Cardiff University (Welsh: Prifysgol Caerdydd) is a public research university in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, it became one of the founding colleges of the University of Wales in 1893, and in 1997 received (but held in abeyance) its own degree-awarding powers. It adapted the public name of Cardiff University in 1999, and in 2005 this became its legal name as it left the University of Wales to become an independent University awarding its own degrees. It is the third oldest university institution in Wales and is the only Welsh member of the Russell Group of leading British research universities.
The university is composed of three colleges: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; and Physical Sciences and Engineering.