Centre for Student Life

We are investing £50m in our student experience by constructing an iconic building at the heart of the University, the Centre for Student Life.

The Centre for Student Life is a service-led project delivered in partnership with the Students’ Union and is part of the biggest campus upgrade in a generation. It is the fruition of a successful and dynamic partnership that the University is proud to enjoy with its student body.

The Centre will provide a heart to the Cathays Campus and a new home for our student support services offering additional social study spaces, consultation rooms, a 550-seat auditorium and quiet contemplation spaces. As well as the building, we are currently transforming the way we support student life by investing in improvements to our support services, including mental health and wellbeing.

In brief

  • Enabling work begins: Early 2018
  • Work due to be completed: 2020
  • Cost: £50m
  • Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • Pre-construction contractor: BAM Construction

The Centre for Student Life is part of our commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience and will transform the way we provide student support services. Our enhanced services will ensure our students feel supported to succeed throughout their student journey, from interested applicant to proud Cardiff University Alumni.

As part of the transformation, we’re developing 24 hour online services and extended opening hours to ensure greater accessibly for students including those based at Heath Park, our distance learners and all those on placement or study abroad.

The new building will be home to a range of services including support with study, health and well-being, preparing for the future, managing money and living in Cardiff. It will also increase links with the Students’ Union and enhance the services already provided there.

Latest updates

DatePlanned activity
14-16 March (19:00 - 07:00)

Welsh Water will construct a manhole at the north end of the site (along the lane near Cathays Station). At the same time, an overground pipeline will be installed along the length of the lane.

Access to the car park behind 55–66 Park Place will be restricted during installation and the lane will be closed to vehicles. Emergency and pedestrian access will be maintained. Once installation is complete, the lane will reopen and the pipeline will remain remain in place for 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday 20 February (04:00-07:00)The gable wall of 49 Park Place will be removed and a new fence installed. During these hours a section of the lane running alongside the rail track/Cathays station will be closed to traffic (except emergency vehicles). 
29 January-9 March
  • Ongoing soft strip work to remove fixtures, fittings, windows, internal walls and roof tiles from 46-48 Park Place.
  • The bus stop outside the Students' Union will be moved approximately 10m towards the centre of town. 4 parking spaces will be removed to accommodate the new bus stop. Other bus stops will not be affected. Additional parking arrangements can be found on Alexandra Gardens and further down on Park Place.
  • The pavement outside the Students’ Union will be widened to improve pedestrian access while the fencing around 47-49 Park Place is in place.
  • 46-49 Park Place will be demolished.
  • A new cashpoint is being installed outside Costa Coffee/Subway.


The most common nuisance generated by construction is dust and noise. It can never be avoided, but it can be controlled by damping down, using hoarding and tarpaulins. As the project starts to take shape, we’d like to thank you for your patience.

Safety is of utmost importance. The construction company will set up the site to suit the surroundings and ensure effective segregation of construction and the University environment. A member of the site team is appointed to work closely with the University to ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors.


The entrance to Cathays train station will remain open throughout the construction period.

Park Place will be narrowed between Cathays station and 45 Park Place. This will involve the removal of some parking spaces and the relocation of the bus stops.

A new, temporary staircase and lift to the Students’ Union from Park Place will replace the existing staircase. These will remain in place throughout the construction period. Access via Senghennydd Road will be open as usual.

The Centre for Student Life has been designed with sustainability in mind. It will focus on reducing energy consumption, supplying energy efficiently, and where possible, using renewable technology to keep the building’s carbon footprint to a minimum. Some of the design features include photovoltaic cells, the use of natural ventilation, a green roof and energy efficient lighting.

The building will be assessed under Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent score. BREEAM measures sustainable value in a series of categories, ranging from energy to ecology.

Get in touch

For any specific queries please email the programme team:

Centre for Student Life programme team