Take part in the Edinburgh Award to gain recognition from the University for the skills you have developed.
There are several versions of the Edinburgh Award available, and which one is right for you depends on the activity you are doing. This page is for those who wish to complete the Award alongside work experience activities. For more information 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 self-led Learn course created by Careers professionals and administered by the Careers Service. There are two chances to take part each year, either from November to March, or from June to August. During the Award, you will set three development goals relating to your work experience, reflect on your progress throughout, and finally, produce a written piece 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:
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. Your work experience needs to take place over the whole length of the Award (if it starts before or ends after the Award that's fine). You must also be able to commit 50 hours over the duration of the Award.
You also cannot have completed this version of the Edinburgh Award before, or be completing another version of the Edinburgh Award or SLICCs etc, for the same work experience.
- You must complete a minimum of 30 hours in your role/s during during the Award, e.g.:
- Part-time job
- Freelance/self-employment (where you have a commitment to an employer, voluntary organisation, or client)
- Summer internship (not including Employ.ed on Campus internships which have their own Award)
- Employ.ed for PhDs (part-time internships all year round for PhD students). See below for more information on our Employ.ed Internship programmes.
- Volunteering that is not through Edinburgh University Student's Association (EUSA) or it's Volunteering Hub:
2. If you are completing less than 40 hours of work experience, you must complete 10 hours of research and personal development, e.g. networking with professionals, completing career assessments.
3. All participants will 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
- 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 will run twice in the academic year 2023/24. You can either take part from November to March, or from June to August.
Vist the Schedule and Registration page below to see the schedule, decide which input suits you, and register using the registration form. Registration for the November intake will open Tuesday 03 October.
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?
Key dates are listed in the Schedule and Registration, and all dates for sessions and submissions are 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.
When does my work experience have to take place?
Your work experience needs to take place over the whole length of the Award. This is so you get the most out of the reflective journey that the Award takes you on. If it starts before, or ends after the Award that's fine. The Award takes place twice each year, from November to end of March and June to end of August.
For example, you might have an ongoing part-time job that you started a while before the Award and will continue doing after. Or, you might start a role around the beginning of the summer that finishes at the end of summer.
However, if your work experience only starts half-way through the Award, or ends half-way through, for example, you would not be able to take part as you wouldn't get the most out of the Award. In these cases, we have lots of reflection resources you can use instead which will help you to get the most out of your work experience:
Can I participate in two Awards at the same time?
Yes, but you cannot complete this Work Experience Award twice, and you can't use the same work experience for two different awards. There are several versions of the Award and you should select the Award that is most relevant to your work experience:
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 Award, 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 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, or an IAD workshop. The Edinburgh Award does not accredit School-based activities completed as part of your degree.
How do I log my hours?
In your Learn course, you will use a logbook 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.