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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for families of applicants

The process of selecting a University and making the transition into student life can be challenging for applicants and their families. We’ve put together these FAQs for the supporters of our students. We look forward to welcoming you to the Marjon community.

Graduation photos of Marjon students
Marjon Graduation photo of family

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What is the campus like?

Our campus is in the north part of Plymouth, a 15 minute drive from Plymouth city centre, close to Dartmoor, local supermarkets, and on a regular bus route. We have a library, theatre, sport centre, a cinema and a games room on campus; along with a laundrette, and a cash machine, all no more than 1-2 minutes’ walk from our teaching rooms, halls of residence and shared houses.

The campus provides a friendly, community feel where everyone seems to know each other. We have lots of informal learning spaces around campus where students can work together informally.  We are lucky to have lots of green spaces on campus, providing access to lots of fresh air and outdoor spaces to sit out and relax; we have our own allotment space, a small woods and even a resident deer herd! To see more check out our virtual campus tour.


What is the food like?

Marjon is committed to the Plymouth Food Charter which promotes healthy and sustainable food. There are four food outlets on campus: the Hub Café, the Grandstand Café, the Arts Centre Café, and Barjon; all using fresh seasonal produce to cook affordable and tasty meals, both in and outside of term time. The on-campus shop provides essentials and is open Monday to Friday 08:00-21:00 and Saturday and Sunday 10:00-19:00 during term-time with reduced hours outside of term time.

We are aware that many students have tight budgets and our food is priced with this in mind. Students can buy a range of affordable hot and cold meals, a couple of favourites include hot chicken wrap and chips at £4 and the ever popular roast dinner at £5. We offer a dining in scheme to help students to budget and to help them to eat healthy meals.

We also have The View and the Chaplaincy where students and staff can heat up their own food.


What kind of accommodation is available?

Our on-campus accommodation provides a homely, friendly and safe environment with 24/7 campus support. For those living on campus Matt and Sophie, our Residents Life Co-ordinators, and our Resident Student Assistants (RSAs) are on hand to provide reassurance, advice and guidance on wellbeing, social activities and accessing support. There is also 24/7 support available from the security team.

We have seven halls and 38 shared houses. A number of accessible rooms are available for students which are adapted to suit students who have disabilities and mobility issues. Our accommodation prices range from £90-115 per week and are inclusive of utilities, broadband and contents insurance so you don’t have to worry about further bills. It is operated in compliance with the Code of Practice for the Management of Student Housing.


When can we apply for accommodation?

Accommodation applications usually open in January and close at the start of September. They need to pay a deposit of £250 to secure your room within 14 working days of your accommodation offer being made.

Applicants can apply as soon as they have firm accepted your offer (which can be conditional or unconditional). Click to find about accommodation or to apply online.


How do you help students to settle into University?

At Marjon we recognise that one of the biggest concerns for parents, carers and family supporters is whether new students will cope easily with settling in and making friends. We provide an extensive Freshers Week which helps to settle new students in, whether they are living on campus or not.  This includes a mix of sessions led by our academic and support teams as well as and a very wide range of social events, there really is something for everyone.

During Freshers Week we will help students to register with the local GP surgery and with a dentist. The Freshers Fair on campus as this is a great way to start to meet  people as it is here that students discover all the clubs and societies on offer.  If they can’t find the perfect society our Students’ Union will help them to start their own. Our Students’ Union Officers, elected annually by their fellow students, are on always hand to answer questions; they help student settle in, support their welfare and run an ongoing programme of events.


What support is available to students?

The Marjon Student Support and Wellbeing team make sure that our students don’t feel alone and can easily access help. They work with students to overcome a wide range of challenges by developing their own self-confidence and strategies to help them not only whilst they are a student with us but on into their working life. They can provide advice and counselling, support with learning difficulties or disabilities, support for care leavers and students who are are estranged from their families, and support for students who are parents themselves. To discuss how we can support a student in a specific situation please email studentsupport@marjon.ac.uk.

Our highly experienced and professionally accredited team offers a fully confidential and independent service providing information, advice and guidance on any matter for all students, referring on to other services as appropriate.

Students can also self-refer for British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited personal counselling in our separate, comfortable Counselling Centre. They can also request independent support with issues impeding their academic studies, including funding concerns and situations supported by the University Hardship Fund.


What do Personal Development Tutors do?

Every Marjon student has Personal Development Tutor (PDT). The PDT works with the student to uncover their strengths, build their confidence and ensure they make the most of their life at Marjon. They help the student to make choices and to build a career that suits them.

