Stand Out!

Why take part?

Stand Out! enhances your graduate certificate. Working on the Awards of Excellence will enable you to build a portfolio of essential skills and help you to gain a better awareness of your employability upon graduation.

Remember: graduates are not always hired for their subject knowledge. 

What employers seek is the ability to make cogent arguments, write well, communicate with different stakeholders, manage projects, do excellent research, work in teams and use technology in creative ways. 

These are the skills that you will build by taking part in Stand Out! and they will be recognised by our Awards of Excellence.

How does it work?

You will work on a set of specified tasks that will test your skills in the following areas:

  • project management
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • research
  • digital literacy

Successful completion of the tasks, in combination with attendance at skills workshops and a final report, will result in an Award of Excellence. Start and end dates are flexible and each Award can be won over the period of one semester, full academic year, or the entire degree.

The tasks involved in completing the Awards illuminate the essential graduate attributes you are expected to develop over the course of study. The Awards will allow you to demonstrate your employability in job applications and interviews, improving your professional confidence.

There are three steps involved in gaining your awards:

1. Step one: Choose an award
2. Step two: Attend three skills sessions
3. Step three: Write a report

1. Step one: Choose an award

Effective Project Management Award

Graduate attributes: target-setting; planning; decision-making; delivery of action; imagination; willingness to learn; time management; attention to detail; organising ability; independent working; problem solving; professional awareness.

For full details of this award download the Effective Project Management Award PDF.

Successful Collaboration Award

Graduate attributes: team work (engagement, clarity of roles and contributions); networking; interpersonal and interactional skills; problem solving; successful presentation of ideas; adaptability; assumption of responsibility; coordinating; ability to manage others.

For full details of this award download the Successful Collaboration Award PDF.

Digital Competence Award

Graduate attributes: digital literacy; communication and manipulation of information in various forms; identifying and using innovative technology; understanding numerical data; visual literacy; flexibility; entrepreneurship; professional awareness.

For full details of this award download the Digital Competence Award PDF.

Confident Communication Award

Graduate attributes: excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to articulate knowledge to a variety of audiences; ability to stay calm and confident under pressure; energy and engagement (communicating passion for the subject); autonomy; creativity; professional

For full details of this award download the Confident Communication Award PDF.

Quality Research Award

Graduate attributes: analytical approach; critical thinking; intellectual curiosity; commitment; attention to detail; source evaluation; synthesising information; imagination; initiative; problem solving; risk taking.

For full details of this award download the Quality Research Award PDF.

3. Step three: Write a report

Your 500-word reflective report will analyse 3 skills developed in the process of completing the project and demonstrate how they enhance your employability.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding the awards?

Please contact your Learning Development coordinator, Dr Alicja Syska, via email or drop in during weekly open hours (Fridays, 10.00 to 12.00, in the Student Hub). You can also discuss the scheme with your PALS leaders or with your personal tutor. 

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding the Awards?
If at any point you have questions about Stand Out, please contact your LD Coordinator, Dr Alicja Syska. Alternatively, you can discuss the scheme with your PALS leaders during PALS sessions or with your personal tutor in PDP tutorials. 

What are the benefits of the Awards?
The tasks involved in completing the projects not only illuminate the essential graduate attributes you are expected to develop over the course of study but also allow you to demonstrate concrete examples of mastering these skills to future employers. The Awards recognise and celebrate your extracurricular achievements and will contribute to improving your chances for employment in a subject-related field.

Additional benefits:
The Awards will be displayed in your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) upon graduation.
You will be automatically enrolled in the prestigious Plymouth Award, so you can extend your achievements even further.

What help can I expect?
All the projects (with the exception of the Successful Collaboration Award) are individual and you’re expected to work on them in your own time and at your own pace. Nonetheless, you can expect to receive support:

  • From your Personal Tutor: You can discuss your ideas with your personal tutor who may offer you advice and feedback on your progress. On completion, you will present the project to them and they will award you a certificate. 
  • From Learning Development: Your LD coordinator, Dr Alicja Syska, holds open hours for consultation (Fridays 10.00-12.00 in the Student Hub) and you can drop in for a project-orientated meeting.
  • From the PALS leaders: PALS sessions might help you to explore ideas for the projects. There are multiple sessions to choose from in each term. Please contact your PALS leaders for scheduling details.
Will my project be marked?
No. You are solely responsible for the quality of your project and it will be checked only to the extent that it achieves its objectives. If it doesn’t, it will not pass.

Can I work with another student on an Award?
Only if you’re working on the Successful Collaboration Award. Projects for all other Awards have to be completed individually.

Is there a deadline for any project?
No, but they must be completed before you receive your final marks in the final year of your study.

What if my tutor cannot meet me to sign off the project?
You can meet with the LD Coordinator instead (Dr Alicja Syska). She will act on behalf of your tutor.

Can I pursue my own project instead of the ones listed in the guidebooks?
You are encouraged to initiate your own project if none of the existing tasks appeal to you and you have a good idea for your own. However, you must be able to demonstrate that your proposed project will involve the skills listed under the particular Award. Please feel free to contact your LD coordinator or personal tutor if you would like to discuss your own ideas.

How will I know when PALS sessions, Accelerate workshops, research seminars and The Arts Institute talks take place?
Do I have to attend different skills development sessions or can I go to three PALS sessions?
Each session has to be of a different type, e.g. one research seminar, one personal tutorial and one PALS session.

Can I attend a different type of event, not listed here, for example a job fair or an exhibition?
Yes, as long as it takes place on the University campus and you have evidence of your attendance.

What kind of evidence will be accepted?
It can be a ticket, a signature of the person running the event, a confirmation note, even a photograph – there are many ways of confirming your participation. Please check with your LD coordinator.

Do I have to complete the Plymouth Award?
No, it’s entirely up to you. Initiating a Stand Out Award will automatically enrol you in the Plymouth Award but you’ll need to take other steps to complete the scheme.