History

The University opened its doors on 24 October 1883 and was formally established by Royal Charter in 1884. 

We were named the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire and were tiny in comparison to our current size. There were just:

  • 13 academic staff 
  • 12 departments
  • 102 full-time degree students
  • 49 part-time students.

In 1893 we became one of the founding institutions of the University of Wales and began awarding their degrees. By 1972 we had taken the name University College, Cardiff.

Mergers

We merged with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology  (UWIST) in 1988. In 1999 the public name of the University changed to Cardiff University.

In 2004 we merged with the University of Wales College of Medicine. The College of Medicine was part of the original University but had split off in 1931, making this a reunification.

In December 2004 the Privy Council approved a new Supplemental Charter granting us university status. Our legal name changed to Cardiff University. We are now independent of the University of Wales.

We awarded students admitted before 2005 University of Wales degrees. Since then we award students Cardiff University degrees.

Coat of arms

Coat of arms
Our coat of arms

The College of Arms granted our coat of arms in 1988 after the merger with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology.

The arms feature 'supporters', which in heraldry are rarely granted to universities. The angel and the dragon are derived from the crests of the merged institutions. 

The motto "Gwirionedd, Undod a Chytgord" is the closing phrase of the prayer for the Church Militant in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. It means "Truth, Unity and Concord".