Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cardiff Metropolitan University (Welsh: Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd), formerly University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), Prifysgol Athrofâu Cymru, Caerdydd (PACC) is a university which is one of three non-Russell group universities located in the city of Cardiff.

Cardiff Metropolitan University
Welsh: Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd
Former names
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
MottoThe most valuable possession is knowledge
Established2011 – Cardiff Metropolitan University
1996 – University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC)
1990 - Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (CIHE)
1976 – South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education
1865 – Cardiff School of Art
PresidentCara Aitchison[1]
Vice-ChancellorCara Aitchison
Students10,995 (2016/17)[2]
Undergraduates8,790 (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates2,200 (2016/17)[2]
CampusLlandaff, Cyncoed
AffiliationsAssociation of Commonwealth Universities
Wallace Group

In the 2016/17 academic year, the university has just under 11,000 students. The university offers degree courses in a variety of disciplines. Study is available at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, full-time and part-time, and research opportunities are offered. Cardiff Metropolitan University has a number of research and enterprise centres, including the Food Industry Centre, the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research, and the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research.


Predecessor institutions

In 1865 the Cardiff School of Art opened in the Old Free Library Building, St Mary Street. The School of Art moved to the Technical Buildings in Dumfries Place in 1900, then The Friary in 1949, then to a new campus in Howard Gardens in 1965.

In 1940, Cardiff College of Food Technology and Commerce opened at Crwys Road. The Cardiff College of Food Technology and Commerce moved to a new Colchester Avenue Campus in 1966, home to management, business, leisure, hospitality, tourism and food students.

In 1950 Cardiff Training College opened at Heath Park. Llandaff Technical College opened in 1954 at Western Avenue, home to health sciences, design and engineering students. In 1962 the college moved to Cyncoed, now home to the Schools of Education and Sport.

Merging of the colleges

In 1976, the four colleges merged to form South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education. The name changed to Cardiff Institute of Higher Education in 1990, in preparation for Incorporation. In 1992, the Institute joined the University of Wales as an autonomous body.The first Teaching Degree Awarding Powers (TDAPs) were granted by the Privy Council in 1993. The Institute was given the power to award its own degrees in August but placed the powers in abeyance, choosing instead to strengthen their links with the University of Wales. In 1996, it was granted University College status within the University of Wales and named the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC).

In 2003, UWIC became a constituent institution of the University of Wales.and considered merging with the University of Glamorgan. 2004 saw the launch of the FE2HE-UWIC Consortium: an FE/HE partnership established with Barry, Bridgend, Coleg Glan Hafren and Ystrad Mynach FE colleges, with St David's College joining in 2009. Tony Chapman becomes Senior Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Wales

In 2005 the university enters into and then ends merger talks with the University of Wales, Newport. A vote of no confidence is passed by the staff in the Vice Chancellor Tony Chapman. London School of Commerce became an Associate College in 2006.

In October 2010, the new building for the Cardiff School of Management opened in Llandaff with the closure of the Colchester Avenue campus.[3][4] In June 2011, the new Learning Centre on the Llandaff campus was officially opened. Merger talks with Swansea Metropolitan and Trinity St David universities were discussed.

Split from University of Wales

UWIC formally ended its association with the University of Wales, and was renamed Cardiff Metropolitan University in November 2011.[5] The university now awards all of its degrees in its own name. Despite this 'withdrawal' from the University of Wales, the new Cardiff Metropolitan University retains close formal links with it. Until summer 2012 they shared the same Pro Vice Chancellor of Research. Cardiff Metropolitan University briefly continued to supply its staff for the University of Wales to use as moderators for their overseas franchised degrees.[6]

From 2004 to 2007, Cardiff Metropolitan University's Vice Chancellor, Tony Chapman, was the Senior Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Wales, whilst also holding the post of Vice Chancellor at UWIC.[7]

Pressure to merge with other HE institutions

In December 2003, UWIC withdrew from merger talks with the University of Glamorgan, stating that it was not in the ‘best interests of UWIC and the students’. In December 2004, UWIC announced merger talks with University of Wales, Newport, but withdrew from merger talks in July 2005 when HEFCW stated they indicated that any proposed merger must also include the University of Glamorgan.[8]

On 4 July 2011, UWIC pulled out of merger talks with both Swansea Metropolitan University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, for a new University of Wales citing the fact that it was ‘dissatisfied with a lack of attention to good governance, due process and administration (in the University of Wales)'.[9] This was despite the fact that its own Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Robert Brown, was also one of the most senior figures in the University of Wales, serving as a member of the University of Wales Council.[10] In December 2011 the newly established Cardiff Metropolitan University rejected HEFCW plans for the future structure of Wales’ universities which proposed merging it with the universities of Glamorgan and Newport to form the UK's largest higher education institution.[11]

