Our academic partners

Our University has that same endeavour and ambition to reach out to the world, to embrace multiculturalism and work in collaboration with new partners.

Today, we are a global university, with more than 80 partnerships with universities and colleges in more than 30 countries – collaborations that extend our academic community across geographic boundaries. Our students now graduate in London and Hong Kong, and from 2015, in Singapore and Sri Lanka as well.

And our academics deliver Plymouth’s expertise across a range of subject areas to partner institutions, helping to support the extension of British higher education across the world.

As you’ll see from the stories contained in this section, we are also moving across pedagogic boundaries. Our new academic partnership with the Marine Learning Alliance, for example, will provide online delivery of professionally accredited marine and maritime programmes. Backed by IMarEST, the leading professional body for marine science and engineering, it has an ambitious plan for global expansion – one we will support whole-heartedly.


Groundbreaking opportunities

The Eden Project, one of the south west’s most visited tourist attractions, is opening its doors to a range of courses 

In December, the Eden Project announced it would host the delivery of higher education courses for the first time.

Delivered in partnership with the Cornwall College Group and awarded by Plymouth University, students will be able to study a range of courses including a degree in horticulture, foundation degrees in horticulture and event management, and HNC/HNDs in garden and landscape design and small-scale theatre. Announcing the initiative, Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, said: 

“The future will belong to those who have real dirt-under-the-fingernails skills, allied to an intellect that enjoys problem solving.

“Our friendship with Cornwall College led us to work together on shaping new courses that will create a benchmark higher than any available elsewhere. Our passion is to offer the sort of courses we would want to go on ourselves, not dreary stuff. We want to be judged on the quality of our students, as they will become our ambassadors.”

Marine Learning Alliance 

The Marine Learning Alliance (MLA) specialises in marine and maritime qualifications through e-learning. Until recently part of Plymouth University, the MLA is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. The MLA now operates as an academic partner to the University, which approves its programmes. 

The MLA works closely with Academic Partnerships and the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Plymouth University to offer short courses, and undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in subjects including hydrography, meteorology and oceanography. These have been designed to meet the needs of the maritime industry, enabling students to study while out at sea on vessels or oil rigs. Their learning is then supplemented by intensive sessions while on shore leave, and by web-based support from tutors.

Marine Learning Alliance Ltd - boats in the harbour

National School of Business Management, Sri Lanka

Plymouth University’s relationship with the National School of Business Management (NSBM) in Sri Lanka continues to develop. This November, the first cohort of students graduate with Plymouth degrees at a graduation ceremony in Colombo. In 2016, the new campus at Homagama will open, and will provide significant potential for growth. Plymouth will be offering innovative and relevant programmes of
study with our partners at NSBM.

Other international partnerships


USA – Joint master’s programme in robotics with Carnegie Mellon University 

Brazil – Collaborations on research projects with the Federal Universities of Santa Catarina and Paraiba, as well as a strong strategic relationship with the highly ranked Positivo University

China – China Agricultural University has had a partnership with Plymouth for over ten years, with almost one thousand students completing the programmes

Hong Kong – Plymouth works with Hong Kong University’s SPACE to deliver business programmes

Malaysia – The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences has close research ties with a number of Malaysian institutions