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UWC Atlantic College

Vale of Glamorgan,
Wales, UK

350 students
aged 15 to 19

second test

1962

UWC’s founding college, UWC Atlantic College was designed to promote international understanding through education since its foundation in 1962. It provides a platform for young individuals to learn through shared experience and be empowered to make a positive difference.

Three Unique Features

  • Historic Heritage - Located in the 12th Century St Donat’s Castle in the United Kingdom, UWC Atlantic College is the founding College of a global education movement. The Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Lifeboat (RIB) was pioneered here.
  • Atlantic Outdoors - Focusing on physical challenge, service to others, initiative leadership and teamwork in addition to the academic programme at the College.
  • Empowerment - Students are given authentic responsibility to make their own decisions and actions, following in the spirit of the educational revolution our founder Kurt Hahn started over 50 years ago, safe in an environment of reassuring presence of adults.
In the Classroom 

The College curriculum is made of two distinct parts: the Atlantic pre-Diploma program of Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) and the Atlantic Diploma.

The Atlantic pre-Diploma is a one-year course, suitable for 15-16 year-olds, introducing students to UWC’s transformative educational experience. Students develop core learning skills that provide preparation for the IB, A Levels and Higher Education study; they improve their understanding of a range of subjects at IGCSE level; and gain advance English language skills for academic learning. The program may lead students to complete a two-year International Baccalaureate program, but can also be completed separately.

The Atlantic Diploma, suitable for 16-19 year-olds, has two parts: the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) curriculum, and a co-curricular program of experiential learning that focuses on key aspects of peace and a sustainable future. Students are required to follow a broad curriculum across eleven faculties. Seven faculties provide a disciplinary framework for the IBDP and, alongside standard courses, offer Chinese, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Social and Cultural Anthropology, World Religions, Music and Systems and Societies. A further four faculties are experiential in nature and offer in-depth understanding and a practical engagement with the College‘s vision and values.

Outside the Classroom 

The co-curricular program includes four experiential faculties – Environmental, Global, Social Justice, Outdoor – that allow students to engage in discovery, determine their own pathways, confront risk and overcome the possibility of failure in order to know their own strengths and fallibilities as well as their role in the common cause. Each faculty has two areas: primary delivery, which contains the community engagement program, and secondary delivery, which contains four defining features (activities, student initiatives, mission focus periods and project period).

Campus and Facilities  

UWC Atlantic is set in the 12th century St Donat’s Castle, a particularly unusual campus setting, hosting larger assembly and classrooms.

The student community is distributed across eight purpose-built boarding houses, accommodating approximately 48 students each, with separate male and female corridors. Generally, four students from the same year group, each of different nationality, share a room. All students are under the care of houseparents, who live in adjacent homes and spend a great deal of time interacting and supporting the students.

Campus facilities include: dining hall, library, woodland, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and classrooms within historic buildings.

Geographic Setting  

UWC Atlantic College is based on the southern coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. The large town of Bridgend and Wales’ capital city, Cardiff, are in fairly close proximity, meaning that the College is located within easy access of many major transport links including bus, rail and air travel.

Admissions 

Students apply through their UWC national committee. The College also accepts direct applications, if students do not meet the national committee criteria or are applying for the Atlantic pre-Diploma. For more information, visit: www.atlanticcollege.org/admissions/

Contact Details


UWC Atlantic College
St Donat's Castle
St Donat's
Llantwit Major
Vale of Glamorgan
CF61 1WF
United Kingdom