Located on the idyllic coast of South West Wales, Swansea cultivates a maritime atmosphere. Crammed with food, culture, pubs, bars and unique shopping opportunities, it’s also a great place to study. Home to two universities and a regenerated city centre, it’s relatively cheap, always cheerful and always beautiful. If you’re thinking of studying here, let’s take a look at what it’s all about!
Universities In Swansea
There are two universities in Swansea:
Perched on the coast, the Swansea University currently sits 52nd in the latest Guardian rankings. Research quality is exemplary, student satisfaction is high, while 90% of students go onto complete their degree. Graduate prospects, meanwhile, are among the best in the UK.
The University was first formed back in 1920 and can claim a bit of history for being the first campus-based university in the UK. The motto – Skill is nothing without Culture – hints at the University’s tradition of mixing science with academic, humanities and enterprise.
There are two campuses, both of which are nestled next to the coast. Starting from 2017, every programme will require a certain GCSE or A level requirement, and there is a wide range of joint honours available. Work placements are available to all students thanks to the Swansea Employability Academic.
There are 350 undergraduate courses on offer.
University of Wales, Trinity Saint David
The University of Wales, Trinity Saint David currently sits 117th in the latest Guardian rankings. It’s one of the youngest universities in the United Kingdom, and was formed only as recently as 2010 when a few colleges and universities merged together, including Swansea Metropolitan University and Coleg Ceredigion.
80% of all students go onto complete their degree. There are numerous campuses that are spread out across SW Wales, while there is also an international campus located in the city of London. One of the 3 main campuses is found here in Swansea, with the other two in Carmarthen and Lampeter respectively. Each campus offers its own character, with Swansea’s history going as far back as 1853!
There are a wide range of courses offered. Entry requirement for each one is to be found on the website. Learning options are flexible, while 47% of the research carried out by the university has been classed as world leading.
Fees, Living Aspects & Student Finance
If anything puts the dampers on applying for university, it’s the fees. We wish we could tell you that your course will cost absolutely nothing, but sadly we can’t!
If you’re a Welsh national looking to study in Swansea, you can hop on over to Student Finance Wales to apply for funding. If you want to commence your studies in September, the deadline for applications is May.
Universities in Swansea can charge up to £9,000 per year in tuition fees. If you can’t pay all of this yourself, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and a Fee Grant from Student Finance Wales.
The Tuition Fee Loan only covers £3,810 of your fees and you will be required to pay it back once you graduate and are earning more than £22,000 per year.
The Fee Grant covers £5,190 of your loan and is non-repayable.
Neither loan or grant is income-assessed, which means that you are automatically eligible as long as your course is.
Because the Tuition Fee Loan is repayable, some Welsh students choose to just apply for the Fee Grant and pay the remainder of the fees themselves.
If you are an English, Northern Irish or Scottish national looking to study in Wales, you will need to apply for funding from Student Finance England. Providing you are eligible, SF will offer to cover the entirety of your course with a Tuition Fee Loan which is repayable, while they will also make a contribution towards your costs of living with a Maintenance Loan. The exact amount you will be entitled to will be decided by your personal circumstances, but the most any student can receive is £5,750 per year.
If you want to know more about student finance read our handy guide here.
The good news is that the cost of living in Swansea is low compared to other cities in the UK. The average amount a student living in Swansea spends on various expenditures can be broken down like thus:
- Rent – £86.00 per week
- Travel – £12.00 per week
- Books – £7.60 per week
- Leisure – £25.00 per week
- Food – £40.00 per week
- Clothes – £10.00 per week
In terms of where you will live, most students arriving in Swansea for the first time choose to stay in student halls of residence. This gives them a chance to meet likeminded people straight away, and most halls of residences provide 24/7 security, while bills are conveniently included in the rent. However, a private house share is also an option, and these are usually a lot cheaper.
At Swansea University first year students have four halls of accommodation to choose from with the biggest being Bay Campus. Rooms at Bay Campus are mainly en-suite with average prices starting at £138 per week. The cheapest halls of residence at Swansea University is Hendrefoelan Student Village (HSV) with 1030 standard rooms available at £89 per week. These rooms are all provided with shared bathrooms and kitchens which drives the price down massively.
For those students looking to study at the University of Wales Trinity St David, depending on the campus you are studying at you have various halls of residences to choose from. If you’re studying at the Swansea campus you could live at Townhill Campus or Mount Pleasant Campus starting at £64 per week for a twin study bedroom. If you’re based at the Carmarthen Campus you can choose Myrddin, Tower or Non with all halls of residences being catered which means you don’t even have to cook for yourself! Lastly, if you’re based at the Lampeter Campus you have the choice of self catered or catered accommodation.
For students that want to avoid the hustle and bustle of university accommodation, you can choose to live in private halls of accommodation. Here are the two most popular private halls of residence in Swansea:
- St. Davids – £121.00 per week
- Gloucester Chambers – £80.00 per week
General Info About Swansea
Swansea is the second biggest city in Wales, and the 25th in the whole of the UK. Perched next to the sea, it’s well known for its vibrant seaside village environment and colourful mixture of students, friendly locals and tourists.
Not to mention its beach!
Getting out and about in the city centre is easy thanks to a reliable and busy bus network. Student bus passes help to lower your travel costs, while the train station links up with London Paddington on the main east-west line. Traffic-free cycle paths course through the city streets, ensuring a safe route from campus to the city centre – and back.
The current population stands at just over 450,000. Around 25,000 are students, with 13,500 studying at the University of Swansea. Labour are currently in charge of the Swansea Council, while the city is twinned with popular Irish city, Cork, as well as Mannheim in Germany.
Events, Venues And Points Of Interest
There are lots of thing to do and see in Swansea during downtime. The city is home to numerous sport and leisure centres, and can also offer tip top swimming and tennis facilities.
Continuing with the adventurous, keep-fit theme, you can also mend your way into the nearby countryside for some golfing, fishing, hiking or wind surfing, while you can also ride horses on the beach.
There are 52 green spaces dotted in and around Swansea, and these include a clutch of award-winning gardens and parks that make the city a pleasant place to be.
If you’re a culture vulture, the Taliesin Arts Centre remains popular with anyone who enjoys art, film, live performances, ballet dance and music. The Egypt Centre, meanwhile, is based on the Swansea University’s campus and is an accredited museum. There is also the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery to visit, as well as the Swansea Museum and the Dylan Thomas Centre.
Swansea can also boast a brand new £30,000,00 National Waterfront Museum that attracts some 250,000 visitors per year.
You won’t be stuck for places to shop, either. Here you will find all the big high street names, as well as few vintage and indie stores, while the main supermarkets – Tesco, Lidl and Sainsburys – are located in the city centre.
If you love live music, The Vault is an absolute must. Here you will find the best live music that will ever come to Swansea during your time here, and you’ll also be partaking in a bit of history; The Vault is an old wine cellar that was first built in the 1400’s and was featured in a Dylan Thomas poem. Food is also served here, along with good wine and good times.
Or, if you just want to chill all day and night, you and your mates can sit on the beach, drink a few shandies and muse on the meaning of life.
Legendary poet and heavy drinker Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, which means that his birthplace simply has to have a few drinking dens to celebrate his spirit, right?
The city of Swansea is home to numerous bars, pubs and clubs, and is an attractive proposition to students who like to party.
Often described by past and present students as “incredible”, the Swansea nightlife can’t really be bettered elsewhere.
If you like to hit the clubs after a few sherbets at your mate’s house, Wind Street is your best bet. Lined with some of the best student-friendly clubs in town, everything is within easy reach of each other, with Fiction being the standout choice. On Monday night, Skint plays the chest in chart and cheese music, and entry is just a quid. Wednesday’s entry price is a fiver but Underground is easily the best student night in town.
Union nights are always a laugh on Thursday and Friday. Rarely classy but always lots of fun!
But the nightlife in Swansea isn’t just about the clubs. There are top quality pubs and bars here that offer amazing views of the sea. Some of the best on offer include The Bay View, Pump House, The Adelphi, Bar Reef and The Westbourne.
So There It Is…
If you like what you’ve read and think that Swansea might have everything you need, from seaside views to sticky club floors, good luck to you!
If, however, you’re still unsure, why not take a look around Coursefindr for alternative cities?