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York Award

Applications for York Award 2021/22 are now closed. York Award will reopen in the 2022/23 academic year. These webpages will be updated in Autumn term 2022/23.

Let York Award shine a light on everything you've done at university

Participating in the York Award helps you articulate the positive characteristics you have to offer in a way that appeals to employers and future study providers, and supports your next steps after graduation.

The York Award is a formal award of the University that demonstrates to employers that you have taken a proactive approach to life at university, and recognises personal and professional development within and outside your programme of study. It is a great addition to your CV, helping you to pull together and reflect on your experiences. 

Find out more about what's required and access the York Award application form (log in required). 

"The York Award was a brilliant way to motivate myself to get involved. It's great that I get recognition for all the time I committed to the University and the city of York!" 

- York Award Graduate

Who can apply? When to make your application

York Award is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students. You’ll normally apply towards the end of your programme. 

  • Undergraduate final year students - Apply Spring Term in your final year. Applications for class of 2022 now closed.  
  • Undergraduate second/penultimate year students - Apply Spring Term in your second/penultimate year. Applications for Class of 2023 are now closed.
  • Postgraduate students - Applications open July 4 - August 5 2022 (Summer Vacation Week 2-5).

You can prepare for the York Award from your first day at university by taking part in York Strengths and getting involved in different activities to develop your skills and experiences

Whatever you've done during your time at York, make it count with York Award.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to apply but I don't feel like I've done enough

We appreciate that getting experience and accessing opportunities is more difficult at the moment. However you’ve found the last 18 months, York Award can help you to find value and meaning in the things you have done.

Wherever you are in your journey, make the most of your time and think about where you can build on your experiences. Take a look at Your Career Journey for some ideas on where to get started. 

Further support and information is also available via our Careers issues during Covid-19 page, including how to book an appointment and further resources.

Can I get support with writing my application?

The team run 'Discover York Award' sessions across the year. This is a chance to find out more about what the York Award involves and tips on how to write a good application. More information on booking a place at a Discover York Award session is available through Handshake.

The next Discover York Award online information session will be 2:00-3:00PM Thursday 20 January 2022 (Spring Term Week 2) - book a place

We provide detailed guidance on the York Award application process on our 'Applying for York Award' page (login required). All of this guidance is also contained within the York Award application form.

The York Award team can answer any questions you have via email, however we won't be able to offer feedback on individual applications. Please note Careers drop in and advice appointments should not be booked for this purpose. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries while making your application by emailing us at

Once you have completed and submitted your application and this has been marked, you will receive personalised feedback from your assessor alongside your application result. 

I didn’t do York Strengths in my first year/I haven’t done York Strengths, can I still do it?

Yes! York Strengths Online is available to all students (undergraduate, postgraduate taught, postgraduate research and distance learners) throughout your time at the University.

If you haven’t already completed York Strengths Online then this would be really good preparation for making a York Award application, as well as providing you with useful insights to support your skills development and career planning.

Can I use experiences from before University in my application?

In the application we will ask you to tell us about the key activities you have undertaken during your time at the University of York (or the last three years) that you feel have significantly contributed to your personal and professional development. You can include any activities you feel are relevant including work experience, activities as part of your course, college life, sports, hobbies and interests, societies, volunteering, additional training/courses/qualifications outside degree, anything else. 

In the final part of the application we will ask you to reflect on experiences solely based on your time as a student with the University of York. You will be asked to use examples that you would choose to talk about in a job application/interview.

For postgraduate students, you might be on a course of one year duration, studying part time or a PhD candidate at York for more than three years. Alongside the list of activities we suggest as examples of activities you could include, you want want to draw on other experience over the last three years, such as current or recent professional experience, volunteering and community involvement (this could be things like committee roles or school support activities) and additional personal or professional development activities and training. 

I’m a distance learner, can I access York Award?

Yes! York Award is completed online, and is open to all students of the university. The key elements of Your Career Journey required to make an application are all accessible online. We will also ensure any support materials can be accessed remotely.

Is there funding available to support my future development goals?

Yes, all undergraduate and integrated masters students can apply for a York Futures Scholarship worth £250, £1,000, £3,000 or £6,000 to access experiences and activities that support their personal and professional development. Check the deadlines and find out more about York Futures Scholarships.

I'm on an integrated Masters course - when should I apply?

For the purposes of York Award your integrated Masters is counted as part of the same degree programme. You should normally apply as a final year undergraduate in the Spring term of the final year of your course. You would also be eligible to apply in our 'early bird' window at the end of the Summer term of your penultimate year (this could be at the end of your third year, if on a four-year programme). 

I’m a postgraduate student, is this for me?

Yes! York Award will be open to all students of the University, including both taught and research postgraduates. The requirements and questions will be the same, but your answers will reflect your student experience.

Applications for postgraduate students are open during July each year.

I completed (old) York Award in my second year, do I need to do it again? I was hoping to do York Award Gold.

In 2019/20 the York Award was reviewed, and consultation undertaken with key graduate employers, current students and academics of the University of York. As a result, we made changes to incorporate the best bits of our previous York Award and York Award Gold programme, add some new elements, and roll everything into one new award that’s open to everyone and generally completed at the end of your time at York - the NEW York Award!

We are aware that many final year students will have participated in York Award: First Stage under the old arrangements in their second year, and/or may be anticipating York Award Gold being available at this point in their final year. 

We would strongly encourage you to complete the NEW York Award, as it most closely resembles the old York Award Gold. If you have completed the old style first stage York Award this will give you a really firm foundation to build on in completing the NEW York Award.

Our advice for students who will do both, is that they describe the first stage York Award as 'York Award: Stage 1' and the new York Award as 'Final Stage York Award' to distinguish them on their CV and in job applications.

What do I do if my query is not answered here?

If you have any other questions not covered here, please email us

What should I do if my query is not answered here? 

If you have any other questions not covered here, please email us

Chancellor’s Leadership Award

Every year a gift of £1,000 is awarded to the top three York Award candidates in their undergraduate final year of study.

The prizes will recognise the most talented, ambitious and driven students who have contributed to the university community or wider society, excel in York Award and who have completed the York Leaders programme. York Leaders runs in Spring each year for second and middle year undergraduate students. 

Students on the York Leaders programme will have the opportunity to demonstrate and gain certified recognition for their leadership qualities.

The gift has been donated by Sir Malcolm (University of York Chancellor) and Lady Grant.

"The York Award is a great way to look back at everything you've done since starting university. It's so easy to rush on by and not take the time to stop and reflect. The York Award helps you do that. It has also helped me stand out in applications and interviews when applying for internships and I look forward to talking more about it when I apply for graduate roles this year!"

- Chantelle, Social Policy and Social Work, York Award applicant 2018

"Receiving the York Award felt amazing because I finally had some official recognition from the University for all my extracurricular activities. For simply reflecting on how you've developed over the course of your time at York, you get something to put on your CV - what's not to like?"

- Joe, Chemistry, York Award applicant 2018

"Being able to take part in the York Award was a wonderful experience. It allowed me to showcase my strengths, skills and experiences and receive official recognition from the University. As someone who has struggled with learning difficulties in the past, the York Award is a great achievement and is a tremendous asset to have on my CV"

- Sophie, Language and Linguistic Science, York Award applicant 2018

York Leaders

York Leaders is an exclusive opportunity for second (and middle) years to explore and develop your leadership potential - find out more and apply today!

York Strengths

Taking part in York Strengths can help you find out more about yourself, and how to make the most of what you have to offer. Completing York Strengths will support your application for York Award.