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If you want to study at a scenic, campus-based university not far from a capital city, the University of South Wales could be for you!
The University of South Wales at a glance:
2013, but dates back to 1841
Cardiff, Pontypridd, and Newport, all in south east Wales, UK
Undergraduate course length
The university has three faculties: Life Science and Education; Creative Industries; and Computing, Engineering, and Science.
Students who want to grow their employability skills and try out work placements whilst studying.
Students looking to live in the heart of a busy city (if based on the main campus).
Savannah, who’s a student ambassador at the university, tells us what it’s like to study there.
What is the University of South Wales (USW)?
The University of South Wales (USW) is located in south east Wales, across three campuses: Cardiff, Newport, and Treforest, which is in Pontypridd.
There are 20,000 students studying here, including postgraduate students. It’s an employer-led university, which means it teaches students the skills to prepare them for working after graduating.
Why apply to the University of South Wales?
I’d say the best reason to apply to the university is the level of support you’ll receive here. The university believes in small class sizes, so throughout your time you’ll benefit from one-to-one academic support, which is so helpful if you don’t understand something. If you’re looking for a close-knit community feel for your student experience, this is a great place to be.
If you’re an international student, you’ll find plenty of societies here for meeting other students from around the world. The location of the university is great if you’re new to Wales too; you’ll be close to the city, but the main campus is very peaceful, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming at the same time. Plus, the nearest airport (in Cardiff) is less than half an hour away, so you’ll be able to easily travel home and back if you live abroad.
Who isn’t the right fit for the university?
Whilst our city campuses are based in the busy locations of Cardiff and Newport, if you’re based on our main campus, Treforest, you’ll be in a quiet and peaceful setting. So if you wanted to live right in the city centre, this may not be the place for you.
Any application tips?
The admissions team here really wants to see from your application that you’re enthusiastic about coming to this university. The most important thing will be to showcase what you have done that demonstrates why you’re passionate about the course you’re applying for – like work experience, for example.
The University of South Wales is a middle band university when it comes to grades. This means a typical entry requirement is BCC at A level, but do check individual course profiles for more details. Health-related courses, education degrees, and some creative courses will also require an interview.
What’s the location like?
The University of South Wales is a campus-based university, so everything you need can be found on-campus. The main campus, Treforest, is surrounded by parks and greenery, so students like to go for picnics nearby or try out some of the many walking routes to choose from.
Treforest students also love that it’s a scenic campus situated in The Valleys, but just 20 minutes away from Cardiff, so you can still easily access the benefits of city life, like shops, restaurants, and bars. And if you’re based on one of our other campuses, Cardiff or Newport, you’ll be living even closer to that busier city setting.
What facilities does the University of South Wales have to offer?
Our facilities include two jets for aerospace and engineering students; a film and recording studio for creative arts students; and a crime scene room, which forensics students love.
Our £30 million sports park for sports students includes an indoor state-of-the-art weights room, and our microbiology lab and tissue culture lab give biology students a taste of working in industry. Similarly, there’s a simulation clinical suite for nursing students, which looks like a hospital inside and gives a taste of real-life work experience. The university is also one of only five in the UK that offer chiropractic degrees, with a chiropractic clinic for students to use.
Outside of lectures, students can enjoy a restaurant on-campus, as well as the Students’ Union which includes a restaurant, pub, and nightclub.
What is the accommodation like?
Most students in their first year at the university opt for halls, which are on-campus and very affordable.
All halls have ¾ size beds, which are larger single beds, and en suite rooms, so you’ll have your own bathroom. You can pay a little more for a premium room if you’d like a bit more space.
There are six to eight people per flat in halls, so you’ll share a kitchen with your flatmates. Halls are located five minutes from the gym and sports centre, and all halls residents get a discounted rate to access this.
It’s about a six-minute walk to the on-campus shop, which has snacks and handy things you might need, and there’s the library and teaching facilities right next to you.
There’s also lots of student housing outside the university if you’d prefer to live with your friends, which many students choose to do in their second and third years.
How does the university meet the needs of students with different accessibility requirements?
If you are a wheelchair user, you’ll find that your accommodation is placed closest to facilities on-campus, so your journey will be as easy as possible. All campuses are wheelchair accessible, with lifts on all sites.
The university’s disability service is on hand to help with a range of additional learning needs, and can offer free dyslexia screening.
All students can benefit from mental health support, like counselling; and learning mentor support, to help with the academic side of things.
Want to explore more UK universities? Remember, Unifrog’s Shortlisting tool can help you put together a list of great potential courses.