The Privy Council has announced that London’s Catholic University, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, has received Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP), with effect from 1st April 2021.
RDAP allows the university to confer research degrees to students, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
The awarding of RDAP is the final stage of St Mary’s achieving full Degree Awarding Powers, having achieved Taught Degree Awarding Powers in 2006 and its full university title in 2014.
The achievement of RDAP is a significant quality marker in respect of research provision, the research environment, staff capability and the quality of research at St Mary’s. It is a recognition from the wider academic community, nationally and internationally, of the university’s research and academic excellence and it is a launch pad for St Mary’s to continue its growth.
St Mary’s has a strong and thriving research culture inspired by its distinctive Catholic identity. Academics and students at the university are engaged in research in a diverse range of subjects including the crimes of modern slavery and human exploitation, the sociology of religion, end of life care, and initiatives in spirituality and reconciliation, among many.
The formal process of applying for RDAP began in 2017 and saw St Mary’s welcome a team of observers from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to meet staff and students from across the university, to understand the research culture. They also observed meetings and committees to ensure that St Mary’s upholds the most stringent academic standards.
The QAA’s report found that St Mary’s governance was “well prepare, managed, and chaired” and that the “Senior management team’s approach to tackling challenging issues is characterised by a dynamic combination of care and determination.”
In addition, “the university’s strategic plan articulates its values as a series of key ambitions and targets, including the acquisition of RDAP.”
St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran said: “It’s gratifying to see St Mary’s receive Research Degree Awarding Powers.
“When we set ourselves this ambitious target we wanted to give St Mary’s the foundations on which to base its future stability and growth. Achieving this target is a great recognition of the quality of the research conducted by our staff and students, and the standards they uphold as an academic community.”
Picture: St Mary’s University, Twickenham.