Fresh Start

Full-time undergraduate (2 weeks)

Chelmsford, Cambridge

June, November

Chelmsford: 11 November to 22 November, with Graduation on 29 November

Cambridge: 18 November to 29 November, with Graduation on 6 December


You're eager to enhance your career but may feel a lack of degree is holding you back. You're motivated and want to make the exciting leap into higher education and potentially a new direction, but haven't studied at this level before. Fresh Start is for you.

Fresh Start is an intensive two week course to prepare you for degree-level study at ARU by letting you experience it, whilst opening the door to the possibilities a degree could bring in enhancing your career and your future prospects.

If you haven't studied for a few years and have no A-levels, that's no problem. Our team will provide guidance and support throughout to build not just your academic knowledge but also your study and employability skills and our academic staff are on hand to guide you through the theoretical aspects of the course.

The course runs over two weeks, in either November or June at either our Cambridge or Chelmsford campus. Your first week will be spent on campus full-time, learning the key skills you'll need for the second week and the assessment, including academic writing, research skills and critical reasoning. The second half of the course is self-study under the guidance of your Course Leader, where you will use all the skills from week one, to build a project based on the Retail Industry.

On successful completion of the course, we will be hosting a Graduation Ceremony where you will be able to discuss entry onto one of our Business and Law undergraduate degrees.


This course is called Fresh Start because that's what it could give you...a fresh start and a positive future. Your lack of formal qualifications will no longer be a barrier as this course is designed to help you into degree-level study at ARU, to help you formalise the work experience you have gained throughout your career and to help boost you onto the next step.

Modules & assessment

  • Day 1 Reaching your Potential
    Day 1 covers 'learning from each others experiences' where you'll meet your fellow students and share your experiences prior to the course, along with your ambitions for the future. The afternoon delves into university life, exploring how to get the most out of yourself and your degree and the transition to full-time undergraduate study. Overnight task: source and bring an artefact for use in the Day 2 session, 'Balloon Game'.
  • Day 2 Critical Reasoning
    The morning of Day 2 introduces critical reasoning and the development of your argument and it's supporting evidence. Building on your overnight task from Day 1, you'll present to the group, both individually and as a team, for the 'Balloon Game'.
  • Day 3 Academic Writing
    Ever wondered what makes a good essay or portfolio? This morning's session introduces academic writing and how to make your work stand out from the crowd, before your in-class writing retreat to produce your 500 word abstract. Overnight task: Source a piece of evidence/authority to support your 500 word abstract.
  • Day 4 Research Skills
    Research is a vital part of student life and knowing the tips and tricks to get the most out of your research time is a key skill you'll use throughout your studies. As part of this, you'll get to grips with Harvard referencing, footnotes and avoiding plagiarism. By the afternoon you'll be ready to apply this new research knowledge to your abstract.
  • Day 5 Field Trip
    After a trip into Cambridge City Centre, you'll examine and compare thriving and challenged retail locations. The afternoon will concentrate on your project assignment alongside a discussion with our Admissions Team on your progression into an undergraduate degree.


Your assessment is in the form of a project assignment, which you will be working towards throughout your first week. This assignment will be centred on the retail industry. For Business students, it's an 'Examination of the economic/social/financial factors which drive success or failure in the retail industry', for those interested in Law, you'll look at 'What can legislators do to create more equality/level the playing field in the retail industry?'.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK and EU students starting in 2019 - 20


Entry requirements

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You will need to have GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above. Interviews will be arranged individually with our Course Leader prior to acceptance on the course following your online application.

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