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Cardiff University

United Kingdom


A prestigious institution based in one of the safest capital cities in Europe, the Cardiff University is ranked 166th in world, according to the 2023 QS World University Rankings. With impactful research and modern facilities, it's a popular choice for international students looking for a life-changing qualification.

The university excels in teaching and was recently awarded a silver rating in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework. The faculty of Cardiff are leaders in their field, including two Nobel Prize winners.

The overall quality of research undertaken at the institution has recently been rated as among the top 20 in the UK, with 90 percent officially considered world-leading or internationally excellent. The university has also recently invested GBP 600 million in new campus facilities and buildings.

Cardiff is recognised internationally by leading employers, with its graduates highly valued by employers across many sectors. Students at the university are able to further develop their professional skills and meet like-minded people through its more than 200 societies and 60 sports clubs.

There are more than 9,000 international students from over 130 different countries studying at the institution, meaning that students will have the opportunity to meet lots of new people and make lifelong friends from all over the world.

With 17 halls of residence situated in the heart of Cardiff, international students are guaranteed a single-occupancy place in university residences for the full duration of their studies, provided they meet the application conditions. To help make Cardiff University a real home away from home, there is a Residence Life team who organize social events and help students settle into their new home.

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What's new

What's new

The university invests hundreds of millions of pounds to provide its students with world-class facilities as part of its largest campus upgrade in a generation. A massive GBP 600 million capital investment programme is underway across the university, ensuring that students have the best experience possible.

The Cardiff University Students' Union has recently been voted the 2nd best in the UK (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2022) and together with the new Centre for Student Life provides a hub for student activity on campus. Students can find everything they need here- from social and study spaces, to support services, shops and entertainment.

The Student Union has led to many exciting developments in recent years including a new social learning and evening entertainment venue, Y Plas, as well as new shops and student services which have transformed the building.

Students can read more about campus investments on the university's website.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, made up of the UK's leading research universities, Cardiff University has a global reputation for high quality, research-led teaching across its subject areas and its innovative degree programmes are recognised worldwide. Its teaching and learning are embedded within a vibrant and dynamic research setting in which its students work alongside international scholars and researchers who are at the forefront of their fields.

The university prides itself on having a varied approach to teaching and assessment, designed to complement each student's subject of choice and learning style. Learners at Cardiff will be able to develop through lectures, seminars, one-on-one tutelage, lab session, coursework, exams and industry placements. As a result, graduates of Cardiff University have a broad skills base and are educated in the latest techniques and theory of their field.

Through the close support of expert staff and professional skill development, students are able to thrive academically and prepare for ongoing study or professional success. The university's learning model has contributed to its reputation as an international university, creating graduates who are ready for modern and varied careers.

Students, parents, teachers and graduate employers can have confidence in the quality and standards of its teaching owing to the University's independent awards, as well as accreditations and recognition from professional bodies.

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Department structure

Department structure

Cardiff University offers hundreds of degree programmes across a range of subject areas. It has three colleges encompassing 24 academic schools.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Business
  • English, Communication and Philosophy
  • Geography and Planning
  • History, Archaeology and Religion
  • Journalism, Media and Culture
  • Law and Politics
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Social Sciences
  • Welsh

The College of Biomedical and Life Sciences:

  • Biosciences
  • Dentistry
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Optometry and Vision Sciences
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Psychology

The College of Physical Sciences and Engineering:

  • Architecture
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science and Informatics
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy

Cardiff prides itself on the quality of its school, with many ranking highly across the UK for their subjects and hosting prize-winning scholars. Cardiff is a prominent member of the Russell Group and utilises the funding, grants and award that it attracts for the benefit of its students and researchers.

Cardiff University is ranked among the world top 50 for a number of subjects, including public administration, geography, biological sciences, communication & media studies, architecture/built environment, psychology and sociology (QS World University Rankings by subject 2021, Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021).

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements at Cardiff University vary depending on the course and can be found on the individual course pages.

If students do not meet the academic or subject requirements for their chosen course, a foundation or pre-master's programme can provide an alternative route of entry onto undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Run in partnership with Study Group, the International Study Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-master's programmes designed specifically for students looking to progress onto Cardiff University courses.

The International Study Centre is based in the center of the campus and provides students with academic and study skills preparation as well as access to the wide range of support and academic facilities.

The International Foundation Year provides access to almost all undergraduate subjects through one of four routes:

  • Humanities, Law and Social Sciences
  • Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance
  • Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture
  • Health, Medical and Life Sciences.

The pre-master's programme currently offers two routes:

  • Business, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Science and Computing.

Students can also apply for several new programmes in 2022, including:

  • International Year One, an intensive programming leading to the second year of a Cardiff degree
  • Accelerated International Foundation Year, a pathway into various subjects including business, engineering, accounting & finance, and sciences lasting 22 weeks

All applicants must demonstrate a standard level of English Language that will enable them to benefit fully from their course of study. The University accepts a variety of language qualifications for entry to its courses.

If students are looking to improve their English language skills before starting their university studies, the English language teaching centre offers a variety of courses ranging from eight weeks to nine months which cater for most language levels and abilities.

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Cardiff University offers a range of University residences located close to the campus and city centre, with options such as part-catered self-catered family couples disabled students quiet living and en-suite accommodation available.

International students are guaranteed a single-occupancy place in university residences for the full duration of their studies, provided they meet the application conditions. To help make Cardiff University a real home away from home, there is a Residence Life team who organize social events and help students settle into their new home.

Cardiff is a university with a clear vision to create an environment that allows students to flourish and fulfil their potential. Its libraries hold over 1.2 million printed books and provide access to more than 1.5 million online books and journals, with specialist libraries located across its campus, including the Special Collections Archive which contains historical documents dating back to the 15th century.

Its IT facilities are modern, with high-speed Wi-Fi access across the campus and residences and purpose-designed study spaces. Some libraries and open-access IT facilities are open 24-hours a day throughout the year.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Cardiff University is committed to helping talented and ambitious students achieve their academic and professional goals, whatever their country of origin or background. As a result, it maintains a broad range of valuable scholarships which are designed to help students cover the costs associated with studying. The university manages its own array of awards, as well as linking students to a range of partner institutions or external organisations who offer scholarships.

For example, students at Cardiff will be automatically considered for the Vice Chancellor's International Scholarship scheme if they have made an application to the university or hold an offer for a course. If they meet the stated eligibility criteria, undergraduate or postgraduate students will have the opportunity to access funding awards from a GBP 2 million pot dedicated to empowering international students' study success.

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International students

Average cost of living in United Kingdom

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187th  / 1250

THE World ranking

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Total average cost: £1355

  • £474
  • £559
  • £88
    Daily life
  • £234
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To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

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