Aberystwyth University

 

 

Overall ranking: Ranked 87th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: First university institution in Wales, founded in 1872. Initially unsupported by government, it survived on the tireless fundraising of its staff and friends, and on the generosity especially of the Welsh Non-Conformist community. Retains an affectionate affinity with the communities of mid-Wales and especially with the town of Aberystwyth itself: no town-gown divide here. Having been part of the University of Wales, it gained its independence in 2007.

Address: At the inmost point of the curve of Cardigan Bay, on the west coast of Wales in Ceredigion.

Ambience: Secluded, with sensational sunsets in summer and dolphins swimming offshore, to be seen from the compact green campus on the hill overlooking the bay. One mile from town- most locations are within walking distance. Two cinemas (one on campus), one arts centre (best in Wales and on campus), plenty of pubs and a weekly market. The town is 50 per cent Welsh speaking. Local police force (Dyfed-Powys) has reported one of the lowest recorded crime rates in the UK. Aberystwyth has been ranked as the safest University in Wales to study, and the second safest in England and Wales according to the Complete University Guide. Mix of classical and modern buildings.

Who's the boss? Professor April McMahon, whose academic background is in linguistics. She joined Aberystwyth University as vice chancellor in August 2011.

Prospectus: 01970 622 021 or order one here.

UCAS code: A40

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Between 240 and 340 UCAS entry points depending on the course. English literature asks for 280 points with at least a B in English literature or English literature and language (combined) at A-level, while geography requests 300 to 320 points with a B in geography at A-level. Aberystwyth is one of the UK's leading university centres for studying Celtic languages, literatures and cultures, offering a single honours degree scheme in Celtic Studies.

Vital statistics: Small and tightly knit with over 10,000 students. 8,300 undergraduates and 20 per cent international. Many of the seafront residences are university residences. 29 per cent of students come from Wales and 51 per cent from England.

Added value: Outdoor activities include hang-gliding, parachuting, riding and rambling; and the university was a designated 2012 Olympic training venue for mountain biking. Sport thrives, as do music and the arts. The university music centre offers vocal and instrumental lessons for staff and students and co-ordinates more than half a dozen ensembles that bring together students and townspeople. Also home of the National Library of Wales, the only copyright library within 150 miles, which has more than six million volumes. Aber Rag has been raising money for charities and organisations for sixty years. Year in Employment scheme for students who want a year out working, plus lots of opportunities to study abroad.

Swanky new film and TV building (home to BBC radio and TV broadcasting facilities). Tin-foil cocoon space-age artists’ studios newly added to the award-winning Arts Centre, the largest and busiest in Wales, in 2009. Over a period of three years, the University is investing over £100m in enhancing and extending residential and teaching facilities. Last year the university began a rolling programme of investment in its learning spaces, starting with a refurbishment of a number of teaching rooms on Penglais Campus.  Each room has been fitted with an improved teaching technology system, an energy efficient lighting system, new writing and projection surfaces, hearing induction loops, wireless coverage, furniture, flooring and window coverings.

£10.4m Centre for Visualisation, featuring the latest in virtual reality technology, opened in 2007 and new £1.5m Student Welcome Centre opened in May 2009. Recently opened new teaching and research facilities at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, with an investment of £12.4m.

Aberystwyth are also investing in new student accommodation. The new £45m Fferm Penglais residences will provide accommodation for 1000 students and include 100 studio flats.

Teaching: 113th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 104th out of 123 with 53.5 per cent entering employment at a graduate level.

Any accommodation? Yes. Costs per week for self-catering residences start from approximately £78 (budget single and standard twin), to £95.20 (standard single).  The university also have standard en-suite accommodation (£109.90) and self-contained studios for £133.

Cheap to live there? Very. Rents in the private sector average around £57 per week.

Transport links: No motorway so take the train. Two-and-a-half hours to the West Midlands and four-and-a-half to London, if you're lucky. If you're not and have to change at Shrewsbury or Birmingham, you get a little train that potters through fields of sheep. All part of the charm, apparently: Aberystwyth students show less inclination to leave their alma mater than any others in the UK.

Fees: £9,000 per year for UK/EU undergrad students. The PGCE in teacher training also costs £9,000. £10,500 to £12,000 for overseas depending on course.

Bursaries: Aberystwyth's bursaries and scholarships have been recognised as the most valuable in the UK.  Some awards are income contingent and support our widening access policies, others are to reward academic excellence, sporting and musical achievements. Around 60% of students receive a scholarship, bursary or award of some kind. Click here for full details of the scholarships, bursaries and awards on offer.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Club nights, busy bars, an arts centre and cinema on campus. Hugely popular annual May ball. Various venues in town despite its small size, but don't go expecting a bit city nightlife. Swansea and Cardiff are several hours away.

Price of a pint: About £3 in a town pub, but much cheaper at the union.

Sporting reputation: 65th out of 145 in the current BUCS league, so could be worse.

Notable societies: Curtain Call is the thriving musical theatre society, while LAG (Live Action Gaming) offers a chance for students to let loose from academia and shoot foam dart blasters at each other.

Glittering alumni: Prince Charles; President Kabbah of Sierra Leone; Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales; David Prosser, former chief executive, Legal and General; Carwyn James, coach of the British Lions; Tom Singh, founder of New Look; Sharon Maguire, director of Bridget Jones's Diary; Belinda Earl, chief executive, Jaeger; Jan Pinkava, Oscar winner and Alex Jones, presenter of the BBC’s The One Show.

Alternative prospectus: Have a read of the alternative prospectus, written by current Aberystwyth students, for an insight into what university life is really like here.

News
i100'Geography can be tough'
News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
businessHow bosses are inventing unusual ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis Stinchcombe, of Broad Plain Boys' Club in Bristol, by a Banksy artwork, titled 'Mobile Lovers', where the sale and handover have been completed at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, where it was on display to the public.
artHuge price will help to keep a 120-year-old youth club in Bristol open
Life and Style
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins