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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Competitions and Awards

Taking part in competitions and awards provides students and graduates with the opportunity to develop skills, gain experience and knowledge, network with employers and sponsors and win prestigious prizes and accolades. Participation in such activities can support you to highlight your capabilities to prospective employers, and enable you to include relevant achievements on future applications to employment and work experience opportunities. High profile awards and initiatives often feature in national press and on social media channels and provide participants and winners with great publicity!

The theme of undergraduate and graduate competitions can vary greatly, but typically might include a skills, enterprise, employment or innovation focus. In some instances, the topic is related to current industry or sector issues and challenges. Other competitions may have a more academic focus. Some are regional or national, others are global! You may be required to submit a proposal, find a solution to a problem, work as part of a team or to develop an idea, product or campaign.

Competitions may take place on campus or could be hosted by an employer, as part of industry and university engagement activities. Others may be coordinated by the Careers & Enterprise Centre, such as:

Blueprint – Blueprint is a high profile, annual student enterprise competition, supported by Santander Universities.

Summer of Experience– An initiative designed to inspire students to do something meaningful and beneficial to their employability, with their summer vacation. Reflect on your summer activities for the chance to win!

Student Employee of the Year Award - the Durham competition leads into regional and national stages organised by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES). The awards aim to recognise and promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who combine part-time work with their study commitments. The Student Employer of the Year category offers the opportunity for excellent employers to gain recognition for their contribution.

Examples of major external undergraduate and graduate competitions and awards include:

Browse listings below to identify competitions of interest and search for other opportunities on company and sector websites and their associated social media pages.

P&G IT Business Challenge 2019

Sign up to our international student competition and step into the life of an Information Technology Manager at P&G. Solve real-life business problems for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Hungary.

Closing date 7th February 2019.

UniCode 2019

UniCode is ShowCode’s flagship student competition! Taking place over 6 months there is a £10,000 prize fund available across the entire competition. This is an exciting opportunity for students to experience coding in the real world, while having the chance to win real cash prizes.

Closing date 31st January 2019

Airbus Student Presentation Competition 2019

To enter submit a 350 word abstract on any space related topic you have undertaken at university. The best entries will be invited to give a 20 minute presentation on their chosen topic at the National Student Space Conference with a first prize of £200.

Deadline for entries: 8th February 2019.