What are Edinburgh Awards?


Edinburgh Awards recognise students who have made an outstanding commitment to their chosen activity and are run by multiple departments at the University at various times throughout the year.


All students who obtain an Edinburgh Award will have it registered on their Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) transcript.


Please note that if you are doing multiple strands of the Edinburgh Award, you will need to complete the necessary requirements for each individual one in order to receive the Edinburgh Award - all Edinburgh Awards operate slightly differently. Please contact the Edinburgh Award Central Team for more information.

Edinburgh Award for Volunteering


The Edinburgh Award for Volunteering is offered and administered by the Volunteering Service and runs from October to March. 


The Edinburgh Award for Volunteering is open to all students. The Award is entirely focused on and centred around volunteering activities which take place in the UK.


The Award recognises the difference students make to their chosen cause or community through their voluntary activity. It also encourages students to reflect critically on the skills they have developed and the experience they have gained.


Click here to find out which volunteering activities count towards the award.



The Edinburgh Award for Volunteering encourages you to engage in a voluntary activity. Therefore, the main focus of the Edinburgh Award for Volunteering is for you to find a volunteering opportunity (or multiple opportunities) through which you can complete and log a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering within the start and end date of the intake of the award you are on.


For example, if you are enrolled on the Summer intake, you have to complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteering between June and September


If you volunteer above 50 hours and achieve a milestone ( e.g. 100, 150, 200 hours etc), you will have this noted on your Edinburgh Award certificate


The Edinburgh Award for Volunteering also focuses on improving your ability to reflect upon your development and the impact you have made through your volunteering.


To do this, at the start of the award, you will be asked to identify and select a number of skills which you would like to improve upon. You will then reflect upon how you have developed and improved these skills at both the middle and the end of the award.

One Year Structure


The Edinburgh Award for Volunteering is split into the following three sections, which we refer to as inputs:


Input 1: Aspiring

  • This input challenges you to ask yourself what you hope to achieve in your volunteering role or through your volunteering activities? How would you like to develop personally and professionally throughout the process of the award?
  • To do this, you will identify the skills you want to develop and the goals you want to achieve over the course of the award, search for two e-learning courses on LinkedIn Learning which will help you develop these skills, familiarise yourself with the hours logging process in the Volunteering Hub. Don't forget to start logging your hours once you have started volunteering!


Input 2: Development

  • This input asks what impact you have achieved so far and challenges you to ask yourself how you could increase this?
  • To do this, you will complete a personal reflection of your activities so far and you will participate in a Careers Workshop to help enhance your employability through the award. You should aim to have completed and logged 25 hours of volunteering by the end of this input.


Input 3: Owning Your Development

  • This input asks you what have you learnt and gained from your role, and what impact have you made to the organisation or cause you volunteer for and other beneficiaries?
  • To do this, you will complete a final personal reflection on the development of your chosen skills and you will complete both e-learning courses you identified earlier on Lynda.com. You must have completed and logged at least 50 hours of volunteering by the end of this input to successfully complete the award and have this award recognised on your HEAR transcript.


Registrations for 2019/20 have closed. Registrations for 2020/21 will open soon.


Please note that the Edinburgh Award for Volunteering only recognises volunteering which is carried out in the UK. If you are volunteering abroad over the summer and would like to complete an Edinburgh Award for this, you should sign up for the Edinburgh Award for International Volunteering.


If you have any questions about the Edinburgh Award for Volunteering, please contact us at ActivitiesEdAward@eusa.ed.ac.uk.