Our Partnerships

The future is exciting. Brimming with opportunity. But full of challenges too. 

We believe that meeting these challenges depends on collaboration. That’s why we build partnerships to make a better tomorrow. Finding more effective ways of delivering health and wellbeing, making society safe and just, sustaining our environment and changing behaviours through creativity. Collaborating for a better tomorrow...

Creating tomorrow’s film-makers

A unique partnership between USW and Screen Alliance Wales is providing valuable experience to the next generation of film-makers.

USW graduates and trainees have worked on a variety of leading television productions at Cardiff’s Bad Wolf Studios, including the highly-acclaimed BBC and HBO production of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

More than 40 students were given shadowing placements and 30 students were employed in paid positions in this production. A further 500 USW students have benefited from this relationship through tours of the studios to see behind the scenes and meet production teams.

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“We are thrilled that, thanks to our close partnership with Screen Alliance Wales, we are able to create so many opportunities for our students and graduates to work on internationally respected screen projects. To be able to support so many talented young people, now and on future series, is both an honour and a privilege.”

Tom Ware

Director in Production and Performance, USW


“When I first started my course the one goal I gave myself was to work on something I love and to get my name in the credits. Tick - done that!”

MJ Hygate

USW Computer Animation Graduate

Pre-Visual Animator, His Dark Materials


“We work closely with USW to identify skills gaps and opportunities for talent development to future-proof the industry. Having this relationship with a university enables graduates and students to have real time, hands-on experience here in the studio. It is a massive step forward for all of us.”

Allison Dowzell

Managing Director, Screen Alliance Wales


Watch more about our work with Screen Alliance Wales and Bad Wolf

Cyber expertise for the future

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The National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) opened in Ebbw Vale in 2019, and is the result of a collaboration between Welsh Government, global technology company Thales, and USW.

It is the first research and development facility of its kind in Wales and provides local, regional and national businesses with a base to test and develop digital concepts; in particular their cyber security, in our increasing connected ‘Internet of Things’ world. USW’s strategic partnership with Thales provides a framework for collaborative activities, including the Advanced Cyber Institute, which provides a base for academic research.

USW leads the Digital Education Centre, which supports the development of individuals’ cyber skills through a programme of educational outreach to schools across the region, and upskilling and retraining courses to people mid-career and to businesses through CPD courses.

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“This project is a significant contributor in building the region’s reputation in the ever-expanding global market for cyber professionals and research and innovation expertise. We at USW are ideally placed to support this joint Welsh Government and Thales mission.”

Professor Paul Harrison

Pro Vice-Chancellor Innovation & Engagement, USW


“NDEC is a highly technical and accessible facility which will be a centre of cyber and digital development and education, and a connection for South Wales to major technology centres across the United Kingdom.”

Gareth Williams,

Vice-President, Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales

Our coaches for the future

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USW is the exclusive Higher Education Partner of the Football Association of Wales Trust.

USW students have access to FAW Trust's internationally recognised training, including coaching up to UEFA B Licence, first aid and child protection, which are embedded into the

BSc Football Coaching and Performance degree programme. The innovative collaboration provides opportunities for students to develop their coaching ability and knowledge.

They are invited to the FAW Annual Coaches Conference and are offered placements, work experience and opportunities to further their development.

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USW also works with FAW Trust to support the development of female football players. The partnership helps to cement a newly developed pathway for the students, which aims to support them as they improve their football skills, while studying for qualifications at Coleg y Cymoedd and then progressing to study for degrees at USW.

“The University are proud of the unique and exclusive partnership that we have with the FAW Trust. This provides fantastic opportunities for USW students to acquire their coaching qualifications as part of their study and supports the students in a range of hands-on vocational opportunities, such as coaching, football development, performance analysis and strength and conditioning. It is pleasing that a number of students, having gained these experiences, are then employed by the FAW Trust in supporting and developing the next generation of participants in the game.”

Paul Rainer

Head of Sport Science and Coaching, USW


“The FAW Trust recognise the University of South Wales as a key partner in delivering programmes to develop both coaches and players. We are extremely proud to support vocational training opportunities for students on various degree pathways that contribute to the successful implementation of a number of our strategic objectives, to grow the game and raise standards.”

Dr David Adams

Technical Director, FAW Trust

Powering the future of transport

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USW partners with leading engineering solutions company Ricardo to support the development of battery packs for electric vehicles.

After just two years of partnership, USW’s Centre for Automotive Power Systems Engineering (CAPSE) has increased turnover by eight-fold, making it the largest battery pack testing and validation centre in Europe, has recruited an additional 16 highly-skilled workers and has invested millions in the local supply chain.

