A New Year, New Choices, new Pathways, a new you!

It’s 2014 and New Year resolutions are in full swing. Will 2014 be the year you choose to enhance your employability? Take a new Pathway? Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning is busy planning part-time courses to help maximise your potential for 2014 and broaden your horizons.

Choices is Cardiff University’s programme of part-time courses for the general public, offering a variety of subjects so your study can reflect who you are. Whether you want to explore the past, learn a new language, or expand your love of arts and creative writing, we have the perfect course for you to achieve your ambitions. Courses are open to all adults and you don’t need qualifications, so don’t worry if it’s been a while since you studied.

Interested in developing your education even further? The Centre for Lifelong Learning’s Pathways for Progression enables adult learners to access undergraduate degrees at Cardiff University. These are specifically designed for people with all sorts of backgrounds and help students to realise their ambition of studying for a degree in their chosen fields. Cardiff University welcomes applications from students with life experience and who may have been away from formal education for several years.

Here are some comments from our students:

“The Computer Forensics course has allowed me to consider career opportunities that I would not have normally considered. The courses provide the opportunity to explore subjects in a friendly and interactive environment, and offer a great chance to meet people with similar interest.” – Stephen, Computer Forensics Investigation and Response, Computer Studies student

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“My knowledge of my chosen subject has increased a huge amount. I’ve met inspiring lecturers and interesting new people. I’ve found confidence in my learning abilities and I’m proud of the work I’ve put in. I knew I had it in me, and I’m delighted that thanks to these courses I’ve been able to prove it!” Alex- Exploring the Past Pathway student

So spend a little time this January on you this New Year and plan the new you!  For more information visit www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or call 029 2087 0000 and request a copy of the CHOICES prospectus.

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Edrych ar y Gorffennol yn dathlu’r Tair Oed

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Mae llwybr Edrych ar y Gorffennol, sef llwybr arloesol yn y cynllun ehangu mynediad sy’n cynnig cyfle i oedolion sydd heb addysg ffurfiol wneud graddau mewn hanes, archaeoleg a chrefydd, newydd droi’n dair oed.

Nodwyd y pen-blwydd â derbyniad ar 6 Tachwedd yng Nghanolfan Caerdydd ar gyfer Addysg Gydol Oes. Tynnodd y noson sylw yn benodol at gampau’r myfyrwyr sydd wedi gorffen y llwybr dros y tair blynedd diwethaf ac sydd erbyn hyn yn astudio ar gyrsiau yn Ysgol Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd Prifysgol Caerdydd. Daeth myfyrwyr presennol a staff o’r brifysgol i’r noson hefyd i ddangos eu cefnogaeth i’r llwybr ac i ddathlu llwyddiant y llwybr dros y tair blynedd diwethaf.

Gwelodd y noson gychwyn ar gydweithrediad newydd hefyd rhwng cyfres darlithoedd di-dâl Edrych ar y Gorffennol, a changen Caerdydd y Gymdeithas Hanes. Mae’r darlithoedd misol hyn yn anelu at y cyhoedd yn gyffredinol ac yn cynnig golwg gyffrous ar ymchwil mewn hanes, archaeoleg a chrefydd. Yn ystod y flwyddyn academaidd hon, bydd pedwar o’r 10 anerchiad yn ddarlithoedd gwadd gan y Gymdeithas Hanes, a draddodir gan ysgolheigion enwog o brifysgolion ledled y Deyrnas Unedig.

Mae holl gyrsiau llwybr Edrych ar y Gorffennol yn cael eu seilio ar ymchwil ac ar ethos cynhwysiant a mynediad agored i addysg uwch. Dyna ysbryd y cydweithredu â’r Gymdeithas Hanes hefyd a’r bwriad yw dod â gwaith academyddion blaenllaw i gynulleidfa newydd na fydden nhw fel arall yn cael cyfle i wybod amdano.

Cafodd darlith wadd gyntaf y Gymdeithas Hanes ei thraddodi ar ôl y derbyniad pen-blwydd gan yr Athro Gareth Steadman-Jones o Goleg y Brenin Caer-grawnt, a anerchodd gynulleidfa o fwy na hanner cant o fyfyrwyr y llwybr, israddedigion, ôl-raddedigion, staff darlithio ac aelodau o’r cyhoedd, ar ‘Karl Marx a Chymuned y Pentref’.

Dywedodd Richard Marsden, Cydlynydd Edrych ar y Gorffennol: “Ers 2010 mae 13 o oedolion o bob lliw a llun wedi dychwelyd i addysg drwy ddilyn llwybr Edrych ar y Gorffennol ac wedi mynd ymlaen i wneud graddau mewn Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd. Mae hyn yn gamp aruthrol a dylai pob un ohonyn nhw fod yn eithriadol o falch. Mae’n cyfres ni o ddarlithoedd am ddim yn ffordd wych i unrhyw un sydd â diddordeb mewn gwneud yr un peth gael blas ar y llwybr. Mae’r cydweithredu newydd â’r Gymdeithas Hanes yn golygu ein bod yn gallu cynnig rhaglen fwy amrywiol a chyffrous byth o siaradwyr – mae’n gyfnod cyffrous iawn i Edrych ar y Gorffennol.”

Adleisiwyd y geiriau hyn gan yr Athro Peter Edbury, cadeirydd y Gymdeithas Hanes yng Nghaerdydd, a ddywedodd “Rydyn ni wrth ein bodd yn cydweithio â Chyfres Darlithoedd Di-dâl Edrych ar y Gorffennol, ac yn edrych ymlaen at gydweithio i ddod â’r ymchwil ddiweddaraf i gynulleidfa gyhoeddus eang yn y dyfodol.”

Mae’r darlithoedd di-dâl yn agored i bawb ac yn cael eu cynnal yng Nghanolfan Caerdydd ar gyfer Addysg Gydol Oes. Yr anerchiad nesaf sydd wedi’i drefnu yw Dwy Ganrif o “Pride and Prejudice” – Pam Dathlu? gyda’r Dr Anthony Mandal o Brifysgol Caerdydd yn annerch yn Saesneg am 7:15pm, nos Fercher 11 Rhagfyr 2013.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am Edrych ar y Gorffennol a’r gyfres darlithoedd di-dâl, ewch i www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/choices/exploring-the-past.

Six adult learners have progressed onto degrees at Cardiff University

Exploring the Past BrochureThe Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce that six students have successfully completed the Exploring the Past Pathway and will be starting their degrees at Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion in the next few weeks.

Dan Jewson, one of the students progressing, said: “I will be starting an undergraduate degree in history in September 2013.  This would not have been possible without Exploring the Past. I have been given an opportunity to get back into academic study after a long break. The courses have helped me gain the necessary credits to progress to an undergraduate degree programme. Further, they have given me the confidence and self-belief to feel I can be successful at undergraduate study. Thank you to everyone associated with Exploring the Past.  Everyone has been so supportive and helpful.”

As part of the pathway students were encouraged to take part in a series of archaeological digs alongside professional archaeologists at Ham Hill, Dinas Powys and Caerau. Student Janet Maurice attended the dig on an iron-age hillfort at Ham Hill. She said: “The excavation technique was entirely new to me but also how the lead archaeologists took the bits of evidence from many different sections of the dig and from different techniques. The most interesting thing was the discovery of the artefacts. When I was there quite a few were revealed including two pig skulls, pots and bits of pots and best of all a Neolithic flint scraper. I am totally convinced I want to do archaeology. The collating of the information is very time consuming but produces amazing results.”

Exploring the Past is a unique progression pathway that is made up of six 10-credit modules in archaeology, religious studies and history. The pathway is collaboration between the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning and the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University and its framework and environment is designed specifically to cater for the needs of busy adult learners.

The Pathway Co-ordinator Dr Richard Marsden said: “All of us who work on Exploring the Past are incredibly proud to be involved in it and with the students who study it. This year another group of adults from a wide range of backgrounds are progressing onto degrees. Their achievement really shows that hard work and enthusiasm does pay off.”

The Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning currently offers another five Pathways, including: Accounting and Finance; Business and Management; Modern Languages or Translation; and Social Sciences. Two new pathways we will be added to the programme in January, leading to degrees in English Literature, English Language, Philosophy and Journalism.

Spotlight on Pathways

As part of Adult learners’ week, there is a ‘Spotlight on Pathways’ event on Saturday 18th May from 11.00am to 1.00pm at the Centre for Lifelong Learning on Senghennydd Road.

Our Pathway Co-ordinators will be on hand to discuss your study, including funding. This informal and relaxed event will be held in the Cafe (with complimentary tea and cakes) Everyone welcome! Take that first step towards achieving your ambition of studying an undergraduate degree at a world class university! There will be a Pathways talk at 11.00am and drop-in sessions from 12.00 noon.

Exploring the Past for a better future

Joanne Wesley WilliamsJoanne Wesley Williams

Exploring the Past, a unique access route to higher education at Cardiff University, has this year helped another seven local adult learners to transform their lives and progress onto a degree scheme.

Joanne Wesley-Williams, 40, and Penni Bestic, 59, are two of the seven students in total who have successfully completed the Exploring the Past Pathway through the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning and are now embarking on a degree at Cardiff University.

The award-winning Pathway is celebrating the completion of its second year having already secured degree places for two adult learners in the 2010/11 academic year. Run collaboratively by the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the 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, history or religion.

Like many other adult learners, Joanne missed out on higher education after leaving school. She decided to try the Pathway as a route back into education and used it as a means to better her life.

Joanne said: “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.”

After failing to find employment after redundancy and also battling with mental health issues, Penni decided to enrol on the Pathway and do something useful with her time.

Penni said: “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.”

The Exploring the Past Pathway provides students with real life changing opportunities which have been recognised by the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) – the national body which represents part-time education in universities. The Pathway received a highly commended award from UALL in April 2012.

Courses are taught by people with both expert subject knowledge and the ability to support, inspire adult learners in a flexible timescale, framework and environment. More courses will be starting in January 2013.

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 www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/ .

Learning no longer in the past

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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 timescale, 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.