Plymouth Award

What is the Plymouth Award?

The Plymouth Award recognises and celebrates your achievements outside of your studies.

Many Plymouth University students already make significant contributions to the life of the University and the communities in which they live and work. The Plymouth Award is one way of showing how valuable these contributions are and highlighting the learning and personal growth you gain from these activities.

When you complete the Plymouth Award you'll receive a certificate that is nationally recognised by employers. 

What are the benefits?

Personal development

Time at university is precious and the opportunities to spend this time productively are almost endless. You'll have unparalleled access not only to formal educational opportunities, but also to activities that can significantly boost your personal development and growth.

Citizens of the future

We expect our graduates to become tomorrow's leaders. The Plymouth Award gives you the chance to take part in a wide range of activities and begin to build your profile as a future citizen.


Over 350,000 students graduate each year and employers and postgraduate admissions tutors are bombarded with 70-85 applications for every graduate place. Employers demand not only a good degree, but evidence that graduates have 'life-wide' experience on which they can build a successful career. If you can demonstrate that you've achieved things beyond your degree whilst at University, it'll give you the edge in the struggle to secure a worthwhile job or place on a postgraduate course. 

How does it work?

You can complete the scheme in four easy steps.

1) Register online: Once you've received your University student ID number, you can register for the Award scheme by emailing the following details to

  • Your name
  • Your student ID number
  • Year of graduation
  • Campus you study on

Once the Award team has received your details, the Award module will be listed on your personal site for the current academic year (this may take a few days). You'll receive an email confirmation from the team when it's all set up and ready to go.

2) Complete a plan: You'll fill in a simple online document setting out what you plan to do as part of your journey towards achieving the Plymouth Award. This plan will include the particular activities you'd like to do. Once completed, the plan is shared with the Award management team.

3) Do 80 hours of activities: We encourage and celebrate your involvement with as wide a range of extra-curricular activities as possible. Because life-wide experience gives you a firm footing for taking your learning into the real world. That’s why we ask you to choose activities across at least three of the following:

  • Personal health and wellbeing
  • Working life
  • Volunteering
  • Cultural and social awareness
  • Supporting the University community

You'll need to complete at least 20 hours in each of your three chosen areas and the total hours of activities should be more than 80. Although no extra credit is given for hours over and above the minimum, it's useful to record your total number of hours.

4) Write a short reflective essay: Reflection is an important part of learning and it's a good skill to have in your professional life. Your Award reflective portfolio is an opportunity to look back on your extra-curricular activities and demonstrate how much you've learnt. Your short reflective essay will bring together everything you've done towards achieving your Plymouth Award. 

Student voice

“The Plymouth Award gave me the opportunity to receive recognition for my extracurricular activities while at university. It also gave me the opportunity to take a cathartic reflection on my time at university, which was invaluable for me to realise that I have gained in confidence, that teaching as a career was a possibility for me. Without it I would be still searching for a career, with no idea which route to take.”

Bridget Phillips, BSc (Hons) Sociology Year 3

How does the Plymouth Award link to the Higher Education Achievement Report? (HEAR)

Every year thousands of our students graduate and receive their degree certificates which record the academic success that they have achieved during their studies at Plymouth University.

The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) is a national initiative which provides a way of recording your student achievements and can be used with employers to give more details of your wider learning through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

What is included in the HEAR?

The Plymouth University HEAR provides information on the date that you joined the University and your leaving date, the modules that you are studying, the credits associated with your study and the marks awarded.

Additional information is automatically generated by the University, in partnership with the Students Union, of validated achievements, awards and prizes that meet the criteria for inclusion in the HEAR.

The Plymouth Award is recognised in the HEAR and your completion of the Award will be included on your HEAR, enabling you to produce a more rounded picture of your achievements.

For further information on HEAR visit our HEAR pages.

Need support?

It doesn’t matter which year you are in you can:

  • Visit the dedicated Plymouth Award drop-in service on Tuesday and Wednesday 13.00-15.00 in the Careers & Employability Hub (Roland Levinksy).
  • Drop into the Careers & Employability Hub in RLB to get more advice about how you can use the Plymouth Award to expand your employability skills and challenge yourself to succeed.
  • Book an optional one to one discussion to talk through your progress with advice on how to capture this in your reflective portfolio.

Want to know more?

Come to one of our open days where we’ll be happy to talk to you about your options. If you’d like to talk to someone sooner, then please get in touch.

Plymouth Compass

A framework of 'future-facing' attributes that will help you navigate your whole university experience in both your taught curriculum and your extra-curricular activities.
Learn how the Plymouth Compass guides you

Plymouth Extra: a catalogue of extra-curricular activities to enhance your graduate attributes

From learning a new language to making a difference within the community, there are nearly 250 activities available, with countless ways to get involved and enhance your employability skills.
Get involved, meet new people and enhance your skills