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University of Plymouth

The University of Plymouth is one of the UK’s most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. The University is friendly and modern in outlook with approximately 30,000 students, including around 3,000 students from over 100 countries.

Main Campus:


Student Population:

 Arts, Education, Health, Science and Technology, Business School, Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry


Why study at the University of Plymouth?

The University of Plymouth is one of the UK’s most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. The University is friendly and modern in outlook with approximately 30,000 students, including around 3,000 students from over 100 countries.


Teaching Quality

The The University of Plymouth has a national reputation for excellence in teaching and learning and aims to build on this excellence, transforming students’ lives through knowledge.

  • Plymouth has performed very well in all teaching reviews carried out by external bodies since 1996.
  • Fifteen subject areas have been ranked excellent or equivalent in independent assessments by the Quality Assurance Agency.
  • It is consistently ranked as one of the top three modern universities in the UK.
  • Plymouth is one of the leading UK institutions in terms of success in gaining National Teaching Fellowship Awards with 14 National Teaching Fellows.
  • The Guardian League Table 2011 ranks the University in the Top 50 universities in the UK; it is ranked at 49.
  • The Complete University Guide 2012 has ranked Plymouth at 53 from 116 institutions, reflecting one of the biggest leaps in the country.
  • Whilst the University’s overall ranking in The Guardian League Table 2011 is 49, many subjects have reached much higher rankings: Six subjects are in the Top 20 in the UK: Tourism and Travel (11); Mathematics (13); Music (18); Nursing and Paramedical Studies (19); Mechanical Engineering (20); Art & Design (20).
  • A further five subjects are in the Top 30 in the UK: Earth & Marine Science (21); Civil Engineering (24); Building and Town & Country Planning (24); Education (25); Architecture (28).
  • BA/BSc Digital Art & Technology is one of the top three new-media design courses in the UK.


Research Quality

With a mission to be ‘ the enterprise university’, Plymouth is a forward-looking and pioneering place to work and study, transforming lives through education, world-class research and innovation on a global stage.

  • The university has a long record of high quality innovative research as demonstrated by its achievements in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008). The results show that the majority of research submitted by the university included world-leading research, achieving the highest rating possible – scoring 4-stars. Overall, 80% of the research was judged as being of international repute.
  • The University has leapt 15 places to join the top 50 UK universities in research performance, showing the greatest improvement in the UK in research performance since the last RAE in 2001.
  • The University of Plymouth has world-leading reputations in the research areas of marine and coastal, technology, computer science, environmental, economic and social sustainability, creative and cultural economies, health, nursing and biomedicine, and pedagogic research/innovation.
  • The research that takes place at the University informs teaching and impacts on student learning; encouraging students to engage with cutting edge research and become creative, highly employable graduates through engagement with research active staff who are involved with solving real-world problems.



Plymouth people make a major contribution to economies and societies around the world. It is committed to developing graduates who are ready to take their place as active and responsible citizens in society, in particular using their sustainability and cross-cultural skills in the local and global environment.

  • Plymouth has partnerships with institutions world-wide, developed to ensure that its graduates gain a truly international study experience. Plymouth currently has links with educational institutions in countries including the USA, China, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Sri Lanka.
  • The University of Plymouth has been sending and receiving students on exchange for over 25 years and we has continued over the years to develop a range of agreements, both at University and School level, with individual institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe.
  • On many of the academic programmes, students have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through a placement within a UK or international organisation.


Student Satisfaction

The university is committed to improving the experience of its students, demonstrated by a high level of investment in new facilities.

  • The University of Plymouth is ranked highly by students for the quality of its courses – and has scored 100% student satisfaction for Mathematics and Statistics.
  • In the National Student Survey (NSS), which is carried out annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, 82% of students at the university said they were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. Plymouth’s result is 2% higher than last year’s and shows a greater improvement than the national average.
  • According to the results, subject areas in which Plymouth students’ overall satisfaction is particularly strong include: Mathematics and Statistics (100%); Tourism (96%); Geology (95%); American Studies (94%); Electronic and Electrical Engineering (93%); Geography (93%); Initial Teacher Training (92%), and Biology (91%).
  • Plymouth’s results show that students rank the university exceptionally highly for teaching quality; support from staff; library and IT resources, and development of students’ confidence and communication skills.
  • People & Planet Green League table ranked the University of Plymouth in the top spot for 2010 – number one out of 133 universities. The University also retains the accolade of being the league’s top overall performer since it began in 2007.


