The Skills section of The Duke of Ed encourages you to unearth your talents and develop practical skills in an area that interests you.
It could be:
- or another area.
You can do any of the following:
- develop your skills and knowledge in an activity you already do
- study something new
- complete a specific project (e.g. making a piece of furniture).
You should choose something that is not a sport or physical activity. Ideas include:
- Academic: biology, democracy and political studies, palaeontology, physics.
- Communication: braille, debating, foreign language, journalism, sign language.
- Creative arts: art appreciation, creative writing, drawing, film production, painting, photography, pottery, sculpture.
- Design: fashion, jewellery design, web design.
- Music and performing arts: acting, producing plays, playing a musical instrument, singing.
- Practical: boat building, cooking, cycle maintenance, driving, keeping pets.
- Other hobbies: astrology, fishing, juggling, meditation, puppetry, refereeing, stamp collecting.
For more ideas, check out the list of Award activity ideas or .
- You don’t need to be part of a club—but you will need an adult with skills and experience in your chosen activity to help you and be your assessor.
- You can count an activity you do during school towards the Award but you need to prove you are largely pursuing it in your own time.
- You can do the same activity through the different levels of The Duke of Ed—you just need to show that you’re improving and building your skills at each level.
- You’re encouraged to pick 1 activity for each Award and stick to it. If this isn’t possible, you can do more than 1 activity to meet the requirements. For example, if your activity is seasonal, you can choose one activity for winter and another for summer.
You need to do an average of 1 hour per week in your chosen activity over a minimum period of:
- Bronze level—3 months (6 months if you choose Skills as your major*).
- Silver level—6 months (12 months for direct entrants** who choose Skills as their major*).
- Gold level—12 months (18 months for direct entrants** who choose Skills as their major*).
*A major is an award section for which you have to complete an extra 3 to 6 months of activity (the length of time depends on your award level). Only new participants need to complete a major—that is, all Bronze participants as well as direct entrants at the Silver and Gold levels. You can choose 1 of Voluntary Service, Skills or Physical Recreation as your major.
**A direct entrant means you have not completed the level below the one you are entering (Bronze for Silver; Silver for Gold).