7 December 2016
Learners accessing a range of courses designed to help get them into a career or access higher education can now learn the basics of Social Analytics as part of their studies thanks to a longstanding relationship between Cardiff University and Agored Cymru.
Developed by Alan Smith from Agored Cymru and the University, the units of learning based on Social Analytics will be available either through Agored’s Access to Higher Education Diploma or as free standing units that can be used on other courses.
Judith Archer, Agored Cymru’s Curriculum Specialist and Development Manager for Essential Skills, says: “We have a working agreement with Cardiff University to try and expand the use of Social Analytics. It’s good for us as it shows that higher education is prepared to work with us and values our skills and expertise. Cardiff University is seen as being one of the best in the UK and certainly the best in Wales.
“Employers are increasingly demanding that potential employees demonstrate these analytical skills. Data can be a very powerful tool but only if it is used correctly.
“Social Analytics is a great skill to have and it will really prepare learners for university, regardless of the subject they finally choose to study. Even those going on to do a history course at university will still need to do some analysis. Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences has several degree programmes available for students to progress onto, including a BSc in Social Analytics. These units will help prepare people looking to gain a place on the course.”
Rhys Jones, a lecturer in Quantitative Methods in Further Education and admissions tutor at the University’s School of Social Sciences, said: “Social Analytics is the scientific investigation of social processes using quantitative analysis. These skills are valued highly by a wide range of employers. There is a real shortage of people with these skills; it’s not just being able to do the stats, it’s about being able to question what others are presenting as evidence and pick apart knowledge claims.
“Students progressing onto BSc Social Analytics will have the opportunity to complete a work placement module, enabling them to apply the skills learnt on the course in the workplace. Placements have been secured with the Welsh Government, Agored Cymru and a wide range of local organisations in the voluntary sector.
“These courses aren’t just about doing more maths or stats, they are about understanding society through analysing patterns and becoming well-informed and critical citizens. The skills and concepts developed during the course will stand our students in good stead.
“The challenge now is to ensure students across Wales have the opportunity to study these innovative and exciting courses.”
Further information is available here. Agored Cymru is the Welsh awarding body of choice for education and training providers in Wales. It is committed to ensuring that learners of all ages and abilities maximise their potential.