Cardiff University School of Medicine

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Cardiff University School of Medicine

The Cardiff University School of Medicine is the medical school of Cardiff University and is located in Cardiff, Wales, UK. Founded in 1893 as part of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it is the oldest medical school in Wales.

It is one of the largest medical schools in the United Kingdom, employing nearly 500 academic and 300 support staff; and with over 1000 undergraduate and 1100 postgraduate students enrolled on medical and scientific courses. The school has an annual financial turnover of over £50 million, of which nearly half comes from competitive external research funding. The school is based at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

The medical school was founded as Cardiff Medical School in 1893 when the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology were established at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University). The opening ceremony took place on 14 February 1894 at the College buildings on Dumfries Place and was conducted by John Viriamu Jones, Principal of the College, and Richard Quain, President of the General Medical Council. During the ceremony professors of the new medical school encouraged it to emulate the recent advances in medical education at the University of Heidelberg. A department of Pathology and Bacteriology was added in 1910. Students finishing their preclinical studies at Cardiff went on to other medical schools for their clinical studies, many going to University College Hospital in London, part of University College London. In 1921 it became a clinical and pre-clinical medical school with the name of the Welsh National School of Medicine, and in 1931 it became an independent institution of the University of Wales. The name was further changed in 1984, to University of Wales College of Medicine.

In 2002, ideas were floated to re-merge Cardiff with the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) following the publication of the Welsh Assembly Government’s review of higher education in Wales. This merger became effective on 1 August 2004, on which date Cardiff University ceased to be a constituent institution of the University of Wales and became an independent “link institution” affiliated to the federal University. The process of the merger was completed on 1 December 2004 when the Act of Parliament transferring UWCM’s assets to Cardiff University received Royal Assent. On 17 December it was announced that the Privy Council had given approval to the new Supplemental Charter and had granted university status to Cardiff, legally changing the name of the institution to Cardiff University. Cardiff awarded University of Wales degrees to students admitted before 2005, but these have been replaced by Cardiff degrees. Medicine, dentistry and other health-related areas began to admit students for Cardiff degrees in 2006.

Vision and ambition

Our vision is for excellence in all that we do. Our collaboration and innovation will always focus on patient need.

Research will be driven by creativity and curiosity, with the desire to address unmet clinical and healthcare needs.

Our educational programmes will inspire our students and staff.

Our ambition

Our overall ambition is to feature consistently in the top ten medical schools in the UK. In achieving this ambition we will:

  • be at the forefront of world-leading medical research
  • provide an educational experience that fulfils our students
  • produce outstanding clinicians and researchers for the future
  • improve the health and wealth of the people of Cardiff, Wales and beyond
  • provide a professional business environment with strong fiscal controls and planned growth and development
  • ensure our staff are supported and encouraged to undertake career development to reach their maximum potential.


School of Medicine, UHW Main Building,

Heath Park,

Cardiff, CF14 4XN