The Chester Difference Award (CDA) is the University’s skills award. It’s open to all students and recent graduates at the University of Chester and the Award is designed to provide recognition for your involvement in extra-curricular activities and help you develop techniques to talk about your skills and experience with future employers and others.

You can develop a tailored programme to:

  • explore your ideas about future jobs and careers
  • articulate your skills
  • understand the hiring process
  • develop your enterprise
  • build your professional network by making new connections.

The Award is flexible to your interests and commitments. You can complete it in your own timeframe within the full length of your studies or you have up to two years after you graduate to achieve the CDA. You can add activities including paid work, volunteering, involvement in clubs and societies, being a Student Experience Rep and more.

How does it work?

  • Register on CareerHub – click here
  • Add activities to your personalised progress page
  • Identify skills you have developed and answer questions to complete the sections
  • Complete one or more level of the CDA
  • Get your certificate and promote your achievement

There are three levels of the CDA that you can work towards:

  • The Chester Difference Award (CDA) – Complete two sections
  • The Chester Difference Award Plus Award (CDPA) – Complete four sections
  • The Chester Difference Excellence Award (CDEA) – Complete six sections

How will the CDA benefit me?

The Award provides you with valuable experience and skills which you can add to your CV to make you stand out from the crowd. The great thing about the CDA is that a lot of the activities that you might already be doing outside of your course can count towards the Award.

The CDA can also help you to develop key skills in a number of areas which are essential to every job, including communication skills, networking, organisation, entrepreneurial thinking and digital skills. It also provides you with valuable career advice and can help you to understand how you can make your skills and experience relevant to your career – and how you can effectively communicate these skills to potential employers.

“The Award highlights and acknowledges what you can do to gain experience. The career advice available that adds towards the Award is incredibly helpful in the understanding of your skills and their application in job roles.”

CDA Award recipient

Do employers value the CDA?

In a word, yes! We’ve had great feedback from a range of employers regarding the Award – and some of our students and graduates have also received great feedback when they have talked about their experience with the Award in job interviews.

“The Chester Difference Award is an excellent initiative, encouraging students to broaden their life skills through extra-curricular activities and experiences. This Award encourages young people to build their current skillset and will support them as they progress to the next step of their career. We look forward to seeing the participants develop and thrive.”

Michael Jones, Head of Talent Acquisition at Bank of America EMEA

“I spoke about the Award in a recent job interview and they were really impressed by the fact that all my extra-curricular activities had gained recognition from the University through this award scheme.”

CDEA Award recipient

Click here to register on CareerHub and start your CDA journey

Posted in Support and Opportunities