This version of the Edinburgh Award is designed to support you in developing and practicing your transferable skills alongside your academic learning. It is a tailored and reflective process, designed to help you identify what skills you want to focus on and develop for the future.
The Award runs October to March and entails 55-hours of self-directed work over the academic year.
You must be an SPS undergraduate student in years 2, 3, or 4 to participate on this Edinburgh Award.
What our previous participants said:
"I absolutely loved the journey of the SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development as attending all the skills workshops helped me to not only interact with my peers from all the schools but also collaboratively work on our skills learning initiatives. I absolutely loved my interactions with my coach as well and I feel I have definitely improved a lot in all of the 3 major skills that I wanted to work upon at the beginning of year1."
Prerana Singh, First Year Undergraduate, MA (Hons) International Relations, 2020-2021
"I would recommend this experience as it is an excellent way in which to practice and grow in skills and to do so in low-stress environments that still have a positive impact on the university community."
Anonymous, Fourth Year Undergraduate, MA (Hons) International Relations, 2021-2022
- Why complete an Edinburgh Award?
On the SPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development, you will have the support of dedicated one-to-one coaching, three check-in points throughout the process to help you stay on track to meet your goals, and 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 Professional Development 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
- Submit a series of short reflective pieces detailing your progress on the Award
- Undertake an impact activity (30 hours)
- Part 1: Attend Three Input Sessions
To qualify for and continue to progress on the Professional Development 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: Complete 20 Hours of Skills Development Workshops
To qualify for the Professional Development Award, you must attend 20 hours of skills development workshops.
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 Professional Development 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
- how you can begin to use them in practice
- how you would describe your progress to an employer
At the end of the Award, you also reflect on your Impact Activity and the impact you have created.
- Part 4: Undertake an Impact Activity
To qualify for the Professional Development Award, you must undertake an impact activity, totalling 30 hours.
The impact activity is a chance to put your skills to work. You may work individually or in a group.
An impact activity is any activity that you undertake that is not credit-bearing. It is an extracurricular activity and should have some sort of positive impact on your peers at university or the non-academic world.
Some activities in the University have an associated bespoke Edinburgh Award which may be more suitable for you to complete. You cannot use the same activity for more than one Award.
Example impact activities can include:
- organised events/workshops
- host speakers
- set up societies
- set up support groups
- student reps
- PALS, Peer support
- create blogs sharing academic thoughts/opinions
- creating podcasts
- participates in student newspapers
- participate in Re:Think - a digital ethnographic journal - SPS
- held awareness day's/events
- held cultural exchange events
- shared research work with a NGO/government/non-academic organisation (eg PBD work)
- helped develop educational programs based on their academic knowledge/research
- worked to create accessible versions of papers and research
- working towards an enterprise project sharing academic knowledge
- leading/working on campaigns related to your academic knowledge
- students as change agents
- voluntary consultation work related to academic work
* We have a new SPS Edinburgh Award for PALS Leaders! If you are a current PALS Leader, you can find information about that Award here
The Student Development Office can provide advice, guidance and support on the types of impact activities that might be suitable for your Award. We can also offer some limited funding to cover any costs.
Please make an appointment with the SDO if you would like to discuss your impact activity:
- How do I sign up?
To enrol on the Award you must attend an SDO 'Skills for Success' workshop or Edinburgh Award Information session. After the event, an 600-word reflective submission is required. Information about the submission will be shared at the 'Skills for Success' Workshop.
- Contact the Student Development Office team
If you have any queries about the SPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development, please contact the Student Development Office (SDO) team: