The Student Development Office is very excited to announce a new award for the 2022-23 academic year intended for PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Scheme) Leaders within the School of Social and Political Science.
This version of the Edinburgh Award is designed to support you in developing and practicing your transferable skills through reflecting on the positive impact you have on others as an SPS PALS Leader. It is a tailored and reflective process designed to help you identify skills to focus on and develop, both throughout your time in the programme and beyond.
The Award runs October to March and entails 55-hours of self-directed work over the academic year.
You must be an SPS PALS Leader for the 2022-23 academic year to participate on this Edinburgh Award.
- Why complete an Edinburgh Award?
On the SPS Edinburgh Award for Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning, you will have the option to partake in group coaching, participate in three check-in points throughout the process to help you stay on track to meet your goals, and gain access to a Teams group to network, ask questions and share experiences.
As competition for graduate jobs continues to intensify, SPS Edinburgh Awards are an ideal way to make your CV stand out. Employers will want to know what you can bring to the role and your experience from participating in the Awards can help to demonstrate your broader skills, showing what you have learned in addition to your academic knowledge.
Your SPS Edinburgh Award for Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning will also appear on your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) transcript.
There are over a hundred different versions of the Edinburgh Award at the University, the information below is specific to this version only.
- Award Structure
To complete the Award you must:
- Attend three Input Sessions (1-hour each)
- Complete 20 hours of skills development workshops (at least 10 hours with a leadership focus)
- Submit a series of short reflective pieces detailing your progress on the Award and focusing on your development as a leader
- Complete at least 30 hours of involvement as a PALS Leader (preparing for and facilitating sessions, training, etc.)
- Part 1: Attend Three Input Sessions
To qualify for and continue to progress on the Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning Award, you must attend three Input Sessions.
Each Input Session lasts one hour and is run by the Student Development Office (SDO).
You cannot progress to the next stage of the Award if you do not attend the Input sessions.
In each session, we will:
- discuss your progress on the Award
- think about the skills that you are developing
- reflect on how you can use these to demonstrate employability
The Input Sessions are as follows:
- Input 1 - Aspiring
- Input 2 - Developing
- Input 3 - Owning
Input Sessions will feature a mix of presentations, group activities and individual reflections.
All Input Sessions will be delivered online.
- Part 2: Attend 20 Hours of Skills Development Workshops
To qualify for the Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning Award, you must attend 20 hours of skills development workshops.
At least 10 hours of these workshops must be focused on leadership.
The Student Development Office (SDO) runs skills development workshops throughout the academic year. Sessions focus on a wide range of subjects, including both professional and academic skills and match up to the Graduate Attribute skills the Edinburgh Award is based on.
It may sound like a lot, but if you plan carefully you only need to attend one session a week. Some of our workshops are 1 hour and the longest is 3 hours to fit around your other commitments.
Please note: Most sessions will be delivered online in 2022/23, unless otherwise specified.
See the full list of workshops available and book your space:
Attending Sessions Across the University
As part of the SPS Edinburgh Award, you may attend skills sessions offered by other training providers across the university (IAD, Career Services, etc.)
A minimum of 14 of your 20 hours must be from workshops run by the Student Development Office.
The remaining 6 hours can be from sessions delivered by other departments across the university (this includes resources such as LinkedIn Learning).
Please note: You will need to send us evidence of your attendance at any sessions not facilitated by the Student Development Office. If you have questions about how to do that, please get in touch.
- Part 3: Submit a Series of Short Reflective Pieces
To qualify for the Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning Award, you must submit a series of short reflective pieces detailing your progress on the Award.
After each Input Session, you will submit a 600-word reflection on your progress to date.
You are encouraged to think about:
- how your skills are developing, especially your leadership development
- how you can begin to use them in practice as PALS Leaders
- how you would describe your progress to an employer
At the end of the Award, you also reflect on the impact you have created as a PALS Leader.
- Part 4: Undertake an Impact Activity
The impact activity for this Award is fulfilled through your involvement as an SPS PALS Leader.
This may include:
- planning and preparing for sessions
- promoting sessions
- updating Learn and social media
- communicating with faculty and peers
- facilitating sessions
- other tasks associated with your role as a PALS Leader
These activities must total at least 30 hours across the year.
At the end of the year, you will be asked to submit a log of your PALS activities, along with a 500-word reflection on your impact on your community as a PALS Leader.
- How do I sign up?
Information about how to enrol on the Award will be given at the introductory training for PALS Leaders in September.
After the session, you will be sent a link to submit your first 600-word input reflection (Input 1).
- Contact the Student Development Office team
If you have any queries about the SPS Edinburgh Award for Leadership in Peer Assisted Learning, please contact the Student Development Office (SDO) team:
- More Information on SPS PALS
Learn more about SPS PALS: