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Aberystwyth is a well-established university with a long tradition of academic excellence. They're small enough to be friendly and to allow contact across departments, but big enough to have a wide range of study programmes. The lively student town of Aberystwyth, located on the dramatic west coast of Wales, offers an interesting and varied student experience.
QS World Ranking (2022)
Times Higher Education (2021)
Complete University Guide (2022)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Founded in 1872 and initially opened in a half-finished hotel building on the sea front, led by Hugh Owen, The University College Wales was established. There were only 26 students and 3 teaching staff in 1872, in contrast to the 12,000 or so students registered in 2006. It wasn’t until 1894 that the college joined the University of Wales, and in 2007 became an independent University now known as, Aberystwyth University.
Aberystwyth was the first Welsh University to offer courses in Chemistry, Comparative Philology, English Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, Geography, German, Greek, Hebrew (also Arabic, Syrian, Sanskrit, Turkish and Persian), History, Italian, Latin, Logic and Philosophy, Mathematics, National Sciences and Astronomy. In the 1960s the University moved from the sea front up onto Penglais Hill with additional government grants and donations, enabling the University to build new buildings for Biology, Physical Sciences, the Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, the Faculty of Law, Geography, Geology and Rural Studies, as well as halls of residence.
The University is recognised for support and contribution to the education of women, with it being one of the first institutions to accept female students.
Aberystwyth University is spread into three campuses – Penglais, Llanbadarn and Gogerddan. Penglais campus is the main and largest campus consisting of the majority of academic department buildings, students union, arts centre, Hugh Owen library and student accommodation. From Penglais Campus you have a beautiful scenic view looking over the town and Cardigan Bay. Llanbadarn campus accommodates the Institute of Management, Law and Information Science and is shared with Coleg Ceredigion. The Gogerddan Campus is the research home of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, and the soon to be developed £40.5m Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus.
There is a good bus network service linking the three campuses with each other, and also into the town. Walking into Aberystywth town centre from Penglais campus takes approximately 20 mins and while from Llanbadarn it takes approximately 30 mins.
- School of Art
- Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS)
- Computer Science
- English & Creative Writing
- English Language
- Geography & Earth Sciences
- History & Welsh History
- Information Management, Libraries & Archives
- International Politics
- Learn Welsh
- Lifelong Learning
- Modern Languages
- Theatre, Film & Television Studies
- Welsh & Celtic Studies
Research is an integral part of the University's mission and work, and it is supported by a Research Strategy to ensure that the University continues to produce a significant volume of high quality work, and respond to the rapidly changing environment in the UK in relation to research and its funding. The University has an excellent range of facilities and resources to assist with research activities, including four substantial libraries, access to a wide range of electronic information sources, and the vast resources of the prestigious National Library of Wales on its doorstep.
Results of the 2014 REF reported that 95% of the University's research was of an international standard with International Politics ranked first in Wales by research quality.
At Aberystwyth, students have the opportunity to take part in student exchanges in Europe under the ERASMUS scheme. The University also has a number of student exchanges in North America and a few other countries around the world. Those considering applying for ERASMUS can browse past students’ experiences on the website to see if it’s for them. Aberystwyth’s North American Exchange programme has been running for a number of years with the opportunity to spend a period of time abroad that will count towards your Aberystwyth degree. The Exchange is highly competitive and students wishing to take part will have to go through an application and selection process.
UK Students (2021/2022)
Arts & Social Science
The University offers a range of scholarships, including:
Entrance Scholarships & Merit Awards - This is based on the student's performance in two 2-hour exams set by the University and can be held for any degree scheme. They consist of: The University Scholarships which are awarded to the candidates scoring the highest aggregate marks of both examination papers. Successful candidates receive £1,000 for each year of their course; Faculty Scholarships worth £2,000 a year, based on excellent performance in the Entrance University exams; Students who do well in the Entrance Scholarship competition, but narrowly miss out on attaining a scholarship receive the Merit Award of a £1,000 during the first year of their course.
Academic Excellence Scholarships - of up to £2,000 in the first year of study for applicants from the UK/EU, aim to reward academic achievement prior to university entry.
Sports Scholarships - of £500 a year are for applicants who can demonstrate recent achievement of a high standard in sport, and a commitment to developing their sporting performance whilst at university.
Music Scholarships - of £650 a year are for experienced players of orchestral instruments who can actively contribute to the University's wide range of orchestras and bands.
Emily Price Scholarship - of £500 for the first year of study to reward female applicants to Mathematics or Physics courses.
Aberystwyth Bursary - is a means-tested award based on your household income, and those whose income is £35,000 or below will receive £500 a year towards their living costs.
Bursaries for Care Leavers, Young Careres and related groups - students who declare in their UCAS application that they are in care, are a recognised young carer, or are recently estranged from their family/guardian due to other widening access criteria, may be eligible to receive this additional payment (regardless of any other bursary or scholarship held with the university).
Please check the university website for the full range of scholarships, awards and bursaries.
