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The Lancaster Award

 

What is the Lancaster Award?

The Lancaster Award rewards you for taking part in those extra-curricular activities outside your academic studies that supplement the excellent education you receive at Lancaster University. Developed in partnership with employers, the certificate rewards you for making the most of your time at Lancaster, and enhances your future job prospects by encouraging you to acquire new skills valued by employers. You will undertake a variety of activities and reflect on the skills you have developed. 

We want you to stand out from the crowd, and the Lancaster Award will help.

The Lancaster Award

The Lancaster Award

Step 1 - Attend a Lancaster Award Workshop

Come along to a Lancaster Award Introductory session - available to book via TARGETconnect

At this session you will learn all about what you need to do to achieve the award, and have the chance to ask any questions.

Step 2 - Register Online

Once you have attended one of the introductory workshops, you can register through the student portal.

Step 3 - Get 1 Skill Checked

You are very welcome to come along to a drop-in and receive feedback on one of your written skills. For fairness and parity with other students we cannot tell you what to write but can provide you with feedback.

Step 4 - Submit

Submit your completed skills bank (activities checklist) and information via your Moodle on the student portal.

Step 5 - Deadlines

Undergraduates

If you are an undergraduate student, the award is submitted in your penultimate year of study (June).
Students on placement or a studying abroad at the time of the deadline are given until October of their final year.                                                       
 

Postgraduates

If you are a Masters student, your deadline is the end of June.
PhD students will submit in June of their penultimate year.
    

Levels of The Award:

There are three different levels of Lancaster Award; it is up to you which level you aim for.

Bronze

Bronze

Silver

Silver

Gold

Gold

  • 35 - 40 points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 3 skills from the Skills Bank; or
  • Online interview.
  • 45 - 60 points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 4 skills from the Skills Bank; and
  • Online interview
  • 65+ points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 6 skills from the Skills Bank;
  • Online interview; and
  • CV or LinkedIn profile.

Bronze

  • 35 - 40 points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 3 skills from the Skills Bank; or
  • Online interview.

Silver

  • 45 - 60 points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 4 skills from the Skills Bank; and
  • Online interview

Gold

  • 65+ points from the Activities Checklist;
  • 6 skills from the Skills Bank;
  • Online interview; and
  • CV or LinkedIn profile

Building Points

To achieve the Award you will need to source and complete activities to build up points towards the level of Award you are aiming for. The Careers team can suggest where you can find activities that can count towards the Lancaster Award.

Upon completion of the activities, you will then need to complete assessments based on the typical application process for graduate jobs. 

Work Experience

Work Experience

20 points each, minimum 20 hours

With so much competition in the graduate job market it is important you can demonstrate to employers that you have gained some form or work experience.

Any form of work experience will count towards the Award, including full and part-time work.

If you don't currently have a part-time position but are interested in finding a position we have many resources to help - there are part-time work opportunities available on and off campus, and our on-campus Employment & Recruitment Service can help you find part-time work.

Plus, there are other work experience opportunities to consider, such as summer vacation work overseas.

Previous Award participants have undertaken include:

  • Industrial placements
  • Summer internships
  • Bar work
  • Retail positions
  • Fundraising
  • Administrative positions
  • Help desk roles
  • Camp America

If you have any questions about work experience, please contact Careers staff and we can advise you of your options.‌

Campus Activity

Campus Activity

10 points each 

The wider your range of experiences and skills the more attractive you will be to potential employers.  

There are fantastic opportunities to try out new sports and activities. Lancaster University Students' Union (LUSU) have over 170 affiliated societies so there should be something to appeal to everyone. Being an active member of a society or club will not only expand your friendship networks, and help you grow in confidence, but will also give you the opportunity to develop your transferable skills.

Aside from clubs and societies there are many other ways in which to become involved with campus life. You can become a tour guide, a mentor or a student representative. Also - why not engage with a mentor on LUMS ConnectLearn more about how this can benefit you.

The following is a list of activities previous Lancaster Award students have undertaken for the Campus Activity element:

  • Student course representative
  • Club or Society executive member
  • College JCR member
  • Active member of student society
  • Student Ambassador
  • University tour guide
  • Mentoring international students
  • International society active member
  • Organising a Study Development trip over the vacation

 

Volunteering

Volunteering 

15 points each, minimum 15 hours

You may already do valuable work within the community, whether here at Lancaster, at home or even globally.

If you’re unsure where to begin, speak to LUSU Involve who offer students the opportunity to get involved with valuable community projects. Lancaster Arts also advertise for volunteers to help support local art projects. You can also search for volunteering opportunities on TARGETconnect and by visiting our information pageFind out more about volunteering activities.

The following is a list of activities previous Lancaster Award students have undertaken for the Volunteering element:

  • Charity fundraising
  • Mentor at Lancaster Farms
  • Volunteering in a charity shop
  • International volunteering
  • Working at the homeless shelter
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • Volunteering for Samaritans
  • Volunteering with Animal Care/RSPCA
  • Classroom assistant
  • Scout/Guide leaders
  • Conservation volunteers at Brockholes Nature Reserve

 

Workshops

Careers Workshop

5 points each, maximum of 4

There are many Career Development opportunities whilst you are at university. Careers run a wide range of workshops to help you understand key skills that employers look for in candidates. We also run workshops on CVs, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.

