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The Gold Award

Student page

The Gold Award is a one-year personal and professional development programme that helps you to reflect on your experiences and develop the skills you are gaining from your co-curricular activities. It focuses on your lifewide skills development.

The Gold Award is open to all UG and PG students (incl. taught and research students).


Your Gold Award activities can include anything from part-time work to volunteering in the community, from running your own business to putting on an exhibition, from being a Students’ Union officer to running a sports team, from mentoring your peers to running a society; basically any activity where you are developing skills.

See how students have used The Gold Award to reflect on their experiences and develop their skills

What you’ll gain from The Gold Award

Completing The Gold Award:

  • Increases your self-awareness and understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Helps you to improve your attributes and skills, for instance presentation skills, organisation skills and self-confidence
  • Enables you to reflect on your experiences and what career you want to do in the future
  • Adds something extra to your CV

All UG and PG taught students can record The Gold Award on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

How it works

The six elements

To achieve The Gold Award you will need to complete six elements:

  1. Your Personal Development Record (PDR) is the main document in which you record your skills/attributes, reflect on your development and career thinking. It is a record of your progress and a space to think about your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. The co-curricular activities you choose are entirely down to you. You may already have a part-time job, a volunteer position or you may decide to try out something new that will help you to develop your strengths in an area relevant to your career choice. You can do several activities to count towards the minimum 40 hours.

  3. You need to attend a minimum of four workshops of your choice (e.g. How to Think and Write Reflectively, Improve Your Time Management, What Makes a Good Leader?, How to Present with Impact, Understand Your Learning Style: How to Be a More Effective Learner).

  4. You will be asked to reflect on your learning and development throughout the year in a visual way and use creative practice as a tool for thinking about your career. This creative element can include photos, scrapbook, video, blog, shoebox, piece of creative writing, poster, story board, cartoon or piece of music.

  5. You will need to complete a LinkedIn profile so that you can build a professional network and access professional opportunities.

  6. Towards the end of the scheme, you will submit a short video reflecting on your Gold Award experience and learning during the programme.

Finally, at the end of the academic year, we will celebrate your success and achievement at The Gold Award Ceremony where we exhibit your creative elements.

One-to-one support

One-to-one meetings

Benefit from bookable appointments and drop-ins with our Gold Award Coordinator and student Gold Award Ambassador, to talk about your personal and professional development.

Support to find activities

Not sure how to make up your 40 hours of co-curricular activities? Meet with Careers Service team members to find part-time work, volunteering, and internships opportunities.

Buddy scheme

As part of The Gold Award you’ll be paired up with another participant for the year to share your experiences.

How to apply

Applications for the Gold Award will re-open Summer 2019.

Find out more

If you would like some information about The Gold Award and how it can benefit you please get in touch with a member of The Gold Award team directly or email goldaward ( 

How can The Gold Award support you?

The Gold Award has made a real positive impact on our students. Read their experiences below.


Levi Thompson

Levi Thompson - ICCE, MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

"I found meeting with my Gold Award buddy very helpful, as it was an opportunity to share insight, knowledge and gain understanding of another Gold Award participants' experience.

"My Gold Award buddy and I had a great connection and it was refreshing to share our similar experiences and creative interests. We are still continuing to keep in contact after completing The Gold Award year."

Florian Seubert

Florian Seubert - Theatre and Performance, practice-based PhD

"I found The Gold Award especially useful as a reflective platform for thinking about my transition from an academic field into working in the area of performance practice as profession.

"The workshops helped me to become more aware of some of the conventions and pitfalls of the job market in general, and of the creative industries in particular."

Lisa Burford

Lisa Burford - STaCS, BA Social Work

"As a mature student leaving full time employment to embark on a new chapter I wanted to engage with all opportunities university life had to offer.

"Having The Gold Award and my Personal Development Record gives me motivation to continue challenging myself and gaining new experiences."

Rodrigo Camacho

Rodrigo Camacho - Music, BMus

"The Gold Award was a very very interesting journey! I have developed a greater sense of self-awareness... I feel generally more independent and autonomous.

"It made me keep a regular rigorous track of all the things I have been doing independently from my academic career and also it helped me developing my networks in a better concise, cohesive stronger way."

Beatrice Benedek

Beatrice Benedek - MA Theatre and Performance

"I believe that one of the main advantages of this programme - for my specific context - was the framework of the programme.

"I’ve felt challenged by lack of time for many years, but actually acknowledging it and understanding how important time-management is made my life a bit easier. And The Gold Award aided me in this too, since we had to submit termly reflections and records."