Programme structure

SELA is a two year programme with a weekly commitment of four to five hours. Our members join in autumn of their second year of degree study, and ideally complete the programme before beginning their final year.

Skills boot camp

The programme begins with an intensive skills boot camp. This residential, two-day long event introduces new members to the programme, and to each other, through practical activities and challenges.

It is supported by mentors from industry, who help to contextualise the learning and provide individual feedback.

Skills workshops

Across both years of the programme, we meet weekly for workshops that focus on developing skills and providing support with the group projects.

Topics include

  • project and workload management

  • managing and influencing people

  • developing a business case

  • negotiation and conflict resolution

  • networking

  • goal setting and reflection

  • career planning

Guest talks

Professionals from a variety of industries, at different stages of their careers, join us to share the benefit of their experience. They bring learning to life with real examples, whilst helping our members begin to build their professional networks.

Many of our guest speakers are alumni of the Faculty of Engineering, and are now in leadership roles within and beyond engineering.

Group projects

Members work together on a group project across each year of their involvement in the programme. The projects involve delivering real solutions to real stakeholders, and provide an opportunity to work collaboratively whilst practising and further enhancing skills.

The first year project is designed to develop skills for leadership, whilst the second year project involves an engineering grand challenge. This challenge draws on the expertise of students from different engineering disciplines and allows members to practise their skills in an authentic engineering context.

Summer placements

All SELA members are encouraged to find, secure and complete two summer placements, each for a minimum of six weeks. Placements may be in industry, either in the UK or overseas, or in academic research. SELA members are asked to reflect on their skills development using the University mySkills personal development record.

For academic research placements, members work alongside an academic member of staff or research team in the Faculty of Engineering and complete a piece of research with dissemination outputs.

Bursaries are available from SELA, working in partnership with the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme, to support the process.