Swansea University's governing council has voted to go ahead with plans to close three departments and axe undergraduate teaching in another.
Governors voted three to one, at a council meeting on Monday, in favour of the restructuring plans to phase out philosophy, anthropology, sociology and undergraduate courses at Swansea's Centre for Development Studies.
But they gave a stay of execution to chemistry, which was also due to be closed down under the plans.
Chemistry's fate will be decided in three weeks once a business plan for the discipline has been examined by the university's finance committee.
Richard Davies, Swansea's vice-chancellor, said the plans would help fund expansion in history, English, computing, psychology, geography, management and law.
He said: "Teaching in those departments selected to be phased out will continue for current students and we welcome the support of neighbouring higher education institutions in ensuring a full range of courses, if necessary."