Two degree apprenticeships, in cybersecurity and in applied software engineering, also welcomed their first students this year. They fall under the university’s School of Technologies, based in a recently opened building at the Llandaff campus, where options in robotics engineering, virtual and augmented reality and computing with creative design are also among the curricular offerings. The university will offer a degree in criminology from September 2023.
Across both of Cardiff Met’s campuses at Llandaff and Cyncoed, close to Cardiff city centre, the university has pledged to invest £80 million in new and repurposed academic buildings, as well as further sport and health facilities. A new cycleway is also in the pipeline, bordering the Llandaff site and stretching as far as Cardiff Bay. The university’s sound financial position, as evidenced by its increased turnover over recent years, is enabling the developments.
Sport, the university’s best-known feature, is based at the Cyncoed campus where extensive facilities support the strong sporting tradition as well as Cardiff Met’s stable of ten sport-related programmes. The £7 million National Indoor Athletics Centre has a six-lane 140m straight, and competition-standard long jump, high jump and pole vault pits as well as physiotherapy and sports medicine facilities. Cyncoed also hosts an archers’ arena, tennis and fitness centres, grass pitches, 3G pitches, a swimming pool, sprung-floor gym and indoor centre.
Performance and elite sport scholarships offer tailored support. The university’s performance programme encompasses football, rugby, basketball, athletics, cricket, netball and hockey. Cardiff Met teams and individuals compete at the highest level of Bucs (British University & College Sport) competitions.
Cardiff Met was one of only four Welsh universities awarded silver in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Assessors noted that its personalised learning secured high levels of commitment from students, including those studying in the Welsh language. An enhanced personal tutor system gives students greater access to academic guidance.
The TEF panel said that course design was informed by a significant focus on employability, producing good outcomes for a range of student groups, including those from black and minority ethnic communities, disadvantaged and mature students.
Across all five of the university’s schools (Art and Design, Education and Social Policy, Management, Sport and Health Sciences, and Technologies) degree programmes are linked with industry partners. The university is an accredited provider of Initial Teacher Education in Wales, for instance, and is degree in professional policing has links with South Wales Police. Degrees within tourism, hospitality and events offer opportunities such as work experience at Glastonbury Festival and mentoring by The Ivy restaurant chain.
Via the MetHub platform, students and graduates can access help with job applications, work placements and internships. Appointments with the careers team are bookable online. Graduate start-ups are on the rise, and support is offered through the Centre for Entrepreneurship.
The university is among the biggest risers in our research quality index, jumping 29 places this year.
In our analysis of the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) the university climbs to 78th from 107th in 2021. Four times as many staff submitted work for assessment and 79 per cent was judged world-leading or internationally excellent. Sport, a strength, produced the best results alongside art and design: 88 per cent of Cardiff Met’s sports research reached the top two categories.
Graduate prospects have edged up four places to 71= in our analysis of the proportion in highly skilled work or further study within 15 months.
Cardiff Met is in the top 30 in our social inclusion index overall. The university succeeds in recruiting more working-class white male students than most (ranking 13th), and almost half of students are the first in their family to go to university. The approach to widening access targets those from the lowest two quintiles of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation, who have not previously had access to higher education, as well as carers, care leavers, unemployed people, asylum seekers, refugees and ex-offenders. A University of Sanctuary since 2016 Cardiff Met has pledged £400,000 over two years in fellowships for academic staff and scholarships for students, as well as accommodation for those fleeing Ukraine.
There are 1,737 bed spaces in university-owned or endorsed accommodation, and first-years who meet the eligibility criteria by the end of May housing application deadline are guaranteed a spot. Before being given their key, students must complete a compulsory halls induction, which includes sections on consent, alcohol and drugs. A leading student city, Cardiff offers music, culture, sport and nightlife by the bucketload.