We have made substantial changes to the STAR Award for the academic year 2021-22. Please read on to find out more.
The STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Award is a co-curricular initiative available to students at both the Aberdeen and Qatar campuses. It allows you to assess, enhance and gain recognition for the skills you develop through any unpaid role of responsibility on or off campus. The Award is delivered by the Careers and Employability Service with input from a wide range of employers.
Why take part?
Taking part in the STAR Award will allow you to:
- Assess your level of confidence in your skills and identify skills which you would like to improve.
- Develop your skills through your role, participation in STAR workshops and other activities, and by networking with employers.
- Reflect on how participation in the STAR Award contributes to your skills development.
- Learn how to articulate your skills, and how they can be applied to future roles while at university and beyond.
Achievement of the STAR Award is recorded on your Enhanced Transcript, which you can share with employers or postgraduate recruiters when you finish your studies. If your role is recognised on the Enhanced Transcript in its own right (e.g. Class Rep, Museum Volunteer, Careers Service Ambassador etc.), you will receive two entries on your transcript: one for your role and one for the STAR Award.
Unlike in previous years, you can now take part in the STAR Award with any unpaid role of responsiblity. There is no longer a list of pre-approved roles. The level of STAR Award you will achieve (Bronze, Silver or Gold) will now depend on the quality of your final assessment.
To achieve a STAR Award, you need to:
- Apply by the deadline. There are two intakes in September and January. You can take part in either the first or second half session, or across the whole academic year, depending on the role you hold. If your role only extends over one semester (for example, class representative), you must take part in the half session during which you hold your role.
- Complete three learning activities in November/December or February/March. For more information on the activities, please preview the STAR Pathway on CareerConnect.
- Complete a reflective final submission. You will be able to choose from a varity of formats to submit your assessment, including video and written.
How to apply
Applications for the first intake of this year's STAR Award are now open and close on Thursday 14th October. For more information on how to apply for the STAR Award and other co-curricular programmes, visit our application page.
Applications for the second intake will open on 10 January 2022.
For further information about the STAR Award, have a look at our FAQs below. If you still have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What's new in the STAR Award this year?
We have made substantial changes this year which, we hope, will make the STAR Award more accessible to more students and which will make some aspects of the Award more fun!
- You can now apply to the STAR Award with ANY unpaid role of responsibility, be it on or off campus.
- We have made some changes to the STAR Award application and have developed a short online course to help you to complete it.
- The level of your STAR Award will be determined purely by the quality of your final reflective submission, not your role.
- We have added some new learning activities. You will find out more once you have a place on the STAR Award.
- You will also be able to complete the final assessment in a variety of formats. Again, you will find out more closer to the submission deadline..
You can find information on most of the previous changes to the STAR Award in the following FAQs.
- Can I take part if I'm based at the Qatar campus?
- How will the STAR Award be delivered this year?
At least during the first half-session, all workshops will be delivered online. Workshops will usually last 1 to 1 1/2 hours. In addition to the live workshops, you will be able to complete a variety of online activities such as iDEA badges, FutureLearn courses and peer challenges.
- Do I need to hold a recognised role to apply for the STAR Award?
No. From 2021-22, there is no longer a list of pre-approved roles. Any student in any unpaid role of responsibility is eligible to apply and we will assess the role and application for suitability. Roles which were previously recognised will, of course, be accepted.
- If I apply, am I guaranteed a place on the STAR Award?
No. We assess all applications and reserve the right to select applicants based on the quality of their submission, so make sure you complete the application to a good standard.
- I already have a STAR Award. Can I take part again?
Yes. The changes to the STAR Award also mean that even students who have previously achieved a Gold Award can take part again.
- I hold more than one recognised role. Can I achieve a STAR Award for both?
No. You can only sign up for the STAR Award based on one role in each academic year. It is currently not possible to add more than one entry for the STAR Award to the Enhanced Transcript.
- If my role is recognised on the Enhanced Transcript, will I receive two entries: one for my role and one for the STAR Award?
YES! Since last academic year, you will now receive two entries on your Enhanced Transcript: one for your role and one for the STAR Award. Of course, you must meet the requirements for your role as well as for the STAR Award for this to happen.
- I have applied to be a Class Rep but have not had official confirmation. Can I apply?
Yes. We understand that the timings can be tight for Class Reps. Please make sure that you apply by the STAR Award deadline. If you are unsuccessful in your Class Rep application, please let us know as soon as possible.
- Can I take part in the STAR Award and the Leadership Academy in the same half session?
As both programmes require you to attend/complete three workshops/online courses and complete final asessments at a similar time, we recommend that you participate in one of these programmes at a time. As both run in both half sessions, you could still complete the Leadership Academy and achieve a STAR Award in one academic year, provided hold a role of responsibility to make you eligible to apply to the STAR Award.
- I have put a lot of effort into my role. Does this mean I will receive a Gold STAR Award?
No. The level of Award you will receive will be based purely on the quality of your final assessment. We will make assessment criteria available to elibible students once the assessment is available, so you know what to aim for.
- Can I achieve a STAR Award for my past voluntary experience?
No. We are unable to accredit past voluntary experiences. Please visit the AUSA Saltire Awards website for more information about how you might be able to achieve certification for any past volunteering roles.
- If there are two intakes, can I take part in the STAR Award twice in one academic year?
No. You can only take part in the STAR Award once in each academic year.
- Do I need to attend workshops at a particular time?
Yes and no. You can choose whatever workshops/online activities fit best with your skills development goals and interests, however, you must attend/complete at least one workshop/online course in the first semester if you join the STAR Award in September, even if you are planning to complete the programme over the whole year. This will demonstrate to us that you are committed to completing the Award.
- Can I attend more than three workshops?
Yes. You must attend/complete a minimum of three workshops/online activities but, where spaces are available in live sessions, you will be able to sign up for more if you wish.
- I signed up for a workshop and can’t now attend. What should I do?
You should cancel your place as soon as possible and certainly no later than 9am on the day of the workshop. Many of our workshops have waiting lists. If you do not cancel, you prevent another student from attending. Make sure you are able to attend another workshop or complete an online activity, however, so you fulfil the requirements of the STAR Award.
- By when do I need to complete my STAR Assessment?
There are two assessment deadlines, towards the end of each half session. For roles which extend over one semester only (for example, class representative), you must submit your assessment in that semester. If your role extends over the whole year, then you have a choice of deadline: if you have completed all three learning activities and have been active in your role, you can choose to submit your assessment by the first deadline but you can also opt to wait and submit at the end of the second semester.
- What happens if I am unsuccessful in my STAR Assessment?
You will be given one chance to revise your assessment and resubmit by a specified deadline. We will also offer online appointments to support students in revising their assessment and achieving their STAR Award.