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READY programme


Registration for the READY Programme 2017/18 is now closed.

The READY Programme is an employability course available to first year undergraduate students, studying any subject here at Brunel University London. On this programme, students take on a unique challenge as part of a multi-disciplinary team and acquire skills and attitudes that are essential for future employability. Students attending the READY Programme can earn Brunel+ points towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award at the end of the academic year. 

The programme focuses on UNHCR’s (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) work in a refugee settlement in Zambia. The settlement is home to over 14,000 refugees who have fled the Angolan and Rwandan war. The Zambian Government is allowing these refugees to permanently settle in Zambia. The READY challenge is to “innovate for global development” i.e. to design a product (good and/or service) aimed at solving real life problems faced by the resettlers in Zambia.

Make new friends, stand out from the crowd, enhance your CV with transferable skills, and build contacts while making a real difference! This programme is extremely popular; places will strictly be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


  • You’ll take part in 10 sessions which run from 5:30 to 7pm every Tuesday, starting from 10th October and ending on 12th December 2017
  • Your project will be entered into a competition. The best solution will win first prize
  • You will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the programme as well as credit on your HEAR transcript.

See a short film from the recently concluded READY Programme below

READY 3 - Copy



In essence, 'employability' is about three things:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • The right personal approach or attitude

The most important of these is undoubtedly ‘attitude’. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates that can show they have skills beyond their knowledge (degree). The ideal applicant for graduate roles will be a well-rounded and dedicated individual who can work as part of a team, has the right attitude and can demonstrate confidence, has good analytical and communication skills as well as sound commercial awareness.

Course outline

Below, a map of Zambia and the Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement, the focal point of this programme.

zambia_mapREADY settlement

This is a versatile programme, with engineering, health, culture, economics and finance as its components. On the READY programme you will explore issues such as poverty and environmental sustainability, which in turn are affected by international, socio-economic, political and technical forces. Throughout the programme you will be exploring these complexities via the design of creative solutions. Using the Zambian design brief, developed by UNHCR, the programme will: 

  1. Look at problems in developing countries
  2. Use various methods to analyse these complexities
  3. Brainstorm to develop a solution
  4. Evaluate how the solution can be designed to suit the local community
  5. Assess various methods to design the solution
  6. Create the actual product
  7. Ensure sustainability of the project
  8. Clarify the implementation
  9. Present solution to employers / professionals and peers
  10. The winning solution/design will be celebrated at an award ceremony in May 2018

Skills on the course:

During this course you will be introduced to a range of transferable skills, such as:

  • Teamwork / conflict management
  • Time management
  • Project management (budget, scope and schedule)
  • Communication skills (including brain storming, group facilitation and presentation skills)
  • Discover how to pitch your ideas to professionals
  • Data analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Cross-cultural empathy
  • Socialising with new peers
  • Build contacts for the future


Don’t forget to activate your Brunel+ profile to earn points for participating on this scheme. Sign in with your student number and network access password.

WINNERS2_7Mar17 - Copy
READY programme 2016/17 winners and PDC staff


You can earn Brunel+ points as follows:

  • 10 points for registering on the READY programme
  • 10 points for attending a READY session (maximum 100 points)
  • 60 bonus points for attending all READY sessions
  • 60 bonus points for the winning team
  • Maximum overall points per year: 230

This is a free course but a cancellation fee of £50 will be charged for course withdrawals on or after 24th October 2017 and if your attendance is below 70% without satisfactory evidence to excuse your absence. Please read the Mitigating Circumstances Guidance below BEFORE applying.