The former Accrington manager is a former Southampton team-mate of Swansea boss Garry Monk and spent time at the Barclays Premier League club in January observing coaching sessions at the club’s Fairwood training ground.
Beattie, 37, will work alongside Kristian O’Leary and Alan Curtis and will be responsible for coaching the club’s first-team forwards.
“James will come in as a first-team coach alongside Kristian O’Leary and Alan Curtis, but will be given specific responsibility to work on a technical level with our attacking players,” Monk told the official Swansea website.
“I’ve known James for a long time. He is intelligent, has a great knowledge of the game from his experiences as a player, coach and manager; plus he thinks about the game in the same way as myself.
“He has some bright ideas and, despite already having a fantastic knowledge of the game, he is still looking to learn at every opportunity.
“I’m constantly trying to create and improve all areas of the first team environment with young, talented and up-and-coming staff.
“That’s not just the playing squad, but the backroom staff as well.
“James fits that criteria perfectly and with the experience he’s gained over the years, I’m sure the players will benefit greatly by tapping into his knowledge.”
Beattie won five caps for England after making his senior debut for hometown club Blackburn in 1996 but he made his name during seven years at Southampton where he scored 76 goals in 223 appearances
He completed a £6million switch to Everton in 2005 and later played for Sheffield United, Stoke, Rangers, Blackpool and Accrington.
Beattie took his first steps into coaching at Accrington before becoming manager in May 2013 and the Lancashire club finished 15th in League Two in his first full season in charge before he left in September 2014.
He was interviewed by both Mansfield and Burton for their managerial vacancies last season and told Press Association Sport in January he was desperate to get back into football following his departure from Accrington.
“I’ve been into a number of different clubs looking at training sessions and seeing if I can pick up any trinkets of information,” Beattie said at the time.
“A big thing is attention to detail and you have to do that because we all know how volatile the industry is with all the sackings.”