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Pathways to a Degree awarded

22 May 2019

Pathways award
Pathways to a Degree programme award.

We have received international recognition for our Pathways to a Degree programme which is an alternative way of accessing a degree with no formal qualifications. Find out how two thirds of last year’s cohort are now studying for a degree at Cardiff University.

We won an international award in the sustainability category from the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning last month.

The sustainability category recognises creative Lifelong Learning initiatives with proven impact and sustainability. We jointly won the award with Ryerson University, Toronto.

Our Pathways to a Degree programme is an alternative to A-level and access qualifications as it is taught and assessed in similar ways to first-year undergraduate courses. Each pathway is taught on a part-time basis in the evenings and weekends and in most cases students don’t need prior qualifications to get started. We welcome applications from students who may have been away from formal education for several years and a number of our pathways do not require any formal qualifications.

This year we offered Pathways to a Degrees in:

  • Accounting and Business Management
  • English Language, Literature and Philosophy
  • Healthcare
  • History, Ancient History, Archaeology and Religion
  • Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies
  • Medical Pharmacology
  • Modern Languages and Translation
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Social Science.

62 students completed a 60 credit Pathway to a Degree in 2017/18 and of this cohort in 2018/19:

  • 40 students have now commenced their degrees at Cardiff University
  • 10 have opted to study at other universities in South Wales.

Pathways to a Degree is run by the Continuing Professional Education team

Here is what some of our students have to say:

‘The Pathway to Healthcare has equipped me to raise my academic ability and also reinstalled self-confidence, and for this I shall always be thankful. This course has genuinely changed my life, my once pipedream of becoming a Midwife is now becoming my reality.’

(Student, Bmid Midwifery, 2018)

‘Before starting Exploring the Past, I had not worked for six years, since the birth of my youngest child. My career was on the backburner and I focused on my family, but I felt stuck in a rut. Now I'm in the final year of my degree, applying for a PGCE in secondary education and am working one day a week in a high school. The course has helped me to progress towards a career in teaching, something I have always wanted to do.’

(Student, BA Ancient History & Archaeology, 2018)

Widening participation to Pathways to a Degree

We have also developed a number of free courses, ‘Live Local; Learn Local’, to offer progression onto Pathways to a Degree. These have been developed as part of our widening participation programme in collaboration with local community organisations, and are based in low-participation areas. These courses have helped students to progress into degrees in Accounting, Business Management and Social Science.

Find out more about Pathways to a Degree

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