Welsh: Prifysgol Abertawe
|University College of Swansea, University of Wales Swansea|
|Motto||Welsh: Gweddw crefft heb ei dawn|
Motto in English
|"Technical skill is bereft without culture"|
|Established||1920 – University College of Swansea |
1996 – University of Wales, Swansea
2007 – Swansea University
|Endowment||£6.1 million (2017)|
|Chancellor||Dame Jean Thomas|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Paul Boyle|
Wales, United Kingdom
|Colours||Academic: blue, silver and black|
Athletic Union: green and white
University of Wales
Swansea University (Welsh: Prifysgol Abertawe) is a public research university located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. It was chartered as University College of Swansea in 1920, as the fourth college of the University of Wales. In 1996, it changed its name to the University of Wales Swansea following structural changes within the University of Wales. The title of Swansea University was formally adopted on 1 September 2007 when the University of Wales became a non-membership confederal institution and the former members became universities in their own right.
Swansea University has 8 colleges spread across its two campuses which are located on the coastline of Swansea Bay. The Singleton Park Campus is set in the grounds of Singleton Park to the west of Swansea city centre. The £450 million Bay Campus, which opened in September 2015, is located adjacent to Jersey Marine Beach to the east of Swansea city centre which is in the Neath Port Talbot Area.
It is the third largest university in Wales in terms of number of students. It currently offers about 330 undergraduate courses and 120 post-graduate courses to 20,375 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The University College, Swansea, (as it was known then), was established in 1920, opening its doors on 5 October. At the time, it was the youngest of the four colleges of the University of Wales. It was established on the recommendations of a Royal Commission set up in 1916. The college was founded on what were perceived as the needs and the wants of the local area, and Swansea's main industries in particular.
The Park Campus houses the oldest parts of the university's estate, including Singleton Abbey, a large eighteenth-century mansion which was the ancestral home of the Vivian family, having been bought by the prominent industrialist, John Henry Vivian.
Swansea University's foundation stone was laid in 1920 by King George V in July 1920, welcoming 89 students, of whom eight were female. Subjects taught from the beginning of the college were the sciences, mathematics, metallurgy and engineering. The professors were A.R. Richardson (mathematics), E.J. Evans (physics), J.E. Coates (chemistry), A.E. Trueman (geology), C.A. Edwards (metallurgy) and F. Bacon (engineering).
The university was granted a coat of arms by the College of Heralds in 1921 with the motto Gweddw Crefft Heb Ei Dawn, translated as 'technical skill is bereft without culture.'
Arts subjects were not taught immediately in 1920, but started in the following 'session', 1921–22. The first professors in those initial departments were D. Emrys Evans (classics), W.D. Thomas (English language and literature), Henry Lewis (Welsh), E. Ernest Hughes (History), F.A. Cavenagh (education) and Mary Williams (French). Williams was the first woman to be appointed to a chair in the United Kingdom. This met with some reaction from senior men at the college, one of whom she would later marry.
Saunders Lewis, the well-known Welsh language writer and activist, became a member of staff in 1922 although he ran up against controversy in 1936/37 for trying to set fire to a Royal Air Force bombing school on the Llŷn Peninsula. He was tried at the Old Bailey and sent to prison for nine months.
When Singleton Abbey and its surrounding land was handed to the college in 1923, arts subjects were moved there from the college's temporary site in Mount Pleasant. Student numbers remained relatively small until the Second World War.
Swansea acquired departments of philosophy 1925, German in 1931, economics in 1937, social policy in 1947, political theory and government in 1954 – the same year that a civil engineering and a geography department were added. In 1961 Swansea became a centre for Russian and East European studies, whilst Italian and Spanish joined the Department of French.
There were many notable staff members at the university in the period, including the long-serving female professor of botany, Florence Mockeridge. Another was Glanmor Williams (history) who retired in 1982. Other well-known staff members were the author of novels such as Lucky Jim and That Uncertain Feeling, Kingsley Amis, who lectured in English in the 1950s and early 1960s; Rush Rhees, an expert on Wittgensteinian philosophy, who was a member of staff from 1940 to 1966; and Kenneth O. Morgan (now Lord Morgan of Aberdyfi) who was a junior history lecturer from 1958 to 1966.
In 1947, John Fulton, the university principal, had designs on creating the UK's first contained university campus. Located in the vast expanse of Singleton Park, the university only had 2 permanent buildings; Singleton Abbey and the library.
The 1960s saw the university embark on a large campus development programme, aiming to fulfill Fulton's plan of becoming a self-contained community within the city. Along with new halls of residence, a Maths and Science Tower was built, with College House – later renamed Fulton House.
For most of its history, Swansea University operated exclusively from the Singleton Park Campus. However, owing to rapid expansion, the university developed a 65-acre, £450 million beachfront science and innovation Bay Campus which opened in September 2015. Since 2015, Swansea University has operated as a dual-campus university with the 'Park Campus' located in its traditional Singleton Park grounds, and the Bay Campus, at Crymlyn Burrows.
The Bay campus has been developed on a 65-acre beachfront site between Fabian Way and Jersey Marine beach at Crymlyn Burrows. It initially houses the College of Engineering and School of Management, a Great Hall seating 800, a library offering views over a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and student accommodation. Projects moving on to campus include the UK's first Energy Safety Research Institute, and the Institute of Structural Materials, home to the University Technology Centre for Rolls Royce materials testing.
Swansea University's £20 million International Sports Village is five minutes' walk from the Singleton Park campus on the western side of Sketty Lane. It has an eight-lane track, six-lane indoor track and training centre, floodlit playing fields including rugby, football, lacrosse and cricket pitches, two artificial hockey pitches, a sports hall, tennis and squash courts, a climbing wall and spin room. The University also owns training pitches in the north of the city, in Fairwood, which it has developed alongside Swansea City A.F.C.
During the 2012 Summer Olympics, the university hosted the training camps for the Mexican and New Zealand paralympic teams and the Ireland triathlon team. In 2014, it hosted the IPC Athletics European Championships. Furthermore, in 2015 it hosted the training camps of the Canada national rugby union team and the Fiji national rugby union team in preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Sports science at the university leapt from 40th to 8th in the 2015 Guardian University Guide. The department has links with Swansea City A.F.C., Ospreys and Welsh Athletics. Former scholars include Wales rugby union player Alun Wyn Jones, Olympic swimmer Georgia Davies, Paralympian swimmer Liz Johnson and Paralympian boccia player David Smith. Swansea is in the top quarter of the British University's sporting leagues. It competes with Cardiff University in the Welsh Varsity tournament, the largest student sports event in Wales. This includes The Welsh Boat Race and the showcase rugby union varsity match which attracted 16,000 students to Swansea's Liberty Stadium in 2015.
The Wales National Pool, next to the International Sports Village, is a 50-metre pool built to FINA standards. The facility, which also has a 25m × 9.5m training pool and 1,200 spectator seats, is HQ of Wales Amateur Swimming Association.
The pool, one of five of British Swimming's Intensive Training Centres (ITC), was used to train swimmers for the London 2012 Olympics was built with funding from Sport Wales, Swansea Council and Swansea University.
It is home to the new Welsh Swimming National Performance Centre, a hub for elite and performance swimming in Wales including disability swimming under renowned coach Billy Pye who has trained several Paralympians in Swansea, including Ellie Simmonds and Liz Johnson. University sports science researchers provide back-up to the hub. The centre is also home to Swansea University Swimming and City of Swansea Aquatics.
The £1.4 million 360 Beach and Water Sports Centre is the only university-operated centre of its kind in the UK. It is on the prom a five-minute walk from the Singleton Park Campus.
The centre, opened in autumn 2012, is a not for profit company set up by Swansea University offering a range of activities and training such as kite surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and beach volleyball. It houses a beachside bistro open to the public.
On 5 September 2018, 360 Beach and Water Sports Centre shut down, with intentions of changing management. As of November 2018, it remains closed.
Located in the Taliesin building, the Egypt Centre is open to the public. More than 4,000 items are in its collection. Most were collected by the pharmacist and entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome. Others came from the British Museum, the Royal Edinburgh Museum, National Museums and Galleries of Wales Cardiff, the Royal Albert Museum and Art Gallery and private donors.
Staff lecture museum groups and other outside bodies on volunteering, social inclusion and how to widen community participation with university museums. School parties regularly visit for interactive events.
Swansea received its royal charter in 1920 and like many universities is governed by its constitution that is set out in its statutes and a charter. The governing body of Swansea University is its Council, which is supported by the Senate and the Court.
