Global Freshman Certificate (Business or Computing)

Global Freshman Certificate (Business or Computing)

Full time
9 months
Part time
18 months
Faculty of Business

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

GFC at Arden University

Arden University has partnered with ISP Eduworld (an Australian education services company) to offer the first Global Freshman programme, the Global Freshman Certificate (GFC) at Arden University. The GFC allows you to finish your first year of university from your home country, with options to progress into your second year at multiple destination universities.

The Global Freshman Certificate is a 9-18 month online course which is equivalent to a freshman / first year undergraduate level. Once successfully completed, the GFC qualification will allow you to apply to study your second year face-to-face at a number of universities around the world. This will enable you to gain the confidence needed to study at university level before relocating to another part of the world to continue your studies. The GFC course provides you with a unique opportunity, allowing you to make sure your degree is the right fit for you and to complete your first year of study without having to commit to relocating to a new country for your studies.

Also if you just missed out on the entry requirements for Global Freshman Certificate, you can complete the Developing Academic and Numeracy Skills for University (DANSUS) module, a 3-month special study program that directly sets you up for the GFC. 

Why choose Arden
Video •

Quick tools

Explore your modules
Explore your brochure
Download the course brochure to take a look at your course modules and syllabus content.
Download brochure
Fast track your career with Arden
Speak to an advisor
Want to speak to one of our subject experts? Our advisors are ready to answer your questions! Click below to get started.
Show me how
Career development resources
You'll have online access to a huge range of career development tools from the day you start studying.
Learn more

Course details and modules

The GFC currently offers two streams for study: business and computing. Both have six modules and share two core units of study before branching off into specialist pathways. Every student is required to complete these core modules, which offer you a solid grounding in practice and knowledge within your chosen area of study.  You become a Global Freshman.

Adrian Williams

"I was already in the working world and running two businesses. Not to mention I also have a young family, so the freedom online learning offered, and the cost effectiveness of the course, was a big draw for me."

Adrian Williams
BA Business (Human Resource Management)


  • 1. Digital Learning and Academic Practice
  • 2. Principles of Mathematics
  • 1. Principles of Management
  • 2. Principles of Economics
  • 3. Marketing Fundamentals
  • 4. Business Accounting and Finance
  • 1. Information Systems and Networks
  • 2. Database Design and Development
  • 3. Introduction to Programming
  • 4. Information Security Management

One-to-one support: We’ve created an online community of teachers and peers to support you in your learning journey.

How do we assess you?


The assessment strategy centres on a strong alignment with real-world organisational and business practice, and embraces a range of assessment methods including work-related products, posters, multiple choice assessments, company appraisals, and report writing. 

Study options

This course is currently available to students as a fully online programme, which gives you the convenience of being able to study from anywhere worldwide. 

Abdulrahaman Usman

As a mature student the key factors that I wanted when deciding which university was best for me was quality content, a flexible learning schedule, and programme accreditation. During my research I found that Arden really stood out, and I could study without having to give up my job.

Abdulrahaman Usman
Master of Business Administration

Online learning

How does it work?

Studying the GFC online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location. Its being a Global Freshman.

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud.  ilearn provides everything you need to study at University. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and online library (which when used along with our supplementary library, Perlego, gives you access to almost half a million books and journals – yours for free while you study with us).
ilearn is also integrated with Zoom, making it easier to chat with your course tutor during your scheduled seminar sessions. You can even integrate our study materials into your Kindle, making it possible to study wherever you have your Kindle handy. 

Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. You will be part of a group of fellow students with a dedicated tutor, to help you form a learning community, who you will be able to meet up with through online teaching sessions, as well message boards. These are embedded throughout the course modules so you can have discussions with your tutor and classmates on the topics you’re currently learning. 

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. Please find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Learn more about online learning

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can join us, wherever you are.

That's why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection. With this one tool, you'll be able to access information, advice, support, learning materials and our online library, as well as create assignments, keep notes, and collaborate with other students effectively. 

We’ll also support you with getting access to the resources you need, wherever you study from, including assistance with obtaining any software you need to successfully complete the course.


To be eligible for our GFC, you should normally have:

  • Two subjects at GCE (or high school) A-Level or equivalent

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the Medium of Instruction was in English can be accepted.

Just missed out? We’ve got the solution for you.  

If you missed out on the GFC, we have another chance for you to get back in the game. Global Freshman Direct is the Developing Academic and Numeracy Skills for University (DANSUS) module, a 12-week online course which you can complete prior to joining the Global Freshman Certificate.

Who is eligible for DANSUS? 

Academic requirements: One A level or the international equivalent.  

English level requirements: IELTS equivalent of 5.5 (no band less than 5.0)  

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

Find your country

Use the dropdown above to find course fees and funding information for your country. If you can’t find information for your country in the dropdown, visit our International support page.

Meet the faculty

Elizabeth Ellis

Elizabeth has worked within the Higher Education sector for more than 10 years, having started her career as a journalist and sub-editor. She worked as an editor and product development manager within Professional Services at The Open University, developing digital learning experiences for OU students as well as OpenLearn and FutureLearn.

She has a passion for critical digital pedagogy and is a champion for student centered design for digital learning. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University in 2003, her MA in Online and Distance Education from the OU in 2018 and has achieved Senior Fellow status of the HEA.

Elizabeth Ellis
Head of School

Career prospects

What will the GFC do for me?


The business stream creates Global Freshmen with a knowledge and understanding of the key functions of business and how these interrelate. The programme will help you to:

  • Develop academic skills to enhance your ability to engage in lifelong learning.
  • Analyse and interpret management, people, marketing, and financial data.
  • Develop effective solutions and plans in response to a range of business demands.
  • Develop a range of general business and digital skills.
  • Gain an understanding of the contemporary business environment.
  • Explore the various ways by which a business can be innovative.


The computing stream creates Global Freshmen with a knowledge and understanding of core concepts and techniques in the field of computing. The programme will help you to:

  • Develop academic skills to enhance your ability to engage in lifelong learning.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills needed to undertake requirements analysis and design, develop, and test computer-based systems and software in a systematic, ethical, and professional manner.
  • Develop a range of general computing and digital skills.
  • Examine the legal, regulatory, technological, and ethical issues that computing professionals face.

What can I do after Arden University?

Options: Our partner ISP Education will be able to help you with your progression into the 2nd year of your degree; with many destinations and a growing number of member universities taking part in the programme, the choice of where to study after you complete the GFC is yours. Universities may reach out to you whilst you are studying the GFC, or you can apply to your universities of choice via the platform during your studies.  

Progression to 2nd year: As a GFC graduate, you’re eligible for a place at any of the approved member universities. You’ll be able to continue your degree studies from year two once you’ve taken your place at your university of choice. 

Find out more

Industry skills

Career development resources

Once you’ve enrolled with Arden, our careers centre is easily accessible directly from inside our online platform, ilearn. The careers centre is here to help you discover the areas of your academic and professional life that you find most meaningful and rewarding, and then apply this to your career pathway. 
Just a few of the career tools you’ll find in the careers centre include:

  • CV360, which analyses your CV and provides instant feedback for improvement
  • Interview360, helping you practise your interview technique in a stress-free environment and tackle some of the most common interview questions - as many times as you need to
  • Aptitude tests to help your improve your critical thinking, numeric, and logical reasoning skills
  • 100s of interactive courses focused on giving you the skills and confidence you need to excel in your professional life. 
  • My Jobs, where you can search employment vacancies, browse employer profiles by location and, or connect with other employees on LinkedIn.