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Service and Leadership Award & Duke of Edinburgh

Volunteering and personal development can seriously enhance your employability. We've got two great ways for you to get involved.

Service and Leadership Award 

Our Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is a way to recognise your extra-curricular activities, give something back to the community and enhance your employability.

You can complete the SALA alongside your degree, you could do it all in one year or spread it across three - as long as it's finished before you graduate. You'll develop skills and abilities that you can use in your future career and completing the award whilst your at university demonstrates that you are committed, determined and versatile.

Our Service and Leadership Award consists of three elements:


You'll need to do a minimum of 80 hours across two different projects. You can arrange your own volunteering or speak to our Careers & Employability Team who will help you find a local voluntary organisation. If you'd like to combine travel and SALA you can opt to volunteer abroad on our Global Hope programme.

Personal development

Constantly developing and gaining skills is what sets leaders apart from the crowd. The Core Talks and Skills Development modules will help you achieve practical skills that are valued by employers. The best part is you can choose the skills and development topics yourself, meaning it's tailored towards your leadership and career goals.

Reflective portfolio

This is the final task to gain your award and is a chance to reflect on and share your experience. Your final portfolio can be anything from a video diary to an essay.

If you're completing the Service and Leadership Award, keep an eye out on the Events page on My Careers Centre for all the latest training and workshop dates.

You can manage everything SALA related from My Careers Centre, just head to the Task Manager to see the guidance for all of the modules, plus you can upload evidence and add notes.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award 


Liverpool Hope University is the only university in Merseyside offering the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. If you don't have a DofE Silver award you can still go for Gold, you'll just need to spend longer completing two of the volunteering, physical or skills section but you can choose which ones.

There are 5 elements to the Gold award: 

  • Volunteering 
  • Physical 
  • Skill 
  • Expedition
  • Residential

The longest you'll spend on a section is 18 months, this is why we're encouraging students to sign up in their first year so they have plenty of time to complete the award before they leave after graduation. You must also complete the award before your 25th birthday so you must start at least 18 months before that. 

We are currently working with the team at Plas Caerdeon, our outdoors centre, to create a suitable expedition for Gold candidates. 

The residential section is unique to the Gold award, this is a 5 day/4 night experience away from home. We have links to a number of organisations who provide these so can help students source an opportunity. 

The upfront cost for the award is a sign up fee of £29 for registration and administration of the award which goes solely to The Duke of Edinburgh Award. There will be additional costs depending on the activities you choose to participate in.  

For more information the award you can email us at dukeofed@hope.ac.uk or visit the DofE website.

Volunteering placements

Already got your volunteering sorted? Great!

In order for us to approve your volunteering hours we need to have the organisation registered as partner with SALA. You can help to speed things up by emailing SALA@hope.ac.uk with a name and email address for your supervisor/line manager at the organisation. Once we've registered an organisation other students can volunteer there as well, so you're not only helping connect volunteers to the organisation, you're connecting other students too!

If you need help securing a volunteering placement you can head to the Volunteering Opportunities page or drop into the Employability Hub for a chat with one of the team.