Submission Eligibility

We have been receiving several specific questions from students from The Open University. If you are an OU student or 2016 graduate, you can find the answers to the most commonly asked questions here.

The Undergraduate Awards is open for registrations and submissions to the 2016/17 programme.


The Undergraduate Awards prides itself on awarding academic work without bias. The entire judging process is anonymous.

It is very important that your paper does not include any personal details or details of your university/college. Please remove the following in all instances: your name, the name of your university/college, the name of your lecturer/supervisor, your student number. Failure to remove these personal details from your coursework document which you upload will result in disqualification.

Please take particular care with regard to anonymity in the following:

  • acknowledgements: either exclude entirely or redact names
  • appendices
  • ethics statements & declarations
  • file name: when attaching your paper to the submission form, please use a generic file title. Don’t use your own name as the title of the .pdf or .doc
  • interviews: when citing interviews you carried out ensure you write ‘conducted by the author’ or similar
  • remove images of university logos
  • where placements are carried out (and need to be mentioned) redact the name of the workplace, e.g. hospitals
  • when referencing online articles via your institution library website, please take care to redact that name of the institution
  • if referencing lectures, remember to redact the institution and lecturer’s name
  • exclude all mention of student number, as well as module and degree titles/codes

You can submit a maximum of 3 papers/projects. These papers can be submitted across any of the 2016 categories.

Who Can Submit?

The Undergraduate Awards 2017 programme is open to all undergraduate students in their penultimate and final year, in a degree course, as well as 2016 graduates, from all disciplines.

By Undergraduate, we refer to the students’ university degree, usually referred to as a level 7 or 8 degree or a 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 for an undergraduate degree may also take part in UA, on the basis that they have completed two-thirds of their course.

What Can I Submit?

Candidates can apply with any piece of individual undergraduate coursework which received a II.1 or higher (Distinction or higher, A-grade equivalent).

Students who will not receive their grade before the deadline may still submit if they received a II.1 or higher (Distinction or higher, A-grade equivalent) overall grade for their most recent completed academic year.

The word count for written work must be between 1750-5000 words, with the exception of the following categories, which can be up to 12,000 words long:

  • Built Environment
  • Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics & Physics
  • Medical Sciences

Word count excludes bibliography, appendix and abstract. Word count includes footnotes.

Documents supported by the UA submission platform include PDF (.pdf) and Word Docs (.docx) only. Please do not upload a scanned copy of your document. The team need to be able to search the text in your paper for anonymity (see above), word count and other criteria.

Eligible submissions are drawn from corrected coursework across all academic disciplines, which:

  • Has achieved a grade of:

Asia/Australia: an A grade
USA and Canada: an A grade
UK and Ireland: a II.1 or above

  • Represents the highest standard of intellectual and scholarly achievement
  • Embodies a piece of independent and original work
  • Takes the form of a text-based essay/project, with images/graphics where relevant
  • Takes the form of a critical/analytical discourse
[Submitting to the Visual Arts category? Read your submission guidelines here]

How Do I Submit?

SUBMIT Submissions for the 2017  Programme are now open. You can SUBMIT your paper/project.

REGISTER If you are not quite ready to submit work just yet, you can register your name to save a place on the programme (it fills up quickly!).  Register now, and you have until the deadline of 13th June 2017 to decide what papers you would like to submit. You can submit a maximum of 3 papers/projects. You can register here.

ABSTRACT You will need to write an abstract to accompany your piece of coursework. An abstract is a concise summary of the content of your paper. It should be between 100-300 words long. This is an important part of your submission and will be assessed by the judging panel of your category.

INDIVIDUAL Individual essays/projects only are accepted in the programme.  We do not accept Group submissions

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