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Universities in Swansea, Wales

Seaside pier with sunset backdrop
Mumbles Pier is a world famous pier located not far away from the city of Swansea.

Swansea is a major coastal city and the second-largest city in Wales, a country part of the United Kingdom which is on the south-western border of England. With a population of nearly 700,000 residents, Swansea has a rich history of cultural events, architecture, and many important industries. In fact, during the 20th century, Swansea was nicknamed “Copperopolis” due to the massive copper-smelting industry in the city!

In recent years, Swansea has become a hub for international students because of its world-class educational facilities and affordable living costs in comparison to universities in London, Manchester and other major British cities. In addition to enjoying the best of life in England, studying in Swansea enables you to experience the unique Welsh culture, with its centuries-old traditions and language.

Top Universities in Swansea

Although it is only the 25th-largest town in the United Kingdom, Swansea offers two famous top-ranked universities for international students, alongside other universities offering specialisations in multiple subject areas.

Swansea University

With a total international student population of over 3,500 out of its 18,000 enrolled students, Swansea University represents a popular choice for international students across hundreds of degree options in a range of subject areas for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

The third largest university in Wales, Swansea University was founded almost exactly a century ago in 1920. Swansea University offers special emphasis on world-class research facilities and degrees offered in a multi-disciplinary manner, involving two or more subject areas. The presence of international students from more than 130 countries will make you feel immediately at home as part of a diverse and welcoming student body and city.

In addition to Swansea University’s historic original campus in Swansea’s Singleton Park area, the university launched a 65-acre second campus along the beach in the Swansea Bay Area. The new Bay Campus is focused on providing world-class research and innovation infrastructure to students and is probably one of the world’s most beautiful university campuses due to its scenic location right by the beach in Swansea. Swansea University also offers brand-new and well-maintained sporting facilities such as multiple swimming pools and tennis courts.

Meanwhile, you can obtain all the help you need to decide and pursue your career options after graduation at the Swansea Employability Academy operated by the university. Additionally, Swansea University also offers a range of “Year in Industry” options as part of most of its undergraduate degrees for international students; this enables you to spend a year in the middle of your 3-year degree working at a well-known company in the industries closely related to your subject of study.

The hassle-free manner in which Swansea University finds top employers to connect international students with is a big attraction for career-minded students in university. World-class research centres at Swansea University include the Global Drug Policy Observatory, the Swansea University Egypt Centre, and the Welsh Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Courses for undergraduate and postgraduate programs are offered to international students at Swansea University in the following eight departments:

  • College of Arts and Humanities
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human and Health Sciences
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law
  • School of Management
  • Medical School
  • College of Science 
  • The College – a department which offers multi-disciplinary courses involving two or more subject areas as part of a degree

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Known officially until 2013 as the Swansea Metropolitan University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is the United Kingdom’s third-oldest university with a Royal Charter after Oxford University and Cambridge University, having been founded as the Swansea (Municipal) School of Arts & Crafts in 1853.

With a total student enrolment of about 25,000, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is spread across three major campuses, including its Swansea campus, as well as fourteen learning centres in major British cities including London and Cardiff. This vast network of institutes across the United Kingdom enables international students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to pursue career opportunities as well as specialist research & innovation in world-class facilities while observing British culture and traditions all over the country.

International students will benefit from the university’s award-winning student support services. Those interested in studying climate sciences and researching related subject areas will be particularly interested in the university’s Institute of Sustainable Practice and Resource Effectiveness or INSPIRE Centre.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David offers courses to international students in the following five departments, for both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs:

  • Athrofa Institute of Education
  • Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering
  • Faculty of Business and Management
  • Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts
  • Swansea College of Art

Swansea Universities World Ranking 2025

Below are the top-ranked Swansea universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2025 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World University Ranking 2025Times Higher Education 2024
Swansea University=298251-300

It must be noted that the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is unranked on both the QS and THE World Rankings. Additionally, there are three top-ranked universities for international students in Wales which are within two hours’ from Swansea by road. They are:

The three top-ranked universities mentioned above are also excellent options for international students interested in studying in Wales.

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Swansea

In addition to Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the city also offers international students the chance to study at many institutes which provide work-study certificates and specialised degrees. These are:

  • Gower College Swansea
  • Swansea College
  • NPTC Group of Colleges – Swansea Construction Centre

Tuition and Living Costs in Swansea

The extremely low tuition cost for international students in Swansea, which has been guaranteed by the government of Wales, is a major reason why so many top-quality students like you are choosing Swansea.

The annual tuition costs for undergraduate degrees at top-ranked Swansea universities will not be over about 12,000 US Dollars for international students at any given time, as decided recently by the Welsh Government. But it must be noted that this upper limit has only been set for undergraduate degrees in Swansea. When it comes to specialised postgraduate degrees such as Medical degrees, for instance, tuition costs can rise to as much as 40,000-45,000 US Dollars annually.

According to Swansea University, the average international student will require between 7,500 to 8,500 US Dollars every year for living expenses. This figure includes between 5,000-7,000 US Dollars a year for shared on-campus or off-campus accommodation, 600-700 US Dollars every year in travel costs and 2,500 US Dollars every year for utilities and food expenses.

These costs are reasonable in comparison to living expenses at top-ranked universities in major cities such as London, for example, where it would cost you almost twice as much for rent and food expenses.

Life in Swansea for International Students

Swansea offers international students a quiet and focused academic life, as well as more than enough venues for entertainment, tourism and cultural study to occupy you during your time away from the classroom. What’s more, Swansea offers great connectivity for international students to major cities around the United Kingdom, and is less than four hours by road from London. This will allow you to travel frequently and visit tourist spots and historical sites all around Wales and England on the weekends, and return to Swansea in time for your first class on Monday.

Swansea offers an exciting mix of historical sites, scenic spots, theatre, and multiple concert halls and nightclubs. The natural beauty of the South Wales coast is a joy to live next to as well. The list of such attractions in and around Swansea includes:

  • The National Waterfront Museum
  • Oystermouth Castle
  • Swansea Bay
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
  • Swansea Museum
  • Mumbles Pier Area
  • Plantasia Tropical Zoo
  • Aberavon Beach
  • Clyne Gardens
  • Swansea Castle
  • Limeslade Bay
  • Brangwyn Hall
  • Loughor Castle
  • Taliesin Art Centre
  • Brynmill Park

Swansea offers international students an exciting and eventful study experience which is comparable to university life for international students in the United Kingdom’s largest cities such as London and Liverpool. But you can enjoy the best of Swansea and the famous Welsh countryside in a far more affordable way.

See our Studying in the UK directory for more information about being an international student in the country, as well as other cities, tuition fees and a full list of courses/subjects available.

See all universities in the UK.

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