Innovative curriculum

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Whatever your career ambitions, our courses are focused on an active learning approach to employability, preparing you for your future and the world of work.

Today’s employers value graduates with transferable skills and practical experience so we have incorporated engaging, innovative modules and assessments into our curriculum.

In the Teaching Excellence Framework 2023, our course content and delivery were rated as outstanding, with 'innovative and highly effective course design and content that inspires students to actively engage and commit to their learning'.

Find out more about:

Ruskin Modules

With a focus on sustainability, Ruskin Modules provide you with a unique and inclusive learning experience to explore new ways of thinking, by debating dilemmas affecting communities and the planet.

By collaboratively working with students from different courses, the modules are, designed to question perceptions and appreciate the perspectives of others through developing a shared understanding.

Ruskin Modules are incorporated into most of our undergraduate degrees, enabling space for self-reflection, developing new skills, and amplifying existing ones. With no single answer, the challenges help equip you for your future career so you can:

  • explore solutions outside your area of study
  • develop innovative thinking and the creative problem-solving skills that the jobs of the future demand
  • build confidence to question established ways.

The reference framework for each module is provided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Explore a selection of the exciting Ruskin Modules that most* of our Level 4 students will be able to choose from.

*Please check with your Course Leader if your course is accredited by a Professional Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB) such as the GOC, GMC, HCPC, NMC or SWE.

"As a collective we have been able to consider plastic pollution from different backgrounds like sociology, psychology, zoology, science, art and business. We’ve learnt that communities have a massive impact on forcing changes and they serve as an example for consumers to change their view on using and disposing of products."
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science student
Three people discussing ideas

Live Briefs

Live briefs are an opportunity to put your learning into action and showcase your talents. They're real business challenges or projects which you will get involved in as part of your course, from the first year.

Working with industry professionals will give you a valuable insight into the culture, working practices and requirements of a particular industry or sector.

By applying course knowledge to develop fresh and innovative solutions to real-life challenges presented by a business or entrepreneur, you will gain experience to add to your CV and talk about during interviews for work experience, placements and jobs.

Live Briefs are a part of most ARU undergraduate courses and provide rewarding opportunities to:

  • build your confidence in presenting ideas to a professional partner
  • network and learn directly from employers
  • develop a range of skills including collaboration, business and commercial awareness and self-management
  • understand your style of team working
  • make a real difference – the professional partner may use the work you produce.
"I think the Live Brief was a fantastic experience – it allowed me to present my findings to further a real project, so this was a very educational experience for me, and helped me with a lot of planning as well - thank you very much for the opportunity!”
Bobby Nkem-Ike
BSc (Hons) Business Management student

Have a look at our case-study and video of a live brief in action: start-up company Neurogether working with ARU business students.

If you’re a local business looking to access our student talent, access more information.

We’re here to support you to succeed

You can learn new skills, identify gaps and enhance the ones you already have by taking up the opportunities we present to you, both during your studies, and by dedicating time outside of your studies to make the most out of our resources.

Discover ARU’s careers, employability and personal development support to amplify your full potential.

Live Brief case studies

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering students and construction company Willmott Dixon worked together on a Live Brief to generate new design proposals for a footbridge crossing the River Chelmer near ARU’s Chelmsford campus.

Students carried out in-depth analysis of factors influencing design options, including cost, aesthetics, material choice, construction type, local soil and geology, environmental impact, and resistance to flood risk. They presented their design proposal options to Richard Davidson, Director of New Business at Willmott Dixon, who provided detailed professional feedback.

Willmott Dixon Director, Richard Davidson told us: “It’s been really exciting for us as an employer to see the dynamism the students have brought to the Live Brief. Some of the solutions they’ve proposed are as good as, and in some cases better, than my colleagues [could produce].”

BSc (Hons) Medical Science students taking the second-year module Fundamentals of Epidemiology participated in a Live Brief with Norfolk County Council.

Tim Winters, Head of Public Health Information (PHI) at Norfolk County Council, asked the students to use publicly available data to understand the local health system and investigate differences between areas, disease trends and populations, and to suggest improvements to help the Council target resources and reduce inequalities.

Tim said: “The students’ fresh eyes on the problem provided a valuable different perspective, and will help our PHI team as they contribute to determining priorities in our regional cancer workstream.”

BA (Hons) Illustration students worked closely with Cambridge University Botanic Garden to produce designs for the Botanic Garden’s educational resources.

Dr Chantal Helm, who coordinates the Botanic Garden’s learning activities, said: “We were very impressed with the work the students produced – some of it was so good we asked the student to help us deliver another project as a paid freelance illustrator.”