The Futures Skills Award will help you stand out from the crowd and enhance your future employment prospects. 


The following guides have been designed to give you the support and information you need to successfully complete each stage of the Award.

The award is designed to be flexible, allowing you to choose from the different options available to tailor the award to your needs.  


You will find plenty of extra-curricular activities to develop your skills and experience through our events page on My Career Hub.

However, there are other places where you will find opportunities to develop your skills.


Gain valuable experience, boost your CV and benefit the community through volunteering. There are lots of volunteering opportunities in Manchester and beyond for you to get involved with whilst you study.

Part-time work

Part-time work is a great way to not only earn extra money alongside your studies but also to develop your skills ready for the workplace. 

We advertise hundreds of part-time jobs, internships and work experience opportunities through My Career Hub.

You can also work on-campus in a wide range of roles across the University through Jobs4Students.


Through our online mentoring scheme you can get information and advice to support you with making decisions about your future, as well as make contacts and develop your skills.

Working and studying abroad

Take advantage of the international opportunities available to you whilst you are at University by working abroad or studying abroad‌. This can enhance your employability as well as give you the chance to travel and experience new cultures. 


iDEA is The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. A national project which helps develop and showcase your skills development for the Futures Skills Award.

Through a series of online challenges and events, students can earn career enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and ultimately gain nationally recognised awards to help you stand out from the crowd! 

Developing your international experiences at home

You don’t have to go abroad to gain international experience. Manchester is often referred to as a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures, so it’s possible to ‘internationalise’ yourself right here at home! If you have a real interest in meeting people from other countries and learning about different cultures and traditions, you may be interested in the following opportunities:

Culture Club – Offers you the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world, learn about their country and try out different languages and cuisines. Includes trips out to Manchester and the surrounding area. Keep an eye on the Futures website and My Career Hub for further details.

Conversation Club – Another great opportunity to meet people from other countries, the Conversation Club is a weekly conversation session offering students studying English language preparation courses, prior to starting a degree, the opportunity to build their confidence by practicing their English in an informal setting with native speakers (you). Further details can be found on the events page and My Career Hub.

Manchester International Society

The International Society is an independent, not-for-profit organisation unique to Greater Manchester, aimed at enhancing the experience of international students in the UK and providing them with a friendly welcome. They also offer a number of opportunities for home students to interact with their members, including Language ClassesSchools Projects and volunteering opportunities.

Futures offer free week-long 10 hour courses in 7 different language, usually running in November and early June each year. You can also elect to study a language through UniWide either as part of your course as a 15 or 30 credit unit, or outside your degree as an evening course.

Our Global Citizenship workshop explores the different opinions and debates surrounding global citizenship, how having an understanding of global citizenship can benefit you, and the impact it has on your future and the future of those around you.


EdLab is a student enrichment and employability project which aims to develop innovative educational provision, practice and possibilities through working on projects in local schools.

Make a Difference

Make a Difference offer students in the faculty of Arts and Humanities a variety of opportunities to get involved in that not only makes a difference to the wider community and environment, but also to yourself.

We believe that ‘your course is more than what you do in the classroom’ and provide opportunities that are both extracurricular and which can feed into any units you may be studying or projects which are a part of your degree of study.

Sign up to become a Make a Difference Ambassador and represent the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and the University as a whole, at public facing and recruitment events, and engage in other activities which support the work of the Make a Difference project and Student Enrichment Officers.

As an Ambassador, you will have the opportunity to work on:

  • Schools Outreach opportunities with local high schools and colleges delivering a variety of projects – ideal if you plan on becoming a teacher! FREE DBS check
  • Community Outreach work with local communities on both paid and voluntary opportunities.
  • Manchester Children’s Book Festival offers opportunities to work on events with authors, publishers and partner organisations all year round.
  • Create your own opportunities and build a social enterprise! Funding available for start-up projects.

