Good University Guide 2023

Swansea University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Swansea University

Contact details


Singleton Park, Swansea , SA2 8PP,

View on map


A five-mile curve of sandy beach separates Swansea’s original Singleton Park campus from its £450 million, 65-acre Bay Campus, which doubled the size of the university when it opened in 2015. King George V laid the university's foundation stone at Singleton Park more than a century ago: his great-grandson, King Charles III, helped to develop the Bay Campus via the Prince's Foundation for Building Community. 

Along the way, developments at the original parkland campus include the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, named after the former US secretary of state and presidential candidate who received an honorary doctorate from Swansea in 2017. Students can learn career skills in the new facility's courtroom and law clinic.

A gold rating in the government's Teaching Excellence Framework adds to the appeal of Swansea's seaside location. Assessors praised the university’s clear employability strategy and strong staff-student partnerships.

The university has had glowing reviews over the years in the National Student Survey (NSS). The latest results from summer 2022, however, reveal a less contented student community than usual as Swansea's undergraduates grapple with the ongoing impact of the pandemic on university life. The university has dropped out of the top 30 for our NSS-derived measures for teaching quality (down 56 places) and the wider student experience (down 51 places. In-person teaching only is the prevalent model for the coming academic year – which should help to return student satisfaction to its former high levels. 

With 78.1 per cent of graduates in high-skilled jobs or postgraduate study 15 months after finishing their degree, the university ranks only just outside the UK top 40 on our graduate prospects measure. Industry links are deep-rooted and the university has more than 500 key partnerships across 53 countries with organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel, Ospreys Rugby and Pfizer. Many of Swansea's business partners have research bases at the Bay Campus.

Career-boosting support includes the Swansea Employability Academy, which provides paid internships and co-ordinates programmes for career development. At the last count more than 600 organisations were advertising 43,000 jobs and offering networking opportunities to Swansea alumni. 

Swansea has shifted its academic structure in the past year from seven colleges to three faculties: Medicine, Health and Life Science; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Science and Engineering. A broadening curriculum gains degrees in biomedical engineering; criminology and sociology; leadership for global challenges; and computer science and artificial intelligence. A BSc in environmental science and the climate emergency is another recent addition and, like many of Swansea's degrees, it can be taken as a four-year course with a year spent in industry or abroad. 

Applications boomed in 2021, rising by about 16 per cent to surpass 20,000 for the first time. New student enrolments went up much less steeply but also hit a record, while about one in five of 2021’s new entrants gained their places via clearing. 

A research profile in the upper third of universities enhances Swansea’s academic reputation. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) 86 per cent of the university’s work was rated world-leading or internationally excellent (the top categories). Medicine and life science; allied health subjects; mathematics; and geography produced some of the best results. The university’s research income has increased by 160 per cent since the previous national research assessment in 2014, up from £148 million to £286 million.

Research facilities are being developed all the time. A Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials opened in 2021. It follows the £35 million Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies (known as Impact), where industry and academics are collaborating in advanced engineering and materials. 

The £20 million Sports Village beside the Singleton campus has an athletics track, grass and all-weather pitches, squash and tennis courts, plus an indoor athletics training centre and 80-station gym. There are 50-metre and 25-metre pools at the Wales National Pool next door. Bay Campus, which has a sports hall, gym and two outdoor multi-use areas, is gaining a covered multicourt sports development and a World Rugby and Fifa-compliant 3G surface. At Singleton Park, the No 1 hockey pitch has been resurfaced with the same international-standard material that was used at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The university’s grass and 3G pitches at Fairfield, five miles away, were built in partnership with Swansea City Football Club. As well as the Ospreys, the university also has links with the Scarlets professional rugby club.

The students’ union hosts more than 150 student societies — with the aim of offering something for everyone. Swansea offers a lively social scene at wallet-friendly prices. Mumbles seaside resort nearby is also popular for nights out. Further west, the Gower Peninsula has some of the UK’s finest beaches including Rhossili and Three Cliffs Bay.

The university has more than 4,300 residential spaces — enough to guarantee accommodation to all first-years who apply by June 30. Bay Campus has direct access to the beach and houses about 2,000 students in on-site halls of residence – some of them designated for Welsh speakers.

show more


Category Score Rank
Ranking - 42= (39)
Teaching quality 74 84th=
Student experience 70.4 79th=
Research quality 47.5 46th
Ucas entry points 131 53rd
Graduate prospects 78.1 41st=
Firsts and 2:1s 80.3 47th
Completion rate 89.9 41st=
Student-staff ratio 16.2 65th=
World ranking - 425= (440=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 20,675/5,355
Applications/places ratio 3.9:1
Overall offer rate 74.4%


Places in accommodation 4,326
Accommodation costs £139 - £167
Catered costs £164 - £170
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £7,500 (Foundation) - £9,000
Fees (placement year) £1,800
Fees (overseas year) £1,350
Fees (international) £15,850 - £20,650
Fees (international, medical) £39,750
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,210


Sport points/rank 1,753, 20th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 77
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 92.1%
Grammar school admissions 0.9%
Independent school admissions 7%
Ethnic minority students (all) 18.8%
Black achievement gap -15.7%
White working class males 7%
First generation students 37%
Low participation areas 12.4%
Working class dropout gap n/a
Mature 20.5%
EU students 4.6%
Other overseas students 8.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Communication and media studies 91.2%
Chemistry 89.3%
Classics and ancient history 87.5%
Materials technology 86.5%
English 82.9%
Linguistics 82.2%
History 82.1%
Social policy 81.5%
Celtic studies 81.2%
Chemical engineering 80%
Civil engineering 79.7%
Law 79.5%
Medicine 79.1%
Social work 78.4%
Accounting and finance 78.3%
Criminology 78.2%
Sociology 78.2%
Sports science 78%
Biological sciences 77.6%
Economics 77%
American studies 76.9%
Geography and environmental science 76.1%
Education 73.8%
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering 73.3%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 72.8%
Mathematics 72.6%
Computer science 72.3%
Politics 72%
Business, management and marketing 71.9%
Electrical and electronic engineering 71.9%
Subjects allied to medicine 71.6%
Psychology 67.6%
Anatomy and physiology 67.2%
Mechanical engineering 67.2%
Physics and astronomy 67.1%
Nursing 64.8%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 58.8%