Exit Menu

READY Programme

Reach Every Ambition by Developing Yourself

Make new friends, stand out from the crowd, enhance your CV with transferable skills, and build contacts while making a real difference! 

The READY Challenge

Our employability programme gives you the opportunity to learn about product and service design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable, cross-cultural development projects.

The programme focuses on UNDP (United Nations Development Programme's) work in a refugee settlement in Zambia (you can create an account with EWB to view the challenge). The camp is home to over 14,000 refugees who fled the Angolan and Rwandan wars during 1966 to 2002.

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 the Zambian refugee camp.

READY_programme-01_8714 350

Highlights from READY 2018/19

Online applications for 19/20 have now closed.

If you would still like to sign up, there will be the chance to register in person before the start of the first READY session (subject to availability). Please come to the Newton room, Hamilton Centre at 4:45 on Tuesday 8 October.


Course details

  • You’ll take part in 10 sessions which run from 5 to 7pm every Tuesday, starting on 8 October and ending on 10 December 2019.  All sessions will take place on campus.
  • 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 (Higher Education Achievement Report) transcript.
  • You must attend at least 7 out of the 10 sessions including the final session in December to avoid paying an admin fee of £50.
  • The programme will run for 10 consecutive weeks, with no break during reading week.


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.

The READY programme gives you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude that will make you a sought after candidate for graduate roles. 

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 presented at the final session in December

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

READY-Programme-winners-presention-2019-webStudents pitching their business idea in front of a panel of external judges 

Earn Brunel+ points

This is a Brunel+ Award accredited activity. Students attending the READY Programme can earn a maximum of 230 Brunel+ points towards a Bronze, Silver or Gold award at the end of the academic year. 


You can earn Brunel+ points as follows...

  • 10 points for registering on the READY programme
  • 100 points for attending 7 out of 10 READY sessions including presenting your project on the final night
  • 60 bonus points for attending all 10 sessions 
  • 60 bonus points for the winning teams
  • Maximum overall points per year: 230


Terms and conditions.

This is a FREE course, however...

An admin fee of £50 will be charged in any of the following circumstances:

  • If you withdraw from the course on or after 11 October 2019
  • If you miss 4 or more sessions 
  • If you change your allocated break-out room without authorisation

Absences and withdrawals

Please notify the team of any sessions that you miss using the link below. Bear in mind that you will be charged £50 if you miss more than 3 sessions in total without good reason.

You can withdraw on or before 10 October 2019  without incurring the £50 withdrawal fee. However, if you withdraw on or after 11 October 2019 you will be charged the £50 fee. Please complete the relevant form below.

We recognise that there may be times that you are unable to attend sessions or complete the course due to circumstances beyond your control. If you find yourself in this position, you can make a claim for mitigating circumstances when you notify us of an absence or withdrawal. Please read the Mitigating Circumstance Student Guidance before submitting your form to understand what kind of circumstances and evidence are commonly accepted. 



READY-Programme-team-201819-webREADY programme team 2018/19

Connect with us  

If you have any questions please email the team. Please ensure you save ready@brunel.ac.uk as a "safe sender" to avoid our reply ending up in your junk/spam folder. 

Once you've registered, find us on our social media for the latest updates. Course materials will be available on LinkedIn, so make sure to set up your profile and connect with us there.

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. 

Develop your employability skills through cross-cultural development projects

Apply now