Swansea University's academic departments were organised into seven colleges until reorganisation in 2019-2020:
The college offers courses in American studies, ancient history, applied linguistics, Chinese, classics, Welsh, Egyptology, English, English literature, French, German, history, Italian, medieval studies, media studies (with film and PR options), politics and international relations, Spanish-Hispanic studies, translation, and war and society.
In spring 2006, M Wynn Thomas and Dai Smith established the Library of Wales series as an offshoot of the college which has influenced Welsh Government policy to benefit the creative industries, cultural tourism and education.
The School of Management is a top 30 UK business school and ranks top 10 in terms of research impact, with 90% of submissions earning a World-Leading 4* or Internationally Excellent 3* rating.
In 2015, the school relocated to the University's Bay Campus which houses over 2,000 students, 150 members of staff and a range of industry partners, including The Bevan Commission, Fujitsu, Greenaway Scott, and AgorIP.
The School of Management provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including accounting and finance, business management, economics, tourism, and marketing. The school ranks in the UK top 30 for business and economics graduate prospects, and top 10 for accounting and finance.
Alongside teaching, the school also houses various research centres including The Centre for Visitor Economy Research (CVER), The Centre for Lean Enterprise, Application and Research (CLEAR), The Centre for Responsible Organisation and Social Innovation (CROSI), Emerging Markets Research Centre (EMaRC), The Hawkes Centre for Empirical Finance, People and Organisation, Swansea iLab, Welsh Economy Labour Markets Evaluation Research Centre (WELMERC), The Bevan Commission, The Morgan Academy and The Centre for Health and Environmental Management Research and Innovation (CHEMRI).
See also: Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
The Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law is the largest law school in Wales and ranks third in the UK for criminology and twenty-second in the UK for law (The Times Good University Guide 2019). Swansea University opened its School of Law in 1994, in order to complement its departments in engineering, the sciences, and arts and humanities. Known previously as the College of Law and Criminology, the school's name changed on 14 October 2017, as part of a ceremony including the conferment of an honorary doctorate on Hillary Clinton.
The school is situated at the Singleton Campus but intends to move to purpose-built premises on the university's Bay Campus within the next few years. This new development will house commercial law firms, technology companies, national and international agencies, along with the academics and students of the School.
Teaching at the School of Law comprises undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses. Undergraduate programmes include qualifying law degrees, criminology degrees and joint honours programmes. Postgraduate programmes include LLMs in shipping and trade, human rights, an MA in applied criminal justice and criminology and research degrees. Professional courses on offer include the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course. Students are taught in lectures, discussion groups and interactive seminars by academics with extensive industry experience.
In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 96% of school research was recognised as demonstrating an international standard. This research encompasses the school's numerous research centres including The Swansea University Legal Centre, Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology, Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Law, Cyber Threats Intelligence Centre, The Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law and the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People.
Engineering has been studied at Swansea University since its very beginning in 1920 and in 2001 all of the engineering departments merged to form the School of Engineering, which turned into the College of Engineering a few years later. The College of Engineering moved in 2015 to the university's Bay Campus which now has 5 engineering buildings, holding 30,000m2 of laboratory and office space and over £10 million of research and teaching equipment. These buildings include Engineering Central, Engineering East, Institute Structural Materials (ISM), Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) and the Active Classroom (the UK's first energy positive classroom).
The college offers courses in aerospace, chemical, civil, computational, electronic and electrical, materials science, mechanical and medical engineering and nanotechnology at under- and postgraduate level. Both the chemical and materials Science and engineering courses are ranked 6th in the UK (The Times Good University Guide/The Guardian University Guide) and its aerospace, civil and mechanical engineering departments are ranked within the World 200 (QS World Rankings).
The college is ranked 10th in the UK for the combined score in research quality across the engineering disciplines according to REF 2014 and 94 per cent of Swansea's engineering research is classed as World-Leading (4*) or Internationally Excellent (3*). The research carried out at the college can be divided in three themes, aerospace and manufacturing, energy and environment and health and sport. Within these themes there are four strategic technology centres:
The college also has a formula student team: Swansea University Race Engineering (SURE). SURE competes at Formula Student UK annually as well as some international Formula Student competitions. The team is open to any student at the university, not just engineers; however, mechanical engineering students can choose to study modules in Race Engineering.
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, within the College of Engineering, was officially launched in 2017. The launch marked the 10 year anniversary of the Sport Science BSc, which started at Swansea University in 1997.
