I am a former student at Swansea University and I must say I had one of the best experiences of my life whilst studying there. Its a great campus with a great atmosphere which would appeal to any student.
Swansea University is located around 20 minutes walk from Swansea city centre, situated 100 meters from the sea front of swansea bay. The campus itself was built in a large parkland area called Singleton park and therefore is a great location to study, peaceful and picturesque. Surrounding the park is the affluent area of Sketty, one of the more popular places to live in Swansea. The Campus also has the large Singleton hospital adjacent to it making a great location for nursing and medical students.
The University currently has over 10,000 students studying full time on site, with accomodation located on site and in the surrounding area through private rentals, the on site accomodation is generally reserved for 1st year or Post-graduate students though.
You can study a wide number of subjects at the university including Science, mathematics, engineering, life and natural sciences as well as law, sports science and many more...
The campus has a large Library based in the centre, with over 7 floors of reading material and computer access stations. It also has the Taliesin Arts Theatre, which doubles as a cinema and has a Lloyds bank, a Waterstones book store and a cafe/restaurant in the same building. The central student union building has a games hall equipped with several snooker and pool tables, several restaurants and shops, a pub and night club all under the same roof, a great place to gather following exams.
Further across campus there is the newly constructed Institue of Life Sciences which has a Starbucks cafe inside.
I you decided to bring your own car to university with you, parking on campus is fairly restricted and only used by academic staff, however, there is a large recreation ground known simply as 'The Rec' where there is ample parking for all students and after a large number of vehicle thefts, is now manned at all time during the day. Be warned though, The Rec is council owned and therefore determine the price of the car parking and over recent years has steadily been creeping upwards.
Its location close to the beaches makes it an ideal university for those who like surfing and its proximity to Swansea city centre makes a great university for night life. I loved my time at Swansea Uni and I'm sure you would as well.
I attended Swansea University from September 2005 - July 2008 while reading Marine Biology (BSc). The university is the closest university in Britain to the sea and situated within short walking distance of the city Center. Though personally I would walk in the other direction towards the sea side village of mumbles as its a bit more scenic and has more character, though both involve walking along a path by the beach =)
I wont lie to you the University is not a glamorous University like Royal Holloway or Cambridge. In fact a lot of it is a little scruffy but the interior of each building has improved a lot and a lot of work is being done on the buildings to make them look better, there are two very nice modern buildings. If you do marine biology you even get to witness one of the best aquariums in the UK (technology wise) =). The manor house is the only nice looking historic building and now houses all the offices, it was once owned by the owner of the copper works,
Swansea was voted the best student experience in 2005 and has been runner up in subsequent years. Drinking is very cheap both on site and for students in town. For instance on a Wednesday night I pay 1 pound per pint/shot ets, even two for one pound sometimes. There are clubs to suit everyones taste from the famous Oceana to Sin city for the metal heads out there.
Clubs and Societies:
You really are spoilt for choice, personally I belonged to severral martial arts clubs (2.50 for 2 hours), an archery club (1 pound for two hours), Scuba diving (BSAC), the welsh society (free after small joining fee) and the Anime society (free after small joining fee).
The usual rugby, football, hockey etc clubs all exist as well things like battle reenactment and the dance society.
Swansea is in the top 400 universities world wide, and is typically ranked 40-50 in UK league tables. Maybe not the best uni education wise but I have also attended Imperial and Cambridge and still think the education I achieved at Swansea was of a high standard, though it does vary CONSIDERABLY from degree to degree. Swansea is well known as being one of the best universities in Britain for marine biology. I believe the engineering department are very good too.
The main strength from my degree was the extensive amount of research and paper writing we had to do.
Umm so far I haven't found any uni to be that useful if i'm honest. For PHD offers doing a masters at Imperial is a great help though we get sent phd adverts all the time, far more than many other unis.
The library is large with designated noisy, quiet and silent areas. It contains everything required for most courses provided at Swansea uni, however, unless it has been sorted now, they lost a lot of the natural science books and journals after they closed down the separate natural sciences building and generate a lot of anger.
