Brighton College

Brighton College

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

What is The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was founded in 1956 to help young people plan and undertake their own programme of activities to develop themselves mentally, physically and emotionally.

There are 10 guiding principles that underpin The Award.

  • Individuals design their own program, which is personalized to suite their abilities and interests.
  • The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others.
  • With the right guidance and inspiration, The Award is achievable by any individual who chooses to take up the challenge.
  • Participants should voluntarily commit free time for activities.
  • Participating in their Award program fosters personal and social development. Participants gain valuable experiences and develop self-confidence and self-reliance.
  • The Award is balanced and aims to develop the individual’s mind, body, community spirit.
  • Each level of the award demands progressively more time.
  • The Award inspires individuals to exceed their expectations and discover new skills, interests and talents.
  • It requires persistence and cannot be completed with a short burst. 
  • Participants should find The Award enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.

Brighton College Al Ain is an official licenced Independent Award Centre (IAC) for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award.

 What makes up the Award?

  • The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award consists of four sections:
  • Skill section – Young people must spend at least one hour per week learning a new life skill (outside of school lessons). There are hundreds of different activities that young people can choose from. Popular choices include music, art, drama, cooking, debating, learning to drive and sign language.
  • Service section – This section requires young people to spend at least one hour per week doing voluntary work. This gives young people the opportunity to get out into their communities and give something back
  • Physical Recreation section – This section requires young people to spend at least one hour per week of their own time engaging in physical recreation. It can be any form of activity and does not need to be in a team or competitive environment.
  • Adventurous Journey section – Through this section, young people discover a spirit of adventure and gain a deeper understanding of the environment and the great outdoors.
  • Residential section – Participants take part in this section as part of their Gold Award level. It gives them a chance to broaden their experience by staying in a new environment taking part in a worthwhile project with other people.

How long does it take to complete the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award?

The objective of The Award is to develop a sense of commitment to a given task over time, it cannot be achieved in a short time span by working more intensely. Participants must persist for at least these minimum periods:



Minimum period of participation by

Direct entrants

Award holders


6 months

not applicable


12 months

6 months (if Bronze holder)


18 months

12 months (if Silver holder)


Adventurous Journey Section

The Adventurous Journey is a unique opportunity for participants to experience self-reliance and team work in an outdoor environment.

Participants will have to undertake training to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge for their journey. For the qualifying Adventurous Journey of all Awards, the participants must complete a self- sufficient journey. This means that the participants will walk with remote adult supervision, on an agreed route, and must carry all the equipment and food they will need for the duration of their journey. Adult leaders will monitor the progress of the groups by meeting them at check points.

The participants will be in groups of between four and seven young people. They must work together as a team, take responsibility for their actions, and deal with any situations that arise along the way.

At Bronze and Silver levels the leaders will be camping in the same area as the young people, however to maintain the spirit of the journey they will leave the young people to take responsibility for all aspects of their camp, including cooking. At Gold level there will not be any adult supervisors in the area, and participants may ‘wild camp’ on the hill, not in a campsite.

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