Student competitions and awards

Competitions, prizes and awards are a great way to gain experience for your CV and often some cash or work experience. Many competitions require you to work in a team / produce innovative ideas / work to a brief / write a report, all great skills to put on your CV. Even if you don't win it’s not time wasted, you’ve spent time learning and developing your ideas. The more you participate the better you get.

Browse our listings of national and international competitions open to students, we've grouped them by sector to help you find relevant opportunities.

All sectors

TARGETjobs: First Generation Undergraduate of the Year
This is a great opportunity to win a paid summer internship and 1:1 mentoring with HSBC, with a chance to secure a place on HSBC’s global graduate programme. Open to penultimate year undergraduates, who are the first generation of their family to go to university.

TARGETjobs: Black Heritage Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a unique experience with Police Now and partners. Open to undergraduates from black heritage (African, Caribbean or any other Black, African or Caribbean background).

TARGETjobs: Male Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a 10-week summer internship with L’Oreal, including a trip to their HQ in Paris.

TARGETjobs: LGBT+ Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a place on Clifford Chance's SPARK scheme and, upon completion of the programme, a trip to an international office, where you will work shadow and attend Clifford Chance's annual Pride Art exhibition, run by Arcus, the firm's LGBT+ network.

TARGETjobs: Undergraduate of the YEAR Award for Innovation
An opportunity to win a paid summer internship and 1:1 mentoring with HSBC, with a possibility of securing a place on HSBC's global graduate programme. Open to penultimate year undergraduates from any degree, who are curious, creative and fanatical about innovation.

Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY)
An award that recognises working students. Nominations open in February and close in March.

Milkround Society Awards
An opportunity for university societies to meet employers, build on their skills, present to a panel of judges and compete to win one of two prizes. The winner of the Society award will win a £1,000 cash prize for their society, and the winner of the individual award will win a £250 cash prize for themselves. Nominations closed on 20 May 2019.

Vision Direct: Visionaries international student competition
submit a product design aimed at helping contact lens wearers in their daily lives for a chance to win £25,000 for the winning design along with £5,000 for the winning university. The competition is open to individual students and teams of up to four (undergraduates or postgraduates) from any higher education institution, college or university in the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Applications close on 21 December 2019 at 23:59.

Creative CV Competition
The Creative CV Competition, supported by Santander Universities, provides students with the opportunity to showcase their skills through designing a unique, imaginative CV that is tailored towards their chosen industry. Whether you are a budding graphic designer, filmmaker, designer-maker, fine artist, illustrator, wordsmith or any other creative professional, this competition is perfect for you.

Advertising, PR and marketing

DMA Talent Marketing Challenge
An opportunity to win hands-on experience, prizes and the opportunity to meet and impress marketing’s top VIPs. Set up your student agency, get stuck into a real-life marketing brief and pitch your solution to a real-life client. Applications open in January and close in May.

D&AD: New Blood Awards
An annual competition to cultivate new creative talent. Open to all students and recent graduates, the challenge is to answer a creative brief set by world famous brands. You can sign up to their free online course which walks you through the process and gives you hints and tips on how to win. Call for entries now open. Get started on the briefs and submit your work from mid-January. Entry deadline is 17:00 on 24 March 2020.

ADCAN Awards
An annual film competition to encourage unsigned filmmakers and animators to submit a 30sec ad from a chosen charity brief. You could win exposure to top production companies and have your ad promoted and featured by Vimeo. Usually opens in April and closes in August each year.

British Guild of Agricultural Journalists/John Deere Journalism Training Award
A training course and 3 day work experience in late June/early July for aspiring journalists and PR professionals in the agriculture/horticulture sectors. There's also a chance to win the John Deere trophy and £250. Applications closed on 29 March 2019.

GMKC Global Marketing Competition
A business simulation competition, open to teams of current students. Last year's sign up deadline was June, with the final held in December in Madrid.

The Daniel Marks Planning Academy
An annual opportunity to receive mentoring, support, a paid internship and a potential permanent job opportunity as a junior planner at a leading creative agency in London. Open to recent graduates and junior account handlers. To apply, you need to submit your response to a brief - full details are on their website. Opens in May and closes in September.

