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Exeter Award Help

Exeter Award Help page

Exeter Award Help page

Exeter Award Help page

Exeter Award Help page

Exeter Award Help page

The Handshake landing page for the Exeter Award is the best place to start your Exeter Award. 

You can find out how the Exeter Award works in the Student Guide attached to the above page. The guide has information about the structure, how goals are completed and how long it will take for completion of goals to show in the journey.

If you started the Exeter Award in My Career Zone then this page has further information.

Below are the Exeter Award FAQs.

General Questions

When you graduate, you will be in the company of approximately 280,000 graduates nationally who will also be looking for their ideal graduate role. Employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and who have developed their skills, abilities and work experience – a degree is no longer enough to get you the job you want. The Exeter Award will give you the confidence to stand out and shout about the other experiences you have had at university.

The award is designed to:

  • Give University recognition to undergraduates and taught Masters students at Exeter for the activities you are participating in outside of your degree studies.
  • Enable you to enhance your employability through a range of skills development and other opportunities on and off campus.
  • Demonstrate to employers the skills and attributes that Exeter graduates have.

The Exeter Award provides a structure for continuous professional development. This will allow you to build a skills portfolio which you can continue to build on during your working life.

There is no time constraint for completing The Exeter Award whilst you are a current student. Once you graduate you are no longer eligible.

Don't forget... key skills sessions, The Interview Experience, mock interviews and other training events do not normally run during the vacation period so the last chance you have to complete will be during your final term. However, we strongly advise you to plan ahead and complete your Award in plenty of time before then. Don't leave things until the last minute to complete your Award, we cannot guarantee there will be places available on the events you require.

No, The Exeter Award gives you University recognition for your extra-curricular activities and does not count towards your degree. Completing The Exeter Award will, however, appear on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) as long as you complete it before the end of your studies. For undergraduates then this is usually the end of the Summer term. If Information about the HEAR is available at

 INTO students studying for the International Year One or Graduate Diploma programmes are eligible for the Exeter Award.

The Exeter Award is open to taught postgraduates, but PGCE students would need to ensure they complete all relevant activities before they start their teaching practice.

Work Experience / Volunteering Questions

You can count ANY job or volunteering experience in ANY country, including part time jobs, towards the 35 hrs for your Award providing you worked those hours after starting University.

For more information, please see the Work Experience section of this website.

When you have completed your 35 hours work experience/volunteering placement, go to that goal in Handshake and complete the form.

You do not need any supervisor to sign a form to verify your hours. You will, however, need to give your supervisor’s name for each position you worked/volunteered, and use one of your supervisors as a referee on your Exeter Award application form in your profile.

We will conduct random sampling and follow up a selection of referees each year to verify the hours that students have completed. Any student found not to have completed the stated hours will have their Exeter Award registration suspended pending further investigation.

Yes. If you run your own business you can count the hours spent on running your business towards the Exeter Award, providing the business is actually trading. Please use a University/Student Guild/FXU member of staff as your supervisor/contact person on your Exeter Award work experience form.


Each Journey goal should indicate what is required to complete it. The link from the event goal should take you to a list of events with that label (this is a new feature from 4/10/22).  For Development Stage events you can also visit the Exeter Award landing page for links to events that count for specific goals. 

We monitor event bookings and when it is clear that key Exeter Award  sessions are fully booked, we try and arrange more for that term where possible. Check the events in Handshake regularly to see if any additional sessions have been added, and also make sure you add your name to the waiting list for any fully booked event you are interested in. 


Members of staff may take several days to upload the attendance data depending on their commitments. Please be patient and do not chase any outstanding events on your profile until seven days have passed since the event.

Occasionally errors may occur in the upload process or students may arrive after the attendance marking has taken place. If you receive a false 'non attendance warning' and/or your record is incorrect after seven days following the event, please email us to ask for a correction giving full details of the event

Note that it is your responsibility to ensure your Award profile is up to date and after three months have elapsed we can no longer update attendance records.

Yes. The events will be added to your profile and will remain there whilst you are at University just in case you decide to do the Award(s).

Mock Application

We aim to mark application forms within three weeks. Please do not email us to chase this up until at least three weeks have expired since you submitted it.

Once You've Completed the Award

When you complete your Award your certificate will be added to your Handshake profile about 3 weeks after completion. 

Many Universities offer some kind of employability or extracurricular award and employers are unlikely to be familiar with the precise content of the Exeter Award.

For this reason, on CVs we recommend you briefly spell out what you actually did to achieve your Award, under a section headed, for example, ‘other qualifications’ or ‘achievements’ or ‘Interests and extracurricular activities’.

You could describe the Award as recognition from the University for your extracurricular achievements, and for developing your employability skills through work experience/volunteering plus attendance at a range of skills sessions. Bullet point the components of your Award together with a brief summary of what you gained/learned.

The Exeter Leaders Award focuses on leadership and achievement. Participants must demonstrate their leadership skills for a prolonged period of time in a formal leadership role whilst studying at Exeter. In addition to your leadership role, you must complete and submit an online application form, attend skills sessions and deliver a presentation.

Completing The Exeter Award is a pre-requisite for registering for the Exeter Leaders Award. However, there is nothing to stop you attending Leaders Award activities in readiness – they will then show as completed in your Leaders Award profile when you register.

For more information please visit

You cannot register for the Leaders Award until you have completed your Exeter Award. However, there is nothing to stop you attending Leaders Award activities in readiness – they will be in your Leaders Award Journey when you register.

Check out the Leader’s Award criteria here and this page also has a feed of Leaders Award events that can be booked.  

The components set out above are to be viewed as an indication of the criteria and level of commitment required to complete The Exeter Award and Leaders Award. The University, Students' Guild and Students' Union reserve the right to change this structure in part or full at any point without prior warning.