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 StartUp Challenge – 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, and tell your fellow students about it for the chance to win! Winning students may be offered the opportunity to speak at the Work Experience Forum. Case studies of entries are published following the competition – feel free to have a browse.
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:
- Target Jobs Undergraduate of the Year
- STEM Undergraduate Awards
- Adzuna Graduate of the Year
- National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards
- Shell Ideas 360
- Future Legal Mind
- PwC Opportunity Challenge
- Innovation Forum
- Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness Competition
- ShowCode (various coding challenges)
Browse listings below to identify competitions of interest and search for other opportunities on company and sector websites and their associated social media pages.
The UniCode League is kicking off in October 2019, that pits 48 universities and thousands of students against each other across 3 leagues, with a last 16 knock-out tournament in the ultimate coding battle!
The UniCode League is a great chance for students to test out their coding knowledge in a fun and engaging environment. Cash prizes and trips to New York and San Francisco to be won.
Sign up now at Unicode League.
Fintech for Good
What products and services would you create at the intersection of finance, technology and society? Enter our competition and you could win up to £1000 per team member.
Submissions open 30th Sep - 25th Oct 2019.
For more information see Fintech for Good.
Please note: the final event takes place on Wednesday 10th December 2019, if you are invited to attend please speak to your relevant academic department in advance, in relation to lecture/seminar attendance and fulfilling academic commitments.