All About UsAllAboutCareers is a social careers information website for everyone who wants to find out more about graduate schemes, apprenticeships, internships and other job-related shenanigans.
Cardiff University is Wales’ largest university with a staggering 29,000 students. It started life in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. That was a bit of mouthful, so thankfully they renamed it Cardiff University in 1998. Originally, the university only offered 15 subjects, but now Cardiff University’s courses are spread across 27 academic schools under four core streams: healthcare, humanities, sciences and social sciences.
Cardiff University is one of the UK’s most prominent universities; competitive and tough to get into. Every year it receives around seven times the number of places on offer, so that’s about 34,000 applications for 4,500 places. Phew!
The university is very research-driven. It is part of the Russell Group, has an annual income of £429 million, and has over 1,700 research projects and contracts going on at any given time.
Many famous and notable alumni have studied at Cardiff University, including: Professor Sir Martin Evans, joint winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, the mighty TV newsreader Huw Edwards; the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, Adrian “Eeyore” Chiles of Daybreak fame, and indie-popsters Los Campesinos!
Cardiff University is slap bang in the centre of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The main campus, Cathays Park, is laid out along one long street, and a second campus, Health Park, which is home to all of the university’s health and medicine faculties, is reachable by a 20-minute walk or quicker bus ride.
Cardiff, christened ‘Europe’s Youngest Capital’, has grown over time into a modern, bustling city and the university is situated in the city’s nerve centre. The large pedestrianised city centre is a shopper’s heaven (a mixture of modern shopping centres and covered Victorian arcades crammed with boutiques). Culture vultures, on the other hand, have their pick of the offerings at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff Castle, Llandaff Cathedral, the Wales Millennium Centre and the Welsh National Opera at the New Theatre.
For party animals, there’s the recently redeveloped Cardiff Bay (formerly the Tiger Bay Docklands), which is packed with bars and restaurants. Cardiff is also host to Britain’s biggest annual summer festival, and let’s not forget the Millennium Stadium.
Campus facilities include: well-stocked libraries (over twenty facilities across both campuses), with a university-wide computer network and an online learning catalogue.
I.T. facilities include: twelve state-of-the-art computer labs, high-speed connectivity and online support. The Student Support Centre incorporates a variety of advisory and support units: health, counselling, childcare, chaplaincy, financial support, and disability/dyslexia assistance.
Other amenities include: 14 coffee shops and snack bars, three restaurants, a hairdressing salon (Cutting Edge), a Student Union shop, a Student Union lettings agency and a Blackwells bookshop.
Cardiff University guarantees first-year accommodation in halls of residence or other university-managed properties to students on full-time undergraduate study programmes.
The 17 student accommodation premises on offer include catered, part-catered and self-catered halls. There are over 5,300 single-occupancy rooms, with 70% of rooms having en-suite bathroom facilities. Some of the sites have additional on-site amenities, such as shops, bars and sports facilities.
Accommodation rates range between £3,613 and £4,079 per annum for catered residences, between £3,185 and £3,851 for part-catered residences, and between £2,631 and £4,655 for self-catered halls.
Private sector accommodation is also available at reasonable rates and the Cardiff University Residences Office provides a regularly updated list of properties online, which can be accessed by students using their university IDs. Rental rates start from £50 per week, excluding utilities.
Full-time EU and UK students enrolling in 2012-13 will be charged the maximum tuition fees of £9,000 under the new UK guidelines for higher education.
Living on a student budget in Cardiff isn’t necessarily prohibitive. The cheap accommodation rates mean you should have plenty of money left over for food, socialising and study materials. On-campus bars and restaurants are cheaper compared to the establishments in Cardiff city centre, although these won’t break the bank either.
A pint of beer on-campus costs around £1.60 a pint and a glass of wine will set you back around £1.75.
Cardiff University offers scholarships for academic excellence. In order to be eligible for a scholarship in 2012, you will need to have achieved three A grades at A-level. If you are successful in your application for a scholarship, you will receive £1,500 in your first year, and then a further £1,500 (spread out over the next two years of study), depending on academic performance.
The university also offers around 50 Dangoor Scholarships (£1,000 for one year) for students from lower income backgrounds who want to study science or engineering.
Students can also receive bursaries from the university if their household income is lower than £42,600. However, the amount you’re entitled to receive varies according to the specific income of your household.
With a glass of wine or a pint of beer priced at around £2.00, Cardiff is not short of watering holes which are worth visiting time and time again.
Popular areas of the city, which are filled with bars, pubs and clubs, include: St Mary Street, Mill Lane, the Brewery Quarter and Greyfriars Road in the city centre; Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay; and the Cathays area. There are also plenty of cinemas, five theatres and tons of music venues.
The Student Union organises weekly club nights, such as Fun Factory on Mondays, The Lash on Wednesdays, Boombox on Fridays, and Come Play on Saturdays. Plenty of big-name bands also visit Cardiff University, with previous acts including Ellie Goulding, The Wombats, Arctic Monkeys and Supergrass.
Cardiff University has more annual balls than any other UK university. These popular shindigs include the Graduation Ball, which is held in the summer.
You can join over 60 sports clubs and 150 other non-sport-related societies at Cardiff University. We’d recommend not joining every single one though! After all, your diary would get very full, very fast. New students can get a sample of what’s on offer at the Freshers’ Fayre.
Sports facilities are spread across three main sites: the Sports Training Village, Fitness & Squash Centre and Cardiff University Sports Fields.
If writing is more your thing, you could write for the student newspaper, Gair Rhydd, the Athletic Union’s official magazine, Undod, or the lifestyle magazine, Quench. Alternatively, if broadcasting gets your juices flowing, you can get involved with Xpress Radio or Cardiff Union Television.
The Students’ Union hosts various events during the Freshers’ Fortnight. You can check out the details of all Freshers’ events on the Cardiff University Students’ Union’s Facebook page.
The Careers and Employability Centre is located in the Student Support Centre and is staffed by a range of experienced careers advisors. Resources and services include: a careers library, online vacancies information, subject-specific guidance, career fairs, and a database of top employers.