Research within the school is housed in the Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine Research Centre (A-STEM) which focuses on elite and professional sport, as well as exercise, medicine and health.
Swansea University's College of Human and Health Sciences is the largest provider of health care education in Wales and draws together the disciplines of health, nursing, midwifery, social care, health economics, ageing, children and young people, social policy and psychology. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ageing studies, social work and social care work researchers, were ranked as the best in Wales for the originality, significance and rigour of their research. Psychology was ranked in the UK top-30 in its field and first in the UK for the impact of its research. In 2017, The College of Human and Health Sciences were awarded the Athena SWAN Silver award in recognition of its commitment to tackling gender inequality in higher education. The college opened the Health and Wellbeing Academy in 2017 a collaborative project with ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health). The academy supports people in south West Wales with a range of services complementing those provided by the NHS.
Swansea University Medical School is ranked as the third best medical school in the UK according to the Complete University Guide 2017. It also ranked joint first in the UK for research environment, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Established in 2004, the Medical School works closely with government, industry and the NHS, in particular Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, over teaching, research and innovation. It also has two Institute of Life Science research centres, equipped with clinical trials, medical imaging, research and business development facilities and a Centre for NanoHealth.
In 2017, plans were announced to build a new Institute of Life Science Healthcare Technology Centre at the Singleton Campus, an Institute of Life Science 3 at Morriston Hospital and a Wellness & Life Science Village in Llanelli.
At the BioWales 2017 conference, Swansea University Medical School unveiled a new partnership with Pfizer which would involve the pharmaceutical company locating itself at the Bay Campus. This follows from the British Heart Foundation moving their Wales office from Cardiff to the Medical School's Institute of Life Science.
The College of Science comprises six departments – Geography, Biosciences, Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Computer Science. Maths and Computer Science are based at the Computational Foundry (opened September 2018) at the Bay Campus, while the remaining subjects are based at the Singleton Park Campus. The College offers courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including degrees such as marine biology, zoology and geo-informatics. Recent global research success has included monitoring the calving of the Larsen C ice shelf and the Physics department's contribution to the understanding of antihydrogen. In the 2017 National Student Survey, the Physics department came top in the UK for teaching, organisation and management whilst Zoology, Biology and Computer Science were all in the top 10 in the UK. In The Guardian University Guide 2018, Computer Science is ranked top for career prospects and 5th overall.
Swansea is a research-led university with 61 centres of research. The Research Excellence Framework (2014) ranked Swansea 26th in the UK for research excellence. It looked at the work of nearly 400 staff across 18 subject areas. A third of research is now classed as world-leading, 90 per cent as internationally excellent across all disciplines. Swansea University was ranked 22nd in the UK for delivering research that has genuine impact on global issues.
For every £1 million of funding awarded in the research grant by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Swansea University raised another £2.5 million from other bodies. It has received the Athena SWAN Bronze award for advancing women's careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.
Swansea academics in the area of Computational Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamic Design are part of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car land-speed world record attempt which is due to take place in Hakskeenpan, South Africa in October 2016. The university was also a key partner in the successful Thrust SSC and-speed record attempt which currently holds the world land-speed record.
|Times / Sunday Times (2022)||39|
|British Government assessment|
|Teaching Excellence Framework||Gold|
The university is listed as one of the top 500 universities in the World University Rankings. Swansea is ranked 24th in the Guardian 2022 University guide.
Swansea University's best departments are Medicine and Engineering, ranked 2nd and 15th respectively 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The Law Department also ranks highly, coming in at 22nd in the Times Good University Guide 2019 in the UK, as well as in the 151–200 category in QS World Rankings. Overall, Swansea University is ranked 26th in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
National Student Survey results (for 2015) show Swansea's score for "overall satisfaction" is 87%, up from 82% last year, and higher than the Wales and UK average. Swansea improved in each of the 22 questions in the survey. Swansea is now in the top third of institutions for levels of student satisfaction, and are 42nd out of 136, a jump of 38 places compared to last year and the biggest improvement in Wales.
In May 2014, Swansea was voted University of the Year based on student reviews carried out by Whatuni.
