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University Profile

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research with its proud heritage of service and achievement.

New student in front of the Main building

In 2005, the title 'Cardiff University' and a new Supplemental Charter was formally granted to the University by the Privy Council on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, meaning that Cardiff became a university in its own right, fully independent of the University of Wales. Cardiff University admits students to courses leading to Cardiff University degrees.

The University's breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. The University is also home to three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.

From its outstanding central location amidst the parks, Portland-stone buildings and tree-lined avenues that form the city's elegant civic centre, the University's students and staff are drawn from throughout the world, attracted by its international reputation and commitment to innovation and excellence in all areas of activity.  Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain's leading research universities.

Having gained national and international standing, Cardiff University's vision is to be recognised as a world-leading university and to achieve the associated benefits for its students, staff and all other stakeholders. 

The student population is drawn from a variety of backgrounds, with students attracted from throughout Wales, the rest of the UK and world-wide. International students comprise some 17 per cent of the total student population. Government performance indicators show that our students are more likely to succeed in their studies, with first-year completion rates considerably higher than national averages and also higher than some similar universities.

Many of the University’s degree schemes provide partial or complete exemption from relevant professional examinations and more than forty schemes of study benefit from accreditation and input from professional bodies. More than twenty per cent of Cardiff University students pursue postgraduate study.

Promoting health and welfare with special reference to the needs of Wales is an important role of the University and one which is fulfilled via a strongly inter-disciplinary and multi-partnership approach.  Central among our partners in this all-Wales role is the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, with which the University is linked at all levels.



The University is located in and around the Portland stone buildings, parks and tree-lined avenues that form Cardiff’s magnificent civic centre.  In recent years, substantial investment has been made in the University estate, including the expansion of life sciences facilities, recent development of a new brain research centre and a new building for Optometry and Vision Sciences.

Unusually for a civic university, most of the University’s student residential accommodation is within easy walking distance of lecture theatres, libraries and the students’ union, saving our students time and money.

A place in one of the University’s 5,300 study bedrooms is guaranteed to all first-year undergraduates entering through the normal admissions cycle. The vast majority of student residences are single en-suite study bedrooms in self catered flats — and students enjoy some of the lowest rents in the UK, according to a survey by the National Union of Students.

Networked computers offering a wealth of software applications are available to every student, there is a dedicated Graduate Centre providing support and facilities for postgraduates additional to those available within their Schools. 

Importance is attached to ensuring that Cardiff University graduates have the personal and intellectual skills demanded by employers, and this results in very high levels of graduate employment.

The University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales, with the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning providing several hundred courses in venues across South East Wales. The University’s lifelong learning activities also encompass the professional development work carried out by schools for employers, and many of these courses are custom-made to suit an individual company’s needs. The Centre also offers business language training at all levels.

The University is one of the largest employers in Cardiff, with a staff of some 5,500 and is a substantial purchaser of goods and services, making a major contribution to the prosperity of the region.  Academic expertise and research facilities are used to advantage by industry and commercial partners, government bodies and other organisations.  

These contracts, combined with the provision of professional updating courses and the provision of sophisticated equipment and specialist skills, enable the University to help improve the efficiency, competitiveness and profitability of industry and commerce.

The University also helps to generate new business ideas and spin-out companies in the region;  technology transfer activities, from start-up companies and the licensing of new products to industry, contribute tens of millions of pounds to the economy each year.

The acclaimed Cardiff University Innovation Network has introduced several hundred companies to the expertise, knowledge and facilities of the University. The University’s Manufacturing Engineering Centre, has a customer base of some 100 small and medium size enterprises and it regularly disseminates the results of its ground-breaking work to more than 2,000 companies throughout the UK.

This is a broad introduction to the University; details of all areas of its work are detailed on this site.