Plymouth: a civic university

Universities are so much more than degree-awarding seats of learning. They are drivers for economic innovation and advancement, catalysts for social change and champions of cultural development.

Professor Judith Petts, CBE


Supporting the national effort against coronavirus (COVID-19)

“This response has shown our University community’s strong sense of duty and service, and they are acting on that to contribute and to help.” – Professor Sube Banerjee, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health

The University's range of support includes:

  • our students helping the NHS and our staff returning to the front line
  • supporting research into vaccination and delivering training to NHS staff
  • supplying equipment to the NHS and staff in the city
  • providing a psychologically informed response to COVID-19
  • creatively supporting home-schooling during lockdown.

Find out more about our response

Our community of staff and students have shown great imagination in coming up with so very many different ways to support the NHS

The Queen's Anniversary Prize for pioneering research on marine microplastics pollution and its impact on the environment and changing behaviour

Nearly two decades of world-leading research into the effects of marine plastics on our environment by Plymouth researchers, led by Professor Richard Thompson OBE FRS, has received the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a higher education institution.

Recognition for our discovery of microplastics

Plymouth awarded share of Cultural Development Fund

A project to build Plymouth’s creative industries and nurture creative people power has been awarded £3.5 million by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The University has partnered with Plymouth City Council, Destination Plymouth, Mayflower 400, Plymouth College of Art and the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) to create iMayflower.

The project aims to help the city’s creative sector realise its potential, offering new opportunities, creative spaces and skills. The money is part of a £20m Cultural Development Fund for the regions announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright.

Read further details on how the funding will be used.

Plymouth's Mayflower Steps, on the Barbican

Sustainable Seas – University contributes to parliament report

On Thursday 17 January 2019, the Environmental Audit Committee published the results of its Sustainable Seas inquiry. It concluded that there were a number of key areas where the Government needed to take action to safeguard our oceans, including ocean acidification, plastic and chemical pollution, marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. Academics from University submitted written evidence to the inquiry and gave evidence to MPs as part of their deliberations, another example of the University’s world-leading marine expertise being used to influence government policy.

Find out more about our work related to the Sustainable Seas report

Microplastics research highlighted as one of UK’s 100 best university breakthroughs

More plastic has been produced in the last seven years than in all of the last century. Through greater awareness of the problem, the wider world is waking up to this global challenge and the importance of taking action.

The work of the International Marine Litter Research Unit is featured in a campaign from Universities UK

MadeAtUni: reducing marine plastic litter

eHealth expert named among nation’s lifesavers

A researcher who focuses on improving access to digital health has been chosen for a new campaign highlighting the positive impact of universities on the nation’s wellbeing.

Professor Ray Jones, Professor of eHealth, is included in the ‘nation’s lifesavers’ list compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities.

Read more about Professor Ray Jones's research and the MadeAtUni campaign