SSTAR Awards

Each year the University of Plymouth Students' Union (UPSU) holds the prestigious Student, Staff Teaching and Representation (SSTAR) Awards.

Launched in 2011, the awards have grown in size, awards and nominations, highlighting the amazing work that students and staff both do in order to ensure that students are getting the most from their university experience. The awards are also an opportunity for UPSU to say thank you to lecturers, support staff and student reps for all their hard work and support, while highlighting exactly what students think good teaching and support is.

Staff and student reps are nominated in a range of categories, from most inspirational teaching to best placement support. 

For more information or questions, then please contact Student Voice at


Awards for staff

  • Creative teacher of the year
  • Inspirational teacher of the year
  • Mel Joyner award for championing equality and diversity
  • Most dedicated dissertation/project supervisor of the year
  • Personal tutor of the year
  • Placement support of the year
  • Postgraduate supervisor of the year
  • Programme leader of the year
  • Support staff of the year
  • Big thank you

Awards for students

  • Course rep of the year
  • School rep of the year
  • Part-time officer of the year
  • Student led representative campaign/project of the year
  • Big thank you


SSTAR Award Winners 2022

"The SSTAR awards are important this year due to the massive amounts of change we have gone through this year. There are individuals who have gone above and beyond to support students, and they should be recognised for this. These awards are incredibly powerful, whether your nominee wins or not, your words can mean so much to that person. Because knowing you have made a difference for at least one person can really mean the world." 
Charlie Atkinson, UPSU VP Education
<p>Charlie Atkinson, UPSU VP Education, at the 2022 SSTAR Awards<br></p>

SSTAR Award Winners 2021

"This year more than ever it’s important for us to recognise those individuals who went above and beyond in their role to support students. We want to highlight the people who went out of their way to make it better for others."
Emi Dowse, VP Education 2020/21
<p>SSTAR Awards 2021 graphic</p>

SSTAR Award Winners 2020

241 nominations were received in 2020, with long and shortlisting panels conducted virtually. The winners were notified that they'd won virtually and presented with their award in front of their peers, their colleagues and the students who nominated them. 
<p> SSTAR Awards 2020<br></p>
<p>SSTAR Award Winners 2019<br></p>

SSTAR Award Winners 2019

The SSTAR Awards were held on 2 May 2019. There were 857 nominations recognising the many excellent staff members and dedicated students we have at Plymouth. 
<p>SSTAR award winners 2018<br></p>

SSTAR Award Winners 2018

The SSTAR Awards were held on 26 April 2018, with 612 detailed and inspiring nominations from University of Plymouth staff and students. 

Student awards celebrate teaching stars

"She’s brought in playdough breasts and plastic knives so we can perform dissections on them and find the jelly bean ‘tumours’ of different types. This must have taken her ages to put together in her own time." 
Carole Stoddard's use of playdough breasts in cellular science saw her scoop the award for Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods.
<p>Student Awards 2016 -&nbsp;Photo by Agnes Morgan Photography</p>

Photo by Agnes Morgan Photography

Past SSTAR Awards winners

The award for Inspirational Teaching was the most popular award in terms of nominations. This immediately suggests it is teaching itself that is the bedrock of the student experience.