Cardiff University Guide: Reviews, Rankings, Courses, And More

Cardiff University was founded to fill the gaps in the poor provision of higher education in Wales. Established in 1883, the university saw a few merges and name changes over the years before it became an independent university and was renamed Cardiff University in 2005. The university has come a long way since its establishment and is today the only Welsh member of the research-intensive Russell Group of universities.

Summary of University


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Cardiff University Overview

There are three colleges at the university, which are Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering. The university is ranked among the top ten universities for 13 subjects, many of which are healthcare-related programmes.

Cardiff University is known for its excellence in research, along with the other Russell Group universities. It’s placed among the top 20 universities in the UK in terms of overall research quality and it has ranked 11th in the UK for research impact, which is a measure of the real-world effects of research. Some of its notable research of late include improving microbial wipes, standards of care for patients, environmental preservation, and improving the detection of malicious software.

Cardiff University Courses and Programmes

Cardiff University has 13 subjects ranked among the top ten in the UK, including Engineering, Architecture, and a number of healthcare-related subjects such as Physiotherapy, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry.


Cardiff University’s undergraduate Master’s in Architecture programme is a 5-year course that is accredited in the UK. Entry requirements for the programme are AAB-AAA, which is about a minimum of 136 UCAS tariff points. The programme starts from £ 23,450 a year in tuition fees for international students.

Ranked as the 6th best course in the UK for the subject, Cardiff’s MArch programme is an excellent choice for future architects. The course has also been highly rated for graduate prospects and student satisfaction – this means that graduates are highly sought after by employers and students have rated the programme quality as highly satisfactory.


The university’s BSc in Physiotherapy programme is ranked 3rd in the UK for the subject, making it an excellent choice for those who would like to undertake a degree in physiotherapy. The programme also ranks first for the subject in terms of graduate prospects, which means that Cardiff’s physiotherapy graduates are highly sought after by employers.

Entry requirements vary from ABB-AAB and annual tuition fees for international students are £22,200. Students of the programme will learn about anatomy, the theory and practice of physiology, and exercise. There are also ample opportunities for students to practise physiotherapy in the clinical modules.


Ranked as the fifth-best university programme in the UK for pharmacy, Cardiff University’s MPharm programme is a great choice for any prospective pharmacist. Cardiff’s undergraduate Master’s in Pharmacy course is a four-year programme. Entry requirements are from ABB – AAB, which is about on par with the university’s other top-performing courses.

Students who undertake the Masters of Pharmacy programme at Cardiff will have modules in the classroom such as Chemical and Biological Properties of Drug Molecules, The Role of the Pharmacist in Professional Practice, Diseases and Drugs, and Design, Formulation and Quality Assurance of Medicinal Products. Year 3 is focused on preparing students for writing their research dissertation while Year 4, the final year, is focused on professional development and the research.

Cardiff University Entry Requirements

Entry requirements at Cardiff University for undergraduate programmes range between BBC and A*AA (104-152 UCAS tariff points), depending on the subject. Courses that require lower grades for entry are its courses in conservation and Welsh, while its psychology programmes are on the upper end of the range. Most courses require 120-128 UCAS tariff points, which is around BBB-ABB.

Offer rates at Cardiff University are around 79%, based on 2021 UCAS data. The entry rate in the same year is around 19%, based on the number of placed applicants and applications received for the June deadline.

Cardiff University Entry Deadline

In the UK, all university applications (including those submitted by international students like you) go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, more commonly known as UCAS.

Most undergraduate courses will share the same deadline of 31 January of every year. Some courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have an earlier deadline of 16 October in the year before admission.

For more information about key dates and other UCAS deadlines, take a look at our article UCAS Deadlines 2024.

Cardiff University Ranking

Cardiff University is positioned at 29th in the 2024 Guardian University Guide in the UK and holds the 154th spot in the QS World University Rankings for 2024 on the international stage. In its inaugural submission to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, Cardiff University ranked between 101st-200th globally, emphasising its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Notably, the university excels in specific SDGs, ranking 4th in the UK for SDG 13 (Climate Action), 5th for SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 9th for SDG 14 (Life Below Water), 12th for SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and 16th for SDG 15 (Life on Land). Cardiff University’s performance in the Impact Rankings underscores its dedication to addressing global challenges and contributing to sustainability and social impact.