L'Oréal Student Innovator Brandstorm
A crack a real business case, take it from idea to concept, learn to be a brand manager and be automatically invited to an assessment centre for a L’Oréal UK internship. The prize is a trip to Paris to compete at their international finals and an automatic offer of a summer internship or industrial placement. Registrations close in November each year.

Arts, design and creative

Arts Thread
Arts Thread includes arts, design and creative events and competitions and an opportunity to showcase work. Check website for competition deadlines.

D&AD: New Blood Awards
An annual competition to cultivate new creative talent. Open to all students and recent graduates, the challenge is to answer a creative brief set by world famous brands. You can sign up to their free online course which walks you through the process and gives you hints and tips on how to win. Call for entries now open. Get started on the briefs and submit your work from mid-January. Entry deadline is 17:00 on 24 March 2020.

Crafts Council: Opportunities
Crafts Council includes lists of awards and competitions.

The House of Illustration: The Book Illustration Competition
An annual international competition opens to illustrators over the age of 18 who have not been previously published by The Folio Society. The winner receives a commission worth £5,000 to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which is then published by The Folio Society. Five runners each receive £500 cash. Closes in January each year.
The House of Illustration: The Lauren Child Poetry Illustration Prize
An international prize for illustrators aged 18-25. £1000 first prize, plus prizes for commended illustrators. The top 12 illustrators will be exhibited at St Pancras International station in September 2018. Last year's competition closed on 1 June 2018.

MYCS Scholarship
MYCS is an interiors brand based in Berlin. They’re offering a one-off scholarship of £2000 to a current student (undergraduate or postgraduate) studying any degree discipline. Submit a 2000-word innovative essay, outlining an original and creative solution to a problem relating to your field of study, for the chance to win the scholarship and be featured in their online magazine.

The Alpine Fellowship
Every year, writing, visual arts, and theatre prizes are awarded to the best works concerning the year's theme. Applications closed on 1 April 2019 and the theme for this year was 'identity'.

Vision Direct: Visionaries international student competition
Submit a product design aimed at helping contact lens wearers in their daily lives for a chance to win £25,000 for the winning design along with £5,000 for the winning university. The competition is open to individual students and teams of up to four (undergraduates or postgraduates) from any higher education institution, college or university in the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Applications open on 18 September 2019 and close on 21 December 2019 at 23:59.

Built environment

TARGETjobs: Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a paid summer internship or year in industry with Laing O'Rourke, working on one of their projects. Open to second/penultimate year undergraduate students studying civil engineering or quantity surveying

120 Hours
Global Architecture competition for students. Assignments are released, then you have 120 hours to submit your project. Usually released around April 1st.

Business and finance

TARGETjobs: Undergraduate of the Year
An annual competition to win a paid internship with leading employers, trips abroad, and the chance to be recognised as the very best.

TARGETjobs: Future Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Undergraduate of the Year

TARGETjobs: Future Business Leader of the Year
An opportunity to win either a paid sales summer internship or sales graduate role with P&G

TARGETjobs: Management Undergraduate of the Year
A chance to win a summer internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Universities Business Challenge
The Universities Business Challenge offers undergraduates the opportunity to improve their knowledge of the business world, put theory into practice and develop team-working, leadership and employability skills. Students work in teams as management consultants in a series of realistic, simulated companies, making all the critical business decisions that affect the company's performance. First prize is £1000. Registrations open in April - this year's competition closed on 25 October 2019.

Global Investment Banking Valuation Olympiad
An annual investment banking competition. The leader of the winning team receives a one-month paid internship as well as a cash prize for the winning team. Registration opens in June and closes in August each year.

Project Firefly: Competitions
An opportunity to win cash prizes and internships in business and finance-related competitions, sponsored by Credit Suisse.

Zurich Enterprise Challenge
A chance to work with one of the world’s top insurance companies and interact with its corporate customers to solve real-life strategy and business challenges. Open to teams of 3-4 Masters, MBAs or PhD students. Registrations open in February and close in May.

ICAEW 100
ICAEW are looking for the brightest 100 students with the potential to be the next generation of business leaders. Test your skills against your peers by taking a short online exercise. Students with the top 100 scores by the time the competition closes will be in with a chance of winning exclusive opportunities and prizes. The competition closes on Monday 20 April 2020.

CEOx1Day UK
An opportunity for undergraduates to spend a day shadowing a successful CEO. Previous participating companies include BT, ITV, Standard Chartered, Deloitte, Legal & General, The Cabinet Office and the National Trust. Applications close at 17:00 on 6 January 2020.

