Access our student talent with Live Briefs

Student group looking at a computer screen

Do you have a business task or development opportunity that our students could help you solve? You can access our student talent in the form of a Live Brief.

Join us as a Live Brief partner organisation and let our students help you come up with solutions.

What is a Live Brief and how does it work?

A group of people in a classroom, gathered around a plan

A Live Brief is an opportunity for you to present our students with a real-world task and for them to come up with a fresh and creative solution or ideas that can benefit your organisation.

You specify an activity, project, task or competition based on your needs and expectations, which will form part of our undergraduate students’ compulsory learning. It results in agreed deliverables that students present to you.

A Live Brief gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to a professionally relevant task, and is an integral part of their assessments.

We began running Live Briefs in 2020, and they’re now a core element of around one hundred different undergraduate degree modules.

Live Briefs span a wide range of subjects, from creative arts, law and finance, to computing, construction, psychology and life sciences and many more.

Live Briefs can take many forms - these are just a few examples:

  • A market research project
  • User experience research
  • A plan to raise the profile of your organisation using social media
  • Generation of product design options
  • Statistical analysis of datasets such as drug discovery databases
  • Evidence-based communication and educational resources
  • Developing and managing a fundraising event or campaign
  • Editing or creating a company newsletter
  • Usability testing

How will my organisation benefit?

Live Briefs can help:

As an organisation that’s keen to support and help develop our students, your commitment and time is very valuable to us and that’s all we ask from you. There’s no financial cost for a Live Brief.

If you have any questions, or an idea for a Live Brief that you would like to discuss further, please contact us at livebriefs@aru.ac.uk

“It's been really exciting for us as an employer to see the dynamism the students have brought to the Live Brief.”
Richard Davidson, Director – Willmott Dixon

How do students benefit?

A Live Brief gives students insight into how their learning is directly linked to relevant professional practice and tasks and opportunities faced by organisations. 

Students develop their skills, confidence, employability and future career prospects by getting invaluable exposure to real-world situations and experience of working with relevant industry professionals.

“The Live Brief Project was a great way to work together within a team. It helped me develop my confidence as well as my presentation skills.”
ARU student

What level of results can I expect from a Live Brief?

As students progress through their studies, they can deliver more complex and specific Live Briefs. Our academics will work with you to ensure that the scope of your Live Brief matches our students’ level of study and benefits your organisation.

What subjects and industry sectors can have a Live Brief?

Undergraduate courses at ARU encompass science, engineering, business, law, health, education, social care, arts, humanities and social sciences. The majority of these subject areas include a Live Brief module, so a wide range of students are available to collaborate on a variety of projects.

We welcome partner organisations from a wide range of sectors and industries. We encourage external partners to be as creative as possible, as long as the brief itself represents real-life professional practice.

We currently have Live Brief partners of all sizes from sectors including non-profit and charity, local government, construction, engineering, law, aerospace, education, arts and culture, fashion, retail, sports, agri-tech, software, recruitment, life sciences, healthcare, finance, and pharmaceuticals.

How much time do I need to commit to a Live Brief?

A Live Brief will need between three and six hours of your time, depending on what year the students are in.

You will be involved in three key stages of designing and delivering a Live Brief:

  1. Live Brief co-design: Before the teaching term begins, our academics work with you to co-design a Live Brief that’s relevant for both your organisation and our students.
  2. Live Brief introduction: You introduce your organisation and the Live Brief to students in a live session (face-to-face or online), usually in the beginning of a teaching term.
  3. Live Brief professional feedback: You review and provide developmental, professionally-focused feedback on the work students produced for your Live Brief, usually at the end of a teaching term.

Live Brief timelines

A man and woman work on an interactive whiteboard in front of an audience

Live Briefs usually run in either the autumn or spring terms. These are guide timelines for each term:

Autumn term

Co-design: May-August

Introduction: September-October

Professional feedback: November-December

Spring term

Co-design: May-December

Introduction: January-March

Professional feedback: February-April

“The students’ fresh eyes on the problem provided a valuable different perspective, and will help our Public Health Information team as they contribute to determining priorities in our regional workstream.”
Tim Winters, Head of Public Health Information, Norfolk County Council

Contact us

If you have any further questions, or an idea for a Live Brief that you would like to discuss further, please fill in our Live Briefs Expression of Interest form (PDF) and send it to livebriefs@aru.ac.uk

Live Briefs on social media

Follow ARU on social media to keep up to date with news of #ARULiveBriefs