St Mary’s University Belfast
St Mary’s University Belfast, St Mary’s University College is a university college in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
St Mary’s was established in 1985, but can directly trace its existence to 1900 and the foundation of St Mary’s Training College, which focused mainly on the training of women as teachers. St Joseph’s Training College located on the Stewartstown Road, was set up to train men and the amalgamation of the two colleges created the current institution in 1985.
The institution is located on the Falls Road in Belfast, and has approximately 60 academic staff and 1,040 students. The institution offers courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for teacher training, especially for a Catholic ethos, including a PGCE for Irish Medium Education. The college diversified its offerings several years ago and now offers a BA degree in liberal arts as well.
The university college’s legacy institutions have been associated with Queen’s University Belfast, since 1949. Since 1968 Queen’s degrees have been obtainable by the students of these two institutions.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors is, ex-officio, the Bishop of the Diocese of Down and Connor. This is currently the Reverend Noel Treanor.
People Associated with St Joseph’s College
A number of prominent people trained as teachers in St Joseph’s. They include the poet Seamus Heaney and dramatist Brian Friel, as well as the former SDLP MP and deputy first minister Seamus Mallon and Tyrone Gaelic Football Manager Mickey Harte. Bishop Michael Dallat who was a teacher at St Mary’s, served as principal of St Joseph’s and was involved in the amalgamation of the two institutions.