Academic life and the pursuit of knowledge is at the heart of College life. The College was founded to be a high-quality residential academic community and this remains our purpose today. The College provides an exciting and inclusive academic environment, enabling our students to engage with their peers, academics, and professionals from a wide range of disciplines.
Our students are supported in the transition from secondary education to university study, and in the important transition from university life to professional careers and, where desired, from undergraduate to postgraduate study. Our academic program supports our students in the diverse academic challenges of university life. The high level of participation and commitment to the program contributes to the rich intellectual life of the College, and to the outstanding academic results of our students, of which we are very proud.
Academic endeavour and achievement are celebrated as inherently valuable, and as pathways to the achievement of our students’ goals beyond university. Aspects of academic life at the College include:
The College has a strong culture of students assisting and supporting each other to succeed academically. This includes both formal tutoring and informal peer support.
Weekly or fortnightly tutorials in a wide range of subjects, and additional academic support on an as-needed basis, is provided by senior students, postgraduate students, and academics.
Additional workshops, covering topics such as the "University 101", exam preparation, time management, referencing and academic integrity, academic writing, and using academic sources, help students develop essential study skills and excel in their studies.
The College appoints a number of Academic Tutors in various subjects – these are usually current or former St Mark’s students. Where there is sufficient demand for tuition in a subject for which the College is unable to offer academic support from its own resources, an external tutor may be engaged to provide formal in-College tuition.
The academic support provided by tutors might include discussing course content, running through concepts that students are struggling to understand, or providing a sounding-board for ideas for assignments. It can take different formats, such as regular group tutorials or individual support. The purpose of the tutorial support is to supplement (not replace or duplicate) university teaching.
It is expected that students experiencing difficulties with their courses consult the Director of Learning in the first instance, or the Head of College. The Director of Learning’s door is always open, and she is available to discuss academic matters at any time during the year.
Academic Coordinators are student leaders in each broad subject area (or “Faculty”) who are committed to the education and intellectual development of each student in the St Mark’s College community. Academic Coordinators work with the Director of Learning and SAT to seek to ensure that each student has the support they need to engage well with their studies. These are students who have experience and understanding of university and College, who will listen to questions and find ways of helping students to resolve issues and find information and solutions.
The six Faculties are as follows:
- Agriculture, Viticulture, Veterinary and Animal Science;
- Medicine, Nursing, and Dentistry;
- Engineering, Physical Sciences, Architecture and Aviation;
- Business and Law;
- Health & Medical Sciences and Allied Health;
- Arts and Education.
Students studying joint or double degrees may be a member of more than one Faculty.
The College hosts art least one Faculty Dinner each year for each of the faculty groupings at which guests who are leading experts in the relevant disciplines are invited to dine at the College and connect with students. Other Faculty events include guest speakers, workshops, career development activities and faculty social events.
Port ’n’ Talks and other guest speakers provide an opportunity to hear interesting speakers from all walks of life, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
An important part of the College structure for providing academic and wellbeing support to each student is the Learning and Wellbeing Review. Each semester every student will be required to meet with the Dean, Director of Wellbeing, and Director of Learning to discuss their academic progress, career goals, and their overall health and wellbeing. Follow-up meetings are scheduled as required; these may include meeting with various members of staff, including the Head of College, Professor Markwell, and the Adviser and Special Projects, Dr Rachel Buxton.
The Learning and Wellbeing Review is a formal meeting and students attending are required to wear their academic gowns. However, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and the meeting is designed to support all students in their academic endeavours. Students are expected to speak frankly about their academic progress and wellbeing, as well as their feelings regarding life at College, and their future study and career plans.
In addition to Faculty events, including Faculty Dinners with industry guest speakers, our career development program includes training sessions, professional mentoring, and other professional development opportunities.
The St Mark’s Careers Directory provides targeted information about upcoming employment and internship opportunities and advice about securing a job or internship.
St Mark's has a tradition of regularly hosting visiting academics, whose contributions to the intellectual life of the College may include giving lectures or seminars, providing mentoring, career advice and teaching, and assisting with the academic and intellectual growth of students. The College ordinarily has an active program of visiting scholars, many of whom stay in the College for periods of time.
The most outstanding academic achievements of students are recognised with scholarships and prizes, with awards made at an Academic Awards Dinner and with College colours and commendations at Final Dinner, and in a special book in the Front Office display case. The names of the Dux of the College (winner of the E. A. Radcliff Scholarship) and the runner-up to the Dux (winner of the G. Angas Parsons Scholarship) are recorded on an honour board in the Junior Common Room.
This annual prize is awarded for the best essay written by a member of the College on a set topic of general or contemporary interest. Details are circulated by the Director of Learning.
The College website includes a suite of pages entitled “Thrive at Marks’s” that can be accessed here.
These pages bring together a range of resources related to five key areas:
- study skills, including managing online study, time management, and technical help;
- faculty-specific support;
- revision and exams;
- careers support.
The careers support pages include the St Mark’s Careers Directory, which provides targeted information about upcoming employment and internship opportunities and advice about securing a job or internship.