Careers Service

Ncl+ Award

The ncl+ Award


Being at University is so much more than your course; it’s also about being part of something, making friends, playing sports, volunteering and learning from new experiences. These extra-curricular activities and the skills you develop through them help make you more employable.

*The ncl+ Award is closed for registrations for the 2019/20 academic year. Register your interest for the 2020/21 award now.*

The ncl+ Award is a way for you to demonstrate these skills to employers. If you're an undergraduate student, you can also gain recognition and credit on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) for the time and effort you put in to extra-curricular activities. Whether it’s clubs and societies, volunteering, part time work or an international experience – if you are doing something outside of your course, the ncl+ Award is perfect for you!

Why should I do the ncl+ Award?

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd. They value skills such as:

  • personal enterprise
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • self awareness and reflection
  • planning and organising

You may already be developing these as part of your extra-curricular activities. Through the ncl+ Award, you can reflect on your skills and articulate these when making applications. 

The ncl+ Award team will provide support throughout the year to help you make the most of your achievements and skills beyond university.

At the Newcastle campus, being part of the ncl+ Award also gives you access to exclusive opportunities: attend bespoke workshops, meet employers and take part in additional awards such as our ncl+ Advanced Awards, delivered in partnership with external organisations, including the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Once you have successfully completed the Award, you’ll be sent your ncl+ Award e-certificate and receive an electronic ‘badge’ to display on your LinkedIn Profile. 

Find out more about what's involved in the ncl+ Award.

What's involved?

The ncl+ Award is all about undertaking activities and reflecting on them.

To achieve the ncl+ Award, you will need to:

  • register for the award on ePortfolio
  • complete 50 hours of extra-curricular activity
  • attend both ncl+ Award workshops
  • upload a reflective journal entry via Blackboard after attending workshop 1
  • submit an activity log, via Blackboard, showing how you spent your 50 hours of extra-curricular activity, giving evidence of learning and achievement and showing how you applied your skills
  • complete answers to three competency-based questions, demonstrating what you have gained from your experiences. There will be a number of competency questions to pick from, each with a limit of 300 words and you will submit your answers via Blackboard. If you're based at the Newcastle campus, you can also choose to be assessed through a group practice interview workshop with employers. We will contact you later in the year to arrange this.


Your 50 hours of activity must be completed between the start of the academic year in September and the end of March (if you are on the GEO programme this does not apply to you). Activities completed before or after these dates will not count towards the Award. This means that some activities, such as summer placements and exchange programmes, cannot count. 

Activities that count towards the Award

Activities can include almost everything you do outside of your degree, including part-time jobs, volunteering, club and society roles, student representation, entrepreneurial activities and team sports. Other activities, eg attending society events and socials, Give it a Go, individual sport, fitness or other social activities should only be included if you have taken an active role and developed your graduate skills. If you're not sure whether your activities qualify for the ncl+ Award, contact us.

Although you can complete the Award with just one type of activity, try to take part in more to develop a range of skills in different settings. Taking part in different activities will help you reflect on skills gained from a range of experiences and will help you to complete the competency-based questions used to assess the Award. Employers also prefer it when candidates demonstrate their skills by reflecting on a range of different activities.

If you're undertaking the Career Development Module, any hours you do after the required 70 hours can be used towards the ncl+ Award.

Finding activities

If you need advice on finding suitable extra-curricular activities, the Careers Service can help. Have a look through our website, eg Internships, placements and shadowing and Volunteering, or visit us to speak to an information adviser.

The Students' Union website also lists lots of opportunities you could get involved with.


There are two compulsory hour-long workshops for the ncl+ Award. These will be offered at various times throughout the Award period. 

You can book on to the workshops through ePortfolio. Need to amend a booking? Log into ePortfolio, unbook and choose a different workshop date.

If you are a GEO student or a student based in London, Singapore or Malaysia, you may have different workshop dates. Contact the ncl+ Award team for more information.

If you can't attend both workshops, unfortunately you won't be able to complete the ncl+ Award this year. The Award is open to students of all stages, so you may be able to complete it next year instead.

Submission and assessment

Once you've completed your 50 hours of activity and attended the two workshops, you must submit your activity log and three competency-based questions via Blackboard.

The submission deadline for 2019/20 was 2 April 2020.

The ncl+ Award team will let you know whether you have achieved the ncl+ Award. If you’ve passed, you’ll be sent an ncl+ award e-certificate. You will also receive an electronic 'badge' to display on your LinkedIn profile - see instructions for adding this. Undergraduate students will have the Award recorded on your HEAR report. 

If you haven't passed the Award, you will receive feedback and will be encouraged to visit the Careers Service for additional support. You may be allowed to re-submit your answers once, if they fail to meet this standard and we will provide details of this at the time.

Although you don't gain academic credit for participation in the ncl+ Award, your activities are assessed and you must attend the workshops and reach the required standard in your competency answers to achieve the Award. Please see ncl+ Award Blackboard Community for further details.

If you fail to attend a workshop or submit work for assessment by the deadline due to a personal extenuating circumstance, you must make an appeal to the ncl+ Award team.

Ready to get started? All you need to do is register.

How to register

*The ncl+ Award is closed for registrations for the 2019/20 academic year. Register your interest for the 2020/21 award now.*

To register, go to the ncl+ Award registration form and login with your usual Newcastle login and password. You will need to provide your personal details and also tell us what activities you are planning to carry out to gain the Award.

Once registered, you will have access to the ncl+ Award ePortfolio site, indicated by the ncl+ logo. It can take up to 24 hours to appear on your ePortfolio home page.

If you would like to sign up for the Award, but don't yet know which activities you'll be doing, fill in the personal details part of the registration, click 'save and submit' and sign up to attend Workshop 1 to make sure you get a place on this year's Award. You can then go on to ePortfolio and update/edit your profile with the activities you've chosen.

Problems accessing ePortfolio or Blackboard?

If you have problems accessing ePortfolio or Blackboard, please contact the IT Helpdesk at


All currently enrolled Newcastle University students are eligible to register for the ncl+ Award, within the registration deadline.

ncl+ Advanced Awards

If you have already completed or are completing the ncl+ Award this year in Newcastle, our Advanced Awards will help you push yourself further, gain valuable skills and knowledge and build key contacts which could help your future career.

There are four Advanced Awards for 2019-20 - click below to find out more about what each involves and how to apply.

Applications for the Advanced Awards are now closed and will reopen at the start of the next academic year. 

Contact us

We're always happy to answer your questions. Get in touch using the contacts listed below.

General enquiries

To contact the ncl+ Award team, please email

You can expect a response within a maximum of 5 working days; alternatively call into the Careers Service and speak to a careers consultant or information adviser.

ncl+ Award Workshops

For more information or for queries about the ncl+ Award workshops, please contact:


London: Lauren O'Shea 

Singapore: Wu Xiuqui

Malaysia: Roshan Mascarenhas