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The Aims of the Project


  • to identify the numerical knowledge and skills required within a range of academic disciplines, and how development of the former might be better supported within curricula
  • to identify the generic numerical skills required by graduate employers, and how their development might be better supported across all disciplines


This has been a collaborative project led by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).

Project Strands:

The UCLan strand of the project has been looking at undergraduate numeracy across a range of disciplines within the lead institution. It has also been exploring the importance of numeracy skills to graduate employers and the extent to which they assess the numeracy skills of graduate applicants as part of their selection procedures.

The History strand of the project has been exploring undergraduate numeracy within this specific discipline, across the partner universities and has been drawing comparisons with other UK and overseas institutions.

History Strand:

  • First year History undergraduates at UCLan, SHU and MMU have completed a paper-based survey which explored their perspectives on numeracy. UCLan History students have also participated in focus group discussions to help capture an in-depth picture of numeracy issues confronting students in this discipline.
  • A numeracy test, piloted with History students at UCLan, was attempted by students from six UK universities.
  • History tutors in HE institutions across the UK completed a survey which explored their views on the curricular opportunities available to History undergraduates for developing numeracy skills. Visits to History departments within UK HE institutions took place to discuss the issues in greater depth with individual tutors. A questionnaire on tutor attitudes to teaching numeracy was distributed to History tutors within UK institutions.
  • An online search of History Departmental websites (UK) has been undertaken for any evidence of numerical issues with regard to curricula, IT courses, programme learning outcomes, postgraduate provision and employability. Curricular materials from undergraduate History courses across the UK that require students to use and develop their numerical capabilities have been collected, with a view to dissemination via the project website.
  • An online history graduate survey, launched in December 2008 and closed in October 2009, explored how well History degree courses developed the numeracy skills of History graduates and the extent to which numeracy skills were important to the subsequent careers of History graduates.
  • An online survey for international institutions, launched in April 2009 and closed in December 2009, explored the curricular opportunities available to international History undergraduates for developing their numeracy skills.

Full project details can be found on the UCLan website:

or on the Higher Education Academy website: