Accessibility statement

York Futures Scholarships

Support for personal and professional development

Thanks to the generous support of the University’s alumni, the York Futures Scholarship programme is designed to enable all students to take full advantage of the many personal and professional development opportunities available to them.  Work experience, study abroad, placements and extracurricular learning; activities that build your readiness to find, compete for and secure the career options you want are all eligible for support.

Apply for financial and practical support to suit your ambitions at the different stages of your time at York.

Eligibility criteria

All current undergraduate and integrated masters students at the University of York are eligible to apply for the York Futures Scholarship.

The application form will ask you about your personal circumstances and your plans for the funding.  Applications are competitive and awards are allocated firstly on the basis of the student’s need, and then on evidence of their commitment to personal and professional development.  Evidence of commitment might include taking on responsibilities through colleges or societies, going through the York Strengths Programme or taking up paid or voluntary experiences. 

Applications from those with the following backgrounds will receive preference:

  • students with disabilities and long term health conditions
  • mature students
  • care leavers and care experienced students
  • estranged students
  • students who are carers
  • students with children
  • students from military families
  • students who identify as LGBTI+
  • first generation students
  • students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds
  • students from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds.

Levels of funding

There are four levels of funding available.  You can apply for different levels at different times in your university career, depending on the activities you want the funding to help with.  Funding is allocated on the basis of the student’s individual need and the nature of their plans.


If you have no fixed ideas on your future plans yet but are keen to explore some options then apply to a £250 award to help with this process.  You could use the money to cover the travel costs of visiting an employer, taking up work shadowing opportunities or even purchasing business attire for an interview.  You don’t need to have clear plans for the use of the money to apply but you should be able to demonstrate that you’ve already engaged with some university based opportunities for personal development.

Participating in the York Strengths Programme, taking up a role in a society or college or engaging with volunteering or part-time work are all good examples of how a student can demonstrate a commitment to their personal development.


Got a specific career development opportunity in mind?  This level of funding is for those considering taking up opportunities of at least a few weeks in duration; typically over a vacation period.  Funding can be used to support travel costs, pay up-front living expenses, learn a language or support you in accessing work with an organisation that cannot pay for your time, such as a charity or NGO. 

Opportunities can be in the UK or anywhere else in the world, although the focus must always be about participation in activities that develop you personally or professionally rather than just a holiday with casual work involved. You will need to use your application to show how the opportunity you want the funding to support will genuinely enhance your career ambitions.

You may apply for funding to support an opportunity you have identified but have not yet secured provided that you make this clear in your application.  If you subsequently fail to secure that opportunity you will be asked to repay any award monies paid to you.


This level of funding might be used to access an international internship or our international study centres or a summer school at an overseas institution.  You don’t need to have fully secured the opportunity to apply but a clear commitment to a specific activity is required.  Should you subsequently fail to secure the opportunity applied for then you won’t be able to draw down the funding.


Thinking of taking a year away from York on an academically accredited option?  This level of award is available only to those considering a formally accredited placement, year in industry or year abroad study and/or work option.  Most placement years take the form of paid employment, either in the UK or overseas, but some, such as those with charities, NGOs or health sector organisations, may not be.  You don’t need to have fully secured the opportunity to apply for the funding but its final payment is dependent on gaining a formal contract of engagement for your year away. 

Practical support

Applying for a York Futures Scholarship also provides you with access to other professional development benefits.  These include networking with previous scholars, access to additional guidance and support, employer visits and application/CV support.

Application form

Application guidance

The higher the level of award you apply for the more detailed your plans will need to be.  Bear in mind that you can apply for a lower level award to help you gain the insights you might need to later apply for a higher level of funding.

When applying please consider what the assessors are looking for:

For a £250 award the applicant will need to show they have engaged with development opportunities at York and now want to explore future career options.  Detailed plans on this process are not required.

For awards of £1,000 and above the assessors are looking for:

  • a clear link between the work experience opportunity that you are seeking to take and your longer term career plans
  • an indication that the award is needed to take full advantage of the opportunity; for example, that it is located in a city other than York or your hometown
  • the experience offers potential learning for you
  • where the experience is wholly unpaid this should be in line with what might reasonably be expected of the organisation or industry involved; e.g. it is a charity or voluntary organisation

Please note: York Futures Scholarships are not designed to support the furtherance of academic work, such as dissertation research, unless you can make a clear case that supports your longer term career ambitions.

When to apply

There are two opportunities to apply online for a York Futures Scholarships each academic year.

Round one - Autumn Term

  • Applications will open Monday 7 October 2019 (start of Week 2 Autumn Term) and close Sunday 10 November 2019 (end of Week 6 Autumn Term).

Round two - Easter Vacation and start of Summer Term

  • Applications will open Monday 16 March 2020 (start of Easter Vacation) and close Sunday 19 April 2020 (end of Week 1 Summer Term).

The application form will be hosted on this webpage during the two rounds of applications each year. Students will be notified of the outcome of their application by email. Round one applicants will hear the outcome before the end of Week 10 Autumn Term. Round two applicants will hear the outcome before the end of Week 6 Summer Term.

Who to contact