Students using VR in Sports Science

We're proud to provide an outstanding learning experience and are championing 'blended learning', which includes the use of online/e-learning technologies to complement, support and enhance traditional face-to-face learning methods.

By using Virtual Reality students are visiting buildings before they're built, or learning about intimate parts of machinery, giving them a new understanding of what they are studying.

Medical Engineering App

Medical Engineering App

Dr Marc Holmes, of Swansea's Immersive Media Observatory, worked with the Medical Engineering department to create an app in which students can assemble a full-scale skeleton from a floating jumble of bones. Users physically 'pick up' the bones using VR controllers and hang them on a frame. The bones must be assembled in the correct order to stay in place. Once assembled, users can select each bone individually to answer a multiple choice question about its name. A timer is included, so students can try to beat the clock and even compete against their peers.

There are plans to expand this software, which was trialled in-classroom during development, to include muscle groups and their functions. 

VR Anatomy Application 2018 


Virtual Reality Conference

Virtual Reality Conference

In 2018 we hosted an inaugural conference on how Virtual and Augmented Reality can enhance learning and teaching in higher education – the first event of its kind in the UK. 

The conference – which took place at the University’s Bay Campus – featured insight from Danaë Stanton Fraser, Professor in Human Computer Interaction at the University of Bath and Astrid Ensslin, Professor in Digital Humanities and Game Studies with the University of Alberta.

Find out more about the VR conference here.

Civil Engineering - 360 Site Visit

Civil VR

We used 360 photography to produce a virtual site visit for third year Civil Engineering students, allowing them to 'visit' an excavation both before and after building work was carried out. The site was the subject of a major assignment, and being able to 'visit' using Virtual Reality allowed them to gain a much clearer idea of the environment, its dimensions, and the scale of the works, than they could have gained through imagination alone.

Virtual site visits and field trips allow students to gain crucial experience and to 'go to' places that would be logistically difficult to reach in real life.

Empathy through VR

Student's using VR

Sports and Exercise Science students used Swansea-built software to understand the realities of ageing, using the 'Frailty Sim'. This program was built by us to simulate the effects of being ignored, experiencing confusion, failing vision and hearing, in order to generate empathy and understanding.

In allowing students to experience a completely different relationship with their senses, VR helps the user to understand life 'in another person's shoes'.

Computer Science & Copper

Hafod-Morfa Copperworks

Computer Science’s Scott Robinson and team conducted a research project in collaboration with the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, in which a custom-made tourist telescope installation is used to show a virtual reality scene of the copperworks site as it used to look, against the background of the remaining buildings on the site as they are now.

This was exhibited as part of the Man Engine Cymru, and in the National Waterfront Museum.



Athanasios Anastasiou, of the Medical School, developed a visualisation tool, converting an abstract object – a dataset - to a tangible artefact for users to “play” with and develop their understanding. To achieve this, two different real-world datasets at different difficulty levels were mapped to a virtual space surrounding the user, allowing them to directly experience the content of a dataset.

In this app, users are embedded right inside a dataset and can roam around and through it experiencing data points and their relationships with each other directly.

This demo has helped a lot in public outreach events but also as a teaching aid for Machine Learning.

Mechanical Engineering - Gravity Sketch

Car Sketch

Mechanical Engineering students have been using 3D modelling and design software, Gravity Sketch, to help them to visualise their design projects. They can load their CAD models into Gravity Sketch and see their designs at full-scale, interacting with them. Any design changes can be annotated and drafted directly on to the model as the student works, allowing a previously unachievable level of understanding of how the design would look if produced.

Egypt Centre

Egypt Centre

In line with the British Science Association, the Egypt Centre, Museum of Egyptian antiquities wanted to challenge the idea that science is separate from culture. The New Mixed reality holographic display combines the physical material culture of ancient Egypt on display within the Egypt Centre with high-tech scientific digital interpretation in one new mixed reality exhibit. Unveiled as part of the Holograms & History event on 10th March 2018 as part of British Science Week and the BBC Civilisations festival 2018, this new display has become an instant hit with visitors.


Dr Wendy Harris, of the College of Science, has implemented VR field trips in her teaching, improving accessibility for her students.

Her first app allowed Biosciences students to navigate and explore the site in their own time and for as long/as frequently as required.

Dr Harris is working to create a suite of virtual habitats, embedding the VR tours with practical guides to key sampling methods and associated species information.