ICSA: The Governance Institute - Tom Morrison Essay Prize
A competition aimed at students, recent graduates or governance professionals at the start of their career. Submit a 2000-2500-word essay in response to a question around a key aspect of governance for a chance to win a cash prize of £1000 (£500 as a runner-up). Opened on 2 September 2019 and closes on 6 January 2020.

Adecco CEO For One Month
A competition seeking talented and ambitious individuals (age 18 +, no background or work experience level required) for a taste of how to run a multinational company with 34,000 employees in 60 countries. The winner gets to lead the company at UK level for a month in the summer (paid), and then have an opportunity to win the Global CEO for a Month in September, with a salary of €15,000. Applications open in February and close around March/April. 

Mint Formations Enterprising Entrepreneur Award
Open to students studying a business-related degree or with a business module as part of their course. Submit a business pitch to a panel of judges for a chance to win £1000 towards your tuition fees or setting up your dream business. Applications opened on 1 November 2019 and close at midnight on 28 February 2020.

Energy and the environment

UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA): Students
UKELA provide competitions, events and internship opportunities.

Schneider Go Green (Europe)
annual global student competition for sustainable energy solutions, organised by Schneider Electric. Open to business and engineering students, you'll work in teams of 2 to compete for a trip to Boston, to the Schneider Innovation Hub. Applications close on 31st January 2020.

Engineering

TARGETjobs: Female Undergraduate of the Year
This year's prize is a 10-week summer internship with Rolls Royce and is open to female undergraduate engineering students.

TARGETjobs: Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a paid summer internship or year in industry with Laing O'Rourke, working on one of their projects. Open to second/penultimate year undergraduate students studying civil engineering or quantity surveying

Schneider Go Green (Europe)
annual global student competition for sustainable energy solutions, organised by Schneider Electric. Open to business and engineering students, you'll work in teams of 2 to compete for a trip to Boston, to the Schneider Innovation Hub. Applications close on 31st January 2020.

Vision Direct: Visionaries international student competition
submit a product design aimed at helping contact lens wearers in their daily lives for a chance to win £25,000 for the winning design along with £5,000 for the winning university. The competition is open to individual students and teams of up to four (undergraduates or postgraduates) from any higher education institution, college or university in the UK, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. Applications close on 21 December 2019 at 23:59.

Formula Student
Formula Student challenges engineering students to design, build and develop a single seater racing car for competition.

YES Competitions
Includes Engineering YES- a business plan competition for postgrad students, with cash prizes.

RedBull Soapbox Race UK
A great opportunity to work in a team to create a Soapbox Race Car. Races are July every year.

Telegraph STEM Awards
An opportunity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) undergraduates to get their ideas in front of some of the most influential companies in industry and potentially win £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme. Categories include defence technology, electrical, innovation, healthcare and automotive technology

IT

TARGETjobs: Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a summer internship with Skyscanner in either London or Edinburgh, plus a week's experience in their Barcelona office. Open to undergraduates studying computer science, software engineering/development, information systems/technologies, physics or another related degree, who are curious and passionate about the tech industry.

Cyber Security Challenge
The Cyber Security Challenge runs national online competitions throughout the year to raise awareness of cyber learning opportunities and careers. Prizes include internships with sponsor companies, training bursaries and conference places.

Telegraph STEM Awards
An opportunity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) undergraduates to get their ideas in front of some of the most influential companies in industry and potentially win £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme. Categories include defence technology, electrical, innovation, healthcare and automotive technology

Microsoft Imagine Cup
An annual global student technology competition. Working in a team of up to 4 students, you'll use your imagination and passion to create a technology solution to problems facing the world today - and maybe even turn your idea into a business. Opens in October and closes in January.

Kaggle
A range of competitions in data science and machine learning, some with prizes.

Go Green in the City
An annual global student competition for sustainable energy solutions, organised by Schneider Electric. Open to business, IT, maths, physics and engineering students, you'll work in teams of 2 to compete for an all-inclusive trip to 2 cities, as well as a career opportunity at Schneider Electric. Applications usually open in January and close in May.

Journalism

Journo Resources: Young and Student Journalism Awards
Journo Resources provides comprehensive list of awards and competitions by deadline.