If you’re unsure which workshops can be used to count towards the Lancaster Award, please contact Careers staff who will be happy to advise. Learn more about eligible employability and career development activities.

  • Work Experience

    Work Experience

    Work Experience

    20 points each, minimum 20 hours

    With so much competition in the graduate job market it is important you can demonstrate to employers that you have gained some form or work experience.

    Any form of work experience will count towards the Award, including full and part-time work.

    If you don't currently have a part-time position but are interested in finding a position we have many resources to help - there are part-time work opportunities available on and off campus, and our on-campus Employment & Recruitment Service can help you find part-time work.

    Plus, there are other work experience opportunities to consider, such as summer vacation work overseas.

    Previous Award participants have undertaken include:

    • Industrial placements
    • Summer internships
    • Bar work
    • Retail positions
    • Fundraising
    • Administrative positions
    • Help desk roles
    • Camp America

    If you have any questions about work experience, please contact Careers staff and we can advise you of your options.‌

  • Campus Activity

    Campus Activity

    Campus Activity

    10 points each 

    The wider your range of experiences and skills the more attractive you will be to potential employers.  

    There are fantastic opportunities to try out new sports and activities. Lancaster University Students' Union (LUSU) have over 170 affiliated societies so there should be something to appeal to everyone. Being an active member of a society or club will not only expand your friendship networks, and help you grow in confidence, but will also give you the opportunity to develop your transferable skills.

    Aside from clubs and societies there are many other ways in which to become involved with campus life. You can become a tour guide, a mentor or a student representative. Also - why not engage with a mentor on LUMS ConnectLearn more about how this can benefit you.

    The following is a list of activities previous Lancaster Award students have undertaken for the Campus Activity element:

    • Student course representative
    • Club or Society executive member
    • College JCR member
    • Active member of student society
    • Student Ambassador
    • University tour guide
    • Mentoring international students
    • International society active member
    • Organising a Study Development trip over the vacation

     

  • Volunteering

    Volunteering

    Volunteering 

    15 points each, minimum 15 hours

    You may already do valuable work within the community, whether here at Lancaster, at home or even globally.

    If you’re unsure where to begin, speak to LUSU Involve who offer students the opportunity to get involved with valuable community projects. Lancaster Arts also advertise for volunteers to help support local art projects. You can also search for volunteering opportunities on TARGETconnect and by visiting our information pageFind out more about volunteering activities.

    The following is a list of activities previous Lancaster Award students have undertaken for the Volunteering element:

    • Charity fundraising
    • Mentor at Lancaster Farms
    • Volunteering in a charity shop
    • International volunteering
    • Working at the homeless shelter
    • Citizen’s Advice Bureau
    • Volunteering for Samaritans
    • Volunteering with Animal Care/RSPCA
    • Classroom assistant
    • Scout/Guide leaders
    • Conservation volunteers at Brockholes Nature Reserve

     

  • Workshops

    Workshops

    Careers Workshop

    5 points each, maximum of 4

    There are many Career Development opportunities whilst you are at university. Careers run a wide range of workshops to help you understand key skills that employers look for in candidates. We also run workshops on CVs, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.

    If you’re unsure which workshops can be used to count towards the Lancaster Award, please contact Careers staff who will be happy to advise. Learn more about eligible employability and career development activities.

Examples

Here are some examples of how you could build your points:

  • Bronze: (35 - 40 points)
    • 1 x work experience (20 points)
    • 1 x campus activity (10 points)
    • 1 x workshop (5 points)

    or:

    • 1 x work experience (20 points)
    • 1 x volunteering activity (15 points)

    or:

    • 1 x work experience (20 points)
    • 3 x workshops (15 points)
  • Silver: (45 - 60 points)
    • 2 x work experience (40 points)
    • 1 x workshop (5 points)

    or:

    • 1 x work experience (20 points)
    • 1 x campus activity (10 points)
    • 3 x careers workshops (15 points)

    or:

    • 3 x campus activity (30 points)
    • 1 x volunteering (15 points)
  • Gold: (65+ points)
    • 1 x work experience (20 points)
    • 1 x campus activity (10 points)
    • 1 x workshop (5 points)

    or:

    • 2 x work experience (40 points)
    • 2 x campus activity (20 points)
    • 1 x workshop (5 points)

    or:

    • 2 x work experience (40 points)
    • 1 x campus activity (10 points)
    • 1 x volunteering activity (15 points)

Assessment

If you are undertaking Lancaster Award Bronze, you can choose to complete either a Skills Bank application form or an online video interview.

If you are applying for Lancaster Award Silver or Gold, you will be required to complete both the Skills Bank Application Form and the video interview.

These elements are the culmination of the Lancaster Award process. It is your opportunity to demonstrate how you have developed the skills required by recruiters both verbally and in written form.

You can find the Skills Bank template, video interview link and submission deadline on Moodle.

