School of Social and Political Science

SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development

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This award is open to all School of Social and Political Science (SSPS) students. 

Your SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development will appear on your Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) transcript. You can use this during interviews as evidence of your wider skills set and commitment to personal development.

As competition for graduate jobs continues to intensify, SSPS 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 the Awards can help to demonstrate your broader skills.

 

Award Structure

To complete the Award you must:

  1. Attend three Input Sessions (1 hour each)
  2. Complete 20 hours of skills development workshops*
  3. Submit a series of short reflective pieces detailing your progress on the Award*
  4. Undertake an impact activity (30 hours)

*Students who have already completed an SSPS Edinburgh Award, or who are undertaking a leadership role within their studies (eg: PALS leaders), are eligible to complete the SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development (Leadership).  You will find more details on the Leadership Award below.

See our Award FAQ pages for more details

Part 1: Attend Three Input Sessions

To qualify for 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).

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. Input Sessions are advertised on the list of SDO workshops and events.

Workshops and events

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. 

Please note: All sessions will be delivered online in 2020/21.  

See the full list of workshops available and book your space:

Workshops and Events

Attending Sessions Across the University

As part of the SSPS Edinburgh Award, you may attend skills sessions offered by other training providers across the university.

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.

You will need to send us evidence of your attendance at those sessions. 

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
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 new skills to work. You may work individually or in a group and your activity must in some way be linked to your degree studies.

Previous impact activities include:

  • acting as a student rep
  • organising a talk/conference
  • setting up a reading group or study group for your peers
  • establishing a new student society

The Student Development Office (SDO) 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.

Book an appointment

How do I sign up?

To sign up for the Professional Development Award you first need to:

  • attend a Skills for Success workshop
  • complete the Input 1 Survey - this is sent after attendance at the Skills for Success workshop

Sign up for a Skills for Success workshop 

SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development with Leadership

The SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development with Leadership is an advanced award.  To enrol, you must either complete the SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development or demonstrate a strong leadership position.

The structure and requirements of the Leadership Award are the same as the SSPS Edinburgh Award for Professional Development.  However, those on the Leadership Award must:

  • Complete at least 10 hours of training with a strong leadership focus (as part of your 20hrs skills development).
  • Your written submissions should focus on your development as a leader.
Contact the Student Development Office team

If you have any queries about the SSPS Edinburgh Professional Development Award or Leadership Award, please contact the Student Development Office (SDO) team.

Contact the SDO team

Student category
Development Hub