Design (which were, before April 1989, run by Devon County Council) and Seale-Hayne College (which before April 1989 was an independent charity). It was renamed Polytechnic South West in 1989 and remained as this until gaining university status in 1992 along with the other polytechnics. The new university absorbed the Plymouth School of Maritime Studies.

The university was selected by the Royal Statistical Society in October 2008 to be the home of its Centre for Statistical Education. It also runs courses in maritime business, marine engineering, marine biology, and Earth, ocean & environmental sciences.


A wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are taught at the main city campus in Plymouth. The university scores well in law, psychology, geographical sciences, computing (including digital media) and computer science, fine art and art history. Key developments include: the creation of a new Business School; bringing together complementary subjects in a new combined faculty of Science and Engineering; and creating the largest Marine Science and Engineering School in Europe.

The faculties are:

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Faculty of Health and Human Sciences
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Business


The majority of Plymouth University undergraduate offers are made based on UCAS tariff points so the change to the new UCAS tariff will mean a change of their offer tariff. This is reflected in their new prospectus and on the website to ensure clarity for all applicants. The university will give full consideration to all applicants and will take A levels and AS levels into consideration as part of this process. If an applicant is not deemed suitable for a programme we will endeavour to find a more appropriate study route and make an alternative offer on this basis.


Wide variety including Marine and Environmental Sciences, Robotics and Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Engineering, Architecture, Social Work, Hospitality and Tourism,Sustainability, and Business. Strong focus on enterprise and employability, preparing students for entrepreneurial leadership and to be effective employees capable of making a valuable contribution in their chosen field. Strong emphasis on sustainability, with 50% of courses on the curriculum containing sustainability elements. Currently ranked number one in the People and Planet Green League, and by far the overall best performing university over the past six years.


Nationally acclaimed for teaching excellence. Twenty national teaching fellows as awarded by the Higher Education Academy, one of the highest number in the sector. Fifteen subject areas ranked excellent or equivalent in independent assessments by the Quality Assurance Agency.


The university actively encourages students to engage on a lifelong employability journey that will see them:

  • Explore their options
  • Plan their career journey
  • Expand their employability skills
  • Challenge themselves to succeed
  • Develop into a confident professional

The Careers & Employability Service offers free and impartial one-to-one careers information, advice and guidance throughout the year. All of their advisers are professionally qualified and experienced. Careers advisers work closely with academic staff to provide a range of employability sessions in the curriculum that are relevant to the programme of study. The university’s Accelerate programme delivers weekly twilight careers development and planning sessions in the Hub, repeating throughout the year and covering 20 topics. Accelerate prepares students to make the most of the employer networking, careers fairs, volunteering, mentoring opportunities, and employability competitions that the university provides. Professionally qualified and experienced Placement Advisers provide extensive support to students interested in taking a placement year or a work based learning opportunity, through the provision of curriculum sessions, drop ins and providing help to find a suitable placement. The newly refurbished Careers & Employability Hub is open throughout the year, offering daily one-to-one drop ins and appointments, CV checks and support with career development and planning. Career Navigator is the university’s online careers portal, offering access to job vacancies and careers modules covering CVs, application forms, and job interviews, videos, psychometric tests and a job interview simulator. Business start-up support and incubation space is available to all students. The university’s Job Shop provides information, advice, guidance and coaching and a full graduate recruitment service to support final year and new graduates to move into graduate level employment. Working in partnership with the university’s Alumni team, there is a new employer mentoring platform that links students and new graduates to alumni for support in building their employability.

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