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Cardiff Metropolitan University (UK)

One of the best things about higher education in the UK is that there is truly a place for everyone, and Cardiff Metropolitan University in the capital city of Wales is no exception.


Its mission is to serve and give back to the community in which it's located and was named the UK/Ireland Times Higher Education 'University of the Year' in 2021.


Originally formed as an art and design school, Cardiff Met offers a variety of courses that are practice-based and career-focused, in addition to offering strong sports programs for student athletes.


With around 12,000 students in total, it's on the smaller side for a UK university, and with students split across two campuses, it did feel even smaller.


In fact, with a student to staff ratio that is about 20:1, part of the university's Strategy 2030 is about keeping its class sizes small.


So it was no surprise to see that staff and students alike walking around were on a first-name basis with each other.


And when it comes to admissions, it's also one of the more flexible UK universities, truly evaluating each student's qualifications on a case by case basis; most courses are actually test-optional.


I was fortunate to visit both of its campuses, and here are some of the highlights!


Cardiff Metropolitan University - Campus Cyncoed
THE UK & Ireland University of the Year

Cyncoed Campus


About 10 minutes by car outside Cardiff city centre, this campus is home to Education, Social Policy and Sport & Health Sciences.


From the moment you step foot on the campus, you immediately get a sense of the sportiness of the students, who seem to be either coming or going from the gym or practice.


There are plenty of world-class athletic facilities right there, which play host to some pretty top competitions and are open to all students -- elite or otherwise.


The two largest and most popular programs at this campus are the BSc in Sport Management (managing events, volunteers, HR, etc.) and the BSc in Sports Media (how to tell the stories within sports).


All the sporting facilities also have cameras that link back to a control room and record performances for analysis, and they also have their own channel, Cardiff Met Sport TV.


Outdoor fields and running tracks
NIAC (National Indoor Athletics Centre), the first purpose built indoor athletics track in the UK
NIAC (National Indoor Athletics Centre), the first purpose built indoor athletics track in the UK
Cardiff Met indoor running track
Cardiff Met campus gym
Cardiff Met tennis courts

But it's not all sport here; in fact, students aren't allowed on the pitch if they're not achieving passing grades in their classes.


Other facilities on campus include a place to eat, on-site housing, a bar and--would you believe, Starbucks!


Starbucks cafe on campus
Lecture hall
Campus bar
Dining hall / restaurant
Across the road from the on-site housing
Across the road from the on-site housing
Main building at Cardiff Met

Llandaff campus


About 10 minutes to the northwest side of the city is Cardiff Met's Llandaff campus, which is home to Art & Design, Management, also Sport & Health Sciences and Technology.


Did you know? "Llan" in Welsh means "church," and many town names in Wales actually begin with "Llan" to signify the enclosed land around the area of the local church!

This campus has undergone million-pound investments recently and has particularly impressive facilities for art and design in areas like fashion, product design and ceramics.


Its focus is on social responsibility, sustainability and inclusivity; three areas that I personally find interesting.


Cardiff Met Llandaff campus
Llandaff campus student art projects
Product design projects
Product design projects
Product design projects
Heavy machinery for student projects
Sewing machines

Cardiff Metropolitan University: Summary


Overall, Cardiff Met is great option for someone looking to play sports at a high level, study a sports-related subject or a degree with a more practical, hands-on focus, such as art and design (rather than a more academic/research course).


With small class sizes, students get a lot of individual attention and get to know other students and their academics more closely.


And its small campuses also create a more intimate community feel, though it's still close to a major metropolitan city with lots to do.


 

Interested in applying for college or grad school abroad?


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G'day! My name is Sara, and I'm the founder of College Apps Abroad and a Certified Educational Planner (CEP), one of only 40 CEP's in California and 300 worldwide. I have more than 10 years of experience working in international recruitment and admissions, and I've studied and lived overseas myself in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Brazil for almost a decade. I've also worked for some of the world's top institutions, including The University of Edinburgh, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and The University of Western Australia (UWA)!

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