When you become a student at Aberystwyth, you will enjoy access to a modern, well-equipped library service. The libraries provide study places for around 1,100 students, with a variety of individual and group study areas, and informal seating. They also house more than 700,000 volumes and subscribe to over 3,000 current periodicals. A wide range of electronic resources including e-journals and e-books are available on and off-campus, allowing 24 hour access to key readings. The main Hugh Owen Library is open for up to 77 hours a week during term time, and trained library and computing staff are on hand to assist you with enquiries and provide assistance when needed.
As a student at Aberystwyth you have free access to the National Library of Wales and its 6 million volumes, maps and prints. This Library is one of Britain's great copyright libraries entitled to receive a copy of every book published in the UK. It serves not only the nation of Wales but the north of England as there are no other copyright libraries closer than Oxford, Cambridge or London.
The University provides a range of computing facilities to support students. There are around 1,000 computers in 31 different locations available for student use. Computer rooms are located in teaching buildings and halls of residence, and there are several 24 hour access rooms. Using these computers allows students access to a wide range of software ranging from Office applications to specialist software, such as statistical analysis packages and Geographic Information System (GIS) tools. Other tools such as printers and scanners are also located throughout the computer rooms. Aberystwyth has a high speed network providing access to services such as e-mail and the Web. In addition, there is a wireless network covering teaching and learning areas, as well as on-campus cafés and bars. Almost every residential room on campus has a network point and Information Services have a dedicated team of staff to support students using their own computers in halls of residence. In addition, the Information Services' procurement team can advise students on purchasing laptops and PCs for use with University facilities.
As part of the University investment in the student experience, they have refurbished all their main teaching spaces. They’re now equipped with lecture capture technology, which records your classes so that you can watch them again as you revise.
The Language Laboratory offers excellent facilities for the intensive practice of linguistic skills. The Laboratory is based upon sophisticated computing packages which assist you to learn a wide variety of languages (including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Welsh).
Indoor Facilities at Aberystwyth include a 25 yards long swimming pool, saunarium, Wellness Centre, 'Spin 2 Win' - Aberystwyth University Sports Centre is located on Penglais campus and includes a 25-yard swimming pool, saunarium, Wellness Centre, spinning classes, climbing wall, free weights room, dance room, 2 squash courts, main sports hall and sports cage. Outdoor facilities include the Vicarage playing fields, set in 16 acres; Blaendolau Playing Fields, set in 34 acres; 2 grass and 3 tarmac tennis courts; 3G pitch; floodlit artificial pitch; and two-lane running track.
The FitTogether Programme organises a wide range of fitness classes which you pay with monthly or on an individual basis. Classes range from Core Stability to Aerobics Blast. Getting a Club Sporty card for just £45 is a great way to stay fit and save money; for example, a swim costs £2.90, but only £1 with Club Sporty. You can also get involved in Aber Play Sport, a programme that has been set up to offer you the opportunity to participate in weekly competitive social sports leagues.
Alternatively, you could join up to one of the Athletic Union’s 60 different sports clubs - with a vast range of sports on offer there is something for everyone. With the University located on the coast, students can also get involved in water sports, run by either the University or the local town. Additionally, students can join Smoothriders, a new venture set up by the Sports Centre to introduce you to the trails and natural surrounds of Aberystwyth through mountain biking.
AberSU is led by students for students, and is a completely separate organisation from the University. Open all year-round, the Union offers a sociable and relaxing space to study or unwind. It houses two bars, including fresh Starbucks coffee and Stone Willy’s food, along with a student shop.The entertainments team ensure a busy and full programme of events for the year, and organise the annual May Ball. During Welcome Week, a whole host of events and activities are put in, to enable you to explore everything on offer.
The Union also runs the Advice and Representation Centre, providing independent support and representation, whether academic, welfare or financial for students who may find themselves needing extra support whilst at University. Students are also given a platform to get their voices heard, whether it be on aspects of their course or on university issues.
Joining a student club or society is a great way to make friends, try something new and make the most of your time at University. There are over 100 societies to get involved in at Aberystwyth with sports, music, media, special interest societies and many more. Furthermore, if there is nothing that takes your fancy then there is always the option of starting a new society.
There is a volunteer office located in the SU which receives regular requests from the local community looking for student volunteers.
Health and Well-Being
Appointments with specialist staff at the Student Wellness Centre are available on request. They can help you with a range of issues such as stress, anxiety or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. All students are advised to join a local GP surgery whilst at Aberystwyth, but staff may also refer you to the University Nurse.
The Aberystwyth University Counselling service, part of the Student Wellness Centre, is located in the Penglais campus. The University welcomes applications from students with diagnosed mental health issues and encourages them to disclose their condition at the point of application. There is a range of support available, including assistance from an Accessibility Adviser, Mentor or Specialist Tutor, and the provision of counselling of this if required.
