New dawn as Yr Athrofa: The Institute of Education moves into SA1


UWTSD’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education is looking forward to an exciting new chapter in its long and illustrious history as it moves into state-of-the-art facilities in the heart of Swansea’s waterfront.

The eye-catching SA1 Swansea Waterfront development includes purpose-built facilities for teaching, learning and research as well as social, leisure and recreation space.

Yr Athrofa is relocating from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Townhill Campus, where its legacy will continue through its work with the Pheonix Centre and surrounding communities. The exciting move also supplements the Athrofa’s ongoing presence in Carmarthen and Cardiff.

The university's new development will also be home to the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, the Construction Wales Innovation Centre, as well as a new library.

Each of the university’s Yr Athrofa’s four component disciplines – Teacher Education, Social Justice & Inclusion, Early Years, and Psychology – will run courses out of SA1, and staff and students are excited by what the new development has to offer.

And stunning views of Swansea Bay will look all the better now Yr Athrofa’s well-respected teacher training programmes have been given re-accreditation by the Education Workforce Council (EWC) after a rigorous selection process.

The Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership, a combination of school and university staff working together to deliver teacher training, was one of just four training centres chosen to offer teacher education beyond 2019.

The commendation ensures Wales’ oldest teacher training centre – ranked 1st in Wales in the National Student Survey for the past two years – will continue training new teachers long into the future.

Established programmes include the hugely popular PGCE Primary (with QTS); PGCE Secondary (with QTS); and the undergraduate BA Education (with QTS).

Also available in SA1 is the BA Education & Care (Early Years Practitioner), which is delivered in a supportive, engaging environment and explores all aspects of children’s wellbeing and holistic development.

The degree is recognised by Social Care Wales as a vocational competence qualification and is run over two years, with students able to study one evening a week and some Saturdays while still maintaining full-time employment.

Yr Athrofa’s BA Education Studies and associated pathway programmes also run out of SA1 and provides in-depth subject knowledge as well as working to develop a range of practical and professional skills to enable and facilitate the career prospects of any aspiring educational professional.

Meanwhile, Yr Athrofa’s innovative British Psychological Society accredited BSc Psychology programme has been designed to equip students with a wide range of psychological knowledge and skills.

With access to a team of expert lecturers and dedicated psychology laboratories in the new waterfront campus, students will be supported to become future psychologists.

Yr Athrofa also offer programmes in the field of Counselling at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our dedicated counselling pods ensure that our students are afforded the opportunity to enhance both their practical and theoretical skills to support their professional development as reflective practitioners.

Students undertaking one of our undergraduate programmes who wish to progress to a career in primary teaching are offered a guaranteed interview for the PGCE Primary programme (subject to meeting eligibility criteria). This allows our students to benefit from the fantastic support and expertise within Yr Athrofa and offers a clear pathway that progresses from undergraduate to postgraduate level that many of our graduates have enjoyed over the years.

The development of a learning and innovation village in Swansea’s SA1 area supports UWTSD’s aim to inspire individuals and develop reflective graduates and practitioners who can make a difference to society.

And the university’s new agreement with Sony promises to bring the next generation of education technology to students and enhance the Athrofa’s offer yet further.

Sony has worked with UWTSD since 2015 to develop ‘Vision Exchange’, a pioneering platform to facilitate a move from traditional lecture theatres and auditoriums to cutting-edge learning spaces enabling collaborative and interactive learning styles.

The facility allows a sharing of content among those present in learning spaces, as well as for participants located elsewhere, regardless of geographic location.

Yr Athrofa began piloting Sony Vision Exchange, which will support distance learning and is designed to improve engagement and attainment, in September 2017.

Professor Dylan Jones, Dean of Yr Athrofa, said: “Our fantastic new facilities in SA1 have already attracted a lot of attention and we are certain staff, students and our many partners will enjoy what the new buildings have to offer.

“Our move into our SA1 Swansea Waterfront development marks an important milestone for Yr Athrofa and is representative of the bright future we are creating with colleagues right across the educational spectrum.

“We have a wonderful range of courses available in teacher education, social justice, early years education and psychology – and our stunning new campus offers the perfect environment for students to develop their thinking.

“We cannot wait to get started in SA1 and look forward to welcoming students, staff and friends of Yr Athrofa to our eagerly-anticipated new facilities in the very near future.”

Yr Athrofa’s former Swansea base in Townhill has now closed ahead of the new SA1 Campus opening in August.

All students studying with Yr Athrofa in Swansea from September 2018 will be based in the new waterfront facilities.

In addition to Yr Athrofa Swansea, the institute will continue to operate from UWTSD’s Carmarthen Campus and at Tramshed Tech, Cardiff.

Facilities at Yr Athrofa in Carmarthen are being upgraded to mirror those available in the new SA1 development to ensure every student receives the same high-quality learning experience wherever they choose to study.

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Fact file

  • Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education is a major new faculty within UWTSD and houses the disciplines of Teacher Education, Social Justice & Inclusion, Psychology, and Early Years.
  • Courses are delivered from two main sites: Our new waterfront Campus in Swansea’s SA1 and the historic Carmarthen Campus. We also have a small base in Tramshed Tech, Cardiff.
  • Overall, 98% of students in the Early Years discipline were satisfied with their course last year (NSS 2017).
  • Yr Athrofa has been ranked 1st in Wales for student satisfaction in initial teacher education the last two years – and is one of only four providers to have been given accreditation by the Education Workforce Council.
  • Yr Athrofa’s innovative BSc Psychology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society, the representative body for psychologists and psychology in the UK.
  • Yr Athrofa is Wales’ oldest teacher training centre and dates back to 1848, when the then South Wales & Monmouthshire Training College was established in Carmarthen.
  • Yr Athrofa runs three successful teacher training programmes – two at postgraduate level: PGCE Primary (with QTS) and PGCE Secondary (with QTS); and the undergraduate BA Education (with QTS).
  • UWTSD was ranked in the top 10 UK universities for student satisfaction in Academic Studies in Education and Social Work (NSS 2017).
  • Overall, 97% of students enrolled on Social Justice & Inclusion courses were in employment and/or further training six months after graduating (DLHE 2015). 

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071