Amnesty International Media Awards
Amnesty International Media Awards includes a student award for students who have had an article published (or a radio/TV piece broadcast) in a recognised student media outlet. The prize is two weeks' work experience at the Observer. This year's competition closes on 23 January 2020.

Northern Writers' Awards
An annual competition, offering cash prizes, mentoring and support to talented writers based in the North of England. This year's competition opens on 20 November 2019 and closes at 23.59 on 6 February 2020.

British Guild of Agricultural Journalists/John Deere Journalism Training Award -
A training course and 3-day work experience in late June/early July for aspiring journalists and PR professionals in the agriculture sector. There's also a chance to win the John Deere trophy and £250. Applications close on 31 March 2020.

New Writing North: Young Writers’ Talent Fund
New Writing North supports people aged 15-25 living in Newcastle, looking to contribute to the culture of the region. Funding and support for projects across a range of literature or writing forms including graphic novels, spoken word, flash fiction, script, poetry, prose, journalism, blogging, or another area of arts or cultural activity. Closing date last year was 1 June 2018.

Thousand Films and Sid Gentle Films
A television writer competition in the UK.

Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF): Student Critics Programme
An annual programme offering experience, skills and networking to UK based students aged 18-25 with a passion for cinema. Successful applicants will attend screenings, receptions and events at EIFF, will be mentored by professional film journalists, and create articles during their time at EIFF in June each year.

Languages

Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize
The Prize aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. The prize is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence. Deadline for entries this year was Friday 30 August 2019.

Law, politics and public protection

TARGETjobs: Future Lawyer of the Year Award
An opportunity to win four week's work experience at Allen & Overy's tech innovation hub and a two-day trip to one of their European offices, plus a chance to be considered for a training contract. You must be an undergraduate student of any degree discipline, in your penultimate or final year, and have an interest in commercial law.

FutureLegalMind
An annual essay competition offering current law students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and legal trainees within 2 years of their law career the chance to show off their legal expertise and win prizes. This year's winner will receive a £2000 cash prize and mentoring from experienced in-house lawyers.

UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA): Students
Runs events, competitions and internship opportunities.

Media

Student Radio Awards
An annual competition awarding the best in student radio across 12 categories. Last year's applications closed on Friday 26 July 2019.

Edinburgh TV Festival: The Network
A 4-day free entry-level scheme for anyone aged 18+ who wants to start a career in television. Applications open in February - this year's deadline was 7 May 2019.

ADCAN Awards
An annual film competition to encourage unsigned filmmakers and animators to submit a 30sec ad from a chosen charity brief. You could win exposure to top production companies and have your ad promoted and featured by Vimeo. Opens in April and closes in August each year.

Grierson Trust: Best Student Documentary
A competition awarded to a student director for a film made during a UK-based, full-time academic course. Last year's entries opened on 1 April and closed on 31 May 2019.

Music and performing arts

World Federation of International Music Competitions
This site lists international classical music competitions.

Science and health

TARGETjobs: Computer Science, IT and Physics Undergraduate of the Year
An opportunity to win a summer internship with Skyscanner in either London or Edinburgh, plus a week's experience in their Barcelona office. Open to undergraduates studying computer science, software engineering/development, information systems/technologies, physics or another related degree, who are curious and passionate about the tech industry.

Telegraph STEM Awards
An opportunity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) undergraduates to get their ideas in front of some of the most influential companies in industry and potentially win £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme. Categories include defence technology, electrical, innovation, healthcare and automotive technology

Biochemical Society: Science Communication Competition
The Biochemical Society looks for talented science communicators to take part in their annual competition. You need to submit an original piece of writing or an original video targeted at the general public, on a molecular bioscience topic of your choice. Last year's competition opened in January and closed on 15 April 2019.

The Josh Award
The Josh Award recognises and supports up-and-coming talent in science communication. The award is open to anyone involved in science communication in the UK, whether a full or part-time role or practising science communication as part of their job, eg researcher at a University. Opens each year in Spring. Last year's deadline was 24 April 2019.

SatelLife Challenge
The UK Space Agency is offering young people (from 11 - 22) expert advice for their ideas of how satellites could improve life on Earth. You can enter either as a team or individual for the chance to win a share of the prize fund of £50,000. Last year's competition opened in early January and closed on 3 March 2019.