Cardiff University is a public research university in Cardiff, Wales. Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it became a founding college of the University of Wales in 1893, and in 1997 received its degree-awarding powers, although it held them in abeyance. It merged with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST) in 1988. The college adopted the public name of Cardiff University in 1999; in 2005 this became its legal name, as an independent university awarding its degrees. The third oldest university institution in Wales, it contains three colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Cardiff is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of research-intensive British universities. It is recognised as providing high-quality, research-based university education, and placed between 100th and 200th in the world by the four major international rankings, and in the top 40 in all three UK achievement tables. It ranked 5th in the UK among multi-faculty institutions for the quality (GPA) of its research and 17th for its Research Power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. For 2018–2019, Cardiff had a turnover of £537.1 million, including £116.0 million in research grants and contracts.

The university has an undergraduate enrolment of 23,960 and a total enrolment of 33,190 (according to HESA data for 2018/19) making it one of the ten largest universities in the UK. The Cardiff University Students’ Union works to promote the interests of the student body within the University and further afield. The university’s sports teams compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues.


Academic facilities

The University’s academic facilities are centred around Cathays Park in central Cardiff, which contains the University’s grade II*listed main building, housing administrative facilities and the science library; the grade II listed Bute building, which contains the Welsh School of Architecture, the grade I listed Glamorgan building, which houses the Cardiff Schools of Planning and Geography and Social Sciences, the Redwood Building (named in 1979 after the Redwood Family of Boverton near Llantwit Major by a 1978 suggestion by J. D. R. Thomas), which houses the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; the law building which houses the Cardiff Law School; and the biosciences building, which provides facilities for both biosciences and medical teaching. The School of Engineering, School of Computer Science and Informatics and School of Physics and Astronomy are located in the Queen’s Buildings, off Newport Road, and the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at 2 Central Square.


  • Accounting
  • Anatomy
  • Ancient history
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Banking and finance
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical science
  • Bioscience
  • Biosciences
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Child nurse
  • Chinese
  • City and regional planning
  • Communications
  • Computer science
  • Computing
  • Creative writing
  • Criminology
  • Culture
  • Law (LLB)
  • Law and Criminology (LLB)
  • Law and French (LLB)
  • Law and Politics (LLB)
  • Law and Sociology (LLB)
  • Law and Welsh (LLB)
  • Medical Engineering with a Year in Industry (BEng)
  • Medical Engineering with Year in Industry (MEng)
  • Medical Pharmacology (BSc)
  • Medicine (MBBCh)
  • Medicine with a Preliminary Year (MBBCh)
  • Medicine: Graduate Entry (MBBCh)
  • Medicine: North Wales (MBBCh)
  • Mental Health Nursing (BN)
  • Mental Health Nursing (BN)
  • Modern Chinese (BA)
  • Modern Languages and Translation (BA)
  • Neuroscience (BSc)
  • Neuroscience (MNeuro)
  • Neuroscience with Preliminary Year (BSc)
  • Neuroscience with Preliminary Year and Professional Training Year (BSc) year
  • Neuroscience with Professional Training Year (BSc)
  • Neuroscience with Professional Training Year (MNeuro)

Student life

Student accommodation

The University maintains 14 student halls and many student houses throughout the city of Cardiff; providing a total of 5,362 student places in accommodation.[72] They are in a variety of architectural styles and ages, from the Gothic Aberdare Hall, built-in 1895, to the modern Talybont Halls, built-in 1995. All first-year students are guaranteed a place in Halls. The Cardiff University Halls are:

Aberconway Hall               Cartwright Court              Colum Hall             Gordon Hall    Roy Jenkins Hall

Senghennydd Court        Talybont Halls    University Hall   Colum Road Houses        Student Village Houses

Students’ Union

The Cardiff University Students’ Union is a student-run organisation aiming to promote student interests within the University and further afield. The Cardiff University Students’ Union building is near Cathays Park, next to Cathays railway station. It has shops, a night club and the studios of Xpress Radio and Gair Rhydd, the student newspaper. It is democratically controlled by the student body through the election of seven full-time officers, who manage the running of the Union. The Union provides a range of services, including several cafes, bars and shops, as well as advice, training and representation. The Union is an affiliated member of the National Union of Students.

Groups and societies

The Union also supports over 260 other clubs and societies across a wide range of interests, including Cardiff University Debating Society, and Act One, the student dramatic society. All clubs offer opportunities for beginners and more experienced students.


The Union provides facilities and support for several student media groups, including gair rhydd, an award-winning, free student newspaper that is released every Monday of the term; Quench, a monthly arts and lifestyle magazine that specializes in the local music scene as well as original investigative feature articles; and CUTV, the student television channel. Xpress Radio is the student radio station.


The Cardiff University Athletic Union is the body that supports student sport at Cardiff, it oversees more than 60 competitive and non-competitive sports clubs, many of which compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport league. The University’s Ice Hockey team, the Cardiff Redhawks (which also recruits players from other Welsh universities) competes in the British Universities Ice Hockey Association leagues.

The university’s sports teams also take part in the annual Welsh Varsity against Swansea University, which includes the Welsh Boat Race, and several other sporting competitions. The Welsh Varsity rugby match has been described as “probably… the second biggest Varsity Game next to Oxford vs Cambridge”.

Cardiff participates in British Universities and Colleges Sport which manages a sporting framework of competitive fixtures and events for over 150 institutions around the UK. Cardiff registers nearly 100 teams in the various leagues and competitions each year and sees students travelling around the country to represent Cardiff University. In 2013 Cardiff team achieved 15th position overall across the 50 different sports hosting events.

Several University academic facilities are located at the Heath Park campus, based at the University Hospital of Wales. This covers the Cardiff University School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, the School of Healthcare Sciences, and the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.