In 1979, a policy decision was taken whereby St Mary's changed its degree validation from the University of London to the University of Surrey.
The first students to gain qualifications under the University of Surrey received their diplomas in 1983 but, with effect from 1983, all students registered with the University of Surrey.
In July 1986, our first graduates from the University of Surrey received their degrees in Guildford Cathedral. However, St Mary's degree conferment ceremonies are now held in either the campus Chapel, or Westminster Cathedral, London.
St Mary’s Summer Graduation at Westminster Cathedral, London
The relationship with the University of Surrey developed progressively. The Senate and Council of the University of Surrey accorded St Mary's as ‘Affiliated College Status' in 1990 and from that year all undergraduate students were recruited through UCCA (now UCAS).
In 1992, the College was accorded ‘College of the University of Surrey' status, and in the same year a lay Principal was appointed for the first time. From September 1996, taught degree programmes were accredited by the University of Surrey.
In September 2006, St Mary's was granted the power to award its own taught degrees by the Privy Council, following an 18 month period of intense scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Following Privy Council approval, St Mary's College became St Mary's University College.