Pressure on Cardiff Met to merge continued to mount throughout 2011 and 2012, however, in line with Leighton Andrews' controversial Higher Education agenda. This included a plan to create a new super-university of 45,000 students in the Welsh Valleys, involving the University of Glamorgan, the University of Wales, Newport, and Cardiff Metropolitan. Newport had already agreed to merger plans put forward by Glamorgan, although it was described as a 'bilateral arrangement' with neither institution technically taking precedence. This merger plan left open the possibility of a third university becoming involved, which was recognised as a reference to Cardiff Met's position.[12]

Cardiff Metropolitan continued to oppose a merger with its neighbours, citing the lack of a business case, concerns that the new institution (which would be the largest campus university in Britain) would simply be too big to manage properly.[13] In response to their efforts, Leighton Andrews (a strong supporter of the mergers on any terms) threatened to forcibly dissolve Cardiff Metropolitan and hand its assets over to the University formed by Glamorgan and Newport's merger.[14] As of October 2012, more time had been granted to consider a three-way merger, but Cardiff Metropolitan still demanded more evidence before committing to further talks.[15] Cardiff Metropolitan has described the existing plans as high cost and high risk, and have threatened to refer the matter to spending watchdogs, including the Auditor General.[16] However, Cardiff Metropolitan stressed that it retained an 'open mind' on the subject of a merger, and has ruled out moving to the private sector.[17]

On 6 November 2012, the threat of dissolution was removed when the Education Minister made a statement to the Senedd that he had taken the decision to cancel the previous consultation on the proposed dissolutions because of a request from the chairs of the University of Glamorgan and the University of Wales, Newport.[18][19]


Since 2007, £50 million has been invested in estate developments.[20] In May 2009 the £5million Food Industry Centre – Zero2Five at the Llandaff Campus opened. Cardiff Met's £20 million Cardiff School of Management building officially opened in October 2010 at the Llandaff site. Student facilities, learning centres and the provisions within have also been updated.

The Cyncoed campus opened the campus centre in October 2009, which houses the Students' Union, bar and cafe for student, staff and visitor use.

The Student I-Zone opened in October 2010, to provide information to students from one location.

The UWIC Foundation has been set up to develop, promote and encourage improvements to the quality of teaching and research at the university. It is funded through charitable donations.

In 2012 the University commenced the building of a major new development for its School of Art & Design. The £14m investment will enable a new building to be built on the University's Llandaff campus, and existing accommodation will be substantially improved to provide a contemporary home for the internationally recognised School.[21]


Cardiff Metropolitan University is made up of five academic schools:

School of Art & Design

Cardiff School of Art & Design opened in 1865 as the Cardiff School of Art and is the oldest constituent part of the university. From September 2012 onwards CSAD's learning & teaching, research and enterprise activities are focused in twelve 'subjects': Fashion Design; Interior Design; Animation; Fine Art; Illustration; Textiles; Ceramics, Artist, Designer: Maker; Graphic Communication; Product Design; Architectural Design and Technology; and International Design. The school is housed on the Llandaff Campus.

The school was assessed as number 39 of the top 80 destinations to study art and design in the UK by the Guardian's University Guide in 2010.[22]

School of Education

The School of Education has over 2000 students and over 100 academic and administrative staff. The School was established in 1951 to provide Initial Teacher Education Training (ITET) provision in Cardiff, and it remains the largest in Wales.

School of Management

The School of Management is based at the Llandaff Campus. It moved to a new building in October 2010 following the closure of the Colchester Avenue campus.[23] Research activities at the School are organised into five broad themes within business and management and six Research Centres in specific areas.

School of Sport and Health Sciences

In September 2017, the Cardiff School of Sport merged with the Cardiff School of Health Sciences creating the Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences.[24] The school is currently split between the university's two campuses, with sports at based at Cyncoed and health sciences at Llandaff; however, the university plans to unite the school at the Cyncoed campus following investment in new facilities.[24]

School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences is made up of 9 areas and provides applied research and consultancy services. These include: the Centre for Biomedical Research, the Centre for Health, Safety & the Environment, the Food Research & Consultancy Unit, the Zero2Five Food Industry Centre, the Wales Centre for Podiatric Studies and the Department of Applied Psychology.

School of Sport

The School of Sport is based at the Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff.

The National Indoor Athletics Centre is an indoor athletics centre housed at the university's Cyncoed campus and was opened in January 2000 by Colin Jackson. The centre offers multi-sport provision and includes a sports injuries clinic and biomechanics laboratory. It is the only designated 'High Performance Centre' in Wales.[25]

Cardiff School of Technologies

The Cardiff School of Technologies was created in 2018 and intends to work closely with employers across the tech industry to be at the cutting edge of meeting both student demand and employer need in a sector with an increasing number of highly-paid graduate level careers.

Research & Enterprise Centres

Cardiff Metropolitan University's research is organised through a number of research centres, offering applied research and consultancy to business and industry, and to local and national government across the UK and abroad. This includes the National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR).

