Swansea University on the crest of a wave

New League tables out today show Swansea University is the most improved University in Wales and the 4th largest ranking rise in the UK.

The Guardian University Guide 2014 shows that Swansea University has jumped 34 places in the last three years, rising from 94 to 60 in the 120 Universities ranked in the guide.

The University scored particularly well in its student survey for teaching and satisfaction overall and career prospects. The University already has an excellent track record of graduate employment, with 92% of graduates in full-time employment or further study within six months of graduating. The University also recently launched its Swansea Paid Internship Network (SPIN) scheme, in partnership with the South Wales Evening Post, to help its undergraduates gain valuable knowledge and experience of working life by placing its students on summer work schemes with local businesses.

SPIN is one of a number of initiatives being introduced by Swansea University under the Swansea Employability Academy as a way of assisting students to be better prepared to enter work after their studies are complete

Welcoming this year’s exciting results Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott said: “ To have soared 34 places in just three years in one of the UK’s most renowned league tables is outstanding. The rankings are a recognisable measure of our performance, reputation and the excellence of the experience which we provide to our students.

“ The University is pushing ahead with its £250m Science and Innovation Campus development to be completed in 2015 and is already spending £70m modernising  facilities on our Singleton Campus. Coupled with a stunning location and even sharing sports facilities with a Premier League football club the vibrancy and reputation of the University is starting to be recognised. We will continue to push forward our ambitious agendas to help propel us further. “

One area in which the University has particularly excelled in the Guardian tables is Sports Science – leaping to 5th place from 40th last year .

Prof Gareth Stratton, head of Sports Science at Swansea explained: " Maybe the best way of describing sports science is that it's the same as CSI, but it's the forensics of exercise instead of crime. We want to produce graduates who are scientists, using sport and exercise as a background."

The picture for Swansea's Sports Science students changed in 2010, when the department was relocated – uniquely, Stratton believes – to sit within the College of Engineering, rather than within the school of health, as would be more typical. This means, says Stratton, there is a tight focus on how Sports Science can be practically applied, using engineering skills to look at sports injuries, or, for example, barriers to an individual's movement caused by disability. This, together with high-profile internships with major sporting teams and venues, has made Swansea students highly employable when they graduate, says Stratton.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor added: “ Earlier this year Swansea University was recognised as one of the world’s top 200 institutions by the QS World University Subject Rankings. Since 2012 it has excelled with not one but four subject areas in the top 200. An outstanding performance.

“ Together these tables show that as an ambitious, research-led institution with top quality teaching, Swansea is an excellent place to study for UK, EU and international students. All in all Swansea is a University on the way up.”