Exploring participation in co-curricular activities among undergraduate students

Hilda Mary Mulrooney


Co-curricular activities offer an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate employability skills. Not all students take advantage of activities on offer, while others undertake multiple activities. In this study, second and third year students from two related undergraduate degree courses who had and had not taken up co-curricular activities identified their reasons for participating or not, and completed two questionnaires exploring their motivation (Academic Motivation Scale, AMS and Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, MSLQ). First year students identified which activities they would be interested in participating in in future years, and why. Clear differences in participation between the two degree courses were seen, with significantly higher levels of intrinsic motivation among students who participated. Among those who did participate compared with those who did not, significant differences in different types of motivation were seen. Self-efficacy was also significantly higher in those who did, compared with those who did not, participate, although whether this is a cause or a consequence of participation is unclear. First year students indicated interest in a range of co-curricular activities, for personal as well as academic reasons. Further work is needed to ensure that all students understand the relevance and importance of co-curricular activities.

Key words: co-curricular, real-life learning, employability skills


Co-curricular; real-life learning; employability skills

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