Employable Graduates

Plymouth is an ambitious, world-class University, which places enterprise at the heart of everything it does to develop an innovative and creative culture that empowers people.

  • All academic programmes at Plymouth are designed and delivered with graduate employability as a focus, including professional, employability and career management skills.
  • Academic programmes are designed and reviewed with input from employers, ensuring that their content is relevant to the future career ambitions of its students.
  • Plymouth offers its students exceptional opportunities to meet and work with employers. Every year more than 300 employers spend time on campus working with students. This includes attending careers fairs; delivering presentations, workshops and guest lectures; mentoring disabled students; offering practice job interviews; and working as judges and advisers for on-campus competitions and student projects.
  • Work placements are seen as being key to student achievements. Around 12,000 students undertake work placements every year, ranging from short bite-size experiences that enhance academic modules to year-long ‘sandwich’ placements in the UK and overseas.


Areas Of Study

Variety of Courses

Plymouth has recently invested over £100 million in new purpose-built buildings and facilities to provide a first-class environment for learning.

  • Plymouth has eight faculties: Faculty of Arts; Faculty of Education; Faculty of Health; Faculty of Science; Plymouth Business School; University of Plymouth Colleges; Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry; Plymouth Devon International College.
  • Plymouth University has 15 schools: School of Architecture, Design and Environment; School of Art and Media; School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences; School of Computing and Mathematics; School of Early Years and Primary Education; School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Studies; School of Health Professions; School of Humanities and Performing Arts; Plymouth Law School; School of Management; School of Marine Scicences and Engineering; School of Nursing and Midwifery; School of Psychology; School of Social Science and Social Work; School of Social Science and Social Work.
  • Plymouth Devon International College (PDIC) offers a supportive learning environment and an alternative pathway into the University’s degree programmes, for students from outside the EU, via its foundation programmes. There are a range of one and two semester courses leading directly into degree programmes, first year equivalent programmes and a one semester Masters Preliminary programme.
  • The University houses Europe’s largest Marine Institute, with a dedicated world-class marine building being erected this year (2011) which will include state-of-the-art research facilities and new wave tank testing equipment that will be unique to the UK.
  • Plymouth is the only UK university to have its own diving and marine centre where students can gain an internationally recognised diving qualification as part of their marine-based degree. It also has a state-of-the-art Immersive Vision theatre, and a natural light photography studio, thought to be the only ones of their kind in a UK university.
  • Plymouth is one of the founding partners in the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and is the largest provider of health education in the South West of England.
  • Cornwall College Camborne is the Cornish base for the BA (Hons) in Social Work. The college has enjoyed a remarkable investment in new facilities in recent years with upwards of £18 million spent on new buildings, resources and facilities for our students and the local community.


Campus Facilities


Plymouth is located on the coast in the beautiful south west of the UK, on the border of the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Plymouth is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city graced with a setting amongst the finest in Europe, set in dramatic countryside and close to some of Britain’s most beautiful beaches with excellent sailing and surfing opportunities.It’s a good size city (about 300,000 people), with Dartmoor National Park on one side and the sea on the other. The university is conveniently located in the very centre of the city, with shops, restaurants and other attractions all within walking distance. Plymouth can be reached from London by train in about 3 hours or by plane in 1 hour, and there are air links to other cities and ferry links to France and Spain.

The University also has recently brought all of its courses into the one campus in Plymouth. The only exception is for some courses run by Pennisular College of Medicine and Dentistry which is a joint venture with the University of Exeter. Health courses are run at this college which has locations in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro. www.pcmd.ac.uk/locations_data.php

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