Just though id add in this for those of you wishing to study genetics. I personally worked in these labs for 6 months and they are the best I have seen except possibly those at the natural history museum (though their labs are very cramped with so much equipment). http://www.ils.swan.ac.uk/
Hmmm how to sum it up, city is ok more of a large town really and lots more shops can be found a short drive away in the uk's first and largest enterprise zone. The gower on the other hand (a bus ride away and still part of Swansea =) ) is one of the most beautiful places on earth =) and was Britains' first officially nominated area of outstanding natural beauty. There are miles upon miles of beaches and two of the best surfing beaches in the UK most famously Llangennith.
I will write a separate review on this but the low down is this. Stay in hendrefoilan and have an awesome time for definite but crummy accommodation (cheap though at £50 inc. bills). Or you can opt to live on campus in which case the rooms are nice each with their own bathroom but you risk not having as much fun. Its luck of the draw on campus some people have great flat mates the others have really dull boring ones.
I attended Swansea Uni for three years to complete my BA (hons) Degree between 2002-05, so here is a breadown of my opinion on it:
The location is great, and Swansea as a City is pretty good. The Uni is quite close to the centre of Swansea (certainly walkable) and is even closer to the coast and some of the beaches. It is also literally across the road from the National Pool Wales.
The City is undergoing massive regeneration so is having a lot of money pumped into it! As a result it has some great new buildings and facilities, and is progressing quickly as Wales' second city.
There is accomodation onsite for freshers and first year students, most 2nd and 3rd (or more) yr students live off site or on a local student village. The village is quite far away but there are regular bus routes.
Most subjects are taught on campus and the campus sprawls quite a large area. It has a great couple of librarys and has good food facilities, bars and nightclub etc.
Had a great time at Swansea, its a great city and worth a look if they have the subject that you are looking for.
Dylan Thomas called it a beautiful ugly town, Terry in the film Twin Town (a must watch film if you're thinking of coming to Swansea) called it a preety sh**ty city. Highlights are the friendly locals, the mumbles - a fishing village a couple of miles along the bay from the Uni campus with loads of pubs and loads of hen and stag nights. the football and rugby clubs, the clubs and pubs in town and the beaches on the Gower. There is loads of accomodation of various standards and a student village, but I would reccommend Brynmill or Uplands. In the next few years Swansea is getting an olympic size national Wales swimming pool, a brand new sports stadium which will host football and rugby and attract concerts, and a couple of top class hotels. The Uni is ok but the town is brilliant
Swansea University, a.k.a. University of Wales, Swansea (UWS), has to be the ideal place to study for your degree. I'm am just coming to the end of my third and final year at UWS, and will be sad to see it go. For me it was the obvious choice. I was planning to do a Computer Science course, and looking through the rankings found in the daily paper, Swansea was ranked in the top 11 out of 120 departments for this subject, in the same league as Oxford and Cambridge. Also, it was only 60 miles from home, and so travelling costs would not mount up as quickly as many other Universities. Anyway, enough about that. What is UWS actually like? Where is it? Well, here we go! LOCATION ======== UWS is, obviously located in Swansea, South Wales. The Uni. iteself it situated on the opposite side of a road to the beach, and is easily accesible from the M4 motorway, in as much as you never leave a dual carriageway between exiting the motorway and pulling into the campus. It's about 50 miles away from Cardiff, and around 70 from the Severn Bridge. CAMPUS LAYOUT ============= UWS is a campus University. That is to say, everything is one place, well, almost anyway. The main campus, surrounded by Singleton Park, contains all the main departments, and some Halls of Residence, catering for about 600 people. More on that later. It is a fair sized campus, and is by no means small. It has all the facilities you could ever need - LLoyds Bank, Post Office, Shop, Bookshop, Theatre/Cinema, Doctor Surgery, Dentists, Child Nursery, two bars (more later), Hairdressers, and the list goes on. Almost, you could live on campus and never leave (an slight exageration, probably). ENTERTAINMENT (i.e THE BARS) ============================ On campus, there are two bars. Now, we all know why people come to university, to drink! So, with two bars, you can certainly do this. The first, Divas, is the Union bar, so chea
