University of South Wales in United Kingdom : Overview, Finances, Eligibility, Department Faculty and Campus Facilities

Posted on
Reading Time: 7 minutes

The University of South Wales (USW) is a modern, forward-thinking institution which provides practical courses with an applied approach.

Spread across three campuses in South Wales, it is one of the largest UK universities. Welcoming thousands of students from over 120 countries, the university offers more than 500 programmes. It has campuses in Pontypridd, Cardiff, and Newport. The largest of these is Pontypridd, which is made up of two sites (Treforest and Glyntaff).

University of South Wales
University of South Wales


About University of South Wales

From their first day on campus, students are welcomed into a collaborative learning environment. Many of the university’s courses are accredited by professional bodies and taught by award-winning lecturers who are experts in their industry. Its teaching staff maintain strong links within their fields, ensuring students are taught up-to-date and relevant information.

Cutting-edge facilities on campus provide hands-on learning opportunities, where students can apply their specialist knowledge in practical environments. The university also has strong links to industry employers, providing students with work experience opportunities and placements.

The satisfaction amongst students who study at the university is very high, with subjects such as Information Technology ranked top in Wales (Complete University Guide 2023). 95 percent of USW students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2018), and successful alumni have gone on to work for well-known companies including Sony, BBC, the NHS, and British Airways.

A beautiful and affordable place to study, South Wales combines city life, countryside, and coastal environments, all in one convenient place. Cardiff has even been voted the most affordable city in the UK for Students (2022 Natwest Student Index). The university’s campuses are easily accessible from all modes of public transport, connecting students with other UK locations to explore. Students at the university will be able to access places like London, which is just two hours away by train from the Newport campus or 2.5 hours from the Cardiff and Pontypridd campuses.

What’s new

Environmental initiatives

In a new strategy, USW has outlined its plans to become carbon neutral by 2040 and has introduced a range of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.

The institution has already started implementing changes, including adding LED lights and solar panels on campus and switching to biodegradable packaging in its catering facilities and has reduced its carbon emissions by 27 percent since 2018/19.

Popular programmes

The MBA Global is a two-year postgraduate programme that is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. With a scholarship worth up to GBP 2,500, the programme is a unique MBA, that offers students the opportunity to apply for a placement with a local company, within the USW Business Clinic or an entrepreneurship-based placement to gain up to 8 months of invaluable work experience in the UK.

The BSc/MSc Cyber Security has helped university has become the only Welsh institution to be named an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education and has been named cyber security university of the year for four years running from 2019-2022.

The MSc Public Health qualification creates professionals who can lead and implement change in public health across the world stage. An increasingly popular course since the pandemic, this public health master’s recognises that health challenges can be more global than a single country’s population, and that local policy and regulation responses will vary from country to country.


How much will it cost?

Average tuition fees per year Living costs
£12,530 £13,350 £2,100 £3,963
Undergraduate  Postgraduate  Living costs To live on campus

Scholarships & funding

The university offers a variety of scholarships for self-funding international students. When students apply to USW, they are automatically assessed for these scholarships, so don’t need to apply separately.

All scholarships are awarded for each year of study. To secure the scholarship, recipients must pay the minimum deposit which is stated on their offer letter.

Scholarships for international students include:

  • Chevening scholarship: Covers tuition fees and living costs for a one-year postgraduate course.
  • Commonwealth scholarship: Covers airfare, full tuition fees, living costs, thesis grant and clothing allowance.
  • EU scholarship: The scholarship will ensure that tuition fees for EU students do not exceed the amount being paid by UK students at USW for the duration of their study.
  • International Office scholarship: Awards up to GBP 1,500 for undergraduates and GBP 2,000 for postgraduates.

Chancellor’s International Development Scholarship

Undergraduate and postgraduate students from the following regions are eligible for a scholarship of GBP 2,500:

  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • South Asia
  • South East Asia
  • Central Asia and Turkey
  • Caribbean
  • Lebanon
  • Norway

Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship Programme 2022

A new scholarship for international students from Vietnam, North America, India and the EU, it offers GBP 10,000 to those studying for a full-time one year master’s degree. Part of a new partnership between the Welsh Government, Universities Wales, The British Council and HEFCW, it is the first scholarship of its kind in Wales.

USW international students progressing to masters

International undergraduate students who are progressing onto a USW master’s programme are eligible for this scholarship. It awards a fee discount of up to GBP 6,000.


Entry requirements

Each course at USW has specific entry requirements, including country-specific qualifications which are accepted.

As all of its courses are taught in English, the university requires applicants to have English language proficiency. USW recognises the following qualifications and test scores as a minimum:

  • Cambridge English: Overall score of 169, 162 in each component
  • GCSE pass in English (at least Grade C)
  • IELCA: Direct entry: 32 overall score, 30 in each component
  • IELTS: Overall score of 6.0, at least 5.5 in each component
  • LanguageCert International ESOL: High pass with a score of 33 in each component
  • PTE Academic and PTE Academic UKVI: 64 overall and 59 in each component
  • TOEFL: Overall score of 72, at least 18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • TOEFL Home Edition: 72 overall and a minimum of 18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing (for 2021 intakes only)
  • Trinity College English Language: ISE II Distinction or ISE III Pass

Some of USW’s courses may require a higher score than the ones listed above, so applicants are encouraged to check the university’s website.

