Scientists in the University of Wales College of Medicine (now merged with Cardiff University) developed an invention which has since brought dramatic improvements in clinical diagnosis and patient management.
The medical school was founded as Cardiff Medical School in 1893 when the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology were established at University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University). The opening ceremony took place on 14 February 1894 at the College buildings on Dumfries Place and was conducted by John Viriamu Jones, Principal of the College, and Richard Quain, President of the General Medical Council. During the ceremony professors of the new medical school encouraged it to emulate the recent advances in medical education at the University of Heidelberg. A department of Pathology and Bacteriology was added in 1910. Students finishing their preclinical studies at Cardiff went on to other medical schools for their clinical studies, many going to University College Hospital in London, part of University College London. In 1921 it became a clinical and pre-clinical medical school with the name of the Welsh National School of Medicine, and in 1931 it became an independent institution of the University of Wales. The name was further changed in 1984, to University of Wales College of Medicine
In 2002, ideas were floated to re-merge Cardiff with the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) following the publication of the Welsh Assembly Government’s review of higher education in Wales. This merger became effective on 1 August 2004, on which date Cardiff University ceased to be a constituent institution of the University of Wales and became an independent “link institution” affiliated to the federal University. The process of the merger was completed on 1 December 2004 when the Act of Parliament transferring UWCM’s assets to Cardiff University received Royal Assent. On 17 December it was announced that the Privy Council had given approval to the new Supplemental Charter and had granted university status to Cardiff, legally changing the name of the institution to Cardiff University. Cardiff awarded University of Wales degrees to students admitted before 2005, but these have been replaced by Cardiff degrees. Medicine, dentistry and other health-related areas began to admit students for Cardiff degrees in 2006.
In 2004, Cardiff University and the Swansea University entered a partnership to provide a four-year graduate-entry medical degree. An annual intake of around 70 post-graduate students undertook an accelerated version of the Cardiff course at the Swansea University for the first two years before joining undergraduate students at Cardiff for the final two years. However, from September 2009 Swansea University will be independently providing medical education in a revised 4-yr Graduate Entry Degree.
In 2005, The Wales College of Medicine, which is part of the University, launched the North Wales Clinical School in Wrexham in collaboration with the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education in Wrexham and Bangor University, previously University of Wales, Bangor, and with the National Health Service in Wales. By 2008 the medical school it had an intake of some 305 British medical students per year and an additional 25 students from overseas.
In November 2011 Cardiff University’s School of Medicine officially opened the Cochrane Building, a health education centre offering students the latest teaching, library and simulation facilities. The Centre’s facilities include a Clinical Skills Centre, a high-technology medical simulation centre and a new library. The Cochrane Building provides teaching and learning facilities for all healthcare schools based on the Heath Park Campus and is named after the University’s medical pioneer, Archie Cochrane.
In 2012, Cardiff University’s School of Medicine and Meducation hosted the Wales Medical Undergraduate Conference, the first national undergraduate medical conference held in Wales, with over 100 posters, and 15 oral presentations taking place and attendees from throughout Europe