Academic profile

Reputation and rankings

National rankings
Complete (2020)[26]96
Guardian (2020)[27]99
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[28]110
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[29]Silver

As of 2016 the university is ranked as the top 'new' university in Wales by the major university guides – The Guardian University Guide 2013,[30] the Complete University Guide 2013[31] published in The Independent and the Times Good University Guide 2013.

Cardiff Metropolitan University has been independently acclaimed for its academic standards, with an old QAA Institutional Report (2008)[32] stating that ‘confidence can be placed in the soundness of the institution's current and likely future management of the quality of its programmes and of the academic standards of the associated awards.’


Samsung Art & Design Institute

Cardiff School of Art & Design and the Samsung Art & Design Institute[33] offer a trans-national Master of Design (MDes). Students study component parts in for this master's degree in both Cardiff and Seoul and a system of free study and research exchange exists between the two institutions. A new Professional Doctorate in Design which will act as a doctoral extension of the Masters award will commence in October 2012.

London School of Commerce

London School of Commerce (LSC) is an associate college of the university[34] and the relationship dates back to 2004; they deliver MBA, BA Business Studies, MSc Management Consultancy, MSc Hospitality/Tourism Management, BSc/MSc in Computing, Research degrees and an International Foundation Programme to over 6000 students across 130 countries. Westminster International College Malaysia is an Associate College of London school of commerce and the relationship dates back to 2008 they deliver MBA, BA Business Studies.

International College of Business and Technology(ICBT)

Set up in 2000, the International College of Business and Technology (ICBT)[35] is one of the leading tertiary education providers in Sri Lanka. Popularly known as ICBT Campus, it delivers Certificate, Diplomas, pre University programs, Undergraduate programs, Masters level programs including Doctorate level programs in association with some of the Universities and educational service providers in UK, Australia, Thailand, India and Sweden.

ICBT Campus has expanded their operation in setting up branches island wide. Main branch is located at Mount Lavinia. Other branches are located in Bambalapitiya, Kandy, Matara, Nugegoda, Galle, Negombo, Kollupitiya & Jaffna.

Student life


Cardiff Metropolitan University has student accommodation available close to its campuses in Cyncoed and at Plas Gwyn.[36] The university also has agreements with private residences such as Tŷ Pont Haearn in the city centre, which has 179 beds reserved for students and Victoria Hall which is located near to the Llandaff Campus[37] and has 198 beds reserved for students.


Sports teams

National Indoor Athletics Centre

This large indoor sporting facility is a venue for many sporting events such as the Welsh Open Taekwon-Do Championships hosted there each year[38] by the United Kingdom Taekwon-Do Association. The UK Open Taekwon-Do Championships is often held there too.

Notable alumni

Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly UWIC) has alumni in the fields of sport, art, education, design, nutrition, business, healthcare and media.[39]

See also


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  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "UWIC Name Change". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  5. Archived 7 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Professor Antony J Chapman". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. UWIC withdraws from merger talks with Newport University
  8. "Uwic no longer involved in 'super university' plan". BBC News. 4 July 2011.
  9. "The University Council – University of Wales". Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  10. "Cardiff Metropolitan University governor slams plans to merge three universities". Wales Online. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
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  12. Evans, Gareth (12 October 2012). "UWIC attacks University of Glamorgan over 'predatory' attitude towards merger". Western Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  13. Matthews, David (17 July 2012). "Merge or dissolve: Andrews plays his cards in Cardiff Met row". Times Higher Educational Supplement. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  14. "More time for Cardiff Met, Glamorgan and Newport Merger". BBC Website. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  15. "University merger plan: Cardiff Met's watchdog threat". BBC Website. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  16. Evans, Gareth (5 October 2012). "University rules out privatisation as an alternative to merger". Western Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  17. "Leighton Andrews scraps plans to dissolve Cardiff Metropolitan University – Wales News – News". WalesOnline. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  18. "Leighton Andrews scraps plans to dissolve Cardiff Metropolitan University – Wales News – News". WalesOnline. 6 November 2012.
  19. "Investing in your future". Archived from the original on 21 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  20. New £14m Arts and Design Building Formally Unveiled
  21. "University Guide,". London: Guardian. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  22. "New Management School officially unveiled". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  23. "Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences". Cardiff Metropolitan University. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  24. "Uwic opens centre of sporting excellence". Wales Online. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  25. "University League Table 2020". The Complete University Guide. 1 May 2019.
  26. "University league tables 2020". The Guardian. 7 June 2019.
  27. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2020". Times Newspapers.
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  31. "QAA Institutional Report 2008". 21 August 2008. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  32. "Samsung Art and Design Institute, Korea". Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  33. "London School of Commerce". Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  34. "International College of Business and Technology Ltd". Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  35. "Accommodation". UWIC. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  36. "Nomination Agreements with private halls". UWIC. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  37. "More Competitions". Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  38. "Alumni Profiles". Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  39. "TV presenter Inverdale signs up to save the Vulcan pub". South Wales Echo. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
  40. "Player profile: Alex Jones". Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2011.

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