Aberystwyth top in UK for Student Satisfaction
Facilities & Services
Information for International Students
Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards
|Aberystwyth University of Wales|
|King Street, SY23 2AX Aberystwyth|
+44 (0)1970 623 111
Students applying for Residences should note that wherever possible Postgraduates are allocated together. The Residences available to Postgraduates for up to 50 weeks’ residency are self-catering (one is en-suite), and range from town-based accommodation to houses adjacent to campus. Full details of the accommodation available to Postgraduates will be sent to you when you apply.
The University through the Accommodation Office will assist you with any problems or difficulties that might arise.
Students preferring to opt for the Private Sector or who will have dependents when studying, are advised to contact the Accommodation Office for accommodation lists and advice as soon as possible.
The University Campuses
The University has three principal sites. The main campus, Penglais, is one of the finest, and probably the most spectacularly located in Britain. Situated on Penglais Hill, it enjoys panoramic views of the town of Aberystwyth, the adjoining coast, and the Irish Sea. Just behind it, the Llanbadarn Campus also enjoys an elevated position overlooking the Vale of Rheidol and the coast. On the seafront is the original home of the University, the Old College. This now houses two academic departments and much of the University’s administration. The proximity of the town to the campuses means that everything is within walking distance. For students, it is only a short walk from the halls of residence, to their departments, to the sports facilities, and to the town centre without time-consuming and costly commuting.
Researchers and students enjoy easy access to IT services, library and other resources that are available in Aberystwyth, not just the University facilities but other centres of excellence also.
Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies
The Centre was established by the University of Wales is 1978 to provide a focus for post-doctoral research in Welsh and Celtic Studies. The centre is now housed in an impressive modern building located between the National Library and the University Campus. The high quality of the Centre’s research was acknowledged in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise with the award of a grade 5.
The University of Wales runs a residential study centre in a former mansion surrounded by 750 acres of gardens and woodlands. It can accommodate up to 100 guests and is primarily used by departments for short field and study courses or conferences. Staff and postgraduate students also use the Hall as a quiet retreat to write up their research or as a study centre; the library specialises in Celtic Studies, the Fine Arts and Music.
The internationally renowned BBSRC Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research developed from the University’s research work in agricultural botany. The Institute opened in 1919 under the leadership of Sir George Stapledon and has made a major contribution to the improvement of the World’s grasslands.
Information Services (U.W.A.)
The University has established an integrated Information Service to provide library, computing and audio-visual services:
The Hugh Owen Library houses the University’s main collections in the humanities, social and economic studies, earth and biological sciences and law. The Thomas Parry Library houses texts relating to Information Sciences and Agriculture. Mathematical and Physical sciences, Computer Science, and Education have immediate access to their own specialist collections.
The University’s libraries house more than 700,000 volumes and more than 3,000 different periodical titles. In addition, students have access to a vast range of computerised information resources and links with other libraries. There are specialist staff on hand to help you obtain full benefit from the collections.
Information Services provides computer facilities for the research and course work of postgraduates. Courses in the use of software packages and computing facilities are run regularly. There are specialist staff on hand to help students with any computing problems which they may encounter.
We currently more than 1000 workstations for student use. Many are available on 24-hour access. This is a relatively high ratio compared with other universities in the UK.
Students can access their emails remotely, even when they are not in Aberystwyth.
The use of Blackboard software for teaching and Voyager for library searches are invaluable tools for our students.
Information Services provides a wide range of graphics, video, audio and reprographic services in support of teaching and research. It has a well equipped Media Centre and can provide support for the use of digital media and other multimedia applications in e-learning.
For further information, please see: www.inf.aber.ac.uk/central/qaa.asp
The results of the Information Services Satisfaction Survey 2006 is available at: www.inf.aber.ac.uk/library/survey-result.asp.
Language Resource Centre (U.W.A.)
