The Birmingham Award (formerly the Personal Skills Award)

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The Personal Skills Award (PSA) has re-launched as The Birmingham Award.

The Birmingham Award is the University of Birmingham's recognised employability programme for undergraduate students. Endorsed by graduate employers, the award supports you to develop and recognise the skills you gain through extra-curricular activities, and how to articulate these skills in preparation for real world recruitment process.  

The award is completly flexible so you can make it work for you. You can enrol on the award in any undergraduate year and complete in any undergraduate year. Find out what is involved below and if you have any questions not answered on this page, get in touch with us at thebirminghamaward@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Enrolment for The Birmingham Award is now open! 

 

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The Birmingham Award team are running events throughout Semester 1 including sessions with our Employer supporters. 
Visit The Birmingham Award Events page for more details.

 

How to complete The Birmingham Award

The award is open to all current internal undergraduate students from any course and any year group. The programme is not open to postgraduate students.

Enrolment for undergraduate students is now open.
Enrol on The Birmingham Award!

Completing The Birmingham Award

You can complete The Birmingham Award through a Pathway on Careers Connect.

You will be required to complete the following steps on the Pathway:

  • Complete an enrolment form
  • Work through The Birmingham Award informational activities
  • Assessment 1: Declare participation in four extra-curricular activities and outline an achievement for each 
  • Assessment 2: Submit a CV or LinkedIn profile, outlining the four extra-curricular activities
  • Assessment 3: Submit a written or video answer to a competency-based assessment question

The Birmingham Award Team will provide support throughout the completion process.

Extra-curricular activities

The Birmingham Award offers you the opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. We recognise the diverse range of experiences students get involved in so the award has been designed to be flexible and recognise a broad spectrum of activities, both on and off campus. 

There are currently over 200 activities recognised through The Birmingham Award, including off-campus opportunities such as part-time work and volunteering. 

Birmingham Award students gain exclusive access to a database of these activities, where you can search for activities that you might be interested in. You will gain access to this database once you have enrolled on the award. 

If you participate in an activity that doesn't appear on the list, you can contact The Birmingham Award Team to enquire about whether it could be recognised. 

Employer supporters

The Birmingham Award is proud to be endorsed by our employer supporters. The employers who support The Birmingham Award have been selected to reflect the diverse range of students who participate in the award.

You will have the opportunity to attend employer sessions to gain an insight into the industry sector and graduate recruitment processes. 

Key dates and deadlines

Enrolment

  • Enrolment for all undergraduate students opened on 25 September 2023.
  • Enrolment for final year students will close on 5 March 2024.
  • Enrolment for first and penultimate year students will close at the end of the academic year on 21 June 2024.

Completion

Students can complete the award in any undergraduate year. There are two options for deadlines to complete The Birmingham Award:

  • 5 December 2023
  • 19 March 2024

If you are in your final year, you must complete all stages of The Birmingham Award by 19 March 2024 otherwise you will be unable to complete the award.

Benefits of The Birmingham Award

  • Gain support and feedback in articulating your skills to graduate recruiters
  • Develop your transferable employability skills in a completely flexible way, aligned to your own interests 
  • Find out what you can get involved in on campus outside of your degree
  • Improve your confidence by gaining new skills and meeting new people
  • Gain formal recognition of activities you already undertake outside of your degree
  • The Birmingham Award is a certificated award that appears on your final degree transcript and can enhance your CV and LinkedIn profile
  • Network with employer supporters and find out what attributes they look for in students and graduates when recruiting
  • Gain personalised feedback on your application form or interview answer as part of our flexible and authentic assessment process
  • Access an enriched programme of practical hints and tips on how to be successful in a recruitment process 
  • Receive a digital certificate upon completion of The Birmingham Award

The Birmingham Award Student of the Year

Students who complete The Birmingham Award will have the opportunity to submit a video to nominate themselves as The Birmingham Award Student of the Year.

Students can nominate themselves in categories which will be aligned to The Birmingham Graduate Attributes. 

The Birmingham Award Team will create a shortlist for each category and winners for each category will be selected by a panel of The Birmingham Award Team and our employer supporters.

A winner will be selected for each category and they will each receive: 

  • A £100 voucher
  • A Student of the Year digital certificate  
  • A personal LinkedIn recommendation from a member of the judging panel 
  • Personal feedback from the employer supporters 

The deadline to submit your Student of the Year video is 19 March 2024. Details and submission information will be available through The Birmingham Award Pathway.

Transition from the PSA to The Birmingham Award

First launched in 2003, the PSA consistently adapted to meet the needs of students and the graduate labour market. As graduate recruitment processes and the world of work have changed significantly in recent years, the award has been reviewed with the aim of enhancing the student experience.

After a period of consultation with students, staff and employers, The Birmingham Award has been designed to increase flexibility for students and to recognise a broader spectrum of activities to better reflect the diversity of experiences of students. The award will continue to recognise participation in extra-curricular activities and focus on the reflection and articulation of skills.

The Birmingham Award will continue to support undergraduate students to develop, recognise and articulate skills gained through extra-curricular activities in preparation for real-world recruitment processes. 

Participation in extra-curricular activities will no longer be recorded through 'PSA points'. Students will declare their participation in four extra-curricular activities through The Birmingham Award. This enhancement aims to make the award more accessible and flexible for students, and to focus on recognition and articulation of the skills developed. 

Students who were enrolled on the PSA will automatically be enrolled on The Birmingham Award, and the team will support you to complete the award. 

All activities that were recognised through the PSA will continue to be recognised through The Birmingham Award. The Birmingham Award Team will contact students with PSA points in October 2023 with information on the process for declaring your PSA points into activities on The Birmingham Award.

If you have any questions about the transition from the PSA to The Birmingham Award, please contact us at thebirminghamaward@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will be happy to provide support.