Established in 2013, the WISERD Education Multi Cohort Study (WMCS) is a longitudinal study of young people in Wales. The WMCS was created to provide a rich data source for education researchers, particularly those working in Wales for whom there were limited resources available for data collection.

The WMCS was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) between 2013 and 2017, then by Cardiff University between 2018 and 2019. Since 2020, the WMCS has been funded by the Welsh Government.

The study is led by Dr Rhian Barrance, Professor Sally Power and Professor Chris Taylor, based in Cardiff University.


The overall aims of the WMCS are to:

• Provide an insight into the perspectives and experiences of young people in Wales

• Develop a robust source of comparable data that can be used to inform policy and practice.

• Provide a ‘virtual laboratory’ for education and other social science researchers in Wales and beyond


The longitudinal and multi-cohort dimension of the WMCS is particularly important because it provides a robust basis for comparison.

The importance of the WMCS is likely to increase over the coming years as Wales undertakes the radical and progressive transformation of the school curriculum. The WMCS will provide evidence of the extent to which these changes are affecting young people’s experience of schooling. The WISERD Education Data Lab will further enhance the analytic potential of the WMCS data.

Previous researchers on this project are listed below:

Ed Janes, Jemma Bridgeman, Jennifer May Hampton, Catherine Foster, Constantino Dumangane Jr., Daniel Evans, Kimberly Horton, Kathryn Sharp, Kevin Smith and Mirain Rhys.


Interview with Professor Sally Power, Cardiff University

Professor Sally Power from Cardiff University discusses some of the latest findings from the WISERD Education Multi-Cohort Study (WMCS), which tracks the progress of children and young people as they go through secondary education in Wales. Professor Power highlights the importance of this ongoing cohort study in providing evidence for policymakers and practitioners, enabling them to put measures and policies in place to improve the lives of young people in Wales.


ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2022: WMCS Webinar

This webinar will introduce the WISERD Education Multi-Cohort Study, a longitudinal study of the changing perceptions of secondary school pupils over the last 10 years, and will provide an insight into how we work with schools and policy makers.


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