The Language Resource Centre offers excellent facilities for ab initio learning and intensive practice of many languages: Breton, English as a foreign language, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Welsh. Some material is also available for Arabic, Dutch, Gaelic, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Jersey, Romansh, Romanian, Russian and Swedish. It has a substantial collection of audio and video material including foreign films, particularly in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Computer assisted language learning facilities at present offer software for French, German and Italian. The Language and Learning Centre, which provides language tuition for overseas students, also uses the laboratory.
National Library of Wales
The University is very fortunate to have the National Library of Wales, one of the great copyright libraries, adjacent to the Campus. The National Library of Wales is a treasure-house of information for the people of Wales. It contains over 4 million printed volumes – books, periodicals, newspapers, official publications, maps, music – old and new, from many countries and different periods of history. It houses manuscripts and archives, pictures and photographs, posters and ephemera, collected nowadays in electronic as well as more traditional forms. In addition the Library has radio and TV recordings, films, videotapes and sound recordings ranging from wax cylinders to CDs – everything to reflect Wales and the Welsh people throughout the world. The National Library's extensive collections are a priceless resources for all fields. Only a few other universities can offer such easy access to every copyright publication in the UK.
Research Training (U.W.A.)
Aberystwyth is committed to the provision of high quality research training for its postgraduate students, and has developed a Research Training Programme for this purpose. The programme is interdisciplinary, and provides a range of modules which will help develop and enhance your research skills. These modules cover information and computing skills; research design and communication; ethical and legal issues; philosophical bases of research; research methodology and analysis; ways of reading; and language skills. The course will help the new postgraduate to grasp quickly what is required to complete a successful research degree, and it will provide them with many of the skills required to do so. Overall, it will enable the thesis to be completed more efficiently; it will give you a range of transferable and marketable research skills; and it helps to provide a thriving research environment in which students from different disciplines can meet regularly and explore common research issues.
All Research Councicls recognise the importance of research training. For further information about the programme and about which elements you will have to take, see the U.W.A. Research Training Handbook available on the Postgraduate Studies Office website: www.aber.ac.uk/postgrads/research-training.html
The Science Park is located next to the University campus and encourages fruitful interaction between industry and academics. Several of the companies on the Science Park were initially established through the University’s own research work, indicating the commitment of departments to practical research and development work.
Furthermore, the University’s CRISALIS Germinator is situated on the Science Park. The purpose built Germinator, located on the Science Park, provides a professionally managed business environment, ideal for developing new business ideas and start-ups spinning out of the University. In addition, first-rate business support services are available on-site to ensure that ideas germinate into successful businesses.
Student Support Services
Student support at Aberystwyth is provided by a number of different services. This network is organised by The University’s Director of Student Support.
Students with Disabilities
The University welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The University has embarked upon an extensive building programme to improve access to all its buildings. The provision of information services is being improved with the creation of ‘green card’ areas with resources dedicated to students with disabilities. More information about our facilities are available upon request. You should indicate your disability when you apply so that the we can give thought to how we can assist your studies. Notification has no bearing on the academic decision to make an offer of a place to study in Aberystwyth.
UK students should note the existence of the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). See also:
Guild of Students
The Guild provides a welfare service maintained by a full-time Welfare Adviser. The service can offer details of housing, finance and visas as well as assisting with individual problems. Nightline is a confidential and anonymous helpline for all students run by students.
Based at the Student Health Centre, the service is staffed by the University Medical Officer (MO), and the University Nurse, supported by a Medical Secretary. The Medical Officer is available for advice, consultation and support on a wide range of problems including health, general welfare, emotional difficulties and stress-related problems. The nurse can evaluate minor injuries and ailments as well as give general advice on health matters.
The service is supplementary to that provided by the NHS, is non-prescribing and the staff work closely with the local general medical practitioners and hospital services. Students are strongly advised to register with a local General Practitioner at the earliest opportunity.
The University operates a day nursery that is set in over a quarter of an acre of fully enclosed gardens with a large, safe play area. Full and part-time places are available for children between 6 weeks and 5 years of age.
The University also operates after-school clubs and holiday play schemes that include swimming, outings to parks, walks, games, arts and crafts etc. Childcare can be arranged for students who have to attend lectures on Bank holidays or school INSET days, or if an exam needs to be taken on a Saturday. The University also maintains a list of local registered childminders.
To ensure that appropriate arrangements can be made, please apply before the end of February.
After School Club
There are two University after school clubs, one on campus and one near the main town primary schools. Transport can be arranged from town locations to the on-campus club, but may, in some cases, involve individual taxi collections.
There are playschemes held during most school holidays for children of staff and students. Activities include swimming, outings to parks, walks, games, arts and crafts etc. There is plenty of free play to allow children to unwind and enjoy themselves during their holidays.
Culture and Sport
Aberystwyth Arts Centre offers a varied and extensive year-round programme of events to appeal to all tastes. The Arts Centre is located on the campus and houses a concert hall, cinema, studio, theatre, a gallery, café and book shop. The Arts Centre’s facilities were recently extended with an award of over £3.5m from the Arts Council of Wales.
If music is your interest you will be pleased to learn that Aberystwyth is rich in opportunities for student musicians. There are numerous choirs, musical theatre groups, an award winning symphony orchestra that regularly performs with top international soloists, a chamber orchestra, brass and wind bands and plenty of chances for music-making of all kinds. In a recent national survey the University gained a top place for the number of concerts it promotes each year.
Instrumental and vocal tuition is available to all students at reasonable rates. Orchestral instrumentalists can audition for the Music Bursaries (value £400 p.a.) awarded to new postgraduate, as well as undergraduate, entrants in any subject. Details of the Bursaries and a leaflet, Musical Life, are available from the Director of Music.
For further details visit the Music Centre web site at: www.aber.ac.uk/~muswww
A wide variety of sports and recreational activities are organised by the Athletics Union and the Sports Centre. Aberystwyth has excellent natural and man-made facilities and opportunities exist to try many sports ranging from rugby to rock climbing, and water polo to windsurfing. The University’s sports halls have many facilities including a heated swimming pool and a recently refurbished gym. There is also an all weather sports pitch, and over 50 acres of playing fields.
Guild of Students
All students are members of the Guild of Students. The Students’ Union building on the Campus is the main focus of social and recreational activity. It provides a wide range of services and facilities including cafés and bars, travel and insurance bureaux and a games area. The Union Shop is stocked with stationery, newspapers and confectionery. The Guild runs and finances a full range of clubs and societies ranging from political and cultural clubs to societies based on academic departments. An active programme of social events is provided by the Guild.
UWA Staff Sports and Social Club
Postgraduate students are eligible to join the Staff Sports & Social Club, which is located in the Brynamlwg Clubhouse on the Penglais Campus.
Excellence in Teaching and Research
Aberystwyth provides you with a well balanced range of academic interests in three faculties: Arts and Social Sciences and Science. A myriad of individual research opportunities exists which can lead to the award of an MPhil or PhD degree. We also offer an extensive selection of taught postgraduate programmes leading to certificates, diplomas and Master's qualifications.
The Higher Education Council has been systematically assessing the teaching quality in UK Universities. The following subjects taught at Aberystwyth were rated excellent:
- Accounting and Finance
- Biological Sciences
- Business Studies
- Computer Science
- Environmental Earth Science
- Environmental Science
- Information and Library Studies
- International Politics
- Software Engineering
- Celtic Studies
In order to promote teaching excellence, our University recognises the outstanding contributions made by its staff and postgraduate teachers to the learning experience of our students. Awards for Teaching Excellence are awarded annually by our Vice-Chancellor.
The UK Research Councils periodically undertake a comprehensive national survey of the quality of the research undertaken by universities. This survey is called the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The following subject areas at Aberystwyth were rated internationally excellent in some areas of research activity and nationally excellent in all others in the last RAE in 2001:
- Applied Mathematics
- Computer Science
- History & Welsh History
- International Politics
- Theatre, Film and Television Studies
- Welsh & Celtic Studies
We are particularly proud of the achievements of the Department of Theatre, Film & Television Studies (5), the Department of Welsh Language & Literature (5*), and the Department of International Politics (5*) in attaining the highest grades in the Research Assessment Exercise 2001.
The next RAE will be held in 2008.
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