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York Award

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

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. 

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 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!"
- York Award Graduate

Undergraduate and Postgraduate applications for York Award 2023 have now closed. Applications for Undergraduates will open again in Semester 2 2023/24 and for Postgraduates in Summer 2024.

Why apply?

University is a place where you are constantly developing skills in every area of your life. Not only are you undertaking your studies, you are also developing as a person and gaining lifetime experiences. 

The York Award forms part of Your Career Journey, a resource that helps you make the most of your university experience, review what you have achieved, and move towards a career you'll thrive in. The Award typically takes place in the final stage of your Journey towards the end of your university programme. It provides the opportunity to reflect on the experience and skills you have gained during your time at York, helping you communicate what you have to offer to employers/further study providers.

Need to boost your CV, sell yourself in an interview or present yourself in an application? Then apply for the York Award and gain a formal certificate that makes you stand out from the crowd while building your confidence as you enter the world of work or further study.

"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

"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?"
- York Award Graduate

"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."
- York Award Graduate

How do I apply?

  • Have a copy of your current York Strengths Grid with ratings for each York Strength. You can complete a York Strengths assessment using the tools in York Strengths Online. If you completed a York Strengths Development Day in your first year, you may wish to revisit your strengths assessment.
  • Have updated and tailored your CV using CareerSet (Careers AI technology). More help with CVs.
  • Have demonstrated a range of activity, which includes work experience. Explore the work experience section below for ideas of what you can include.
  • Have reflected on your experiences and evidenced three of your strengths in the way you would to an employer or future study provider.
  • Have demonstrated personal/professional growth, recognised your achievements and reflected on how your time at York has influenced your career choices and future plans.

Find out more about what's required to make an application.

Who can apply?

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

As the York Award is designed to help you reflect on the experiences you gained during your time at York, it is recommended that you apply towards the end of your programme. This ensures that you review all your acquired knowledge and skills in order to best enhance your employability as you enter the world of work and further study.

There are two application rounds for students to apply for the York Award. See below the schedule for this academic year:

1. Undergraduate Final Year Students and Undergraduate Penultimate Year Students  - Apply Semester 2, 2024.

Undergraduate applications for York Award 2023 have now closed.

We encourage Undergraduate Penultimate Year Students to apply at the time that is right for them. The York Award is available if it would be beneficial to have in your Final Year. For example, applying to graduate training schemes. For remaining students it is recommended to apply in your Final Year.   

2. Postgraduate Students - Applications open Monday 3 July, and close Thursday 3 August 2023 (Summer Vacation). 

Even if you are not yet eligible to apply for the York Award, you can start preparing for the Award from your first day at university by getting involved in different activities to develop your skills and experiences, including York Strengths.

Your Career Journey is there to help and guide you through what you can get involved in during your time at York to best prepare for life after university.

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.

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!

Chancellor’s Leadership Prize

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 (former University of York Chancellor, 2015-2022) and Lady Grant.

Help & Support

The team run 'Discover York Award' sessions across the year. This is a chance to find out more about what the York Award involve, get tips on how to write a good application and have your questions answered!

The York Award Team are running a Virtual Discover York Award Q&A, Thursday 8th June, 2-3pm. Register via Handshake to book your place.

The team will also be running 'Application Drop-In Clinics' in the Summer Vacation 2023. 
For further help and guidance please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

25th Anniversary

A banner for the 25th Anniversary of the York Award

This year we’re celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the York Award! Watch this space to find out about the kind of activities that we’ll be doing.

Design a Banner Competition

Congratulations to Dasha Sai for winning the Design a Banner Competition! Take a look at the fantastic winning submission at the top of this tab.

Treasure Hunt

A map of Campus 25 years ago from the 1997 prospectus

As part of the 25th Anniversary of the York Award, we organised a Treasure Hunt around Campus!

1997/8 was the first academic year of the York Award. Through the time that the York Award has grown and developed, how has Campus changed alongside it?

The Treasure Hunt was completed on 12 June 2023 and the winner received a £50 Love2Shop voucher. Thank you to everyone who took part!


To finish the undergraduate round of the York Award, we threw a Celebration Event to not only celebrate 25 years of the York Award, but also all of the incredible students who achieved the York Award and York Leaders this year!

Students who were awarded the York Award and/or had completed York Leaders gathered in the Ron Cooke Hub for prosecco, canapes and jazz music from the Paul Allen Trio. We had inspiring speeches from previous winners and this year’s winners of the Chancellor's Leadership Prize and a keynote speech from Professor Tracy Lightfoot, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students. Students got a physical copy of their York Award and York Leaders certificate at the end of the night. It was a wonderful way to celebrate 25 years of the York Award and a good way to end the academic year.

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us and congratulations to those who achieved the York Award this year!

If you have any questions which have not been answered here or on the Help and Support page, please email us at