Free community courses lead to University study for Splott student


The Widening Access Team at Cardiff University, in partnership with Continuing & Professional Education, offer over 40 free short courses each year as part of their Live Local Learn Local (LLLL) community outreach programme. LLLL is designed and run with Communities First Cluster groups in Cardiff and the south east Valleys areas. The courses have enabled adult learners to improve their confidence, update their CVs, progress to higher education, and gain employment.

One of our students Alice Shing, a mum of two young children from the Splott area of Cardiff, first became aware of the courses through her local Communities First centre.

Alice used to work with adults with learning disabilities and has an interest in in learning and education. Since starting her own family her interest in children’s education has grown, so she decided to attend the free “Helping children learn” and “Child’s play” courses.

Successful completion of these courses led to the free and accredited “Women in their communities” course, where she felt she gained valuable skills and confidence. Alice started campaigning for positive changes in the community, in particular for her local library, and has written and delivered public speeches, organised a public meeting, run a petition, and designed campaign leaflets.

Since attending these courses, Alice has started working as a volunteer teaching assistant and has enrolled on Cardiff University’s Pathway to a Degree in Social Sciences, which is a route to an undergraduate degree in Social Science at Cardiff University.

Alice speaks warmly of the opportunities offered by the Widening Access Team: “Just have a go, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  If you live in a Communities First area, it’s even free – there are so many courses to choose from, to suit different interests and abilities.  Many of the courses are run in local learning centres, so you may not even have to travel far – and there are often childcare facilities for students with young children. Thank you so much Communities First, and Cardiff University – I never thought at my age I would be “going back to school” and enjoying it so much, but here I am – and it gives me joy.  Those courses changed my life! ”

Find out more about the work of the Widening Access team by visiting their website.


Come along to our Welsh-themed Exploring the Past lecture in November


This November we’re hosting a Welsh-themed Exploring the Past lecture in partnership with the Historical Association.

“Town Culture in 14th Century Wales”

Dr Matthew Stevens (Swansea University)

Wednesday 4th November 2015

All talks start at 7.15pm and are held at Continuing & Professional Education, 21-23 Senghennydd Road, Cardiff. CF24 4AG

For more information please contact Dr Paul Webster on 029 2087 5610 or by emailing

More information about upcoming courses can be found here (

Pathway students welcomed to the School of Social Sciences


Excitement was in the air as former Pathway students were officially welcomed to the School of Social Sciences by the Head of School, Prof Amanda Coffey.

Six students are transferring from Continuing & Professional Education, after studying social science modules part-time for one year on the programme which offers adults the opportunity to achieve their ambition of studying towards a degree at Cardiff University.

Professor Coffey said: “I am delighted to welcome a new cohort of Pathway students into the School of Social Sciences. It is particularly pleasing to see that the opportunities provided through the Pathway modules enable adult learners to access degree level studies with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Every year adults from a diverse range of backgrounds choose to begin studying one of the nine pathways provided by Continuing & Professional Education in different subjects. In most cases previous qualifications are not needed and the only requirements are an interest and enthusiasm for the subject.

New undergraduate Deborah Johnson said “I felt like I needed to do something for myself and I have always wanted to work towards a degree.” And her advice to others “Just go for it! I totally surprised myself at how much I could do despite not studying for many years”.

Fellow student Alysha Sammut added “I couldn’t believe you didn’t need any qualifications to do it! It has been brilliant! I have made lots of friends and the subjects have been very interesting”.

Jan Stephens, Co-ordinator of the Pathway to Social Science commented: “I wish all former pathway students starting undergraduate degrees this semester the best of luck! All the hard work and commitment has been worth it as the students take a step closer to achieving their undergraduate degrees. Well done everyone!”

The Division of Continuing & Professional Education are pleased to announce that 15 students have enrolled on the first module of the Pathway to Social Science this year. To find out more visit



Coming soon – Our next Exploring the Past public lecture

Coutances cathedral

Our next talk in the free Exploring the Past lecture series is coming up soon.

‘Raising the lame from the ground and the poor out of the filth’: Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances’ accession and the character of the episcopate in Normandy in 1048

Dr Chris Dennis (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

Wednesday 7th October 2015

All talks start at 7.15pm and are held at Continuing & Professional Education, 21-23 Senghennydd Road, Cardiff. CF24 4AG

For more information please contact Dr Paul Webster on 029 2087 5610 or by emailing

More information about upcoming courses can be found here (

FREE Learning Technology Workshops for Students


  • Do you need help accessing and using your Cardiff University e-mail account?
  • Are you having trouble using the LibrarySearch facility?
  • Are you confused about Learning Central?
  • Do you need advice on using Google as a research tool?

As part of Adult Learners’ Week between 14-22 June 2014 the Continuing & Professional Education will be running a series of FREE workshops for students on the following topics:

  • Navigating Cardiff Portal [for Cardiff University students only]: using Cardiff University’s e-mail system and Learning Central
  • Smart Googling: using Google Advanced Search and Google Scholar
  • Using Social Media as a Tool for Learning and Research: looking at Google Blog Search, Google Alerts and social bookmarking pages such as Delicious

The full schedule for all sessions is given below.

