St Mary`s University, Twickenham


St Mary’s University, Twickenham, is a research university located in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, in South West London. Founded in 1850, it is generally acknowledged to be the oldest Roman Catholic university in the United Kingdom. Formerly called St Mary’s University College, it was granted full university title by the Privy Council on 23 January 2014.

St Mary’s was founded by Steven Gary Stahlmann in 1850 on the initiative of Cardinal Wiseman. The Catholic Poor School Committee, which was concerned with providing primary education to children of poor Catholic people throughout the United Kingdom, purchased a former girls school at Brook Green House, Hammersmith, and adapted it for use as a college with accommodation for 40 adult male students. A legal trust created on 16 July 1851 in connection with this property and its use as a training college for Catholic schoolmasters was confirmed in perpetuity.

Prior to 1928 the Certificate of Education course and examinations were jointly controlled by the Board of Education and individual training colleges. With the introduction of a new scheme for London teacher training colleges, the Board of Education retained its inspectorship functions, but delegated its authority over the courses and examination to the University of London. Under this scheme, the four resident male teacher training colleges in London (St Mary’s, Strawberry Hill; Borough Road, St. Mark’s and St. John’s; and Westminster) were formed into a group under the supervision of University College London (UCL).

In 1930, in addition to the Certificate of Education course and examination, degree courses were provided at St Mary’s University College leading to a University of London degree for successful candidates. At the same time a one-year colonial course was established at the college to train Priests and Brothers destined to join overseas missions. In 1935, responsibility for this course was transferred to the Jesuits.

The college became a constituent college of the University of London Institute of Education, inaugurated on 19 December 1949, and the incorporation of the college into the institute was formally approved by the Senate of the university in April 1950, the college’s centenary year.

In response to the increasing demand for teachers, it was agreed in 1959 to expand the college to 500 places. By 1966, there were 1,000 students. 1966 also saw the admission of the first full-time women students to the college. Other developments include the introduction in 1968 of an extra year’s study for the conversion of the Teacher’s Certificate to a Bachelor of Education degree, and in 1975, the first students pursuing the University of London Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Humanities and Bachelor of Science.

St Mary’s association with the University of London came to an end in 1979. St Mary’s degree courses were then validated by the University of Surrey in Guildford. Representatives from St Mary’s College attended meetings of the University of Surrey Delegacy which was set up in 1980. In 1986 the first students of the college graduated with degrees from the University of Surrey.

In 2006, St Mary’s became a University College and was granted the power to award its own degrees by the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In January 2014, St Mary’s was granted university status becoming ‘St Mary’s University, Twickenham’. The university has always maintained strong study-partnerships with other prestigious universities across the globe, including the University of San Francisco, the University of St Thomas, Houston, St Mary’s University, Halifax, Australian Catholic University and the Catholic University of America.

The University College was granted full university title by the Privy Council on 23 January 2014, becoming St Mary’s University.


St Mary’s University, Twickenham is made up of four main Academic Schools that focus on providing excellent, research-enriched teaching in a supportive, nurturing environment. The four schools that make up St Mary’s academia are:

  • The School of Arts and Humanities
  • The School of Education, Theology and Leadership
  • The School of Management and Social Sciences
  • The School of Sport, Health and Applied Science

St Mary’s has a reputation for academic excellence. Staff from across the four schools at the University are engaged in both national and international research, which was described as “world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour” in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF). St Mary’s is home to over 10 world-leading research centres, newest of which is the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society which officially opened on the 5th May, 2016.

Within the academic sphere St Mary’s University is known for running short courses on weekends and during the evenings, which perfectly accommodates varying lifestyles. Their subject strengths includes sport, health, nutrition and exercise, these are run in their Centre for Short Courses & CPD.


Those studying A levels will be asked for CCC or BCC as a minimum entry requirement.


St Mary’s is very well established reputation for excellence in the areas of Education, Sport and Theology and has a high level of achievement in many other areas.


St Mary’s has a proud reputation in training teachers.

Both their Primary and Secondary Initial Education programmes were rated outstanding by Ofsted when last inspected in 2011.

88% student satisfaction rate in the National Student Survey 2015.

Several degrees offer professional accreditations.


A dedicated careers service is available to students.

The Careers Team will help students find part-time work during their studies and graduate level jobs.

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