An empowering and rewarding experience that changed my life…


Joanne Wesley-Williams encourages those with an ambition to study a degree to enrol on a pathway at Cardiff University.

 Photo 1 Joanne Wesley-Williams

 Joanne Wesley-Williams is a real success story. As a mother of three young children, leaving school at 16 with just her GCSEs, Jo decided to begin her journey of learning by enrolling on the Exploring the Past Pathway at Cardiff University. Three years later Jo is about to embark on her final year of her History degree.

“At forty-one years old, part of the problem with returning to study was finding the time, so being able to take classes in the evenings and on weekends was a big help.

“The Exploring the Past courses have provided me with a different set of skills, broadening my knowledge and boosting my confidence. Also, the level of support from the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the Exploring the Past team, has been invaluable.

“Some people came along to the courses just for fun but several, myself included, became engrossed and decided to enrol onto the degree. Originally, I had no real aspirations of what I might do with a history degree, but now with the end in sight I have realised the career avenues are endless.

“I can’t deny there have been several moments of uncertainty during my time at Cardiff University. Becoming a mature undergraduate was not the scary rollercoaster ride I had imagined, but an empowering, rewarding experience that has changed my life.

“Being an adult learner is an advantage – I’m here because I want to be. I was worried about ‘what my family would think?’ In actual fact my family are very proud.”

Joanne is now studying for a BA in History at Cardiff University along with several other mature students who completed the Exploring the Past Pathway.

Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning currently provides pathways in the following subjects: Accounting and Finance, Archaeology, Business Management, English Language, English Literature, History, Journalism and Media, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Politics, Religious Studies, Social Science, and Translation.

This year 27 local adult learners transformed their lives and progressed onto a degree through the Pathways scheme.

Photo 2 Pathways students

Further information

For more information on Pathways contact Dr Richard Marsden on 029 2087 5610 or [email protected].

Alternatively visit and contact our Coordinating lecturers for support and advice. For more information on all the part-time courses on offer come along to our Open Days on Wednesday 10 September from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm and 5.00pm to 7.00pm and Saturday 13 September from 11.00am to 1.00pm at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff.