Co-Curricular Recognition Programme FAQs

Everything you need to know about the Co-Curricular Recognition Programme and be on your way to becoming a University of Auckland Distinguished Graduate


Q. What is the Co-Curricular Recognition Programme?

A. The Co-Curricular Recognition Programme actively encourages and recognises students’ involvement in co-curricular activities that develop skills and learning experiences through a structured and meaningful way.

Q. Who is eligible to complete the Co-Curricular Recognition Programme and achieve the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. Any student enrolled at the University of Auckland is eligible to complete the programme and achieve the major award.

Q. I have already completed 40 hours in my activity and attended the Professional Development Workshop. How can I make a submission?

A. First, you need to be enrolled in a path. If you are not enrolled, please sign up on Engage. Next, you will receive a confirmation email with the steps to follow. If you already signed up but didn’t receive the email, contact us at

Once you submit your activities, Professional Development Workshop or written reflection, the approval process can take up to four weeks.

Q. If I complete only one of the paths, will this appear in my Academic Transcript?

A. No. The primary requirement to qualify for the University of Auckland’s Distinguished Graduate Award is to complete two of the paths, which will be listed on your Co-Curricular Record. Once this process is complete, you will be invited to work towards the additional requirements for the major award. Once completed, the Distinguished Graduate Award will appear on your Academic Transcript at the point of Graduation. 

Q. Can a Postgraduate (Honours, Master, PhD) participate in this programme and achieve the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. Yes. This award is for all University of Auckland students. Postgraduate students are welcome to participate in the programme and work towards the Distinguished Graduate Award.

Q. I found out about the programme recently, but I am graduating soon. What should I do?

A. You can enrol in the programme to complete the paths and work towards the Distinguished Graduate Award. However, we recommend allowing yourself a minimum of 5-6 months to complete the process in the programme.

Q. I have graduated already. Am I eligible to complete the programme?

A. No. The Co-Curricular Recognition Programme is available only for current students of the University of Auckland.

Distinguished Graduate Award

Q. What is the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. It’s the highest achievement in the programme, students receive an official recognition for their co-curricular activities and volunteer work. This will be added on the student’s academic transcript at the point of graduation. Students must complete two co-curricular paths, attend a final workshop, and pass a final interview with our panel in order to get it.

Q. I have done the hours to complete two paths. Am I eligible for the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. As well as the required hours, you will need to complete a professional development workshop and a written reflection for each of the paths you are following. Once this is completed, your progress will be reviewed and if successful you will be invited to work towards the Distinguished Graduate Award.

Q. How long do I have to complete the paths and the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. You will be able to complete the programme and requirements for the Distinguished Graduate Award for as long as you are an enrolled student at the University of Auckland. However, we strongly advise you to complete all requirements 2 months before your Graduation ceremony to allow sufficient time for the Distinguished Graduate Award to be added to your academic transcript.

Q. Will I receive a certificate upon receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award?

A. Yes. Once you achieve the University of Auckland Distinguished Graduate Award, this will be added to your academic transcript. Additionally, you will be invited to the Co-Curricular Recognition Ceremony to meet your fellow Distinguished Graduate Award recipients and receive a certificate. 

Q. What is the final interview before I can be called a Distinguished Graduate? What if I don’t pass it?

A. The final stage is a panel interview, during which you will be asked questions to ascertain your communication skills and how you articulate your co-curricular experiences.

The programme is designed to help students build their professional profiles. If you don’t pass the first interview, the panel will provide feedback, and you will be invited to book a second interview, allowing you to repeat the process if required.

Paths and Activities

Q. How many paths can I complete at a time?

A. You can complete one path at a time.

Q. I am eligible for four paths. How do I pick my first path?

A. We recommend you choose the paths for which you enjoy the activities the most. You might also want to consider paths for which you have already completed or are close to completing the number of required hours. 

Q. How can I find out which path would be the best fit for me?

A. Your volunteer activity will define your path. Have a look on the website at the list of activities and the learning outcomes according to each path. If your activity is not listed, please get in touch and we can assess whether it can be recognised through the Co-Curricular programme. 

Q. Would the same activity contribute towards two or more recognition path?

A. No. Some activities such as volunteering or being a club executive may be recognised in more than one path. However, an activity can only be used for one path. To be eligible for the University of Auckland Distinguished Graduate Award, you must complete two different activities across two paths. 

Q. Can I use my internship experience as a part of a path?

A. You will be able to use your internship experience if:

  • It is non-academic
  • It is in a non-profit organisation
  • It is an unpaid internship
  • The role and activity are community-based

If you are unsure, please contact the Co-Curricular team and we can have a chat about your experience.

Q. Can my paid position on campus contribute towards my Co-Curricular Path?

A. Some paid positions on campus can be counted, however only if:

  • The position is not full-time
  • It is community-based
  • It is non-academic

Q. Can I use my past volunteering experiences to complete the paths?

A. We are able to recognise activities undertaken within the last two years as long as you were a student at the University of Auckland while the activity was undertaken. Completed paths will be added to your Co-Curricular Record.

Q. Do my volunteering activities make me eligible to be considered for the award? Can I complete the programme if my activity is not listed in the recognised activities?

A. You can find the list of eligible activities on our website. If your activity is not listed, it may still be eligible for recognition. You must ensure the learning outcomes from your volunteer activity match the learning outcomes from the path you are completing and meets the following criteria:

  • It should not be full-time
  • It must be a role/activity with a non-profit organisation
  • It must complete the learning outcomes from one of the paths

We recognise both on- and off-campus activities. 

Q. How can I get involved in volunteering positions?

A. For volunteer positions available and opportunities to get involved, please have a look on the website or check out MyCDES+.

Q. What path would my experience as a start-up volunteer fit into?

A. If your start-up is related to a project managed by Unleash space, it will belong to the Innovation Path. However, if it’s an external organisation, please get in touch with us to discuss and email

Q. My activity is not listed. Am I eligible for consideration?

A. Yes. If your activity is not listed but still meets the criteria and matches one of the path’s learning outcomes, it will be eligible for inclusion in the programme. Find the learning outcomes for each path on our website.

Q. How can I prove my hours, including those completed doing off-campus activities? What documents or evidence would I need to provide for my time to be recognised?

A. At the time of submission, you will be asked to provide the name and contact details of the individual you reported to during your volunteer experience. Often, this will be the project coordinator. We will contact them to confirm your involvement in the activity.

Q. I am an executive for a club. How do I get my hours approved?

A. Each club or student group must have an organisation set up on Engage. Your submission must match your time on the roster for your hours to be approved. 

Q. How can I count my hours as a Class Rep?

A. You will need to contact the Programme Coordinator at AUSA or your lecturer to be able to estimate the number of hours completed volunteering as a Class Rep.

Workshop and Written Reflection

Q. How do I sign up for a Professional Development Workshop?

A. You can sign up for a Professional Development Workshop through our website. Please have a look at the list and pick the workshop you are interested in attending. 

Q. Does the Professional Development Workshop need to be directly related to the volunteer activity or the path I am completing?

A. No. The Professional Development Workshop doesn’t need to be related to your path and/or your volunteer activity. It needs to be a non-academic session and with a focus on professional development. To find out more about the workshops and see upcoming sessions please check out our website.

Q. What are the requirements for the written reflection?

A. Your written reflection should be 300-500 words, showcasing your learning outcomes from your volunteer experience and the Professional Development Workshop.

Written reflections will not be approved until your Professional Development Workshop and volunteering hours have been submitted and approved.

If you still have a question, please get in touch with the team