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The Durham Award

Staff and Mentor Information

The Durham Award is an institutional initiative. University staff and college mentors are asked to encourage and help all students who wish to take part in the College Award and Durham Award. The Awards aren't compulsory, but it is recommended that all students complete them.

Why should students complete the Awards?

The Awards have been designed with employer input and encourage students to develop, demonstrate and reflect on skills during their time at Durham.

Durham students often have a lot of valuable experience to draw on when they apply for jobs. This can include activities from their course, work experience, community involvement, volunteering and extracurricular activites. Through taking part in all of these activities, students will be developing skills that employers are looking for. (More information on these skills can be found in the Skills Audit section of the website).

Despite this wealth of experience, employers often feedback that students aren't always as good as they could be at reflecting on their experience and using it to demonstrate the skills required for roles. In a job application, a student needs to not only have good examples, they need to be able to use examples which effectively demonstrate the skills and competencies being looked for by an employer.

What can I do?

If you work with students, you can encourage them to take part in the College Award. All first, second and penultimate year students can begin the College Award by completeing the Skills Audit. This should encourage them to consider their skills and encourage them to take part in further activities during their time at Durham. You may also refer them to the Activities and Skills Audit sections of the website to help them think about how they might develop their skills.

If you teach students, or run any kind of activities for students, you may want to think about what skills they are developing through your activity. This can be a good way to encourage students to engage, but also as a way of encouraging them to use the College Award to demonstrate a skill. You may decide to incorporate certain skills into your work, allowing students to have a solid example of when they have used a particular skill.

How can I get involved in marking workbooks?

College Award workbooks are submitted by students at the end of Easter Term to their college. If you are a college mentor, you should get in touch with your college contact if you wish to be involved in assessing these. If you are not involved in a college you can email to show your interest.

I want my activity to be featured on the 'Activities' subpage

If you run an activity which students can participate in and want it to be featured on the 'Related links' panel, please email with its name, a brief description and a website link.