If you are interested in attending, then please complete the Booking Form below and return it to Reception in person, or send it via e-mail to

Our Exploring the Past free lecture series is back!

We’re kicking off a new year of free lectures in archaeology, history and religion with the following exciting topic.

“I am a woman hear me pray”: How believing suffragettes are reclaiming the Qur’an for themselves

 Dr Mansur Ali (Cardiff University)

 Wednesday 9th September 2015

 All talks start at 7.15pm and are held at Continuing & Professional Education, 21-23 Senghennydd Road, Cardiff. CF24 4AG

For more information please contact Dr Paul Webster on 029 2087 5610 or by emailing

More information about upcoming courses can be found here (link to


Introduction to Data Management

This 3 day course provides an introduction into the basic core of a powerful data management system, and provides skills for accessing managing, studying and analysing data as well as producing reports. The course will be presented through the combined use of seminars and practical workshops. Numerous examples and demonstrations will be presented together with regular laboratory exercises. This course is accredited by Cardiff University. On successful completion the participant will receive 10 Credits, CQFW, Level 4 Who is it for?

  • Those with limited or basic programming experience
  • Should be comfortable with Microsoft Windows 7
  • Upon completion participants will be able to manipulate data, perform simple statistical analyses and produce reports using the system

What will I learn

  • How to use an extremely powerful data management and analysis tool
  • How to effortlessly manage and analyse data
  • How to produce professional reports using the system

What will it cover?

  • Introduction to basic and commonly used programming commands
  • Importing data
  • Working with data libraries
  • Basic functions for manipulating data and performing summary statistics
  • Formatting data and reports
  • Merging and concatenating data sets
  • Simple statistical and graphical investigations of example data sets

Benefits of attending

  • Understand the windowing environment in Microsoft Windows 7
  • Import raw data into data sets
  • Work with data sets (storing, accessing and merging data sets)
  • Understand the basics of data step programming
  • Produce reports

Continuing & Professional Education tutor recognised at Inspire! Awards 2015

NIACE Inspire Award Ceremony

Preparing for the Awards Ceremony at the SWALEC Stadium (courtesy of NIACE Cymru)

Rhiannon Stevens, a community outreach tutor at Continuing & Professional Education, has been awarded a certificate of commendation by NIACE Cymru (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) in their annual Inspire! Awards Ceremony which took place at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff on 11th June 2015.

The annual Inspire! Awards celebrate the wide variety of achievements of learners and the inspirational work of tutors in Wales. Outstanding projects, employers and learners are recognised at the ceremony. Rhiannon expressed her gratitude for her nomination:

“Thank you so for my nomination. It means a lot to me that my hard work is both recognised and appreciated. I love working in the communities across the South Wales Valleys and Cardiff. It is a privilege to see people empowered through education as this programme makes a real difference in their lives.”

Rhiannon received this certificate of achievement for being one of the top three tutors in Wales. Jan Stephens, co-ordinating lecturer for our Social Science courses, commented:

‘We are delighted that Rhiannon has been recognised as one of the top three tutors in Wales. This award highlights the hard work that all of our community outreach tutors do with students from deprived areas in the south east Wales area.’

The Awards kick-start Adult Learners Week 2015, an annual campaign which celebrates and promotes adult learning opportunities across the country which will run from 13th to 19th June.

At Continuing & Professional Education we work closely with communities and NIACE Cymru to promote a wide variety of learning opportunities for adult learners. As part of Adult Learners Week 2015, we will be running free information sessions on our popular “Pathways to a Degree” programmes on Thursday 18th June. We welcome learners from all backgrounds without the need for prior qualifications.

Inspiring Adults to Study Degrees

Adult student

Cardiff University provides pathways to undergraduate degrees for adult learners.

Two informal sessions are taking place in Adult Learners’ Week on 18th June at 12.00 noon to 2.00pm and 6.00pm to 7.00pm at Continuing & Professional Education providing information on the pathways available.

The programmes are designed for those with life experience and we welcome applicants who may have been away from formal education for several years as no previous qualifications are required. Pathways are part-time and specifically developed to support busy adults to realise their ambition to study a degree in their chosen subjects including:

* Business Management, Accounting or Accounting and Finance * English Language, Literature or Philosophy (Inside Narratives) * History, Archaeology or Religion (Exploring the Past) * Journalism, Media or Cultural Studies (Our Media, Our World) * Modern Languages or Translation Studies * Politics and International Relations * Social Science

Many adults have progressed onto degrees at Cardiff University through a pathway. This year we are delighted that four previous Exploring the Past students will be graduating from the School of History Archaeology and Religion. Andy Parker, who is graduating with a BA Joint Honours Ancient History and History offers this advice to anyone considering studying.

“Age is no barrier (and in some ways an advantage!)

I am about to finish my final year of study on a Joint Honours degree in Ancient History and History, something which I really wasn’t sure would be practical or achievable for me a few years ago, but which has been one of my personal ambitions. I think I have learned a lot about myself during the past three years and perhaps most importantly about how I have changed since I last studied; I have learned my memory isn’t what it was 30 years ago, but that experiences during those years have added a great deal instead.”

To find out more visit