For students with disabilities the University provides adapted accommodation, and access to learning areas which are equipped with computers, special hardware, additional software and laptop access. If necessary Accessibility Service will also provide advice on enabling technology and special examination arrangements so that you can reach your full potential and get the results you deserve. Aberystwyth University Access Centre provides Study Needs Assessments for students who are eligible for the Disable Student Allowance (DSA), which involves talking to you about your disability and the barriers you experience and then recommending the support strategies and equipment which will allow you to access your education on a level playing field with your peers. The centre also provides information and guidance on the DSA application process.
Religion and Spirituality
Through the Students’ Union you can join the religious societies including Catholic Society and Christian Union as a source of spiritual support and to meet like-minded people. Joining one of these societies means that you can attend the range of events they put on throughout the year. There are a number of both English-speaking and Welsh-speaking churches in the local town with a list of them provided on the Christian Union website. There is also an Islamic Students Society of Aberystwyth who meet near the Vicarage playing fields.
The University has two Faith Spaces, one is located on the Penglais campus and the other is on Llanbadarn campus devoted to faith and quiet contemplation.
The Careers Advisory Service offers a number of amenities designed to help you make the right decisions about your future career. Experienced Careers Advisers can assist you to identify and articulate your strengths and weaknesses, understand the requirements of employers, produce effective job applications, prepare for job interviews and plan for further study. The Service organises skills workshops which cover a variety of topics such as CVs, applications, interviews and aptitude tests as well as a programme of employer visits. The Service also provides a wealth of information on vacancies, events, work experience and internships.
Support is also provided within the academic department via a tailored careers education session. Here, you will be guided through the ways you can raise your level of competence in each skill area. In addition, specially designed AberGrad Skills Checklist for each of your years of study, is available for you to record your skills and help you to prepare for future employment.
Catered and self-catered
Catered (per week) (2021/2022)
Self-catered (per week) (2021/2022)
At Aberystwyth there are seven self-catered and two catered halls of residence, and all new full-time undergraduates are guaranteed a place in University accommodation. The University accommodation has a security team on 24 hrs a day; secure parking and bike stores, watched over by security teams; free internet access; and all inclusive accommodation fees. Self-catered accommodation includes; Pentre Jane Morgan (PJM), Cwrt Mawr, Rosser, Rosser G, Trefloyne, Seafront andFferm Penglais. Catered accommodation includes; Pantycelyn- Penbryn and Cwrt Mawr. Pantycelyn- Penbryn and Fferm Penglais are welsh medium residences for those students that prefer a welsh speaking environment.
Each hall has its own feel with different locations, numbers of students and facilities so it is important that you take time to browse all the residences and see which one best suits your needs. The majority of accommodation is located on the Penglais campus within 15 minutes of the main departmental buildings, however some are located within the town which can take up to 30 minutes to walk to the main campus. There are frequent bus services linking the town and main campus. Residences have a laundry block nearby and the majority also have a computer room. A few of the residences include en-suite rooms, but you will find the majority of accommodation offers single and twin rooms. For catered accommodation, you will be issued with your Aber Card when you arrive at the University; this will automatically be credited with enough money for at least one meal a day. This meal allowance is taken from your hall fees and loaded onto your Aber Card in termly instalments, giving you the flexibility of when and where you eat.
After First Year many students move out of University-owned accommodation into the private sector. The Accommodation Office can assist new and returning students who are looking for a place to live. The Accommodation website includes ‘Top Tips’ to ‘Looking for Private Accommodation.
Arts & Social Science
English Language Requirements
All departments (except International Politics) require IELTS 6.5, or equivalent. International Politics requires IELTS 7.0, or equivalent.
International Excellence Undergraduate Scholarships worth £8,000 in tuition fee discounts over the duration of a 3 year degree scheme are available for international students (non-EU) applying to study a full degree. To be eligible, you must have applied by 30th June, Aberystwyth must be your firm choice of University, and must not have studied at any other university for more than a year. Scholarships are awarded to students with the highest academic qualifications as judged by the University’s Awarding Panel. You must make sure full academic results reach Aberystwyth by 31st August, and that financial and visa requirements also met by this date. There is no need for international students to apply for the scholarship, as you will automatically be informed if you have been awarded with it.
The Aberystwyth International Scholarships, worth £2,000 a year each, towards tuition fees, will be available for International (non-EU) students commencing a full-time undergraduate programme in September. In order to be considered for one of these awards, an application for a place on a relevant programme at Aberystwyth University must be received by the end of July. It is not necessary to apply for the Scholarship – all international applicants will automatically be considered.
There is an International Student Advisor who provides advice and support to International students on a wide range of issues, as well as providing specialised advice, such as applying for visas. You can visit the Advisor at the International Office or, prior to arrival, you can contact them via e-mail. There is a lot of information on the International Support website answering a vast range of questions that international students may have before arriving in the UK and throughout their time at Aberystwyth. There is also an International Student Support & Advice Handbook which is available online. Aberystwyth University provides an airport meeting coach service for international students from Birmingham International Airport, and organizes a Welcome Ceremony so that you are welcomed into the Aberystwyth community as soon as you step off the plane.