Sex Education steppingthroughfilm Eric and Otis from “Sex Education” as pictured by Thomas Duke.

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

  • The Netflix series “Sex Education” films on the now-closed campus of Caerleon, which was was once part of the University of South Wales.
  • The university closed Caerleon campus in 2016 as part of a merger, sparking student protests.
  • Thomas Duke of @steppingthroughfilm recently visited the deserted school that became the set of “Sex Education” and took photos of the empty halls.
  • Insider also spoke to two former students who say watching the show today is “very weird” but also “nostalgic.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On the hit Netflix show “Sex Education,” Otis Milburn and his friends (as well as his enemies) attend the fictional Moordale Secondary School. Fans of the show might not know that just a few years ago, Moordale was a beloved college campus in the Welsh countryside.

Caerleon (pronounced kuh-LEE-un) campus closed in 2016 as part of a merger and it was sold to a developer in Wales. 

The University of South Wales declined to comment for this story, but Insider spoke to former Caerleon students, as well as a photographer who recently visited the set of “Sex Education,” to delve into the history of the scenic building. 

Caerleon campus was part of the University of South Wales located outside of Newport, Wales.

caerleon campus Caerleon Campus before it closed.

Courtesy of Eluned Rose

Construction began in 1912, and the first students arrived in 1914.

The campus spanned 32 acres, including lush greenery and a river running through the bottom.

caerleon campus graduation Rhiannon Davies graduated from the University of South Wales in 2016.

Courtesy of Rhiannon Davies

“I think it was the main building on the campus that was a complete selling point — I don’t know many universities that have such a gorgeous building,” said Rhiannon Davies, a Caerleon graduate.

In 2016, the University of South Wales decided to close down Caerleon as part of a merger. The move was met with frustration and protest from the student body.

save caerleon protest Storming a board meeting to protest the closure of Caerleon.


A former student, who wished to remain anonymous due to ongoing involvement with the university, told Insider that she and other students were deeply upset by Caerleon’s closure. Student protestors even stormed a board meeting to make their views heard.

“As you can tell from seeing ‘Sex Education,’ it is a really beautiful location,” she said. “People really enjoyed living there. So there was a lot of frustration of having to be uprooted to move elsewhere, especially if you’re halfway through a degree.”

Photographer Thomas Duke recently visited the set of “Sex Education” for his photo series placing movie and TV show scenes back into their real-life locations.

Sex Education steppingthroughfilm Eric and Otis from “Sex Education” as pictured by Thomas Duke.

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

Duke partnered with Netflix to visit the set for his photo series, Stepping Through Film.

“It’s all still there, and it’s deserted,” Duke said of the school. “It’s like a set, but not real. I wish I could go back and just have a photo shoot. It’s such an amazing setting.”

The interior has been redesigned to look more like an American high school.

Sex Ed caerleon campus The set of “Sex Education.”

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

The fluorescent lighting and mustard yellow lockers add character to the setting.

No detail went unnoticed by the show’s set designers.

Sex Ed caerleon campus A Moordale ski and snowboarding trip flyer.

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

A flyer advertising a ski and snowboarding trip had a few signatures.

Watching “Sex Education” can be a strange experience for people who used to study at Caerleon.

Sex Ed caerleon campus The fictional Moordale Secondary School.

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

“Watching the program is very weird because you see places where you used to hang out and be with your friends and do work,” said a former student.

Davies said that seeing clips of the show brings back memories of her time on campus.

Sex Ed caerleon campus A doorway at what was formerly Caerleon.

Courtesy of Thomas Duke

“I haven’t got around to watching ‘Sex Education’ yet, however I have seen bits that have shown the uni and it brings back many memories of my time there,” she said. “It’s very nostalgic to me and my friends and makes me miss living there so much!”

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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