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Fee and access plan 2021-22

Section 1. Fee levels

1.1. Fee levels or the determination of a fee level at each location

(Guidance paragraphs 85-93).

Fee levelLocation of course
£9,000 per annum

On Campus

BA, BDS, BEng, BMus, BSc, BScEcon, LLB, MArch, MBBCh, MChem, MEng, MSci, MMath, MPharm, MPhys, MBiomed, MMORS, MNeuro, PCET/PGCE

£1,800 (Sandwich year out in Industry - 20% of the full-time fee)

Sandwich year out in Industry

BA, BDS, BEng, BMus, BSc, BScEcon, LLB, MBBCh, MChem, MEng, MSci, MMath, MPharm, MPhys, MBiomed, MMORS, MNeuro

£1,350 (Erasmus / Year Abroad - 15% of the full-time fee)

Erasmus / Year Abroad

BA, BDS, BEng, BMus, BSc, BScEcon, LLB, MBBCh, MChem, MEng, MSci, MMath, MPharm, MPhys, MBiomed, MMORS, MNeuro

£4,500 (Sandwich year with higher attendance requirement,50% of the full-time fee)

Sandwich year in Industry


1. 2  Aggregate fee levels

(Guidance paragraphs 94-98)

The aggregate fee for the full course is the total of the fees for each year of the course. Fees in 2021/22 may increase in line with any changes to Welsh Government policy. Where fee variations apply to courses due to a period of placement or overseas study while registered at Cardiff University, these are clearly communicated at the time of application.

Cardiff University’s communications are aimed at potential applicants to the University, current students, parents, staff in secondary schools and colleges including teachers and careers advisors, and University staff in order to ensure that all stakeholders receive accurate, timely and consistent information. We ensure that the information provided meets the quality standard set out in Part C of the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education, the requirements of the guidance published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the good practice described in Information for Students: a guide to providing information to prospective undergraduate students . Our student complaints and appeals procedures are aligned to the CMA’s advice and to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s good practice framework.

Communication methods include:


  • Dedicated web pages contain information of tuition fees, funding opportunities including scholarships and bursaries, and student support. The pages include links to other related websites including Student Finance Wales/England/Scotland/Northern Ireland, as well as signposting applicants to useful University contacts.
  • We continue to develop our Key Information Sets (KIS), standardised information about undergraduate courses which are designed to be comparable across all UK higher education institutions. This has ensured that a wide range of information specific to each course of 3 study, and on the institution in general, is made available to prospective students. Each KIS is presented as a webpage that provides information on a programme of study and includes details of; course overview, entry requirements, tuition fees, course structure, placement opportunities, accreditation, learning and assessment, and degree programme structure. Detail has recently been added on applications per place. An example of our KIS.
  • To ensure that there is clearer information available for applicants and offer holders, rather than include links to the relevant fees and student support on our applicant portal, we now more proactively confirm fees in the applicant’s offer letter. We then send a series of communications to offer holders to ensure that they receive information directly relevant to their fee status.

Marketing materials/open days

  • The University communicates information on fees and support available to prospective students at open days, visit days, HE Fairs and schools and colleges liaison activity. It is also available in prospectuses, brochures, scholarship and bursary leaflets and advice from University staff. Information is included in presentations for teachers and careers advisers as well as in the student finance talks for applicants.
  • We use social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and YouTube to communicate with prospective and current students.


  • Applicants to the University receive an email acknowledging receipt of their application and providing links to our online fee information.
  • We communicate with all offer holders in the form of a newsletter which details scholarship and bursary provision.
  • Our formal offer letter details the tuition fees payable for the first year of the programme and outlines any potential increase in fees for subsequent years of study. We communicate fee charges throughout the duration of study.

Section 2. Student partnership

(Guidance paragraphs 99-102)

The Way Forward 2018-23 sets out our ambition to ‘be known as a University that encourages high levels of student engagement, and that listens to our students, responding to their needs and expectations, and providing them with opportunities to shape their education and the wider student experience’. Our Education and Students strategy commits us to:

  • engage all our students in meaningful dialogue about their learning, including providing regular, timely and accessible feedback to inform academic progress
  • listen actively to the student voice in order to inform future planning and create a learning environment that meets our students’ expectations
  • extend the opportunities through which students can actively contribute to university life and help shape their educational experience, including student-led projects and student ambassador schemes.

Our approach to student engagement reflects the principles of Wise Wales1 .

Working with the Students’ Union

The Student Charter outlines what students can expect from the University and the Students' Union, and our students’ responsibilities in making the most of their university experience. It includes expectations of openness, honesty, equality, diversity and celebration of Welsh language and culture. It is reviewed annually by the Students’ Union and University to ensure its continued relevance. The University supports the Students’ Union to achieve its goals, including; engaging all students, providing developmental/volunteering opportunities, creating sector-leading facilities and providing sporting activities, societies and independent advice services. Participation in recognised activities is included in the University’s enhanced transcripts for students.

