Information for staff

Personal Skills Award (PSA) logo

The Personal Skills Award is the University of Birmingham's optional employability award; a proud partner of Careers Network. 

About the PSA

The Personal Skills Award (PSA) is the university’s award-winning employability programme for undergraduate students. Supported by a range of graduate employers, the PSA enables undergraduate students to develop, recognise and articulate their skills effectively in preparation for the graduate employment market.

The PSA is open for students to participate in from their first year to their final year; the programme provides exclusive access to: taught modules designed to develop professional skills, employer-led skill sessions and innovative online courses.

The PSA also offers a gateway to engage in, and be formally recognised for, over 200 on-campus extra-curricular activities.

What are the benefits of the Personal Skills Award?

  • The PSA enables students to develop their confidence in preparing for real world recruitment processes and provides students with opportunities to practice articulating their skills in application forms and interviews.
  • 95% of PSA completers in 2015/16 felt that their confidence improved in their own employability
  • The PSA contributes to the success of students and their graduate destinations upon leaving the university
  • The PSA explicitly teaches models of reflective practice (such as Kolb and Gibbs), and emphasises the importance of reflection in learning.
  • It supports students in recognising their unique own skill-set, and helps students understand what to expect in ‘real-world’ recruitment processes – thereby building their confidence and their ability to navigate these challenges.  

Completing the award

The PSA recognises a variety of learning styles.

Undergraduate students can complete the Personal Skills Award through choosing one of three awards:

Working with you

The Personal Skills Award recognises extra-curricular activities that take place across campus, including those that take place within departments such as department mentors and department event organisers. If you have an activity that you would like recognised please contact the PSA team via psa@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

The PSA Coordinator is available to present to students across campus on how they can enrol to and complete the PSA. Please contact the PSA team via psa@contacts.bham.ac.uk if you would like to discuss this further.

We can supply a copy of a student’s PSA Progress Report that details the activities they have participated in whilst undertaking the PSA 

Furthermore, the PSA team are able to supply PSA marketing resources and literature. If you would like some resources please contact the PSA team via psa@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

Contact

For further information about the Personal Skills Award or for guidance on how to promote the PSA within your college or programme, please contact the PSA team via psa@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Cath Bonner, Teaching Fellow, Birmingham Business School "‘In my role as a personal tutor with Birmingham Business School I have seen first-hand the benefits our students gain from undertaking the PSA. It helps students develop confidence, curiosity and employability skills and often leads to a deeper engagement with their academic studies."