August 27, 2020, by Matthew Lumley

The Nottingham Advantage Award in 2019/20

By Matt Lumley, Nottingham Advantage Award officer

This year was like no other. The pandemic turned the Advantage Award – like the rest of the University – into a virtual experience. Despite this, we are pleased to report that the Award continued to be a success. 

Here are a few things you may have missed along the way. 

You completed your modules and the Award

Through everythingmost of you managed to complete your modules 

We would like to thank our module convenors for their work during these unprecedented times. The majority converted your assessments to being online in order to allow as many of you as possible to finish your modules. 

We are pleased to say that over 2,000 passes were received during the year. So join us in applauding yourselves and our module convenors. 

Around 350 of you also ended up completing the full Award. Unfortunately, you could not join us for our annual Celebration Event. However, we are working hard to get our completer list finalised so we can produce both electronic and printed certificates. Please bear with us and we thank you for your patience. 

We would also like to congratulate and wish all the best to our completers that graduated this year. 

You voted for your Module of the Year 

We received almost 100 nominations from you telling us why your module should be recognised.

In the end we shortlisted six nominees: 

From these student nominations, our Award steering group chose the Social Impact Game as your Module of the Year 2020. 

Here is what they had to say: 

“It was fantastic to see the Social Impact that our student teams had made in the local community with their projects and hear how much the module had helped them to develop. 

We are so pleased that the hard work and dedication of the team and Learning Without Borders has been recognised by winning this award, particularly as this was our first year as a module.  

The advice, guidance and support provided by the Nottingham Advantage Award and Careers teams has been invaluable. I would like to say a massive thank you to the team for helping the Social Impact Game to flourish.” 

The Social Impact Game team

You won prizes

After a slight delay, we managed to organise our annual Advantage Award prize interviews. 

Following the application process, 28 of you were invited to interview. Joined by our employer partners, we recognised students in areas such as personal development, inclusion and work in the community. It was a pleasure interviewing all the candidates.

 Winner – Contribution to the community supported by Teach First 

“The Award has enabled me to develop skills that employers recognise as key to the success of an organisation. This prize has boosted my confidence and encouraged me to further pursue ventures that will have a positive impact on the community.”

Vishnupriya Prathap, Pharmacy, third year

View all the winners on our prize page.

Our prizes are due to return in February. Find out more. 

You learnt how to articulate your experiences

We now have a ‘How to use the Award to your Advantage’ workshop programme. 

For the past few years, we have facilitated a session to help you showcase the Award to employers. This year, we added a new one entitled ‘Overcoming challenges in the workplace’.  

Our sessions were well attended and we will be continuing with the programme in autumn term. This will hopefully include a new workshop – ‘Discovering your Advantage Award strengths’. 

You can book on now to our sessions. 

We recruited your new student representatives

Following interviews in April, we selected our new Award representatives – one for each Faculty plus the postgraduate community. Congratulations to your new representatives below: 

  • Arts – Vivina Sardo 
  • Engineering – Ada Taylor-Pearce 
  • Medicine and Health Sciences – Hollie Hyde 
  • Science – Chinenye Anita Ugwu 
  • Social Sciences – Zahra Sayeed 
  • Postgraduate – Hayfa Sharif 

We would like to thank all your outgoing student representatives for their contributions over the past year. 

We brought you new modules

Over the summer, we actually increased our offering of modules. 

Our team created a new online course – COVID-19 student volunteers. The module has been designed to help any of you that are contributing in response to the coronavirus outbreak 

It was so popular that we have decided to continue the module during both autumn and spring terms next academic year. Applications for the autumn cohort open on 31 August. 

Read here what one of the students thought about completing the module. 

The Nottingham Consultancy Challenge also decided to offer a new virtual experience this summer. With almost 400 students participating, we are hopeful the challenge will return in spring 2021. 

We have been improving our postgraduate offer

We realised it was difficult for postgraduates – especially if you are a one-year Masters student – to fit the Award around your timetable. 

Therefore, after consulting with various University colleagues, we have been piloting an alternative Nottingham Postgraduate Advantage AwardIt provides an opportunity to undertake a more postgraduate-focused scheme, which can fit more easily around your timetable. 

We are due to welcome 27 postgraduates to the final assessment in September. Following this, we will gather their feedback to inform our future rollout of the new scheme. 

What next in 2020/21?

We are still here and our applications for autumn and full year modules open on 31 August.  

Some of our modules have gone on hiatus for the 2020/21 academic year, but most modules will be continuing – many now virtually. 

Anything that is not running should be clearly marked on our Award workspace site. 

You can view our modules here and we will be opening spring applications on 1 November. 

If you are new to the Advantage Award, then you can find out more on our webpage. 

Alternatively, you can book onto one of our information sessions in autumn. 

We look forward to welcoming you back on the scheme in 2020/21.

Contact and Follow us 

You can keep up-to-date on the Nottingham Advantage Award via social media, so please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

Want to speak to one of the Award team then please contact us at  

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