The Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award
The DofE is a challenging and rewarding programme of personal development from beginning to end that helps to develop young people for life and work. The DofE is all about going the extra mile – gaining new skills, pushing yourself physically, helping others and exploring new territories. At the same time, you’ll gather friendships, experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The main differences between them are the minimum length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age you can start.
- Bronze – for those aged 14+ years
- Silver – for those aged 15+ years
- Gold – for those aged 16+ years
Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can be fitted in around academic study, hobbies and social lives. Development and regular progress must be shown and all activities must be completed by your 25th birthday.
- Volunteering section: 3 months
- Physical section: 3 months
- Skills section: 3 months
- Expedition section: 2 days/1 night
- You also have to do 3 more months in one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections
- Volunteering section: 6 months
- Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
- Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights
- If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections
- Volunteering section: 12 months
- Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
- Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
- Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
- If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections
Please note that in order for you to attend an expedition, you are required to participate in the following:
- A training session, requiring an overnight stay – essential to learn the skills required for the expedition; e.g. camping, cooking, orienteering, map reading, teamwork and route-planning
- Two day practice expedition, requiring an overnight stay
- Two day qualifying expedition, requiring an overnight stay
We currently offer Bronze and Silver sections. Many of the sections required can be undertaken during club/directed study sessions, weekends and after-college clubs.
There is an initial charge of £19 for registering with DofE. Other costs include expedition costs, camping equipment, clothing and boots. Funding may be available to cover these costs for any learner experiencing financial hardship.
From volunteering to physical activities, life skills to expeditions, achieving a DofE Award is a passport to a brighter future, valued by employers and universities.
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What the students say
I really enjoy my course because it offers me a good mix of theory and practical – it has also allowed me to experience new sports that I have never played before.
Conrad - 17