Female student with a backpack and holding books in the park

About the DCU Engage Student Award

 Your university journey is about more than getting a degree.


At DCU, there are lots of opportunities to develop valuable skills for life, outside of your course curriculum. That’s why the DCU Engage Student Award was created - to recognise and reward student extracurricular engagement and achievement.

Our award is endorsed by IBEC & is recognised by Ireland’s top employers. It allows graduates to highlight the additional skills that they have developed at University and is a great way to enhance your CV!

There are 3 levels of the award – Bronze, Silver & Gold (Uaneen). You can start at any level but we recommend starting at Bronze & building towards the final award.


Bronze engage awardSilver Engage AwardGold Award Icon



Overview of the Bronze Award:

Registration will open in October 2022 - email engageaward@dcu.ie to sign up!

The prestigious DCU Engage Student Award provides our students with a recognised pathway for developing skills for university and career success.

The Bronze Award encourages incoming students to develop the key skills required for a successful transition to university. These skills have been updated to reflect the particular needs of our students this year and include digital learning, resilience, goal-setting, connecting and belonging, motivation and well-being.

The Bronze Award consists of 3 core programmes – Discover DCU, Digital Edge and Pathways to Success, which, when combined, will give you the academic and life skills to kick-start your university journey. 

Students who complete these 3 core programmes will each receive the Bronze Engage award, as recognition of their efforts in developing these key transition skills.

See your guide to completing the award below.


Step by Step Guide to Completing the Bronze Engage Student Award
  • Register for the award here 
  • Create a Bronze Award portfolio on Loop Reflect. Your certificates and badges should be uploaded to this portfolio. See the 'Your Engage Portfolio' webpage section for more details.
  • Complete the Discover DCU programme and upload your two badges to your Loop Reflect portfolio - i.e. your Discover Stage 1 (orientation) badge your Discover stage 2 (study skills) badge. Please note that in order to receive your study skills badge you must complete the four essential courses.
  • Complete the online Pathways to Success Programme (all 4 sessions) and upload this certificate of completion to your portfolio. You will find upcoming programme dates & the link to register for the programme on the MyDCU events calendar.
  • Complete the Digital Edge Programme and upload the certificate to your portfolio.
  • Submit your Bronze portfolio on Loop for grading before April 20th 2022. You may submit your portfolio whenever it is fully complete (i.e. when the required certificate and badges are uploaded). 


Please note: Portfolios can be submitted until April 20th 2022 via the Engage Award Homepage on Loop.

You will find step-by-step guides on how to create, update and submit your portfolio on this webpage, under the tab 'Your Engage Portfolio'

For more information please email engageaward@dcu.ie.



Overview of the Silver Award:

The DCU Silver Engage Student Award, aimed at second year, third year and postgraduate students (not final years), encourages the development of practical career-planning skills, in addition to the 21st century skills valued by employers, such as communication, critical thinking and leadership. 

The Silver Award consists of 3 core elements – the Career Interest Inventory Assessment, the Career and Workplace Skills Series and the Graduate Attributes reflective essay - which combined will give you the edge when it comes to finding and landing the perfect job for you.

Students who complete these 3 core programmes will each receive the Silver Engage award, as recognition of their efforts in developing these key carer

See your guide to completing the award below.


Steps to achieving the Silver award



Step by Step Guide to Completing the DCU Engage Silver Student Award
  • Register for the award here .
  • Create a Silver learning portfolio on Loop Reflect. Your certificates and documents should be uploaded to this portfolio. See the 'Your Engage Portfolio' webpage section for details.
  • Complete the Career Interest Inventory Assessment. You will need to log in to the Profiling for Success website to access this assessment. Once you have completed the assessment, you will need to upload page one of your assessment report (the page with your name on it) to your portfolio.


  • Complete the online Career and Workplace Skills Series. Participants who attend 5 skills sessions (including the mandatory 'Introduction to the DCU Graduate Attributes session) will receive a certificate of completion. You will need to upload this certificate to your portfolio.   



  • Get involved in extracurricular activities that will help you to develop two DCU graduate attributes of your choice - please see this page for a list of suggested activities for each attribute.
  • Complete the 1000 word reflective assessment form (download the form from here), outlining how you proactively developed your chosen graduate attributes through these activities over the year. Upload the completed reflective essay form to your loop portfolio.
  • Submit your Silver learning portfolio on Loop for grading before April 20th 2022. You may submit your portfolio whenever it is fully complete.

All registered participants will receive information on the submitting process in due course via email.



The final level of your award is the Uaneen Award, the gold standard in commitment to extra-curricular activity and engagement. This level is for final year students only.

Some students can take this as an integrated part of their studies, others will take it in addition to their studies – either way, it is testament to your commitment to reaching your full potential and enhancing your community.

More information about the Gold (Uaneen) award can be found here.

To register for the DCU Engage Bronze or Silver Award click here.


What happens after I register?

After submitting the registration form online, you will receive an email confirming your registration. You will then be added to the Engage Award email list, through which you will receive regular information and updates to support you in completing the award. 


If you have a query re registration please email engageaward@dcu.ie.


What is an Engage Portfolio?

As part of the DCU Engage Award, you are required to submit a portfolio via Loop, documenting your engagement with the programme. The submission deadline for this portfolio is April 2022.

There is a different portflio template for the Bronze and Silver awards - please see a link to each template below, as well as guides for creating your portfolio at each level. 

