Lancaster Award

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.

Find out more about the Lancaster Award, including the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Kick Start Your Career

A course explaining how to get your career started by engaging with extra-curricular activities. Completing the course gives you 20 points for the Lancaster Award. 

Learn more

My Future with a Postgraduate Degree

A short online course, available on Moodle, which will help you plan what you’re going to do after your taught postgraduate degree. Completing the course will give you 20 points towards your Lancaster Award as well as helping you think about your options.

Learn more

How do I complete the 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

  • 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 of 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.

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 page.

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

5 points each, maximum of 4

There are many Career Development opportunities whilst you are at university. Careers run a wide range of workshops and employer presentations 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 of 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.

    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 page.

    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

    Workshops

    5 points each, maximum of 4

    There are many Career Development opportunities whilst you are at university. Careers run a wide range of workshops and employer presentations 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

  • 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

Lancaster Excellence is a standalone award which rewards students who have achieved Lancaster Award Gold at the first attempt.

Eligible students are given the opportunity to complete for experiential prizes with a range of employers.  

Here are some examples of what you could win:

  • Hilti

    Hilti Corporation is a Liechtenstein multinational company that develops, manufactures, and markets products for the construction, building maintenance, energy and manufacturing industries, mainly to the professional end-user.  In 2018 it was voted one of the 100 best companies to work for according to the The Sunday Times.  

    Hilti GB can offer you a day at Hilti GB Headquarters comprising a tour of facilities including the Northern Europe training centre, insight from each support functional department, including HR, Finance, Marketing, Engineering as well as an overview of our Sales divisions.  The day would also include a 1-hour social media workshop, a  2-hour individual interactive CV workshop with relevant key stakeholder from the business relevant to students interests and career aspirations.

  • FDM

    FDM work in partnership with clients to help them achieve specific business objectives through the provision of quality IT and business solutions.  

    FDM are offering up to six students the opportunity to spend a day at their Leeds office, take part in a  hackthaon and meet with key FDM staff over lunch.

  • Mars

    Mars UK offers you an exclusive opportunity to see what it is really like to work at a Global FMCG organisation. This opportunity includes a visit to one of our UK sites in which you will be given the opportunity to meet with current Interns and Graduates to learn about their experience on our Talent Programmes and our unique Mars history and culture! You will also be given the rare opportunity to see our office and factory - home to some of our famous confectionary, food or pet care global brands.

    Come and see for yourself why we are voted number 8 in the UK Best Places to Work. We look forward to meeting you.

  • AO.com

    AO.com, the expanding online electronics store are offering you the chance to spend an afternoon in our Financial Services division in Manchester spinningfields and attend training workshops in resilience and goal setting, delivered by our head of training. 

  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car

    Enterprise started life as a small business. There are now 10,000+ branches globally, an annual turnover of more than $22.3 billion and the biggest rental car fleet on the planet.   If you're interested in a career in management Enterprise are offering you the chance to visit their regional headquarters in Warrington, learn more about their business model and receive and hour interview coaching session with a Talent Acquisition Specialist.  

  • EY

    An opportunity to visit the EY Manchester office and receive tips and advice on all elements of an application process. You’ll get a tour of the facilities and the chance to meet one of our graduates who can tell you about their role.