About the gradireland Undergraduate of the Year Awards

The Awards were set up to identify and celebrate Ireland’s best undergraduates in specific areas, such as future careers (CTO, Leadership etc) and other categories (Female, Sustainability etc). Being the best means having a combination of academic excellence, the ability to pass a series of online assessments, good written communication and, finally, the interpersonal skills necessary to compete with other students in interviews and/or assessment centres run by the partnering organisations. The final shortlist of ten students for each award are invited to the awards ceremony in April, where the winners are announced.

Each award is hosted in partnership with organisations that recruit graduates. Along with helping to identify the winners of the category the partners will provide a fantastic prize for the winner, and other exclusive opportunities.

Each award has clearly stated entry criteria, such as year of study and a minimum educational requirement. Students who don't meet the entry criteria will not be considered.

Undergraduates from all third level Irish universities, institutions and colleges are eligible – providing you also meet the entry criteria.

You may well be eligible to enter more than one award but the rules of the competition mean that you can only enter for ONE award , so choose wisely. Read each entry page carefully to see which award you're best suited for before you start the application process.

The 2024 Awards' categories

The entry process

The process starts online with the collection of basic personal information, up to four tests devised by SHL Talent Measurement ™, and up to four questions posed by the award partner (specific details can be found under the heading ‘How do I win?’ for each award). This phase can take around two hours but you don't need to complete everything in one visit; you can save and come back at any time before the closing date in February.

The students who perform best in the tests and who best match the requirements of the partner are selected for the second stage, which often involves meeting other finalists at a partner-led assessment centre, as well as undergoing an interview. From there, the best ten students are then invited to the Awards Ceremony in April, where the winner is announced.

The gradireland Undergraduate of the Year Awards are the only undergraduate awards in Ireland and are widely recognised by graduate recruiters. Those shortlisted have a recognised accolade to add to their CV and benefit from a networking day with top graduate employers.


General information

What is the gradireland Undergraduate of the Year Awards?

The gradireland Undergraduate of the Year Awards is an annual competition aimed at finding the best undergraduates in Ireland. Each award is partnered by a prominent graduate recruiter who provides a fantastic prize for the winner and other exclusive opportunities.

How do I apply?

On the website, choose the award you want to apply for and hit the apply button! You will be asked to register and fill in some information about yourself. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be asked to answer no more than four essay-style questions and complete no more than four psychometric tests. And that’s it!

Why should I apply to the Undergraduate of the Year Awards?

Every step of the application process will be beneficial to you. You will gain experience answering interview-style questions and psychometric tests, which are often used within the graduate recruitment process. If you progress to the next stages, you will have fantastic networking opportunities with both employers and like-minded students!

What prizes are available?

The prizes vary between each award, but in general, there are paid summer internships and placement roles available with the award partners.

Will I only benefit from the awards if I win?

No! To be in with a chance of winning, you have to take the leap and apply. From valuable experience answering interview-style questions to networking opportunities, there are numerous benefits when you apply!

About the awards

How many awards can I apply for?

You can only apply for one award each year. However, you can apply again next year.

What types of awards are there?

There are numerous types of awards, but they can fit into two categories:

  1. Future career areas
  2. Personal characteristics

Make sure to read all the awards available to see which one is right for you.

How do I know which award is right for me?

Take some time to thoroughly understand all the awards. Read about the award criteria and prize and research the award partner. Make sure you feel passionate about the prize and organisation, as this will drive your determination to succeed.

Who sets the entry criteria?

The award partner who is offering the opportunity is the one to set the entry criteria.


Can I apply for an award without studying a relevant degree?

Of course, unless it is stated within the entry criteria that you must study a certain degree. The award partners are looking for undergraduates who can apply their academic and personal skills within their career.

Will studying an unusual or niche degree hinder my application?

No! We welcome applicants from all degree subjects.

My degree is a masters of engineering (MEng) and I am in my final year. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, but make sure to check the entry criteria for the specific award you wish to apply for.

I am a first-year undergraduate student. Can I still apply?

Yes, but make sure to check the entry criteria to see if first-year students are eligible for the specific award that you want to apply for.

If an award’s entry criteria states penultimate-year students, and I am a final year, am I still eligible?

No and, if you do apply, your application will be rejected.

Can mature students apply/is there an age limit?

Undergraduate students of all ages are welcome to apply.

What does the “right to work in Ireland after graduation” mean?

Due to the prizes offered by each of the award partners, unfortunately we cannot accept applications to some of the awards if you do not have the right to work in Ireland after graduation. When considering whether you are eligible to apply, please take your current situation into account, rather than what may or may not happen in the future. If you are an EU citizen or have an Irish passport, then you can apply to all our awards.

The application

What happens after I submit my application?

Should your application be successful, we will contact you in March via email once applications have closed.

I am struggling with my application. Do you have anything that can help me?

Here are some helpful links to support you through your application:

I'm entitled to extra time on the psychometric tests. What should I do?

Please email us with your eligibility to events@gradireland.com and we will arrange this for you.

I encountered some technical issues when trying to apply. What should I do?

Please email us with as much information about the issue and, if you can, please screenshot the issue. Send us an email at events@gradireland.com and we will get in touch as soon as we can.

My question hasn’t been answered. What should I do?

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, so please email us at events@gradireland.com.

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