After making a copy of the relevant template (to create your own individual portfolio), you will need to upload the required documents/files for your award level.

For example Bronze Engage Award participants will need to make a copy of the Bronze award portfolio template and then upload your certificates/badges for Discover DCU, Digital Edge and Pathways to Success).

In the case of Silver Engage Award participants, you will need to make a copy of the Silver Award portfolio template and then upload the documents required for your level (The first page of your Careers Interest Inventory Assessment report, your Career and Workplace Skills Series certificate and your completed 1000 word reflective essay template on how you developed your two chosen Graduate Attributes).

For more information on each award level see the webpage sections above.

Completed portfolios will then need to be submitted via the Engage Award homepage on Loop for final grading.

Those who have submitted all the required documents for their level will receive the award.


Please note that Engage portfolio submissions are not currently open. More information on submitting your completed portfolio will be issued to registered participants via email once submissions open.


How Do I Create My Portfolio?

To create your Engage portfolio, you will first need to make your own copy of the Engage portfolio template (either the Bronze or Silver template depending on your award level), save this copy under your own name and then upload the required badges and certificates. This will form your Engage portfolio.

Please see the links to the Bronze and Silver portfolio templates below, along with step by step instructions on how to create and complete your portfolio at each level.

Please ensure that you choose the correct template for your award level as the templates for Bronze and Silver are different.


Portfolio Template Link - Bronze Engage Award: 



See step-by-step guides to completing and submitting your Bronze portfolio:
Portfolio Template Link - Silver Engage Award:



See step-by-step guides to completing and submitting your Silver portfolio:

In order to achieve the Silver Engage Award, participants will need to get involved in extracurricular activities which will support them to develop two DCU Graduate Attributes of their choice.


See a list of suggested extracurricular activities to develop your chosen graduate attributes here.

Bronze Award

"Participating in the DCU Bronze Engage Award gave me the confidence and motivation to break out of my comfort zone." 

DCU Bronze Award Participant (2020)


The DCU Engage Student Award has been a great way to get involved in university as a first year. 

DCU Bronze Award Participant (2020)


Silver Award

“I found the DCU Silver Engage Award very useful in acquiring new skills that will benefit me in my future career. I took part in workshops and activities that improved my communication, writing and leadership skills. 

DCU Silver Award Participant (2020)


“Doing the Engage Award was a great way to learn new skills, improve old ones and be ready for whatever comes in front of me, being exams, careers and life.

DCU Silver Award Participant (2020)



General Award queries (all levels)


Why should I do this award?

Participating in the DCU Engage Student Award will enable you to develop valuable skills that will enhance your life and boost your future career opportunities.

Our Award is endorsed by IBEC & is recognised by Ireland’s top employers, so it will make your CV stand out from the crowd!

Sign up today and invest in future you!


What will I need to do to complete the award?

See the process for completing each level of the DCU Engage Student Award above.


Who is eligible to apply?

All incoming students can register for the Bronze Award. All second and third (but not final) year students can register for the Silver Award. All final year students can register for the Gold (Uaneen) Award.


How do I register for the award?

Register here for the Bronze Award (incoming students) and Silver Award (second and third Years). 

For information on applying for the Gold (Uaneen) Award for final years see here.


How do I know if I am registered for the award?

When you submit your registration form online (on dcu.ie/engage-register) you will get a confirmation message confirming your registration. 

I've registered for the wrong award level - what should I do?

If you have registered for the wrong award level and want to change this, please email engageaward@dcu.ie and explain which level you would like to be registered for instead.

If you have any questions please email engageward@dcu.ie (Bronze and Silver award participants) or uaneen@dcu.ie (Gold award participants).


How do I create my Engage Portfolio? What should this portfolio contain?

For more information on the Engage Award portfolio see the 'Your Engage Portfolio' section of this webpage. 

Here you will find the template link for creating your portfolio (a link for Bronze and a link for Silver), as well as step-by-step guides on creating yoir portfolio and adding content to your portfolio.

Please note that there are different portfolio templates for each level, so be sure to check that the template is the correct one for your level.


How do I submit my portfolio when it's complete?

Your completed Engage portfolio should be submitted for grading on the Engage Award homepage on Loop.

Registered participants will receive further information on the submission process via email.


Bronze Award Queries


How do I sign up for the Pathways to Success programme?

You can see dates for upcoming Pathways programmes on the workshops and events calendar on MyDCU.

To register for the Pathways to Success programme, please click on the event link in this calendar. 

If you are unable to register this way for any reason, please email student.support@dcu.ie.


How do I complete the Digital Edge Programme?

Click here to complete the Digital Edge Programme.


I have a query relating to my Discover DCU badges - who can I contact?

If you have a query about the Discover DCU programme please log on to MyDCU on Loop and type your question in the chatbox. 


Silver Award Queries 

What are the DCU Graduate Attributes?

See here for a list of the DCU Graduate Attributes and a description for each one.


For the Silver award, it says that I am required to get involved in extracurricular activities which will help me to develop two of the DCU Graduate Attributes. What kind of activies count for this?

To see a list of suggested extracurricular activities that will help you to develop the DCU Graduate Attributes see here


Where can I get more information on the Career and Workplace Skills Series?

Visit this page for more information on the Career and Workplace Skills sessions.



Contact us:


For Bronze and Silver level queries please email engageaward@dcu.ie.

For Gold (Uaneen Award) queries please contact uaneen@dcu.ie.


A collaboration between Student Support and Development and the Office of Student Life.