Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Welcome to ARU College

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We offer a range of degrees with an integrated foundation year, which is a great option if you're interested in going to university but would first like to build your skills and knowledge.

Adding a foundation year at ARU College means you’ll be an ARU student from day one, but benefit from extra support during your first year.

What is a foundation year?

A foundation year is an alternative route into university study. It will suit you if:

  • you don’t meet the entry requirements to start your chosen degree
  • you haven't studied the right subjects to get onto your chosen course
  • you’re starting university after some time away from education
  • you’re looking for more support during the transition into university study
  • you don’t have a portfolio (if you are interested in studying art, design, music, performing arts or architecture).

How our foundation year works

We offer foundation-level entry into many ARU degree courses.

At ARU College, your foundation year is geared towards the course that you have applied to study at degree level. The content is a combination of subject-focussed topics relevant to your chosen course, alongside skills topics that are important building blocks for studying at degree level.

The advantage of studying a foundation year with ARU College is that you will be part of the ARU community. You'll be taught on campus and have access to all University facilities, while receiving tuition from foundation-level specialists dedicated to helping you make the step up to degree-level studies.

In your first year you'll study full-time, and will usually have 16 hours face-to-face teaching every week. Depending on your course you can choose to start in September, January or May.

Questions we are asked

What’s the difference between a foundation year, extended degree and foundation degree?

A foundation year, also known as Level 0, Level 3 or extended degree, is an extra year of study that gives you access to degree-level studies. In our case, your place on your chosen four-year degree is guaranteed as long as you pass the foundation year. You may need to achieve a specific grade, for example a pass at 60%.

A foundation degree is different: that's a standalone qualification which is usually equivalent to two years of a three-year degree.

What are the entry requirements?

The standard entry requirements are:

  • five GCSE passes at grade 3 or above and evidence of two years post-GCSE study at Level 3
  • if you have achieved at least grade E in one A level, or equivalent, you are exempt from the two year post-GCSE study requirement, but you still have to meet the GCSE requirements
  • applicants who don't have two years post GCSE study at Level 3 may be considered on the basis of their employment history, which must be a minimum of two years full time employment supported by employer evidence.
  • if English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificate level of proficiency of at least IELTS 5.5 overall including 5.5 in each band/component.

If you're applying from outside the UK, please refer to our list of equivalent qualifications.

How do I apply?

If we make you an offer, it will be for a full degree course. This means that as long as you pass the foundation, you will seamlessly progress to the rest of your degree, without needing to reapply. Depending on your course you may need to achieve a specific grade, for example a pass at 60%.

What are the tuition fees?

Please refer to our tuition fee costs.

Students from the UK and Ireland can apply for loans to cover tuition fees and living costs. If you're an EU student starting a course before 1 August 2021 or you have EU pre-settled or settled status, you will also be eligible for student loans for the duration of your course.

Is accommodation available?

Yes, accommodation is available, both on and off campus. The Accommodation Team at ARU College can help you find the right accommodation to suit your needs. Find out more about accommodation and apply.