First group of students complete UEL’s pioneering intensive preparation course

Cieren Morgan, Debbie Pitchfork and Sergio Carvaliho study for the New Beginnings intensive course (

Cieren Morgan, Debbie Pitchfork and Sergio Carvaliho study for the New Beginnings intensive course (Picture: UEL) - Credit: UEL

A pioneering course designed to fast-track people onto degree courses has launched at the University of East London.

The New Beginnings intensive scheme - believed to be the first of its kind in the UK - sees talented people without traditional qualifications go through four full days of teaching and self-study followed by a day with an exam and assessed presentation. If they pass, they can progress to a full degree course at UEL.

Dr Caroline McGlynn, who teaches the programme, said, “This is an exciting course that is fast and challenging but incredibly rewarding.

“UEL recognises the huge potential of adult learners, but we also recognise that adults often have busy lives with responsibilities. The new intensive course allows working people or those with caring responsibilities to focus on their studies during holiday or respite time.”

The course is open to people have been out of education for a long time or who demonstrate exceptional potential and achievement in their working careers but lack the formal further education qualifications needed to begin university.

You may also want to watch:

They spend the week learning skills such as analytical reading and critical thinking, how to research academic topics and writing essays.

The course is a condensed version of UEL’s 12-week New Beginnings programme, which allows non-traditional students to progress to most UEL courses.

Most Read

Among the first group of mature students to complete the intensive course is Sergio Carvaliho, 44, of Hackney.

He came to London 13 years ago from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and hopes to begin the music technology and production course in September.

He said: “This course was tough, but I know that with a degree I’ll finally get to advance my skills and produce interesting music.”

Fellow student Cieren Morgan, 26, from Leytonstone, added: “I was really put off going to uni as I was concerned about the financial side and didn’t want loads of debt. But a new girlfriend explained how loans work and how the money is paid back. That was the green light I needed.”

UEL is currently accepting applications for the next intensive course starting on Monday, September 4.

For more information, visit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter