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Cardiff University

United Kingdom


Cardiff University combines meaningful research with expert teaching and modern facilities, to give international students an unforgettable study abroad experience. A prestigious institution based in one of the safest capital cities in Europe, the University is ranked in the world's top 100 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017.

Academics and researchers at Cardiff have also received a number of different prestigious honours and awards, including two Nobel Prizes.

The quality of research undertaken at the institution has recently been rated as the fifth best in the UK, and the best in Wales (Complete University Guide 2019). The University is also in the process of its biggest ever campus upgrade, with £600 million being invested in new facilities and buildings.

Cardiff University is internationally-recognised by employers from around the globe, meaning that students will have the best possible chance of getting a job after graduating.

With over 200 societies and 60 competitive sports clubs, students can rest assured that they will be kept busy outside of lectures. There are also more than 7,000 international students from over 100 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 more than 14 different residences and over 5,500 rooms situated in the heart of Cardiff, first-year undergraduate students are guaranteed a room by the institution, and can trust that the varied accommodation options will provide them with everything they need to make Cardiff University a real home away from home.

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What's new

What's new

The University is investing 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 600m capital investment programme across the University, including GBP 260m in student facilities, will help it ensure that it can give students the best experience possible.

Its on-going programme of investment has already delivered state-of-the-art buildings such as the Cochrane Building, home to the School of Medicine. Located at the Heath Park Campus, it is shared with students studying other healthcare disciplines and has a range of facilities including a clinical skills centre, a high-tech medical simulation centre and a library. Also on Heath Park Campus, the School of Dentistry has opened a new GBP 2m simulation suite.

The University is also creating new state-of-the-art buildings and facilities to complement its historic estate.

Plans are being drawn up for a new home for the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies alongside the new BBC Wales studios in the city centre, and there are proposals for new facilities for many of its academic schools. The University is also investing in new research facilities on its GBP 300m Innovation Campus on Maindy Road to help create economic and social prosperity.

Cardiff's Students' Union has been voted the best in Wales and one of the best in the UK (Which? University Student Survey 2017). 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. In addition, one of Cardiff's most ambitious projects is to create a GBP 50m Centre for Student Life to provide a central hub for its student support services as well as offering modern, flexible social learning spaces and a 550-seat lecture theatre. Work has already begun on this project.

Read more about campus investments...

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group of the UK's 24 leading research universities, the 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 is 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 subject.

Cardiff University offers a range of teaching and assessment methods to suit all learning styles, including formal lectures, group seminars, one-to-one work, tutorials, lab classes, presentations, exams, coursework, and industry placement opportunities. Its varied approach to teaching ensures that Cardiff University graduates are well-rounded educated using cutting-edge research and up-to-date curriculum and prepared for the world of work, with skills that are highly sought-after by employers in the competitive global jobs market.

Its academic staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers, committed to developing effective and exciting learning communities and the University offers a stimulating and supportive environment in which all its students can thrive.

Students, parents, teachers and graduate employers can have confidence in the quality and standards of its teaching owing to the University's independent awards and recognition from professional bodies such as the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

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Department structure

Department structure

Cardiff University offers over 500 degrees across a range of subject areas. It has three separate colleges which are each home to 25 academic schools.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences covers subject areas such as:

  • 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 covers subject areas such as:

  • Biosciences
  • Dentistry
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Medicine
  • Optometry and Vision Sciences
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Wales Deanery (PGMDE)

The College of Physical Sciences and Engineering covers subject areas such as:

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

Many of its academic schools are among the best in the UK, with award-winning academics, Nobel Prize winners, Queen's Anniversary Prize winners and tutors with many more accolades delivering cutting-edge research and teaching.

As a member of the Russell Group, Cardiff University attracts funding, grants and awards that enable it to deliver the highest quality teaching across its academic schools.

Cardiff University is ranked among the world top 100 in numerous subject areas and in the UK top 5 for subjects including: Architecture Civil Engineering Communications and Media Dentistry Healthcare Sciences Journalism Optometry Pharmacy Psychology Sociology and more.

It is also ranked within the UK top 10 for: Business Chemistry English General Engineering Geography and Planning Mechanical Engineering Medicine Modern Languages Physics Radiography and more (Top 5 and Top 10 subject areas ranked by independent sources – The Times, The Guardian, The Complete University Guide, REF).

More about study options at Cardiff...

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements at Cardiff University vary from course to course. Have a look at the admissions criteria for undergraduate students for more details.

For some undergraduate degree programmes, international students may be required to undertake an International Foundation Programme prior to undergraduate study, if they don't have the appropriate subject background for direct entry to first year, or they haven't studied the appropriate subjects in the required depth.

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) is a one-year programme designed to give students the academic and English language skills needed to begin a variety of degrees with the University. The IFP offers automatic progression to a range of degree schemes in some of the best academic departments in the UK.

All undergraduate applicants must demonstrate a standard level of English Language that will enable them to benefit fully from their course of study. If they are an overseas applicant and their first language is not English, then they must have a proven level of English to study on its courses.

The University accepts a variety of language qualifications for entry to its courses and for some programmes, the University may ask for higher grades in order to cope with the requirements of the course. Most undergraduate courses at Cardiff University require an IELTS score of 6.5 (with at least 5.5 in all sub-scores), with some courses requiring a higher score of 7.0.

If students are looking to improve their English language skills before starting their University studies, there are pre-sessional English language programmes ranging from 8 to 20 weeks in length which cater for most language levels and abilities.

In addition to IELTS and GCSE English, the University also accepts the following English language tests:

  • Pearson Test of English – Academic
  • Trinity ISE II/III
  • Cardiff University English Language and Foundation programmes
  • Other English language qualifications

View country specific information for international students...

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

Recent developments include a new student residence at Talybont Gate, and the University is also investing GBP 40m over several years to refurbish its existing teaching and learning facilities.

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 provides access to more than 375,000 online books and journals, with specialist libraries located across its campus.

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

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Financial support options including scholarships, grants, bursaries and awards...

Cardiff University welcomes applications from international students from across the globe, offering several different scholarships each year to help students fund their studies. It offers its own scholarships schemes as well as those run in conjunction with partner organisations.

The Vice Chancellor's International Scholarship scheme offers over GBP 2M in funding awards to international students across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate subject areas, in the form of a tuition fee discount. If students have already applied to Cardiff University, are holding an offer for a selected undergraduate or postgraduate programme and meet the eligibility criteria, they will automatically be considered for the Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarship. There is no additional application form for this scholarship.

Cardiff also offers scholarships for Research Excellence, PhD research, postgraduate study, International Foundation Programmes and many more prestigious awards.

Find out more about international scholarships here...

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International students

Average cost of living in United Kingdom

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189th  / 1250

THE World ranking

Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff
Join us at Cardiff

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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