If applicants don’t meet these language requirements but have a conditional offer from the university, USW’s English Language school can help. It runs several pre-sessional programmes which improve English language and academic skills. Run several times each year, the programmes are completed by the start of academic terms in September and February.

International applicants who are applying for a Tier 4 student visa and planning on studying a below degree level course (for example, foundation courses and HNDs) will need a Home Office approved secure English language test.

Department and Faculty

Teaching quality and accreditations

Several of USW’s courses have been accredited by professional organisations, highlighting its academic excellence. Accreditations come from a wide range of professional bodies, including:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • British Computer Society
  • British Psychology Society
  • Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
  • Institute of Fire Safety Engineers
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Skillset Media Academy Wales

Many of USW’s courses are developed alongside professional bodies, and several teaching staff are still actively involved in their chosen industries. This allows students to be taught by modern industry experts and engage with courses that have been specifically designed to meet business expectations and demands.

The university is also heavily involved with high-impact research work. Using collaborative learning practices, it develops and explores solutions to problems within society, culture, and the economy. This includes areas of sustainability, security, and justice, as well as health and wellbeing. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, half of its research was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

It is also the only UK university to have integrated industry-standard aircraft maintenance qualification ‘EASA Part 66’ with an aerospace honour’s degree, delivered on a single campus. Students can also undertake practical training all over the world with any university-approved Part 145 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisation.

Department structure

The University of South Wales is comprised of three faculties and multiple research centres. Its faculties are:

Faculty of Creative Industries

This faculty is split into three schools which are design and digital; production and performance; and the South Wales business school. Offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees, students can study a variety of creative subjects including:

  • Animation and Games
  • Design and Communication
  • Fashion
  • Photography
  • Drama and Performance
  • Film and Visual Effects
  • Journalism and Media
  • Music and Sound

The business school runs specialist subjects including:

  • Business and management
  • Accounting and finance
  • Law
  • Public services
  • Sociology

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science

This faculty’s three schools are computing and mathematics; engineering; and applied sciences. Subjects that can be studied at undergraduate and graduate levels include:

  • Biological sciences
  • Built Environment
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical science
  • Computing and cybersecurity
  • Engineering (Aerospace, Applied, Automotive, Civil, Electric and Electronic and Mechanical)
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Forensic sciences
  • Maths and data science
  • Medical Sciences
  • Natural History
  • Quantity surveying
  • Renewable energy
  • Sound and live event production

Faculty of Life Sciences and Education

This faculty is comprised of four schools. These are psychology and therapeutic studies; health, sport, and professional practice; care sciences and education, early years, and social work.

Specialist subjects within these departments include:

  • Chiropractic
  • Criminology
  • Education
  • Football coaching and development
  • Health Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Public health
  • Sport
  • Working with children and families

Campus and Facilities


The university boasts high-quality facilities across its three campuses. USW invests in the latest technology and equipment, so students have access to industry-standard facilities and feel fully prepared for real work environments.

Specialist industry equipment includes a full-size Jetstream 31 airliner, an engineering flight simulator, TV studios, crime scene houses and healthcare suites.

Cardiff campus

Cardiff was voted the most affordable city in the UK for students (2022 Natwest Student Index). Facilities include:

  • Dance and performance studios
  • Fashion studio
  • Interior design studio
  • Library
  • Photography studio
  • Pro tools studio
  • Music studio
  • Theatre
  • TV and film set design studios

Newport campus

A range of subject-specific facilities can be found on the Newport campus. With more developments planned for this campus, it currently has:

  • Café
  • Library and study spaces
  • Students’ Union

Pontypridd campus

The largest of the campuses, Pontypridd has two sites: Treforest and Glyntaff. Facilities on this campus include:

  • Aircraft workshop and hangar
  • Cafes and bars
  • Clinical simulation centres
  • Crime scene training facilities
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Prayer spaces
  • Science and sports laboratories
  • Sports hall
  • Student Centre
  • Students’ union and nightclub

USW Sport Park

The university has a vibrant sports community, including over 60 sports teams. The USW Sport Park is one of the best coaching and training venues in the UK and is often used by professional teams.

Facilities include:

  • Five floodlit pitches, including all-weather and grass
  • Full-size FIFA-approved indoor and outdoor 3G pitches
  • Notational analysis suite
  • Strength and conditioning room
  • Over 30 acres of playing fields


Each of USW’s campuses has a range of student housing. All accommodation has a bed, wardrobe, storage, chair and a desk, as well as shared kitchen and laundry facilities. The university also provides advice on finding private rental housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *