Aberystwyth University

 

 

Overall ranking: Ranked 86th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

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 360 UCAS entry points depending on the course. English literature asks for 300 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. World Leading research university with a 4* rating

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. Year in Employment scheme for students who want a year out working, plus lots of opportunities to study abroad.

Over a period of three years, the University is investing over £100m in enhancing and extending residential and teaching facilities. in 2013 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. There is also planned investment of 20m in  the redevelopment of the universities old college; the spiritual home of the university of wales. In addition 40.5m is being invested in the new Aberystwyth Innovation and enterprise campus in its Gogerddan campus.

Recently opened new teaching and research facilities at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, with an investment of £12.4m. The University has five academic subjects featuring amongst the worlds elite according to the QS World University Rankings 2015 including EnvironmentalScience, Geography, Politics, Agriculture and Forestry and English Language/Literature.

Teaching: 117th out of 126 for student satisfaction with teaching in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 115th out of 126 with 52.6 per cent entering employment at a graduate level.

Any accommodation? Yes. Costs per week for self-catering residences start from approximately £78.05 (budget single and standard twin), to £95.20 (standard single).  The university also have catered accommodation (starting at £116.20) and self-contained studios for £136.50.

Cheap to live there? Very. Rents in the private sector average around £50-£90 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. £10,5000 to £12,00 for international students varying on the programme.

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 £2.60 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.

SPONSORED FEATURES

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future