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What our Students Say

Exploring the Past is especially for adults returning to education. Here’s what our students have to say about the Exploring the Past pathway.

Joanne Wesley-WilliamsJoanne-Wesley-Williams

“As a mother of three young children it’s important to be a positive role model, but educationally I had nothing to sing about after leaving school 25 years ago with just my GCSEs. I’ve now found a way to change that and feel much better placed when encouraging my children to study hard for the future. Each course has provided me with a different set of skills, broadening my knowledge and boosting my confidence. By the time I had completed a few modules I felt I was ready to further my education and now I have a completely new outlook for the future. I have been given an opportunity to return to study and hopefully carve a new career doing something I love.”

Penni Bestic


“I think when I started Exploring the Past I didn’t really believe I would be doing a history degree but the amount of support from the tutors, both academic and pastoral, made it seem achievable. I think it has also helped my mental health, I still have a lot of self-management to do, but help from the student support services has makes this possible. I’m really enjoying my degree course so far. It’s stretching but manageable. I am aware that I’m the oldest student but there are three of us who are definitely mature and we give it each other a lot of support. I’m very glad I did Exploring the Past as it was brilliant preparation. As to what I want to do when I finish: I’m not really sure as I will be close to retirement age. I think I would like to try and do a Masters.”

Alex Lamprey

“Continuing & Professional Education has opened pathways and opportunities often assumed to be unavailable to the mature learner. I’m hardly over the hill yet but you really are never too old.

My only regret is not starting along this route years ago. I have enjoyed, and am still enjoying, my time here immensely. I have another year or so before I can start the part-time degree programme which I’m very much looking forward to. I’m not quite ready yet though so I’m relying on Continuing & Professional Education to mould me into the student I need to be.”

Tom Allen

Tom-Allen“I found out about Continuing & Professional Education while volunteering on an archaeological dig; there were a number of students on site and they told me about it. The following day, Dr. Daniela Hofmann was on site and she was able to give me more information about the Pathway. This sounded an ideal opportunity to help me change direction after being made redundant.

The support and encouragement from all who are involved in the Pathways program has given me the boost needed to want to progress to degree level in Archaeology. My involvement with Continuing & Professional Education, has helped me expand my abilities, it has enabled me to meet like-minded people, and is certainly one of the best experiences of my life.”

Anthony Dance

Anthony-Dance“Studying with Continuing & Professional Education has been an enormous help through a most difficult time, physically but more so mentally.

The Pathway has helped me to focus and has given me hope for a positive future. I have a new lease of life and I am now on a pathway to study toward a degree. When I was introduced to the Exploring the Past Pathway I could see a future. Initially in academic study and then perhaps historical writing and teaching… the opportunities are endless.

It really is never too late!”

Hayley Bassett

Hayley-Bassett“When I started in October 2010, my ultimate goal was to progress to the degree course, but, realistically, I just intended to take one step (or module) at a time, learning the necessary skills and building up knowledge on the way. Researching topics, writing up my findings and the resulting feedback from the Tutors has given me confidence in my abilities and spurred me on to improve the quality of my work. I feel really proud of my journey along the pathway and I’m looking forward to my next challenge.”

Avril Grech

“The special value of ‘Exploring the Past ‘course’ is the link with the School of History and Archaeology and the quality of the course material and teaching. From my own background of managing significant behavioural difficulties in young people and years of Educational study and research, it is a joy to pursue my interest in history and archaeology at this level . I am now really enjoying the core Archaeology module and a bonus is the social interaction and the care given to every student to ensure we support each other towards achievement and enjoyment.

There is the opportunity for all to progress towards a degree .However, receiving such a high level of structure and guidance with lecturers so passionate about their subjects, the learning experience itself is well worth pursuing. Thank you for a wonderful opportunity.”

Gareth Gwillim

“The support that I received from Continuing & Professional Education has been amazing. They are really there to help you succeed.”

Keith Edger

“Now that I’m retired, I have plenty of ‘me time,’ which I spend in doing research for this course.”

Robbie Bell

“The Exploring the Past tutors are some of the best tutors I have ever come across. The quality of teaching is superb.”

Margaret Riddett

“The Pathway enables you to meet a variety of people that you would not normally meet. The different mix of people allows for some interesting exchanges of ideas.”

Philip Theophilus 

“The course is definitely working my grey matter, which makes life more interesting.”

See also Why study Exploring the Past?