Further careers support is available from the Futures careers team who work one-on-one with students to develop their CVs, application and interview skills. Futures offer students enriching career, travel, volunteer, enterprise and professional development opportunities, to help them to be the best that they can be.


Are all courses structured and assessed in the same way?

Our courses vary greatly in terms of the way that they are structured and delivered. Much of the content will be delivered through lectures, seminars and workshops; but many provide teaching and learning through lab work, practical sessions, clinical skills, work placements, live performances and teaching practice. All our courses are underpinned by a supportive personal tutoring system.

Our courses also adopt a range of assessment methods e.g. by exam, dissertation, assignment, observational assessment, presentation, poster presentation and live performance. Sometimes our students are assessed by the work that they do as individuals, sometimes in small groups or pairs.


Can students work while studying?

At Marjon we recognise that working while studying is often a financial necessity.  It also helps to build skills and competences that employers value and can help students to build experiences and skills that support learning in the classroom.

Our Student Ambassador scheme which is a perfect way of picking up flexible part time work. We recruit twice a year and welcome applications from all of our students. We offer other Student Colleague roles too, including jobs with the welcome team and the catering service. The Futures team can help students with finding part-time work.


Will students get reliable jobs at the end of their studies?

Graduate level skills are in high demand. Some courses provide specific training for very specific careers, and almost all graduates move immediately into those careers, for example as teachers or Speech and Language Therapists. Other courses are more general, and students may go into a variety of jobs, using skills they have learned across their degree. Not all graduates would start in a managerial role, but the skills they have learned at university, such as critical thinking, problem analysis and written and verbal presentation skills, will help them to progress quickly to more senior levels. Students also learn critical digital skills which are a protection for maintaining work in any future lockdown situation.

Whilst the cost of university can feel very high, there are many studies that demonstrate the payback is very much worth it, as graduates tend to earn a substantial amount more over their lifetimes, and are less likely to be unemployed than non-graduates. It’s also worth remembering that if graduates don’t earn over a set amount, they don’t repay their loan.


How does student finance work?

University fees for undergraduate and foundation year 2022/2023 are £9,250 per annum. Additional professional accreditation fees may apply.

Your son, daughter or partner can take out a university fee loan to pay their tuition fees, which are paid back after they graduate. They can also take out a maintenance loan to help with living costs e.g. accommodation, food and travel, also paid back after they graduate. The amount that can be borrowed depends on eligibility such as household income and location. Repayments are due in instalments after income reaches a set amount and any unpaid debt is written off after 30 years.

As a parent or partner you will need to supply financial information to support your son or daughter’s application. See student finance explained for full details.

You may want to help your son, daughter or partner by:

  • Getting them to apply for Student Finance from February even if they do not hold an offer at this point.
  • Helping gather the evidence needed to support their application
  • Teaching them to budget. They will receive their loan in three instalments so will need to make sure that they manage their money. Which? has a handy student budget calculator to help them get started.
  • Be aware that the first maintenance loan installment doesn't arrive until several days after the student starts their course; they will need enough funds to cover up front expenses such as accommodation deposit and travel to university.


What must we do before the student arrives at Marjon?

It's a good idea to sort out the following things before term starts:

  • Student bank account.
  • Student rail card.
  • An “essential paperwork“ folder containing key document such as their passport, driving licence, copies of or original birth certificate, National Insurance number, NHS medical card, university offer, accommodation and student finance documents.
  • Registration with a doctor. Elm Surgery is our local GP surgery.  They will be present during Freshers' Week for registration so some students prefer to register once on campus.
  • Registration with a dentist. Not all students transfer their dentists while at university, preferring to fit in their dentist check ups when they are at home. NHS and private dentists are available in the local area, but there may be waiting lists for access to NHS dentists.
  • Get student discount cards such as NUS, Uni Days, Student Beans.

And here is packing list of things that they are going to take with them if living away from home:

  • Essential medication.
  • A laundry bag.
  • Passport size photos for any ID cards.
  • Sunscreen- we are in Devon after all!
  • Spare cash for when they arrive (we have a cash machine on campus).
  • A TV licence (depending on where they are living and what they are using the TV for).
  • Essential electrical items: laptop, extension leads, headphones, mobile phone (and charger!), printer, memory stick.


Can I talk to staff if I’m worried about a student?

Yes, you can contact us. If you report a concern about a student we would normally contact the student and/or send a member of staff to talk to the student and see what support is needed and assist them with getting help if that was what they want. Please note that due to data protection law we cannot discuss specific matters relating to individual students aged over 18 with a third party, even close relatives or friends, unless the student gives us permission to do so.

To contact our Student Support and Wellbeing team please contact 01752 636891 or email studentsupport@marjon.ac.uk.