Cardiff University Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees

As of the 2022/23 academic year, undergraduate fees at Cardiff University for international students range between £20,450-£25,450 per year for most courses and £39,700 per year for medical courses. These fees do not include accommodation, transport to campus, or any other miscellaneous fee.

Cardiff University Accommodation

Cardiff University has two campuses, both of which offer accommodation located within walking distance to the university. The university’s campus in Cathays Park offers 16 residence halls while its campus in Heath Park for healthcare-related subjects has four halls. 

The university’s accommodations provide for various needs, including accessible rooms, students who prefer quiet living or alcohol-free accommodation, and rooms suited for students with families or a significant other. As of the 2022/23 academic year, rooms at Cathays Park start from £108 a week or £4,303.60 total and go up to £152 weekly or £6,095.60 in total. Rooms in Heath Park range from £117-£137 weekly. 

First-year undergraduates are guaranteed accommodation at the university. Rooms are offered with options such as en suite or shared bathrooms, and self-catered or catered rooms.

Cardiff University Reviews

Names may be changed to protect anonymity

Student, 2022 – 

Cathays Campus has facilities located almost throughout Cardiff city centre, some of which are open long hours for self-directed study. I studied here during the pandemic and the university adopted hybrid learning. On the whole, the school has complete facilities, a beautiful environment, professional and responsible teachers, which all provides for a good learning atmosphere.

International Student, 2022  – 

As an international student, the school has given me a lot of help and support in life. The school also provides a convenient learning environment with good facilities. The school also provided me with effective career guidance.

Verified Student, 2022  – 

I had an outstanding experience. The university is always there to support and help. There are many different facilities for everyone to enjoy, socialise, and study. It is also close to the city center which is another perk. SU has various events. There is help for your career journey and the university cares about inclusion and equality. The only bad thing I could mention is that the wifi had some issues sometimes but that was on rare occasions. Overall, I would recommend it.

Cardiff University Facilities

Cardiff University has an outstanding array of sports facilities that are available  to students and the public alike. Cardiff boasts a newly refurbished Fitness and Conditioning Centre which is a three-storey building equipped with ample resistance training equipment, high-tech cardio machines, and a new sound system. The university also has 33 acres of sports fields, fully equipped with changing rooms and a lounge and dining area. The Sports Training Village offers ample outdoor and indoor facilities for team-based sports. Those inclined to fitness classes cannot miss Studio 49, located near the city centre, which offers a number of exercise and aerobics classes along with fitness services such as consultations and personal training.

The university’s libraries are well-equipped with over 1.1 million books in print, and 1.5 million online books, journals, and other resources. There are also collections of unique and historical print material, and the European Documentation Centre is a major source of information about the European Union and wider Europe. The libraries also offer services and support such as printing facilities, accessibility, and specialised support from a subject librarian.

The university has a nursery for students and staff with children aged from as young as 10 weeks up to 5 years old. The nursery is staffed in accordance with CSSIW regulations and the nursery has an educational programme for children aged 3-7.

Cardiff University Student Activities and Clubs

Cardiff University offers a thriving campus life with many student activities, clubs, and societies. The Cardiff Student Union is among the best in the UK, consistently placed among the top 5 in the country for student satisfaction and recently rated 2nd in the UK in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2022. The Cardiff Student Union has over 200 societies and 65 sports teams, so there is ample opportunity for students to find the right group for their specific interests. 

The Student Union building is operated by the CSU and spans both campuses. The facility has cafes, shops, bars, a letting agency, a post office, and study spaces that are available 24/7, all for the convenience of students at the university. The CSU also organises events that are targeted at improving student wellbeing – these include outings to destress such as club nights, mini golfing, and trips to local hotspots.

Volunteering is a popular activity among students at Cardiff University as some 15,000 students annually get involved in volunteering projects, including community projects, running events, and other fundraising activities.

Cardiff University Contact

Official website:

Phone: +44 (0)29 2087 4000

Address: Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 3AT, UK

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