Aerial view of campus
Image credit: Webb Aviation

The Campus Master Plan is a major transformation of our campus to provide new state-of-the-art research, teaching and student facilities.

Plans have been drawn up for cutting edge new amenities to improve the student experience and to develop our Innovation campus on Maindy Road to help drive the Welsh economy.

The proposals, which are a key part of our blueprint for the future, known as the Master Plan, will take shape over the next few years and will transform the University and the city of Cardiff.

The Master Plan was developed after a major consultation with staff and students, and approved by the University's Council in December 2014. Work on the first phase will cost in the region of £450m, including £300m for the Innovation campus.

This first phase of the Master Plan shows our direction of travel and where our priorities lie. We are focusing on Innovation and our students at this stage. There will be an enormous boost to our research and the general student experience. The development will provide the foundations for the long-term success of the University. Further announcements will be made as discussions with our key partners move forward.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor

A vision for the future

Model of the University campus
An architect’s model of the Innovation campus on Maindy Road.

The campus Master Plan will provide the buildings to help the University reach its goals as outlined in The Way Forward. The investment will:

  • boost the visual appearance of the city of Cardiff and the University
  • promote the University's international reputation
  • provide economic and social benefits to Cardiff, Wales and beyond
  • transform the campus for the 21st Century
  • deliver state-of-the-art facilities
  • provide a clear strategic direction for the long-term success of the University
  • meet industry standards of excellence and promote sustainable development.

These plans have the potential to push this University to new heights. Involving staff and students in the process has been vital to get us to this position. There is a lot of hard work ahead but the benefits to the University and its communities will be enormous.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Phase one

The focus on phase one is the development of the Innovation campus and major investment in landmark buildings to provide better facilities for students.

These facilities include:

  • a purpose-built Centre for Student Life
  • a new learning resources centre/library
  • a new facility for maths and computer science.

The Centre for Student Life will transform the way that University student services are delivered. This iconic building will be a one-stop shop for students, providing easy access, a wide range of student services and advice in a welcoming and modern environment.  The centre will offer open, informal spaces for socialising and learning, as well as being an ideal location for large events such as careers fairs and showcase events. Opening times will be extended, with the ability to arrange appointments with all services from one contact point.

The centre will be linked physically to the Students' Union building on Park Place, helping forge even closer links between the University and the SU.

The University library and information resources on the Cathays campus will be brought together into a central location. Within easy walking distance of the main academic and residential sites, it will provide a welcoming and accessible focal point for students and researchers to meet and study during long opening hours, and for the public to engage with the University through exhibitions and special events.

A wide variety of high-quality study zones will be provided to make access to the expert staff and the multi-disciplinary printed books, journals, special collections and archives as convenient as possible. The latest technology will support the use of an extensive range of electronic resources. The library will be at the heart of the University, providing integrated, flexible space to create the impact needed to attract the best students and researchers to Cardiff.

The development of an innovation campus at Maindy Road will support our vision of Innovation-led growth. Our work will boost the Welsh economy and help provide solutions to global issues.

The Innovation Campus

The Innovation campus comprises of:

The University will also undertake a continuous programme of upgrades to existing teaching, learning and office accommodation.


In 2016 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh opened our new £44m Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) on the Innovation campus.

Housing a combination of neuroimaging equipment unique within Europe, CUBRIC continues to further its world-leading research which has already established Cardiff University as one of the UK’s top three universities for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience.


Main Building
Main Building is more than 100 years old.

The Master Plan is focused on a time scale of at least ten years, while much of phase one would be completed in around half that time. The two innovation buildings, the Centre for Student Life, the library, and the maths and computer science building are all earmarked for completion in the first phase.