National award for pioneering Cardiff history course for adult learners

A new course offering adult learners a route to a Cardiff history degree has won a national award from the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning.

Dave Wyatt receives national UALL award

The Exploring the Past programme is a joint project by the University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Adult learners take courses at the Centre for Lifelong Learning which can count toward the first year of a part-time degree scheme.

The project won a Highly Commended award at the ceremony hosted by the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) – the national body which represents part-time education in universities.

Dean of Lifelong Learning Dr Richard Evans, who accepted the prize for Cardiff University, said: "The Exploring the Past programme was designed to reach people from backgrounds with little higher education tradition and to introduce them to undergraduate study. I’m delighted that the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning has recognised the programme and the benefits it offers people in our local communities."

Dr David Wyatt, Founder of the Exploring the Past Pathway, said: "This is an amazing achievement for all those involved with the Pathway. Exploring the Past provides life changing opportunities for adult learners to undertake degrees in history, archaeology and religion at Cardiff. Many of our students begin with little previous academic experience and face significant barriers to education. Exploring the Past provides an opportunity for them to study and progress in a nurturing and supportive environment designed for mature students. Indeed, the imperative to create a positive impact on our students’ lives is one of the driving motivations of the Pathway – I’d like to thank UALL for recognising this through bestowing this prestigious award."

For more information about Exploring the Past and other Centre for Lifelong Learning courses, please see .

Learning no longer in the past

Hayley Bassett - web
A unique access route to higher education has opened new avenues for a mother from Port Talbot who thought she’d left learning in the past long ago.

Hayley Bassett, 40, has successfully completed the ‘Exploring the Past Foundation Pathway’ through the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning and is now embarking on a degree in Archaeology and History at the University.

The Foundation Pathway is run as a collaboration between the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion. It is designed to give adult learners the opportunity to experience research-led teaching first hand and progress towards studying a degree in archaeology or history.

Hayley didn’t have the opportunity to continue with higher education straight from school, and has for some time been a full-time carer for her autistic daughter. She decided to try the Foundation Pathway as a route back into education and was one of the first students to enrol at the Centre.

Just eight months later she was accepted to study a part-time degree course in Ancient and Medieval History.

The flexibility of the Foundation Pathway enabled Hayley to manage her home life as well as achieving something for herself which for the past few years has been put on hold. She said: “I didn’t have the opportunity to study at university straight from school. I joined the pathway as a personal outlet because after a few very difficult years my self-confidence was very low. I was extremely nervous but soon started to enjoy the classes. The course has given me confidence in my abilities and made me realise that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

“Studying history is something I really enjoy and I’m excited to continue with this journey. I am looking forward to becoming a ‘proper’ student, although I must admit I’m also feeling a bit nervous.”

Hayley will begin her studies at the University this September. She believes that if you are willing to learn and can commit to studying, you should take every opportunity presented to you.

Exploring the Past

Exploring the PastAn innovative new access route to higher education designed to give adult learners the chance to experience research-led teaching first-hand and progress towards studying a degree in archaeology or history has been launched by the University.

Exploring the Past is a new part-time foundation pathway into the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion that has been developed to help people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds to realise their ambition to study at degree level.

The foundation pathway combines the Centre for Lifelong Learning’s experience of progressing and supporting adult learners with the internationally recognised research and teaching expertise in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Exploring the Past will help participants understand more about their origins, identity and the nature of modern day society with teaching covering everything from pre-historic societies to ancient civilizations, medieval institutions to twentieth-century politics and culture.

As well as enhancing their understanding of the past and developing writing, reading and interpretation skills, all students successfully completing the course will automatically qualify for an interview for either a full-time or part-time degree scheme in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Dr David Wyatt foundation pathway co-ordinator commented: “I am really excited about Exploring the Past! We have an amazing programme of courses lined up that are bound together by some very big themes like conceptions of power, gender, religion, national identities and, of course, the uses and relevance of history today.

Exploring the Past is specifically for adults returning to education, it allows them to study within a time-scale, framework and environment designed to specifically cater for their needs. Most importantly our courses have the potential to contribute directly towards a degree: students successfully completing the pathway and interview can enter into their first year of undergraduate study having already completed half of it.

“The foundation pathway courses are free for individuals claiming benefits who have not previously studied at degree level. So Exploring the Past provides an ideal opportunity for the unemployed to re-skill and gain a higher education qualification in the humanities. I wish something like this had been available when I came to university as a mature student!”

Exploring the Past is made up of six 10 credit courses and is equivalent to 50% of the first year of a degree. The course will start on Thursday 14th October, 7-9pm in room 3.58, Humanities Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff. To reserve a place or for more information, please call Dr David Wyatt on 02920 870404 or the Centre for Lifelong Learning on 02920 870000.