Take part in the Edinburgh Award to gain recognition from the University for the skills you have developed.
There are several activities that are currently involved in the Edinburgh Award. If you are interested in finding out more about the Award and the versions available please see the Edinburgh Award website.
The Edinburgh Award (Work Experience)
The Edinburgh Award (Work Experience) is a primarily self-led Learn course created by Careers professionals and administered by the Careers Service. It runs over a 4-month period (3-month versions in the summer) several times each academic year. You will set three development goals, reflect on your progress throughout, and finally, produce a presentation or blog which summarises your progress.
Please note: the Edinburgh Award only recognises work experience that takes place outside of your degree, for example, credit-bearing internships are not included.
- Receive formal recognition for your commitment to gaining work experience during your studies – appears on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
- Develop self-awareness, and learn how to understand, reflect on, and talk confidently about the skills you have gained
- Complete a self-led course filled with tailored career planning, personal development resources, and support from the Careers Service team
Thank you for the wonderful programme and for providing support and stimulus to people so that they can improve themselves. The programme supplements and compliments work experience while studying really well.
I have increasingly seen the value in reflection. I recognise how helpful it will be, when I come to apply for jobs in the future, to have a log of the things I have achieved, the skills I have developed and the experiences I have had.
The Award is a University-wide opportunity and there are lots of versions to choose from. Versions of the Edinburgh Award
You are eligible to register for this Award if you are a current University of Edinburgh student for the duration of the Award, and you have secured (or are in the process of securing) work experience. You must also be able to commit 50 hours over the 4-month course (two 3-month versions available in the summer) you have selected:
- Complete 40 (at least 30) hours in your role/s during that time, e.g.:
- Part-time job
- Virtual/simulated, e.g. via Forage, Students as Change Agents (SAChA), hackathons: please note you can only include SAChA if you are not completing the SAChA-specific Award
- Freelance/self-employment (where you have a commitment to an employer, voluntary organisation, or client)
- Enterprise Foundation Programme
- Summer internship
- Employ.ed Internship
Find out more about these options:
2. Complete 10 hours of sessions and assignments: 1-hour of self-led learning per month via Learn, attend 2-3 interactive sessions, submit assignments at each stage, and offer peer support to other participants
3. Top up with a maximum of 10 hours of research and personal development, e.g. networking with professionals, completing career assessments (this option can be used if you are unable to complete 40 hours in your role)
- This Award does not accredit previous experience completed before you registered.
- If you are in your final year of study and are graduating within a couple of months of finishing the Award, it may not be added to your HEAR certificate. You will still receive a certificate by email though. The same applies for visiting students.
The Award runs over a 4-month period (3-month versions in the summer) several times each academic year. For the academic year 2021/22 there are start dates in October, November, February, March, June, July.
Vist the Schedule and Registration page below to see the schedule, decide which input suits you, and register using the registration form.
Employ.ed on Campus
If you have been successful in your application to the University’s summer internship programme – Employ.ed on Campus (recruitment begins in February each year) – there is a bespoke version of the Award that you will be told about at your induction session.
Employ.ed for PhDs
The University also runs a part-time internship programme specifically for PhD students, all year round. If you are successful in applying for one of these internships and you will complete 30-40 hours of work experience, you will be eligible to take part in the Award.
The Edinburgh Award is not a compulsory part of completing an Employ.ed internship.
Where can I find the session dates for the Award?
All dates for sessions and submissions are available in the colour-coded schedule above and available in the Learn course after registration.
How long do the assignments, online sessions, and peer review parts of the Award take?
The time to put aside for each Input is approximately 2-3 hours.
Can I participate in two Awards at the same time?
Yes, but you cannot complete this Work Experience Award twice. There are several versions of the Award and you should select different skills to work on in other Awards:
You cannot count the development towards the same skills towards different Awards.
Can I participate in two different work experiences?
Yes, you will be asked to select three skills to work on for this Award for the duration of your 3- or 4-month programme, so you should keep this in mind if you plan to count several experiences towards your Award. Consider whether you will have opportunities to develop the skills in each setting.
My internship is credit-bearing for my degree would I be eligible for the Edinburgh Award?
No, the Edinburgh Award only recognises work experience that takes place outside of your university degree.
Does the Edinburgh Award recognise work experience completed in the past?
No, previous work experience is not recognised on the Edinburgh Award. The Award supports you to set personal goals and work towards them while reflecting on your progress while you work. You can log any work experience hours completed after you have set your development goals.
What support is available for students completing virtual experiences?
Our self-led format creates an online community of participants. You can connect via the forum and will work in smaller groups to offer peer support and feedback. Students completing entirely virtual experiences will submit two blogs to demonstrate their impact on others and should plan to space their experiences out over the 4-month period to ensure they can take part in meaningful reflection and development over time.
What counts as a ‘top up’ activity if I can only complete 30 hours of work experience?
You must be able to explain how the activity has contributed to your professional development so it should include learning, either experiential or theoretical. Examples include a webinar delivered by an employer, mentoring via our alumni networking site - Platform One, an IAD workshop, or the addition of a virtual experience to top up part-time work. The Edinburgh Award does not accredit School-based activities completed as part of your degree. Explore Platform One.
How do I log my hours?
In your Learn course, you will use an Activities Checklist to keep track of your hours and the activities you have completed. You can submit this at the end, saving a copy as you go along to keep on track.
How do I submit my assignments?
Each assignment becomes available in your Learn course once you have met the criteria to move on to the next stage. For example, you will complete a self-rating and goal setting assignment, which becomes available after you attend webinar 1, then Input 2 content will appear once you have completed the Input 1 assignments.
Why is reflection important?
Reflection helps you to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement in both your work, and the work of others. The process of reflection supports you to explore and understand your personal values, motivations, and interests. You will also reflect on the impact you make.
I find reflecting on my progress difficult, are there any resources that can support me with this?
You can find resources to help with reflection here:
Are there examples of other students’ reflections I can look at?
Yes, you can find examples of reflection on the Edinburgh Award website.