p drinks are plentyful (£1.30 pint Carling). It has live entertainment, kareoke, film nights, and many more events. Two nights a week it has a late licence, and stays open until 1am. The second bar is JC's, which despite not being a Union run establishment, is actually slightly cheaper (£1.20 pint Carling). The entertainment isn't as good, but it does have a 'quiet' area if you aren't up for a big night out. It is also home to karaoke one night a week, and also has pool tables and darts, and of course a DJ (and jukebox). ACCOMODATION ============ The accomodation that the University provides is split up into three distinct sections, Halls of Residence, Student Village, and Clyne Halls. The Halls of Residence comprise of three tower blocks, situated right on campus. One of the blocks has all en-suite rooms, and has been recently refurbished along with one of the other two. They are comfortable, with average size rooms, double rooms, and some smaller rooms, which come at a cheaper rate. In with the rent are all bills (the same for all accomodation), and also breakfast. It is essentially self-catering the rest of the time, though you are encouraged to by food at one of the on-campus restaurants, as kitchens in the halls are shared between around 20 people! The Student Village at Hendrefoelan consists of 1600 rooms, located in houses, bungalows, and small flats. This is where I stayed in my first year, and would highly recomend it above all the other options. Rooms are again average sized, but kitchens are a good size and shared by on average 6 or 7 people. None of the rooms are en-suite, but this doesn't seem to cause too many problems. There is another bar (Idols) in the villages, which is very similar to the on-campus 'Divas', and there is also a shop, computer block, tennis/football courts, and a small shop (Spar). It is connected to the University by a bus service, that runs ever
y 10 minutes during the week. The final accomodation option offered by the University are the Clyne Halls. These are set in some old, historic building quite a distance off campus. They do not accomodate many students, but are fully-catered, and are used more by foreign students and, (please don't take offence) snobby people. Personally, I don't know anybody who would recommend Clyne, as it is miles from anywhere, and is only server by a bus to campus every 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can live in a privately rented house. Basically, most people will live in University accomodation for the first year, and then rent privately after that. THE GOOD & BAD POINTS ===================== The University is situated right on the beach, so is great for those who like the beach. It is also popular with surfers, as there are some nearby beachs which attract some great waves, so i'm told (I'm not a surfer, but I know plenty who are). The Universitry is surrounded on its other three sides by Singleton Park, which is huge, so very relaxing. It has all the advantages of being on a campus, and is situated far away from town that it is relaxing and quiet, yet close enough that it does not involve and expedition to get in to town. The academic facilities are excellent, and cannot really be faulted. Being so far away from everywhere else, you do not get so many live, well-known bands coming to Swansea on a regular basis, but Cardiff isn't far away and they do. The University throws plenty of events, such as Balls, which certainly do attract the stars. This years mid-summer ball has got HearSay and Semisonic, last year had Toploader, Honeyz and Jools Holland. Other recenty balls have been host to Space and Travis. For most people, the Uni is quite a distance away, so travelling costs can mount up if you go home a lot, and for most people, it is a long drive to get here in the first place, and
to go home at the end of every term. Really, I cannot recomend UWS highly enough. Before anyone comments, there is just so much to write about that I could never get in this one review. I may update this one when I have time to talk about things such as societies and sports, and my department and course, or I will write a new opinion if there is a suitable category. Be sure to check back, and if there is anything you would like to know about in any updates, let me know, and I shall endeavour to please!
A really friendly campus with quite good facilities, including a cinema. A hop and a skip and you jump onto the beach - literally across the road!! The city centre is only a five minute bus ride away in one direction and the Mumbles (of the Mumbles Mile - pubs, that is!) ten minutes in the other. It's worth making the effort to come and take a look - you might even surprise yourself. Swansea isn't everyone's 1st choice but that's because they haven't been here.
I was quite worried about going to Swansea uni. You know, its in Wales, what is there to do, I hadn't even seen it. Anyway, on getting there I was so surprised. The campus, while not being as big as many others is situated right on the beach. It offers all the usual bars, shops etc... and the lectures halls and on site accomodation were excellent. I spent the first year on campus and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is also a village about 3 miles away which has its own facilities and has 7/8 people houses as well as blocks of flats. The city is no more than 3/4 miles away and there are excellent bus services and taxis to and from campus. Swansea town centre, although not the most beautiful place in the world is a fine place to live.There are plenty of bars/pubs and clubs and the night life is as good as any large town, catering for all tastes. There are planty of shops with a reasonably large Quadrant Center situated by the bus depot. Other places of interest is the Gower which is a reasonable bus ride away, but The Mumbles, a fanous night spot of over a mile or two of bars and night clubs is THE place to visit. Getting back is the challenge though!!!! All this situated right on the beach front makes, in my opinion, Swansea one of the greatest towns, and universities I have visited. If it does the course your looking for I recommend it hands down. You can't do better.