A degree is most important to getting a great job, but employers look for much more than a degree when choosing which graduates to offer jobs to. Getting experience and developing skills whilst you study and during your holiday periods will give you a competitive edge. This page will tell you more about the opportunities the University provides to gain valuable experiences that enhance your HEAR, and how you can work towards achieving our employability awards.
Swansea Employability Award (SEA)
The Careers and Employability Service works in partnership with academic staff to provide the SEA for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The Swansea Employability Award helps you to explore who you are and then gain experience and develop skills. If you complete the SEA it will be recorded on your degree transcript.
There are two main modules to the SEA following registration, the first module is about finding out more about yourself; what you value in life, your personality type, learning styles, what jobs might suit you, then marketing yourself by creating a CV and covering letter. The module finishes with an interview with a Careers Adviser. The second module is about getting experiences. These experiences may follow on from the first module or they may be general experiences and can be work experiences, volunteering, positions of responsibility to name a few. Following the completion of these experiences you will have a mock job interview.
For each element of the two modules you need to record your experiences and thoughts in relation to your career.
Click here to take part in the Swansea Employability Award
You may also like to read case studies from students who have successfully completed the SEA.
Discovery Award (Pathways)
The awards gained from volunteering through Discovery are called Pathways. There are 3 levels: Volunteer, Project Coordinator and Trustee. All Swansea University students are eligible for the Pathways award; the level depends on their commitment and involvement with Discovery. All awards will be accredited on the HEAR.
Students are able to get awards for volunteering for 50 hours, 100 hours, or 200 hours in each level. All volunteers must record their hours online, which will be checked and approved by Discovery staff. Volunteering opportunities vary for each level from attending a project, to taking a lead role in projects and the structure of Discovery.
As well as these awards there is also an International Siavonga award for participants and one for the group leader. This can be achieved if the student is selected to visit Zambia for one month to support the Swansea Siavonga partnership. Students will go though an interview process and training put together by Discovery and Swansea University International Office.
In order to achieve Pathways awards students need to sign up online creating a username and password, followed by accessing information at www.myvolunteerpage.com. Students can then start volunteering with Discovery.
Students must attend a compulsorily training session and undertake a Criminal Record Bureau check (having a criminal record does not necessarily prohibit volunteering). When the CRB certificate is retuned students can volunteer on projects supporting disadvantaged people across Swansea and support Discovery's mission.
Discovery aims to establish and develop positive links between its student volunteers and the community around them. It envisages a community where people are treated as equals and are not discriminated or disadvantaged by society, and it aims to enrich the lives of people who face discrimination and disadvantage in Swansea by offering new experiences and opportunities through a broad range of student run projects in the community leading to increased mutual understanding and equality.
The Sustainability Team work to minimise the environmental impact of Swansea University, and engage as many staff and students as possible to help them achieve this!
The Sustainability Award recognises a student’s individual contribution to sustainable development and an improved environment both on and off campus. The Sustainability Award helps to develop the specific knowledge, skills and values that will be required in the green and low carbon jobs sector – one of the most rapidly growing career paths in the UK and locally.
To gain this award students take part in a wide range of voluntary activities and events that will also increase their transferable skills and give them experience of working as part of a team. The activities are across three themed areas:
- Sustainability - Informal Curricula;
- Greener Economy - Employability Skills; and,
- Practical Sustainability.
Students must attend a compulsory workshop based around sustainability on and off campus. There are also opportunities to undertake environmental auditor training or to work alongside lecturers and tutors to green departments. Some of the green volunteering activities led by Discovery and the Students Union can also be counted towards the Sustainability Award.
The scheme is open to any student but will be of particular interest to those interested in pursuing a career in ecology, environmental management, geography, energy and engineering. Participation in activities will be recorded and verified by Sustainability Team. The award can be gained over a three year period.
Visit the Sustainability Office’s award pages and visit here to register for the award.
Egypt Centre Award
Do you fancy carrying out a mummification using a ‘dummy mummy’, writing your name in hieroglyphs, or playing an ancient Egyptian game beloved of Tutankhamun? If so volunteering at the Egypt Centre may be for you. The Egypt Centre, Wales’ only museum of Egyptian antiquities, has won several awards for its innovative volunteer programmes. Now our student volunteers can also achieve awards as part of the HEAR programme. We have three levels: bronze, silver and gold, depending on levels of achievement. Volunteers can assist the museum staff in educational roles which mainly consists of helping with school parties and also act as gallery assistants helping general visitors to the galleries. Full training is given.
The Centre is well known for its work in the community, for its hands-on approach to museum education and for its inclusive volunteering programme. This voluntary work is particularly suitable for people who wish to go into heritage or education. For more information on volunteering at the Egypt Centre, including application forms see this web page.
We recognise that employers are increasingly seeking students equipped with international skills. In a fiercely competitive global market it is sometimes difficult to stand out. The Swansea International Award aims to help students to identify specific skills gained through studying abroad, and enables them to present these skills to employers. On completion of the award, students receive a certificate of recognition and details of the award are recorded on students’ electronic Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR.
For details on how to sign up to this award, please continue to check these web pages or contact Shelley Matthews, in the International Development Office.