The Undergraduate Awards




Cited as the ultimate champion for high-potential undergraduates, The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest academic awards programme. It is uniquely pan-discipline, identifying leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework.

The Undergraduate Awards provides top performing students with the support, network and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their career paths, as well as coming to Dublin for an all-expenses-paid trip to receive their medal.

The UA programme is divided into seven regions: Africa & the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Ireland, Latin America, Oceania and US & Canada.

Our Mission is to inspire generations of future graduates by supporting and celebrating their ideas.

Our Vision is a culture of excellence through which graduates create, advance, and realise world-class ideas.

Our Values: Innovation, Collaboration, Ambition, Impartiality, Inclusiveness, Efficiency


All Global Winners are published in The Undergraduate Journal, which is circulated internationally. Winners and Highly Commended Entrants are also invited to the four-day UA Global Summit in Dublin, Ireland where they will have the opportunity to mix with a truly international group of similarly minded, high-potential scholars.

  • Gold Medal & Certificate
  • Published in The Undergraduate Journal
  • All expenses paid to the UA Global Summit
  • Membership of the UA Alumni Network

Eligibility criteria

The current Undergraduate Awards programme is open to all candidates who are undergraduate students in their penultimate and final year, in a degree course, as well as previous year graduates, from all disciplines.

By Undergraduate, we refer to the students’ university degree, usually referred to as a level 8 degree/bachelor‘s degree (either three or four years in duration). However, UA also accepts coursework from students of five year degrees where relevant incl. medical students, law and architecture.

Part-time students who are studying an undergraduate degree may also take part in UA, on the basis that they have completed two-thirds of their course.

Selection criteria

Entrants are chosen for their innovative approach to their subject area – creating world-class research to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges. Each participant can submit up to three pieces of research or project work.

Across the 25 categories, the judging panels will focus on the following qualities in each paper/project in addition to assessing the 100-300 word abstract that must accompany each entry.


The extent to which the essay preserves clear and consistent focus on key concepts/terms.

Strength of argument

The ability to present a balanced, logical, well-developed argument and to reach a considered personal conclusion.

Use of evidence

The degree of knowledge and use of primary sources.

Communication and presentation

The ability to clearly communicate appropriate knowledge, understanding and insight, using appropriate terminology and fluent, accurate expression.


The extent and quality of engagement with secondary sources.


The degree of originality.

Application Process

The UA Application Form which is available here. Participants submit their coursework, which they have previously submitted to their college for grading.

  1. Candidates can apply with any piece of individual undergraduate coursework which received a II.1 or higher (Distinction or higher, A-grade equivalent) that meets our submission criteria.
  2. Work must be submitted to one of our 25 categories, which cover a variety of fields.
  3. You can register for a place on our programme if you do not have coursework ready to submit just yet. This will ensure a place has been saved for you to submit your paper at a later date. Once registered, feel free to log in to the UA form and submit your paper/papers anytime up until the deadline. Register here for the 2016/17 programme.
  4. Log in to the UA form and complete the process and upload your paper. You can submit coursework from your current year or alternatively from your previous academic year.

Visual Arts & Design

If you are submitting to the Visual Arts & Design category please be aware that photos of your work must be 10MB or smaller. Register for Visual Arts & Design here. Remember to choose the Visual Arts & Design category in the drop down on the submission form to advance to the correct form.

Undergraduate Awards logo


  • International Study or Experience
  • Research Support


  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Health and Medicine
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Journalism and Media
  • National Security
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Public Policy
  • Public Service
  • Social Justice
  • Social Science
  • STEM

Eligible applicants

  • Third-year Undergrads
  • Fourth-year+ Undergrads
  • Undergraduate Alumni

Citizenship status

  • US Citizen
  • US Permanent Resident
  • International Student (non-US citizen)

ASU Nomination required

  • No

For More Information

The Undergraduate Awards