CAPSE has the capability to test over 150 lithium cells at a time, dozens of modules, and is currently expanding climatic, lifecycle testing from 20 to 28 full EV battery packs. In addition, through the trusted relationship with Ricardo, CAPSE has become the largest provider of safety testing of EV batteries in Europe, with fully accredited drop tests, fire tests, crush and water ingress testing. 

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There are also plans to diversify into EMC and vibration testing. A number of the battery packs have already come to market and are helping improve air quality in our cities and reduce the carbon footprint of transport.

“CAPSE’s mission is to support businesses and other organisations to develop the next generation of low carbon technologies, and in doing so, support the creation of new jobs and economic opportunities. As a leading independent UK-based automotive and powertrain research and development organisation, Ricardo brings valuable industrial experience in the development of electric vehicle systems.”

Jonathan Williams

Director of CAPSE, USW


“Ricardo is already a global leader in both vehicle electrification and in the development and application of EV battery systems and technology. CAPSE is an important element of the UK’s electrified vehicle development capacity. Our collaboration with CAPSE is for the mutual benefit of the University and of Ricardo and its electric vehicle customers.”

Rory Fisher

Ricardo Automotive MD

Tomorrow's police officers

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Dorset Police is just one of several forces in England and Wales that have worked with USW to develop and deliver its Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) course.

This provides a new entry route for students who aspire to become police constables but do not yet have a degree-level qualification.

The PCDA is the perfect opportunity to ‘earn and learn’, and gives recruits the tools to deal with increasingly sophisticated criminal activity.

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“The degree will be delivered locally by experienced professionals in partnership with the police force. We are working together to enhance the various entry options available into the police, in line with the Policing Education Qualification Framework.

“Dorset is one of five police forces that we work with across England and Wales, in partnership with the College of Policing. As a former Chief Constable myself, I believe this new offer will help to further professionalise the police service and we are looking forward to working together over the next few years.”

Professor Peter Vaughan

Director of Strategic Projects: Policing and Security, USW


“As policing grows more complex and demands on our services increase, we need people with the right skills and experiences to meet these challenging requirements. Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is vital to meet our policing vision for the future. Policing is a highly rewarding career and this is a fantastic opportunity to pursue a varied role, while simultaneously being trained and supported to gain a recognised qualification.”

Julie Fielding

Assistant Chief Constable, Dorset Police

A greener tomorrow

USW experts are working with TATA Steel to make its processes greener and cheaper.

Spanning sustainability, decarbonisation, carbon capture and data science, a host of research and industrial projects are putting in place processes that will help to limit emissions and improve efficiencies.

TATA Steel is working as an industrial partner on a range of multi-million-pound research projects involving USW’s Sustainable Environment Resource Centre (SERC), including FLEXIS (Flexible Integrated Energy Systems) and RICE (Reduced Industrial Carbon Emissions).

One such project has been investigating the decarbonisation of the steelmaking process, by replacing coke with hydrogen as the reducing agent for iron ore. The development of a far-reaching plan could help to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions over the next 25-30 years.

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SERC and TATA Steel have also formed the South Wales Industrial Cluster. Now made up of 46 industrial partners, it has secured government funding to develop a regional industrial decarbonisation roadmap and to initiate carbon reduction deployment projects at Tata Steel, Valero Refinery, Tarmac Cement works, and RWE’s Pembroke power station.

TATA is also currently hosting 16 PhD students from USW, who are being funded by more than £700,000 from the European Social Fund.

“The support we receive from TATA is excellent. The funding and collaboration for the 16 PhD studentships and larger R&D projects has led to a close working relationship resulting in strong academic outputs and industrial demonstrators. Working together in this way has allowed us to identify how our research can help TATA with the important challenges of decarbonisation, and provide solutions for an Ultra-Low CO2 steel making future in Wales and the UK.”

Professor Alan Guwy

Director of the Sustainable Environment Resource Centre, USW


“Over the last five years we have built up our work with the University of South Wales and have a number of active PhD and research projects underway. We were initially looking to work with experts in hydrogen, but that has now progressed to working together on a wider range of project areas within the Sustainable Environment Resource Centre at the University, as well as with experts in data science.

“The University has also helped us to expand our network of contacts, which has already seen us work with new suppliers and use novel equipment for our industry that is helping us to improve our ways of working.”

Dr Gareth Lloyd

Process Engineering Manager, TATA Steel


Watch more about our work with TATA Steel

Language skills for forced migrants

USW has worked with the Welsh Refugee Council to improve access to free, quality English classes for forced migrants in the area.

With waiting lists that could be up to a year long, the University worked with the Welsh Refugee Council to establish a programme of classes that were delivered by students on the University’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses, alongside voluntary qualified language teachers. These classes have helped to transform the lives of hundreds of people, providing linguistic, emotional and psychological support.

