College by the sea to College on the hill


Plas Gogerddan, ancestral home of the Pryse family, is purchased and becomes the permanent home of the Welsh Plant Breeding Station.


Pantycelyn Hall opened.


On 8 August, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the Welsh Plant Breeding Station at Plas Gogerddan.


Principal Thomas Parry is the guiding influence in the transfer from the College by the sea to the College on the hill.


Department of Economics is established.


Student numbers top 2000.


Government grants and handsome donations from well-wishers enable the University to erect new buildings for Biology, Physical Sciences, the Faculty of Economics and Social Studies, the Faculty of Law, Geography, Geology and Rural Studies, as well as halls of residence.


The iconic physical sciences building with its concave facade appears on a national postage stamp.


Ceredigion becomes a Welsh hall for male students, and Neuadd Davies Bryan becomesWelsh hall for female students.


The Welsh Agricultural College is established with David Morris as its first Principal. In an unusual arrangement, the College was financed through a joint committee composed of representatives of all the Welsh local authorities. Its original mission was to provide vocational education in agriculture and for a number of years it provided national and higher national diploma courses before later diversifying its provision to include courses in Countryside Management and Equine Studies. A degree scheme in Agriculture, offered jointly with the University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences, followed in 1982.


Department of Computer Science is established.


The Great Hall is completed.


Gwendolen Rees is awarded a Personal Chair in the Department of Zoology and becomes the first woman working in Wales to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. A founding member of the British Society of Parasitology, Rees was an acknowledged expert in trematodes and cestodes.


'The greatest triumph ever achieved by Aberystwyth rugby came far away in New Zealand.' Both captain, S. J. Dawes and coach Carwyn James (Welsh 1950), learnt much of their rugby on Vicarage playing fields.


J. Gareth Morris, previously a research fellow at Oxford and a Rockerfeller fellow in California, is appointed Professor of Microbiology. In recognition of the excellence of his research in microbial biochemistry and physiology, Morris was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988. He served as a member of the Universities Funding Council and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution in 1991.


The Great Hall, the Bell Tower and the Concourse are awarded various prizes, including the R.I.B.A. Gold Medal for Architecture in Wales.


Department of Art is established. The only such department in the University of Wales.


Department of Drama is founded. The only such department in Wales.


Department of Botany and Microbiology is established.


The Hugh Owen Library is completed.

1977 There are eight Fellows of the Royal Society on the academic staff at Aberystwyth.



The Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies is established in the Old College.


RIBA Commendation and SCONUL Design Award for the Hugh Owen Building.


The External Degree through the medium of Welsh is established. Based on the internal syllabus, the scheme offers degrees in Welsh, Welsh History, Theatre, Film and Television Studies and Celtic Studies, for mature students studying on a part-time basis.


Responsibility for The Welsh Plant Breeding Station is transferred from the University to the new AFRC Institute of Grassland and Animal Production (IGAP).


Institute of Biological Sciences established.


The College of Librarianship Wales (CLW) became part of the University and formed the Department of Information Studies.


The Welsh Agricultural College joins the University and merges with the Department of Agricultural Sciences to form the Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, with Michael Haines appointed as its first Director. WIRS was later renamed the Institute of Rural Sciences.


The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies is established.


The Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences is established.


The Department of Sport and Exercise Science is established.


Aberystwyth University is granted independent status and the right to award its own degrees by the Privy Council.


The Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research merges with the Institutes of Biological Sciences and Rural Sciences, to form the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).


A new Department of Psychology is established.


Aberystwyth is placed fourth in the UK for Teaching and Learning, according to the Times Higher Education's Student Experience Survey. The poll also shows that Aberystwyth University offers the best all-round student experience in Wales, with an overall ranking of 6th across the UK.

Early Days

Rise of the University