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UCD Advantage Award Support

Here is some information and advice to help you make a great UCD Advantage Award application!


  • Effective reflection is the key to a successful Advantage Award application. We don’t just want you to describe what you did, we want you to reflect on how you have grown and developed as a result of your co-curricular engagement.
  • When reflecting on your activities you need to show us how each one demonstrates engagement with your selected award theme.
  • Provide concrete examples, not general comments. Use the STAR technique that you learn about in the Advantage Award induction session.
  • Just like in your CV, you need to use verbs that illustrate what you did (planned, organised, analysed, designed etc.) and where possible, quantify achievements (e.g. I led a team of 10 fellow students, I raised €4000 in funding or I increased society membership by 30% etc.).

Demonstrating Engagement with the UCD Advantage Award Themes

The UCD Advantage Award is based on four key themes, aligned with UCD’s strategic objectives and reflective of UCD’s values. The themes also take into account the skills and attributes required for success in the graduate employment market. Below you will find some information on the themes and guidance on how you might demonstrate engagement with each one.

Theme 1: Personal and Professional Development

This theme reflects the role that co-curricular activities play in a student’s development of the skills and attributes required to flourish at and beyond university, for example self-awareness, emotional intelligence, leadership, teamwork, communication etc. Graduate employers seek students who have sought opportunities to develop themselves and demonstrate the skills required for success in the workplace.

Theme 2: UCD and the Wider Community

This theme reflects the role that co-curricular activity can play in enabling students to engage with the UCD community and beyond, with a view to fostering a sense of inclusion and also encouraging students to contribute to the development of their communities. This could be through voluntary work or taking on peer support roles (e.g. Class Rep., Peer Mentor, Residences Assistant, Access Leader, Orientation Guide etc.). This theme addresses two of UCD’s strategic objectives:

• Objective 6: Build our engagement locally, nationally and internationally
• Objective 7: Develop and strengthen our University community.

Theme 3: Cultural Engagement

This theme is about engaging with local, national and international culture. It aligns with the value that UCD places on diversity and links to UCD’s major strategic initiative “Engaging Globally”. It incorporates the activities that students engage in that give them an insight into other cultures and perspectives, for example volunteering overseas, learning a language or contributing to events that promote diversity and inclusion.

Theme 4: Health & Well-being

UCD has a proud sporting heritage and as a university competes across a wide range of disciplines at national and international level. This theme addresses the many pursuits that students engage in that contribute toward physical and mental well-being. This could range from involvement in one of UCD’s many sports clubs, contributing to campaigns aimed at improving mental health or participating in UCD’s Green Campus initiative.

Signing up for the UCD Advantage Award encouraged me to participate more in UCD events. Along the way, I picked up different skills which were useful at group work and I then had stories to use at an interview.

Click to access our 

UCD Advantage Award Support Guide!