Students’ Union elected officers participate as full members of major University committees and strategic groups including:

  • Senate – our chief academic authority, responsible for determining educational policy.
  • Council - the governing body of the University. It is responsible for the efficient management and conduct of the affairs of the University, including finances and estates.
  • Governance Committee –advises Council on the level of compliance by the University with the mandatory requirements of legislation and other regulations.
  • Policy and Resources Committee – responsible for scrutiny of capital funding for initiatives and evaluating impact.
  • Academic Standards and Quality Committee – responsible for oversight of student progression and attainment.
  • Welsh Medium Education Strategy Group – responsible for oversight of the University’s Welsh medium strategy and development of further Welsh medium provision.
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee – shall be responsible for advising the Council through the Governance Committee on the development and implementation of strategies for ensuring legal compliance and best practice in all matters relating to equal opportunities and diversity.
  • Student Experience Strategy Group - responsible for oversight of the education and student strategy.

Student officers also serve on the steering boards for all our student-facing projects, including the Centre for Student Life. They have direct and regular access to senior decision-makers, including the Vice Chancellor and other members of the University Executive Board (UEB). As part of our quality assurance processes students are formal members of the standing panel that considers all significant programme changes and developments, our Annual Review and Enhancement Committees and all Periodic Review Panels.  Students’ Union officers also serve on our Academic Appeals, Complaints, Disciplinary and Fitness to Practice appeal panels.

The University is a supportive partner in the Students’ Union annual ‘Speak Week’, which is a highlight of the student voice calendar. Students are asked ‘If you ran the University, what would you keep and what would you change?’; a question which consistently generates a wide range of constructive feedback. From the student feedback gathered during Speak Week, the Students’ Union produces an annual Student View (formerly called the Student Written Submission (SWS)) for our University Council. A University response to The Student View and an action plan are agreed by University Executive Board and received by University Council for scrutiny. Activities and actions are monitored and evaluated by the Student View Strategy Group which meets at least three times a year and is co-chaired by the Students’ Union President and the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience & Academic Standards.

We have also established a partnership project model to develop a deeper understanding of student views on specific issues in the SWS and  to inform policy development and organisational change. Each project includes membership of staff and students. Examples of topics  covered include improving effective communication with students; understanding the international student journey; enhancing the student  representation system; and supporting student assessment literacy.

A new development for the 2021/22 Fee and Access Plan has been the introduction of an autumn planning meeting between the University and the full SU sabbatical team. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a formal opportunity for the SU to raise matters of concern and 6 interest to them regarding the development of our approach to the FAP, and for the University to better understand the SU’s view on the FAP proposals. The sabbatical officers meeting is also attended by SU executive officers, as these are highly engaged individuals who often subsequently put themselves forward for a sabbatical position, thereby providing some continuity to annual discussions on the FAP. The SU also has opportunity to review and influence draft documentation prior to its submission to our Governance Committee for scrutiny.

Student Voice

We value our students’ views and opinions, and our many student voice activities, working in partnership with the Students’ Union, provide opportunities throughout the year for students to share their views about what the University is doing well and what it can do better. We also have mechanisms in place to communicate to students and to staff how student feedback has brought about change across the University. This has been more developed in 2019/20 following the appointment of Student Voice Campaign Officer.

Managed in partnership with the Students’ Union, our student academic representation system enables student representatives to play an important role in decision-making at course level, drawing on feedback from the wider student body. There is an annual cycle of training for our student representatives led by the Students’ Union and delivered in partnership with School Student Rep Coordinators, and an annual training conference. Student reps engage with their programme cohorts and speak on their behalf in a range of well-established School and College fora. These include student-staff panels and regular College meetings of student panel chairs. This involvement ensures the student voice is heard and considered in decision-making.

