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The STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Award allows you to assess, enhance and gain recognition for the skills you develop through approved roles such as Society/Sports Club Committee Member or Careers Service Ambassador. The Award is delivered by the Careers Service with input from a wide range of employers.

Why take part?

The benefits of the STAR Award are varied and exciting! The majority of students who finish the Award report a marked increase in self-confidence and a real improvement in their communication skills, qualities often sought by employers.


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 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 at university and beyond.

As the STAR Award is structured around five employability-based Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, you can be sure that your learning is directly applicable to your personal development and your future career.


The Graduate Attributes explored through the Award are:

  • An ability to communicate for different purposes and in different contexts
  • An ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • A diverse set of transferable and generic skills
  • A capacity for self-reflection, self-discovery and personal development
  • An awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses

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.

What's involved?

To be eligible to take part in the STAR Award, you must hold one of the over fifty recognised roles. Roles are categorised based on their level of responsibility as Bronze, Silver and Gold.


To achieve a STAR Award, you need to:

  • Apply by the deadline. There are two intakes in August/September and January.
    • Applications are now closed and will open again in January 2019.
  • Attend three Employability Skills Workshops.
  • Complete the STAR Assessment by the deadline (30 November 2018 or 7 March 2019). This consists of a written submission and varies by STAR Award level.

Further Information

For further information about the STAR Award, have a look at our FAQs below. If you still have questions, please email star@abdn.ac.uk.


Do I need to hold a recognised role to apply for the STAR Award?

Yes. You need to be in your role by the time you apply. If you do not currently hold a recognised role, consider becoming involved in relevant activities and applying for the STAR Award in the next semester. Some roles might also still be available, for example, Class Rep or Careers Service Ambassador.

I already have a STAR Award. Can I take part again?

Yes, however, you can only apply at a higher level than the STAR Award you have already achieved, i.e. Silver (if you have a Bronze Award) or Gold (if you have a Silver or Bronze Award).

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. If your roles are at different levels, we recommend choosing the higher Award.

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 assessed part of the application to a good standard.

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.

Can I attend more than three workshops?

No. Workshop places are limited and we are not able to offer more than three spaces to any one participant.

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, 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: at the end of November and at the beginning of March. If you begin your STAR journey in October, have attended three workshops and have been active in your role, you can choose to submit your assessment by the first deadline. If you are not ready at this point or have applied in January, then you must submit your assessment in March.

I have put a lot of effort into my role. Can I achieve a higher level STAR Award?

No. STAR Awards are linked to the recognised role you hold, however, you are welcome to take part again next year at a higher level if you are still a student and hold a role at a higher level.

Is the level of STAR Award I can achieve linked to the number of hours I spend on my activity?

No. The Award level is not based on the number of hours you spend on your role activities but rather the breadth and depth of skills development within the role. This is assessed by a Steering Group when a new role is approved for the STAR Award. You can check the level of all approved roles here.

What happens if I fail my STAR Assessment?

You will be given the chance to revise your assessment and resubmit by a specified deadline.