Directorate for the Student Experience

Frequently asked questions

The fundamentals

  1. What is Stellify?

Stellify is our package of activities that guides students to develop the distinctive attributes of a University of Manchester graduate.

We are distinctive within the UK higher education sector for our commitment to social responsibility. Evidenced in research through our five Research Beacons, we’re also seeking to make it more obvious in our teaching and learning opportunities.

Participating in the activities that are part of Stellify will help students to develop the five attributes of a University of Manchester graduate:

  • Embrace learning without boundaries
  • Understand the issues that matter
  • Make a difference
  • Step up and lead
  • Create your future
  1. What is the Stellify award?

Undergraduates starting after September 2016 will be able to complete our new STELLIFY Award.

More than a simple record of achievements, the Award shows that a student understands what it means to be a Manchester graduate, and is ready to be an ethical leader - wherever they choose to go next.

By completing a specific set of activities throughout their degree (see question 14), a student can gain the STELLIFY Award upon graduating from the University.

  1. What is involved?

Stellify is all about doing things; We offer lots of activities and opportunities across the University, and taking advantage of any of them will help students develop their attributes.

We want students to engage in a diverse range of activities. Each student’s Stellify path will be unique. It all depends on what they want to do, what they want to know and what they discover along the way.

The list of Stellify activities is growing, and you can find the most up-to-date list - broken down by level of study - at

  1. Who is Stellify for?

Stellify is for every student of The University of Manchester. While the STELLIFY Award is only open to undergraduates starting the first year of their degree from September 2016, students at all levels will benefit from taking part in the activities and opportunities available through Stellify.

  1. Why should students take part?

There are several benefits to students, most obviously in their employability and skills development. Through Stellify we’re guiding students not only to take part in more of the activities employers love - things like volunteering, peer leadership and entrepreneurship - but we’re also providing a structure to their experiences. By choosing specific activities to include as part of Stellify, we’re making clearer, and more direct links between the activities and the attributes they will develop. This will help students make a real impact in applications and interviews.

We also believe that students who engage with a range of extra- and co-curricular activities are more likely to succeed in most areas of their student life, from academic attainment to their health and wellbeing.

But there is also a less pragmatic benefit. For those students who see university as an opportunity to discover more about who they are, and what their contribution might be to the world around them, Stellify is a way for them to join our University community - one that is distinctive for our commitment to having a real-world impact based on social responsibility.

  1. What is the difference between Stellify and the Manchester Advantage?

The Manchester Advantage project is a two-year piece of research and consultation sponsored by Professor Clive Agnew, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students. The project aimed to answer the questions: What is distinctive about our graduates, and how does The University of Manchester support the development of those attributes through our extra-and co-curricular offer?

Stellify has been formed as the student-facing outcome of that work.

Completing activities and getting recognition

  1. How do students sign up to Stellify?

Students don’t need to sign-up to Stellify, they simply need to identify activities they wish to participate in, and get started. Stellify is all about doing things.

  1. How do students sign up to the STELLIFY Award?

Students don’t currently need to sign-up to take the STELLIFY Award. If they choose to complete the Award, they should look at the required activities and take part.

  1. How will students record their activities?

All of the activities and opportunities in Stellify are recorded on the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). Whenever a student takes part in a Stellify activity, it will be automatically recorded on their individual HEAR, which they can then use as a record of their achievements after graduating.

As part of the ongoing development of Stellify, we are looking at how we can improve the HEAR, and make recording of activities more meaningful to students while they are still here at Manchester.

  1. Will students receive a certificate when they complete Stellify?

Students don’t “complete” Stellify, but they can receive an award by completing the new STELLIFY Award.

  1. Do students have to take part, or can I opt out?

Students don’t have to take part in Stellify, although the nature of our students means that the vast majority of students already take part in extra- or co-curricular activity of some kind. Stellify is intended as a guide to the most transformative opportunities, to help students make decisions about which activities they should get involved in, and to show them the ways in which those activities will help them develop.

If a student really wants to opt out, then they would need to not engage with any of the activities!

  1. What activities are part of Stellify?

The list of activities in Stellify is growing, and will continue to develop. You can see the most up-to-date list of suggested activities, broken down by level of study, at

  1. I run some great activities; Can they become part of Stellify?

Stellify has some specific objectives, linked to student success and development. If you run activities that you think should be part of Stellify, please contact

  1. What does a student have to do to complete the STELLIFY Award?

In order to gain the STELLIFY Award upon graduating, students must complete the following activities:

  • Take part in all three of the University’s Ethical Grand Challenges;

  • Complete 40 hours of verified volunteering, for the benefit of the wider community;

  • Complete two recognised leadership activities.

More information about the Stellify Award, and the required activities, can be found at

  1. If a student has completed the Sustainability Challenge in Welcome week, what should they do now?

5000 of our new undergraduates took part in the Sustainability Challenge during Welcome week, the first of three Ethical Grand Challenges they’ll be invited to take part in during their degree. Completing the Sustainability Challenge is the first step in achieving the STELLIFY Award.

Students who have completed the Sustainability Challenge in Welcome Week will receive an email highlighting what they could do next as part of Stellify. Students who didn’t complete the Sustainability Challenge will receive an email telling them about catch up sessions for the Sustainability Challenge.

A full list of activities included in Stellify, broken down by level of study, can be found at

  1. If a student didn’t attend the Sustainability Challenge in Welcome week, does that mean they won’t be able to get the Manchester Leadership Award?

No. As the Sustainability Challenge is a mandatory element of completing the STELLIFY Award, they will be given additional opportunities to take part. Details of these follow-up sessions will be communicated directly to those students who are affected.

  1. Wasn’t there already a Manchester Leadership Award?

The award linked to Stellify was originally called the Manchester Leadership Award it has now been renamed the Stellify Award.

Students who completed the Manchester Leadership Programme a number of years ago also received an award called the Manchester Leadership Award – they now receive a Manchester Leadership Programme certificate. Students who complete a Leadership in Action unit, an academic unit offered by University College and 20,40 or 60 hours of volunteering will be awarded a Manchester Leadership Programme certificate. The volunteering element of the Programme also contributes towards the verified volunteering requirement of the new STELLIFY Award.

The purpose of Stellify

  1. What is Stellify for?

Stellify is an operational output of two separate, but linked, projects at the University of Manchester:

Firstly, the Manchester Advantage project, which aimed to:

  • explore what is distinctive about an undergraduate degree from The University of Manchester;

  • create a way of communicating the University-wide opportunities available to all University of Manchester students; and,

  • explore whether delivering a new Award is an important element of The Manchester Advantage.

Secondly, the University’s three-year marketing plan, which includes a requirement to:

  • Articulate the distinctiveness of our student experience by creating a named package as a vehicle for communicating the University-wide opportunities available to all students here - based around the current HEAR.

  1. What makes Stellify different from what we’ve done before?

Almost all of the activities that are part of Stellify are not new, but this is the first time we’ve committed to grouping and marketing them together as a distinctive package.

Stellify is not simply about activities, but also about what the student learns and develops by taking part. By grouping specific activities and opportunities together under five specific themes, we are simplifying students’ decision-making about which activities would be most beneficial for them to take part in.

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