Academic Life

A key part of college life is achieving your academic goals. Simply by living in a community of like-minded and motivated students, there’s a strong culture of academic achievement. Just think, every night you’ll be sitting down to dinner with a group of people who will soon become scientists, teachers, musicians, lawyers, authors, economists, politicians or doctors…experts in their field. The conversation is diverse, stimulating and inspiring.

Some students worry about balancing their academic workload with the social life of College. Rest assured, St Mary’s has a strong tradition of outstanding academic success. College students generally perform better than their university peers who don’t live at College. We believe it’s because of both the academic support, and the nurturing, pastoral approach that supports the whole person.

Tutorial program

In addition to your university lectures and tutorials, there are weekly tutorials held at College every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, either at 5.15pm before dinner or after dinner at 7.30pm and 8.30pm. It is such an advantage to have this additional support. The groups are nice and small and quite different to university tutorials – less structured and more student focused, so you get really good support. If you have a topic you would like revised then just ask the tutor. Attendance at tutorials is one of your community expectations, so you have to be able to plan your other commitments around your tutes if you live at any college! Many of our students say that the College tutorials really helped them to make their first year very successful.

St Mary’s appoints expert, approachable tutors, who hold qualifications across a broad range of University faculties. They’ll help you with any areas of difficulty, and encourage you to explore issues in more depth.

You’ll also refine your study skills, essay writing and exam techniques. These small tutorial groups connect students across similar courses, and provide a natural starting point for informal study groups.

Academic Centre

The Allan and Maria Myers Academic Centre (known as the ‘Accy’) is an exceptional facility that’s shared between St Mary’s and Newman College students, so it’s a great place to meet the neighbours. The Academic Centre is the learning hub of the College – expertly managed by one full-time and two part-time librarians and an IT Manager. You can access the Accy at any time of the day or night. It provides access to:

  • Extensive library collection (compirising collections from both St Mary’s & Newman)
  • Specialist collections (the Gerry Higgins Irish Library, the Allan Myers Law Library and the Maria Jens Australiana Collection)
  • Research assistance
  • Wireless internet
  • Numerous study spaces for both individual and group work
  • Information technology room, containing 9 PCs, a colour printer/photocopier/scanner and a document-binder
  • 10 Tutorial rooms, all with data projectors
  • 4 Music practice rooms – 3 with pianos
  • Student Lounge
  • 2 kitchens with tea and coffee-making facilities

The Accy owns copies of many of the textbooks you’ll need for your university studies, which will save you money at the University Bookshop. Our collection is constantly updated based on requirements, so you’re sure to find what you need. Students are encouraged to borrow a textbook for the whole semester, and share it with two or three College buddies. And what’s more, there are no library fines.

The Accy also caters for your recreational needs, which means free and easy access to a broad range of journals, magazines, newspapers, popular fiction and DVDs – that mean you’ll have access to some of your favourite subscriptions too!

For more information regarding our outstanding Academic Centre, please click on the website at and also have a look at the pictures in the Photo Gallery on the main page.

In Medias Res

‘In medias res’ is a journal published by students of St Mary’s College to contribute to the academic and intellectual nature of the College community. Its purposes are two-fold in that it fosters critical, creative, and cross-disciplinary thinking within the College community, as well as in the individual student. ‘In medias res’ aims to present wide-ranging, multidisciplinary perspectives on existing and emerging issues relevant to the world the students of the College are inheriting. ‘In medias res’ is founded on knowledge that with the privilege afforded by membership of communities like the College and the University, comes the responsibility to promote awareness of social justice issues. We recognise our duty to contribute to the public conversation, and in doing so equip students of the College with a sense of service and compassion.