What happens once I have submitted my Skills Bank?

When we mark your submission you will be assessed on:

  • The structure of your answer
  • The effectiveness of your answer
  • Whether an employer would be impressed with your examples
  • Use of English, spelling and grammar

You will be given one opportunity to re-submit your Skills Bank if the first attempt does not meet our requirements.

What happens once I have completed my video interview?

When we mark your strengths-based submission you will be assessed on:

  • The structure of your answer
  • Your tone
  • Your ability to engage the audience
  • The quality of your examples
  • Clarity of expression
  • Enthusiasm and ability engage the listener
  • Professional demeanour

You will be given one opportunity to resubmit if the first attempt does not meet the required standard. 

Do I need to submit a CV or LinkedIn profile?

Only those of you who choose to go for Lancaster Award Gold need to submit a CV or LinkedIn profile.

You will find the CV submission portal on Moodle. If you are choosing to submit a LinkedIn profile instead there is section on the Skills Bank application form where you can enter your LinkedIn address.

What if I need further guidance?

  • For inspiration, have a look at our Example Skills Bank on Moodle.
  • You can use our online query service Ask Careers to get advice.
  • We offer Skills Bank support sessions, check with Careers staff for more details.
  • Or you can drop into Careers, there will always be someone around who can give you advice on the Lancaster Award.
  • The earlier you start completing the Award, the more time you will have to call into Careers with any queries you may have.

Lancaster Excellence

The Excellence Award is a stand-alone award which rewards high achieving students who have invested time and energy into completing the Lancaster Award.

If selected, you will be asked submit a video interview to compete for a unique insight experience, provided by some of the top graduate recruiters in the UK.

Here are a few examples of the opportunities employers have offered in the past:

  • British Army

    Spend time with soldiers and officers of the Adjutant General's Corps (AGC) which could include time with The Royal Military Police, Army Legal Services, Education and Training, Human Resources, and Finance specialists.

  • Mancunian Matters

    Take part in work experience to supplement your journalism portfolio with relevant cuttings after reporting on a range of news and entertainment articles. Receive mentoring from the Editor, David Keane.

  • RSPB

    Work experience in Leighton Moss, Silverdale, with wardens at the UK’s biggest conservation organisation, and potential to include a site visit with a regional ecologist or farmland adviser. Learn how the reserve benefits wildlife: practical habitat management, survey, and monitoring.

    "The experience was beyond my expectations and I really enjoyed myself. I gained invaluble experience that I would never have even thought about, both in terms of the organisation and careers in general."
    - Laura, 2016

  • Milkround

    An opportunity to visit News UK in London, which houses The Times, The Sunday Times, Milkround, and more, and attend an Employability Training day to boost your career confidence.

  • Carlsberg

    Shadow a member of the senior leadership or executive team with Carlsberg in Northampton for the day.

  • Santander

    Receive four one-hour mentoring session over a year from David Mackay, Divisional Managing Director of Santander UK retail banking operations in the North, covering career goals, management mentoring, teaching in senior executive retail banking. 

  • Frontline

    Shadow the Frontline coaching and support team, have lunch with CEO Josh McAlister, and receive coaching with the Recruitment Director. Gain insight into social enterprise and social work sectors. 

    "The experience at Frontline was great, I had a very good time. We had some very good insights into what it means to work in Social Work, what the application process and expectations of Frontline are etc. We also had the chance to sit down with one of their office-based coordinators who gave us more insights into what the charity sector is like and some good advice on how to get experience etc." 
    - Rachele, 2016

  • The Dukes

    Spend a day or up to two weeks at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster. The experience can be tailored to suit your interests as this is a diverse role but could include experience of event management both within the theatre and community settings/duty managing shows/customer care. Availability of experiences will depend on agreed date and time of the work experience. 

  • Lanor

    The opportunity for a student interested in video production: a chance to understand how a small video production company operates.

    Gain knowledge of the whole video production process, with one day shadowing in the Manchester office, understanding the pre-production and / or post production process while also attending a one day shoot as an assistant or runner to gain more technical knowledge about filing and how a crew works during a day’s filming.

  • MondelÄ“z

    Mondelēz International pledges a flexible day of work experience. This could include shadowing a couple of major marketing projects, across a number of global brands like Cadbury, Oreo and Philadelphia, with also the chance talk to varying leaders across the business.

    "By being awarded with Lancaster Excellence, I was given the opportunity to participate in a flexible day of work experience with Mondelēz International, with a keen emphasis on their marketing and global brands. Thus, I was guided through the inner workings of several of the company's major marketing projects, learned about the thinking and strategising that goes behind brand promotion, and even got the chance to talk to one of their most creative interns - who was involved in organising one of the best national marketing campaigns, which succeeded in revitalising an 100-year old brand. Needless to say, as an aspiring entrepreneur, gaining some degree of insight into this global powerhouse definitely was a boon... but I also had the privilege of meeting people of my age engaging with their work with a responsible attitude, trying to make a positive impact on people's lives, in their own way - very inspiring! "
    - Robert, 2016