They have also led to a more wide-ranging and diverse programme of support, including facilitating more comprehensive education and employment services at the Welsh Refugee Council, and the development of scholarship schemes for refugees and asylum seekers.

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"Over the last few years we have helped so many asylum seekers, many of whom have escaped war and persecution and are now desperate to contribute to a society that is offering them safety from harm. I cannot stress enough how profound an effect working with professionals, in this case in the third sector, has highlighted how universities are uniquely placed to contribute to society in many, diverse ways.”

Dr Mike Chick

University of South Wales Refugee Champion


“We spoke to people who reported huge amounts of feeling isolated, or feeling that they couldn’t participate in society. Access to the language classes provided by the University of South Wales really has been changing lives and helping people to fulfil their potential.”

Iona Hannagan Lewis

Former Education and Employment Advisor, Welsh Refugee Council


“I don’t think I will ever meet more motivated learners. They are just so eager to learn, and although we don’t know what they have been through and how they got here, they walk in with a smile on their face every single week, and it’s an absolute pleasure to teach them.”

Ellie Johnston

University of South Wales TESOL graduate


Watch more about our work with the Welsh Refugee Council 

Helping families to get support A project

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A project that formulated a way of assessing the resilience of families and the impact on children’s health and development has gained international interest.

Experts at USW and PRIME Centre Wales worked with independent specialists, and colleagues at a number of Welsh health boards, to build the Family Resilience Assessment Instrument and Tool (FRAIT), providing a uniform way of measuring how family resilience could impact on children.

Now incorporated into Welsh Government’s Healthy Child Wales Programme, designed to support parenting and healthy lifestyle choices, it is used by health visitors across Wales to support their decision making, and care planning about whether further intervention is needed. The success of the tool has garnered overseas interest, with the International Family Resilience Network established to share expertise and provide support to similar projects abroad.

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“There was no standard tool for health visitors previously in Wales to assess resilience in families with children up to the age of five, so this could lead to differences in working out what support a family needed to strengthen their ability to bounce back from crisis.”

Professor Carolyn Wallace

Community Health and Care Services, USW


“I would like to thank the University of South Wales and the health visitors involved for producing FRAIT. It is something that will benefit families across Wales.”

Vaughan Gething

Welsh Government Health Secretary

Addressing the digital skills gap

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USW has joined forces with technology company Capgemini to launch an innovative new degree apprenticeship.

The course provides students with the opportunity to gain a degree without incurring student debt, while gaining hands-on experience in IT consultancy.

The first cohort started the BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions apprenticeship in 2019, while working at Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation.

Fully funded by Welsh Government, the course allows those starting their careers, or looking to reskill, to become rounded professionals with a broad technological skill set and a consulting edge.

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“Apprenticeships have proved to be a key part of our growth while providing a great employment opportunity to talent from diverse backgrounds. It is fantastic to be now launching our scheme in Wales. Together with our investment in the Delivery Centre in Treforest, it is another step forward in addressing the digital skills

gap and supporting our long-standing clients in south Wales.”

Stuart Coombs

Head of Capgemini’s Wales Delivery Centre


“It is essential people are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to benefit from the opportunities an evolving labour market presents. Degree apprenticeships are ideal for people already working in technology industries but are keen to study to degree level, or those who are new to the workforce but would like to study for a degree at the same time. The degree apprenticeship therefore offers all-round benefits – they’re good for individual development, good for diversifying entry into the professions and good for Wales’ economic well-being.”

Kirsty Williams

Welsh Government Minister for Education

Five-star excellence in hospitality

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As host of the Ryder Cup, and home to world leaders attending a NATO conference, the Celtic Manor is a hospitality venue of worldwide renown.

For USW and its students, linking with a brand that has such a strong international reputation brings numerous benefits, not least the curriculum input from the specialists at Celtic Manor.

Currently working in partnership on the Hotel and Hospitality Management degree, the relationship will be further strengthened when USW’s first cohort of International Events Management students enrol in 2020.

The courses see students combine real-life work experience at various venues in the Celtic Collection stable, which include the Celtic Manor and the new International Convention Centre Wales, with theoretical learning at USW’s Newport Campus.

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“Our partnerships with The Celtic Collection clearly address the needs of industry and will be developed to reflect trends within the sector.

“It will give students all the skills they need for roles in a range of sectors, particularly in an international context. This is what USW excels at - giving our students the right training, experience, and confidence to flourish in their chosen career.”

Dr Dominic Page

Head of South Wales Business School, USW


“We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with the University of South Wales. We will provide the hands-on training to complement the university classroom theory and the aim is to develop the next generation of professionals.”

Matthew Lewis

Vice President Operations, The Celtic Manor Collection