In recent years, Swansea University has established many partnerships with leading universities in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
Swansea University has a strategic partnership with Wuhan Union Hospital in Wuhan, China. The hospital was founded by Swansea missionary Reverend Doctor Griffith John. As a result of this partnership, in 2015, the College of Medicine hosted the 2nd UK-China Medical Forum at Singleton Hospital. Swansea University has also established a joint medical centre at the Wuhan Union Hospital to engage in clinical collaboration.
in 2013, Swansea University established a partnership with Rice University and Texas A&M University. The universities will have their European office in Swansea while Swansea University has established an office in Houston, Texas. The universities will collaborate on research as well as exchange visits by academics and students.
Additionally in 2013, Swansea University established a partnership with the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France with the aim of beginning joint degree programmes, collaborative bids for European funding and student and staff exchanges particularly in the subject areas of Medicine, Computer Science and Engineering.
In 2007, the university set up a programme along with the local NHS trust, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, to establish a partnership with the School of Medicine at the University of the Gambia in The Gambia. The purpose of this partnership is to improve health care outcomes as well as collaborate on clinical care, health service delivery, teaching and research. This programme also provides opportunity for local doctors and medical students to pursue a placement in either the Gambia or Swansea Bay. In December 2014, this programme was awarded a United Nations Gold Star for its contribution to the improvement of Gambian health outcomes.
Swansea University collaborates with Navitas with International College Wales Swansea to provide foundation, 1st year degree and Pre-Masters programmes on campus.
Swansea University Students' Union (Welsh: Undeb Myfyrwyr Prifysgol Abertawe) is the students' union for Swansea University. The Union supports more than 140 student clubs including African-Caribbean, Chinese, Hellenic and Indian societies, among others. The Union runs student bars and nightclubs, a travel shop offering trips around the UK and Europe, a radio station, nursery, launderette and shops. Profits are reinvested into improving the student experience, including supporting students through its advice and support centre.
Services include money advice and support office, student counselling, a health centre, dentist, chaplains, an academic success programme, specialist tuition and residential services.
The Athletics Union caters for sports from rugby and hockey to Ultimate Frisbee.
Swansea and Cardiff University compete in an annual varsity competition, known as the Welsh version of the Oxbridge event, which includes the Welsh Varsity rugby match and The Welsh Boat Race.
The majority of Swansea University's individual and team training takes place at the dedicated Sports Village, off campus on Sketty Lane. In the same complex as the Wales National Pool, the Sports Village is home to outdoor football and rugby pitches, a running track, an indoor athletics centre, hockey pitches, racquet courts and a gym, which is open to both students and the general public. On the Singleton Park university campus itself sits 'The Shed', where various university sports teams train and public classes take place.
Xtreme Radio is the radio station of the University, run by students. It was founded in November 1968 as Action Radio, making it the third oldest student radio station in the UK and oldest in Wales. It broadcasts to various areas around campus and is available worldwide on the internet. The station plays a wide variety of music, as well as having a number of specialist programmes including talk and sports shows.
Swansea University provides approximately 3400 places in University halls and aims to offer accommodation to over 98% of new undergraduate students who request it. Accommodation is also available for all international postgraduate students.
Swansea University maintains on-campus and off-campus halls of residence and the purpose built Hendrefoelan Student Village. Several new halls of residence were completed in 2004, 2008 and 2015.
There are also a number of university managed properties in the Uplands and Brynmill areas of the city.
The Bay Campus halls have 1462 rooms and will be replacing the student accommodation based in the Hendrefoelan Student village. The Hendrefoelan estate is 2.5 miles from the Singleton Park campus, just off the main Swansea to Gower road, set amongst mature woodland with open grassy areas. The student village is now undergoing a phased redevelopment through the construction of 3 and 4-bedroom family homes.
There are nine halls that make up the campus residences providing accommodation to around 1226 students. The halls offer a combination of part and self-catered rooms and a choice of standard or ensuite study rooms. Three of these halls (Caswell, Langland and Oxwich) were completed in 2004 and the original halls (Kilvey, Preseli, Rhossili and Cefn Bryn, formerly known as Sibly, Lewis Jones, Mary Williams Annexe and Mary Williams respectively) have undergone some refurbishment in recent years. Penmaen and Horton are the newest addition to the campus residences providing 351 self-catered, ensuite study rooms. Many rooms have views over the bay or across the park.
Tŷ Beck consists of six large Victorian town houses situated in the Uplands area of Swansea, approximately a mile from the Singleton campus. It predominantly provides rooms for postgraduates and students with families, as well as overseas exchange students.