Duke of Edinburgh Award Skills Choices

Since 1956, The Duke of Edinburgh Award Skills has been a benchmark in the development of skills for young people. The awards currently encompass 144 nations and 287,937 young people – numbers which are growing each year. The Duke began to formulate the awards in 1954 at the behest of his former headmaster, Kurt Hahn. This came at a time when young men would leave school at 15 and begin National Service at 18 and, the scheme was developed to help these young men make the most of their free time and develop life and career skills. Today, the Duke’s beloved scheme provides incredible DofE skills and experiences to young people from every walk of life.

There are three stages of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards as follows:

Bronze – Young people aged 14 and above
Silver – Young people aged 15 and above
Gold – Young people aged 16 and above

For the full regulations, visit: https://www.dofe.org/do/

DofE Award Skills ideas

For young people entering the Duke of Edinburgh awards, there’s a vast choice of skills to choose from. The DofE award skills listed on the scheme’s official site are: Performance Arts, Science & Technology, Care of Animals, Natural World, Music, Games & Recreation, Life Skills, Media & Communication, Creative Arts and, Learning & Collecting. Within each of these categories are limitless possibilities when it comes to DofE skills. We’ve put together some ideas to inspire and motivate those looking to start their Duke of Edinburgh award skills journey.

Teen taking photographs of leaves at Hatchlands Park in Autumn

Creative Arts DofE Skills

One of the most popular Duke of Edinburgh skills categories, Creative Arts covers a wide range of skills. Including one which is close to the hearts of the Duke of Edinburgh and members of his family, including the Duchess of Cambridge – photography. These days, most of us have a camera phone and, so, are already familiar with the process. Photography beginners can sign up to a number of courses in order to get to grips with essential techniques. To make your entry unique and engaging, choose a theme (this could be anything from your favourite beach to a beloved pet) and use your new-found skills to capture the subject from different angles and perspectives.

Teenage girls learning photography for their DofE Photography Skills

Creative arts skills can also be combined with technology through mediums such as graphic artistry and animation.
For those looking to implement three skills in one project, the creation of an animated feature or game encompasses Creative Arts, Technology and Games.
For the past four years, it’s been our honour to run photography courses in association with The Duke of Edinburgh Award. Our 12-week courses are fun and interactive and, include all of the mentoring, assignments, reviews and sign offs needed to complete the DofE skills.

Teenager learning photography Duke of Edinburgh Skills in London

Natural World DofE Skills

In 2019, helping to preserve our planet’s resources has never been more important. Duke of Edinburgh Award skills applicants can get involved with Green Team, one of the leading environmental organisations for young people. With the choice of day sessions or residential courses, Green Team projects allow participants to gain the necessary points for their Duke of Edinburgh Award skills whilst mastering important skills and gaining awareness of sustainability. The Green Team runs educational programs within communities which seek to increase awareness of sustainability issues and create real, actionable projects. The programs teach volunteers different ways of saving on valuable resources such as energy, water, solid waste and chemicals. The programs also educate on finding smarter – and greener – modes of transport.

Science & Technology DofE Skills

In the modern world, almost every part of every day is driven by technology and, demand for science and technology skills in the workforce has never been so high. The sky really is the limit when it comes to choosing this category for your DofE skills.

Try designing and producing your own app in order to stand out from the crowd. Let your imagination run wild as you formulate ideas for your app – why not try creating an app to swap chores with neighbours or, one which offers advice on recycling. Remember, this is how Uber started – and the ride sharing giant now has 75 million customers worldwide!
If science is more your bag, take a look at the universe for inspiration. From designing and building a working rocket to creating a new kind of telescope, the possibilities are endless. You can even combine science and technology skills by producing your telescope and then creating an interactive map of the planets.

Games & Recreation DofE Skills

Not only are games fun but, in 2019, they’re also a vital tool for business marketing. More and more companies are using gamification in their marketing techniques – which means that this category could lead to a lucrative career! Try creating your own game – don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds! There are a number of online tools available to start you on your way when it comes to the techy bit. Have fun creating your own characters and thinking up challenges and rewards for them as your players move from level to level.
Alternatively, set yourself the task of creating a real-world game which will connect friends, family and neighbours. For this, think about games such as Pokemon Go where players have to go out into the world rather than sitting in front of a screen.

Music DofE Skills

If you’re a proficient pianist or a skillful saxophone player, now’s your time to shine. Have a go at writing a unique piece of music or, master a piece by an accomplished composer in order to showcase your talent. Even as a beginner, you can demonstrate Duke of Edinburgh Award skills by learning to play an instrument and measuring your progress as you go along. Music is a universal language which evokes emotion, memories and magic and, this hugely popular category of DofE Award skills is one which can lead to alifelong passion and, even a rewarding career.

Learning & Collecting DofE Skills

Collecting is one of the oldest – and most rewarding hobbies a person can have from rare stamps to unusual brooches, there’s a great deal of satisfaction in putting together an interesting and, even educational, collection. Choose something a little offbeat and inexpensive such as matchbox cars, wartime memorabilia or pop culture merchandise. Take the time to catalogue the collection properly and add interesting notes and anecdotes to explain why you decided on your topic and what’s so interesting about it.

How to get started with The Duke of Edinburgh Award

Many schools and youth organisations in the UK are involved with The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme so, it’s a good idea to check with these first. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be asked to pay a nominal fee (£22 for Bronze and Silver and, £29 for Gold – if you’re taking part via a school or youth club, they may add an administration fee on top of this.)
Once you’re all registered, you’ll be able to choose your skills and start on your DofE journey.

Duke of Edinburgh Photography Skills Course teenager taking nature photographs


On completion of your Duke of Edinburgh skills award, you’ll be presented with a certificate and a DofE badge by your nearest Licensed Organisation centre. If you’ve achieved the Gold Award, you’ll also be invited to an awards presentation at one of the Royal palaces within twelve months of passing.
For more information on our Duke of Edinburgh photography courses, visit: https://www.sharpshotsphotoclub.co.uk/duke-of-edinburgh-awards/

Duke of Edinburgh Skills section photography course for teenagers