Students are encouraged to provide feedback through a number of mechanisms either directly via feedback tools or via their peers of student representatives or the Student Champions team (see below). These include:

  • Student-staff panels (SSPs) enable all student academic reps to meet with staff in their schools and share their student experiences on a regular basis.  These meetings are chaired by a nominated student rep and minutes are taken by a student rep. SSP minutes are shared with the Students’ Union who create a termly ‘impact report’, which outlines the key issues students are facing as well as areas of particular strength.  Student-staff panel chairs are also invited to Boards of Study to discuss the feedback from students.
  • College Forums are an opportunity for student chairs of School student-staff panels to come together and raise issues which have arisen in student-staff panels with the Students’ Union officers, College Deans and other members of staff by invitation.
  • Student Champions are current students engaged by the University as change agents to help us to develop a deeper understanding of student views on specific issues, and ensure students are engaged with us as partners. They are supported through the Centre for Education Support and Innovation (CESI).  These students have been involved in a variety of projects, including the design of user-experience (UX) methodology for the Digital Learning Environment Review as well as providing valuable input into the development of the student app, increasing engagement with the National Student Survey and facilitating partnership projects and workshops for various initiatives relating to student experience.
  • Student Voice Campaign is no longer a singular event, rather a series of activities through the year to help close the feedback loop so students recognise that their feedback is valued, listened to and acted upon. The CESI Student Voice Campaign Officer working with student representatives and staff work together within schools to highlight to students the changes they are making and how they can work in partnership to improve their student experience.
  • Module evaluation gives students feedback on all their modules via an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly online tool. These data provide a deeper understanding of trends in student satisfaction across the University and help to highlight priorities for responsive and appropriate action at school and University levels. Module convenors report back to students on module evaluation data and actions taken as a result of student feedback.
  • National Student Survey (NSS) responses and feedback are received via the annual NSS of undergraduate final year students. The results of the NSS are scrutinised at school, college and university levels, with priorities for action and improvement identified and monitored via the Student Experience Strategy Group.
  • Survey Management Framework - A singular institutionally owned framework which ensures that the student voice be heard and acted upon, with closure of feedback loops at all levels. The framework provides a streamlined cycle of design, analysis, reporting and publication for all student surveys as well as clarity on the governance, responsibility, data ownership and engagement with key stakeholders.

Development of the FAP is also influenced through consideration of the participant feedback that is routinely collected and analysed as part of our student experience programmes including:

  • Step-Up
  • Student mentoring
  • Wellbeing champions
  • Employability initiatives, and
  • Global opportunities.

Our students also help to deliver several programmes and activities set out in the Plan. For instance:

  • Placements for developing Learning, Teaching and Research at Cardiff where students have the opportunity to work on projects to enhance learning, teaching and research. Cardiff University Student Education Innovation Projects (CUSEIP) enable students to work directly with staff on learning and teaching enhancement projects, primarily via summer placements.
  • HE roadshows delivered in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University, raises awareness of higher education and provides advice at an early stage about careers and subject choices. Our students design and deliver interactive presentations to pupils in years 9-11. It aims to raise awareness of higher education and its benefits and to motivate pupils. It provides careers advice relevant to HE at an early stage so that pupils make an informed choice about GCSEs and FE.

Student and staff feedback on these schemes is very positive, with academic colleagues noting the important impact of having student involvement on projects, giving it currency; students noting the scheme gives them an opportunity to be a co-partner with academics on projects as well as providing valuable employability experience.

Section 3. Under-represented groups

(Guidance paragraphs 107-113)

Identified by HEFCW as under-represented in higher education:

  • people of all ages domiciled in the Welsh Index of Multiple Index bottom two quintiles (WIMD40 and separately WIMD20)
  • people of all ages from low participation neighbourhoods (POLAR 4)
  • part-time higher education students
  • people with protected characteristics
  • Welsh medium students.

Identified by the Reaching Wider programme:

  • within the bottom two quintiles of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation:
    • post-16 young people
    • adults without level 4 qualifications, to provide progression to level 4 provision.
  • and Wales-wide:
    • children looked after
    • care leavers
    • carers in all age groups

Identified by Cardiff University as under-represented, student who are/have :

  • Students with autism spectrum conditions (pre-entry), students with autism spectrum conditions, mental health conditions or additional learning needs
  • asylum seekers
  • refugees
  • forces veterans and families
  • estranged from families
  • first in the family to attend HE
  • person from a household income below £35000

Section 4. Objectives as they relate to supporting equality of opportunity and the promotion of HE

(Guidance paragraphs 114-148)

4.1. Equality of opportunity

Objective 1

Raise aspirations and increase access to HE amongst under-represented groups.

Objective 2

Ensure that continuation rates for underrepresented groups are in line with the rest of the student population.

Objective 3

Increase the number of students studying through the medium of Welsh through the enhancement of the University’s Welsh Language community, culture and provision.

Objective 4

Improve the employability of under-represented students

4.2. Promotion of higher education

Objective 1

Continue to focus on global, community and civic engagement that is impactful and of high quality.

Objective 2

Provide a high-quality learning and teaching environment.

Objective 3

Focus on enhancement that improves the student experience.

Objective 4

Continue to provide curricula and wider opportunities to enhance student employability

Document control table

Document title:Fee and access plan 2021-22
Document status:Approved
Date approved:16 June 2021
Approved by:S.B. Palmer