Benefits of taking part in the Edinburgh Award for students include skills development, community-building, career readiness, and official recognition.
Develop your skills
The Award recognises students taking part in non-academic activities while studying at the University. It also encourages students to reflect on, and develop, the skills that can be gained through taking part in activities outwith their degree.
The experience of taking part in these activities combined with the ability to reflect on and actively develop your skills will stand you in good stead for the future, whatever that may be.
Join a community
Like-minded students from across the disciplines undertake the Award process every year. By taking part, you will have the chance to become part of a supportive community of students driven towards excellence in their co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and discuss objectives, challenges, and how to overcome those with students with similar development goals as yourself.
Some versions of the Edinburgh Award are designed for a specific role or cohort, and thus give you the opportunity to meet people in your School or undertaking the same activity and build links for the rest of your time at the University.
Please watch the video below of some students being interviewed during an Edinburgh Award reception. They were all asked how they felt their participation in the Award increased their sense of community:
Crack the job market
We all know the job market is really tough, but the good news is activities you do outside of your degree count for employers.
They are looking for applicants who have a proven commitment to personal development and who are able to articulate their skills and abilities - the Award can help support you in this.
How can I prove the value of the Edinburgh Award to an employer?
The real value of the Award is not how it looks on your CV, but rather in the help you get in developing the ability to explain to employers that you are able to not only recognise your skills and abilities, but that you have taken active steps to develop these further.
As with anything you include in a CV or covering letter, it is your ability to describe your involvement with the process and the learning that you went through that is attractive to employers. Being able to demonstrate that you have not only taken part in activities alongside your degree but also actively engaged with your personal development and taken steps to understand and improve your skills is more likely to land you this job.
Employers are keen to know what you have gained from your experiences, so think carefully about the skills you have developed in the process of completing the Award, and if you need more help with CVs, covering letters, and interviews visit the Careers Service website or book a slot to speak to a Careers Consultant.
The Award will also appear as an entry on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR), an expanded record of your achievements at University. In reality, just like your degree, the most important things you get from the Award are not the bit of paper or the entry on your HEAR, but what you can do and show as a result of the undertaking the development process.
Upon successful completion of most versions of the Award, you will be invited to the next Award reception, where you will have a chance to meet participants from other Award versions, staff leaders, senior University figures, and invited employers.
You will receive a certificate of recognition from the University of Edinburgh for every version you complete.