Name: Mirain Rhys (

Discipline/Subject: Applied Psychology     

Institution: Cardiff Metropolitan University

Title: Development of a Psychology recruitment programme

Overview of programme of outreach:

Since 2017, I have been developing and growing a network of schools and colleges to visit, in which I deliver Psychology sessions. The sessions have been developed in conjunction with the examining body for Wales (WJEC) who indicated that teachers and students were having particular difficulty with preparing for the research methods section of the exam paper. Our department’s aim with these sessions is to foster a continued interest in Psychology among A-level students (recruitment) as well as developing strong links with schools/colleges (outreach).

Each session is designed to last 1 hour (but is easily shortened/ extended).

Research methods: presented with a research scenario, the students must then use their current research methods knowledge to come up with possible questions they might be asked in the exam, and then they are required to answer them. The aim of this session is to directly apply knowledge.

Debate session: students are presented with a scenario similar to the ones in their Psychology examination paper where they have to draft an essay debate. The example used is ‘the impact of conditioning children’s behaviour’. Students are given a short presentation on the topic (which they’ve usually already covered in class in more detail) and are then split into ‘for’ and ‘against’ groups. They are given time to prepare their debate using materials provided by myself (books), their phones and/ or classroom computers. The last 20 minutes or so of the session is spent actually having the debate. The aim of this session is for students to research the topic and devise relevant debate points which they could apply to an examination situation.

Studying Psychology: the aim of this presentation is to give an informative insight into what studying Psychology at UG level would entail, with obvious examples from our own programme. I have interactive activities (classic Psychology experiments) which students participate in as well as videos on accommodation and the BSc UG Psychology course at Cardiff Met.

Description of non-academic group, subject areas and age groups with which the programme is engaged:

Sessions are varied in subject areas, relating to the apparent need from teachers for an interactive approach to research methods, developing a debate, and using research.

Sessions are offered to students in years 12/13 (schools/colleges), or those studying Psychology/ Welsh Baccalaureate at GCSE. Welsh and English medium sessions are available.

Usually, after the online leaflet is sent to a school/college (link above), and a school/college gets in touch, we will have a discussion relating to what the teacher wants from the session (i.e. they only want the research methods session, or they want the whole package etc.).


Table 1. Number of schools and colleges in England and Wales who have interacted in some way with the school/college visit offer.

England Wales
Schools Colleges Schools Colleges
Contact, No visit arranged yet 26 9 10 11
Visited 4 1 5 1

*Plus contacted by one school in the Netherlands, and another in the UAE

Because there is no funding to support these activities (apart from mileage) I have had to curtail where I am realistically able to visit. In place of physical visits, I have offered skype sessions to schools/colleges who are more than 1.45 hours away, but so far there has been no uptake.

No data has been collected on the students participating in the school/college visits as of yet (due to the informality of how the visits were set up/ no ethics), and this is something I’m hoping to develop in the future in order to make these visits sustainable and to track students who might then decide to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

We have our own marketing materials within the department (leaflets on the course, pens and pencils, post-it notes) but do not receive any support from the University wide marketing team for these visits (school/college contact information, prospectus, support/recognition!).

Aims for the future:

  • To formalise the programme of activities (e.g. using the standardised Cardiff Metropolitan University PowerPoint presentation template, having discussions within the department about data collection etc.)
  • To collect data on participants (those who take part, but also feedback on sessions from both staff and students to improve for next time)
  • To develop an online learning platform where schools/colleges can access these activities if they do not wish for me to visit/ are too far away
  • To adapt the materials to fit in with a wider Psychology/ Health + Wellbeing agenda for the University/ Higher Education.

Links to resources:

Psychology Visits with Cardiff Metropolitan University:


Name: Sharon Williams (

Discipline/Subject: School of Life sciences

Institution: Coventry University

Title: Recruitment and Widening Participation in science courses and community outreach at Coventry University

Overview of programme of outreach:

The programme of outreach taking place at Coventry University involves reaching out for schools around the West Midlands area. The university offers a variety of outreach activities from all disciplines to the schools, during term times on Wednesday’s afternoon, 4-5 times during the year.

These activities are aimed at Secondary schools and A-levels students. Some examples of activities we offer are for Biology students: introduction to genetic analysis using a technique called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and get involved in isolation and PCR analysis of human genomic DNA.  In some workshops we have isolated bacterial plasmid DNA and building DNA models. The students were able to visualise gels and take pictures of their work home.

For the forensic students we offer analysis of blood, fibers, fingerprints and drugs.  During the session students can attend a crime scene investigation and then spend some time analysing DNA samples.

We also offer diverse science activities in collaboration with Grants from Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology and Biochemical Society for the younger audience and the overall community. It runs during week days or Saturdays for students at primary age 7-11 years old.

Happy to share our outreach activities with other disciplines and colleagues to learn more about the expectations and the policies around outreach.

Description of non-academic group, subject areas and age groups with which the programme is engaged:

West Midlands community, schools in the West Midlands area age groups vary between 16-18 and 7-11 years old.

Links to resources:

Williams, S. (2017a) ‘“Introduction to DNA” for primary pupils’, The Biochemist Blog (online), 16 August, <>[Accessed 15 March 2018].

Williams, S. (2017b) ‘Fab Lab’, Royal Society of Chemistry (online), London: Royal Society of Chemistry, <> [Accessed 15 March 2018].

Coventry University Outreach: