Cardiff Schools and Colleges

There was a mighty kerfuffle around these parts last week, stirred by an email from the Vice-Chancellor “designate”, Prof. Colin Riordan. The incoming Vee-Cee doesn’t take over until September, but he’s clearly planning to do some pre-emptive reorganization.

The Cardiff University is currently divided into academic Schools and administrative Directorates. There are 27 Schools, including Physics & Astronomy where I work. The current system is a bit unusual in that the Heads of these Schools report directly to the Vice-Chancellor. Some other universities have an extra organization layer on the academic side, sometimes called Faculties.  Cardiff University used to have faculties, actually, but it lost them some time ago. The same could be said for many of its staff, come to think of it.

Anyway, Prof. Riordan has decided that he doesn’t want to have to talk to 27 Heads of School and has proclaimed that Cardiff will have a new structure consisting of three Faculties Colleges into which the existing schools will be grouped in thuswise fashion:


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Cardiff Business School

Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning

Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Cardiff School of European Languages, Translation and Politics

Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Cardiff Law School

Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

School of Music

Cardiff School of Social Sciences

School of Welsh

College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

School of Biosciences

School of Dentistry

School of Healthcare Studies

School of Medicine

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Wales Deanery / School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education

School of Psychology

College of Physical Sciences

Welsh School of Architecture

Cardiff School of Chemistry

Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Cardiff School of Engineering

Cardiff School of Mathematics

School of Physics and Astronomy

I didn’t realise before that some Schools are called “Cardiff School of….” or even “Welsh School of…” and others just “School of…”. I wonder why? Anyway, you can see that we’re now in the College of Physical Sciences along with Chemistry, Engineering etc and, um, Architecture. The new arrangement may also provide me with an opportunity to find out what “Informatics” means…

Having these new-fangled Colleges means that there are positions available as Heads thereof, and existing Heads of Schools have been invited to apply, hence a flurry of CV polishing.

Fortunately for all concerned, I’m not eligible.

6 Responses to “Cardiff Schools and Colleges”

  1. donnachakirk Says:

    Architecture’s an odd choice in the Physical Sciences “college” but I’d be very angry if I was in History, English or European Languages. I’m no expert on Cardiff but Law & Business schools are very dominant in lots of institutions given their cash-cow status (increasingly so the way universities are going). I would be very worried that their inclusion would seriously skew the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences college.

    We should also be fighting for more democracy in universities not less and three heads of super-colleges sounds like it’ll be a lot easier to push through plans from on-high than dealing with 27 schools individually.

  2. telescoper Says:

    I should have said that the College of Physical Sciences looks by far the smallest; the largest is Biomedical and Life Sciences.

    The good thing about this plan is that it might lead to more coherence across schools, shared teaching and multidisciplinary research, etc. The price for that will probably be much less autonomy for individual Schools.

  3. Monica Grady Says:

    I think you are very eligible

    • telescoper Says:

      …not in the sense referred to in the post, in that only existing Heads of Schools can apply to be Heads of Colleges, and probably not in any other sense either.

  4. This seems to be the thing that incoming VCs do. If there is a faculty structure, get rid of it (bye bye, Creative Arts, it was nice sharing a faculty with you). If there isn’t one, create it. Iterate, about once a decade.

  5. leighmorgan1 Says:

    If not for this gentleman and this blog, I wouldn’t follow at all…When you have someone who captures the imagination, perhaps you should keep him.

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