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Maybe you have heard of The Duke of Ed, or perhaps it is something entirely new to you. Either way, it’s worth taking a few minutes to understand how it works and how it can help you after school finishes – plus, it’s fun and may include activities you are already doing. 

So, what is The Duke of Ed exactly?

The Duke of Ed (short for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award) is an exciting international youth development program that rewards you for achieving activities and goals. 

Who can participate?

Anyone between the ages of 14 and 24 can participate, and the program offers a variety of activities to ensure that there is something for everyone. 

How does The Duke of Ed work? 

There are three different award levels to The Duke of Ed; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has a different time commitment to help you choose the level that is right for you. 

The good news is that you design the program around the things you genuinely enjoy and topics you find interesting.

The Award sections are:

  • Voluntary Service—get involved in your community and give back to others.
  • Skills—build your skills in something practical or creative, such as drawing, painting, fishing, or music.
  • Physical Recreation—take part in something active such as football, basketball, dancing, surfing, or swimming.
  • Adventurous Journey—discover a sense of adventure and do something challenging with your friends.
  • Gold Residential Project—broaden your horizons and open your eyes to the world.

Why is it worth doing?

The Duke of Ed is an excellent opportunity to:

Many students also report that achieving their chosen goals was the biggest reward of all. You can read some of their stories here

Can The Duke of Ed help me find a job?

If you are looking for casual work, apprenticeships, or graduate employment after school, many employers recognise The Duke of Ed. Many employers even include the question “Did you complete The Duke of Ed?” on their application forms. 

The Duke of Ed also fosters skills to make you work-ready and increase your confidence – things like effective communication, problem-solving, organisation, and teamwork. 

One thing to note is that although employers appreciate The Duke of Ed, it does not automatically qualify you for a job or position. 

Check out the full list of Duke of Ed employers

Does it count as credits towards my QCE?

Yes it does! The Duke of Ed is a recognised course of study for the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). You can earn up to 4 credits—1 for Bronze, 1 for Silver, and 2 for Gold.

To earn credit points for your QCE, you must complete your Award while you are in Years 10–12 and provide the Queensland Award Operating Authority with your Learner Unique Identifier (LUI).

Is The Duke of Ed recognised by universities?

If your goal is to attend university after school, several Unis acknowledge that students who have completed The Duke of Ed are independent thinkers and can achieve their goals. You can find out more here.

Where can I learn more?

Does The Duke of Ed sound interesting? If it feels like a good fit, it’s easy to get started.

  • Check if your school or local youth organisation is an Award Centre. If they are – then you can sign up with them straight away.
  • If not, search for an Award Centre here or email

Once you have found an Award Centre, your Award Leader can assist you in registering to do the Award.

Find out more about The Duke of Ed.


*Financial assistance is available to enable participation from students who are marginalised, disadvantaged and/or living with a disability to do the Award.