To find out more please contact Jobs4Students or read our monthly enrichment newsletter. To receive the newsletter please email is a rich and versatile resource, full of on-line courses and tutorials in a huge variety of subjects, and as an MMU student it is free for you to use and there is no limit to the amount of tutorials you can take.

The topics covered are: 3D & Animation, Music and Audio, Business and Management, Design (including CAD), Education, IT and Software Development, Marketing, Photography, Video and Web.

To access the courses, just follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Click Sign in (top right of the screen)
  • Then choose Sign in through your organisation portal'
  • Enter and click 'Go'
  • You'll be re-directed to the MMU portal where you need just log in with your usual student ID and password
  • Bingo, you now have a world of on-line learning at your feet

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do for my activity?

It is up to you what activity you undertake for the Award, and there are no set number of hours you need to complete. What you should do is undertake activity which develops the skills you have chosen to focus on.

You may decide to undertake a range of the extra-curricular activities we offer throughout the University or you may want to link in with work you are already doing (or have done whilst studying) such as your part-time job, volunteering, studying abroad, work experience and roles in the Students' Union such as being a Course Rep or a Society or Club Member. 

Anything you do which gives you relevant experience and develops your skills can be used for the Award, so it's a great way to get recognition for the things you do.

Remember, the more you do the more examples you'll have to draw on and the more you'll stand out from the crowd!


How many hours of activity do I need to complete?

You are not required to complete a set number of hours. Instead, the activity you use for the award should demonstrate the skills you wish to develop. However the more you do, the more examples you will have to draw upon in your reflection and future job applications, and the more you’ll open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences.

What are you looking for when you review my LinkedIn profile?

We want your LinkedIn profile to cover the key things employers expect to see, to ensure you make the right first impression. Use the documents at the top of this page to understand exactly what we are looking for when we assess your LinkedIn submission.

What do I need to do for the reflective submission?

See our guide above for all you need to know on the reflective submission.

You’ll also find information on how to reflect on your skills and experience in our resources and useful links section.

When is the deadline for completing the award in 2019/20?

The deadline for your submission is 30 April 2020; however, you can submit your final submission at any point before then. We encourage you to submit early as this will give you an opportunity to resubmit if necessary.

If you are an exchange student who is at the University for one term, please submit by 1 December 2019.

What happens if I don’t pass the LinkedIn submission or reflection?

Not passing a stage isn’t an indication of failure. Simply going through the process will help you get used to understanding and talking about your skills.

Should you not pass on your first attempt you will be provided with feedback and invited to re-submit. However before you do this we would encourage you to seek support by either attending careers workshops or talking to your Personal Tutor, Student Experience/Programme Support Tutor, or a member of the Careers & Employability Team.

Is there a certain time frame I need to complete the award in?

It is up to you at which stage in your university journey you decide to complete the award, but we would encourage you to start thinking about the skills you need to develop and undertaking activity to develop these skills as soon as possible. It’s never too early!

When and how will I receive my award?

There will be a celebration event at the end of the summer term for all students who have achieved an award in the current academic year. You will receive a certificate in an electronic format which you will be able to print or save for your records.

How do I find opportunities to develop my skills?

Our website and My Career Hub is your first stop to finding extra-curricular activities, and there are literally hundreds of opportunities for you to discover from short courses, workshops and events, to volunteering, challenges and competitions.

You’ll also find links in our resources and useful links section to other sites where you will find further opportunities such as studying abroad, summer internships, MetMUnch, iDEA, Ed Lab Projects and more volunteering!

When do activities run?

Activities run at all times throughout the academic year, with some workshops focusing on Wednesday afternoons. A number of events are also delivered at the end of summer term after exams have finished.

I am interested in studying or working abroad to gain some international experience, where can I find more information?

There are a large number of opportunities available to study or work abroad, and you will find further information on the working abroad page of our website.

Get in touch

For initial enquiries, contact us or speak to one of our advisers in your Faculty Careers Team.

If you are a member of staff and have any queries, or are interested in running a workshop for students, please contact the Futures team via