York Award


What is the York Award?

Starting in your second year, the York Award is a certificate of the University that demonstrates to employers that you have taken a proactive approach to life at university, going beyond your academic studies to enhance your own personal and professional development. It is a great additional to your CV, helping you pull together and reflect on your first year experiences and plan your next steps to make the most of your remaining time at York.

The York Award provides an opportunity to reflect on;

  • Your personal strengths which you will have the opportunity to explore through the York Strengths Programme
  • Work experience; including internships, part-time or summer vacation work and work shadowing
  • Volunteering; getting involved in giving something back to the community 
  • Personal interests; the extra-curricular clubs and societies that you have participated in

Students who apply for the York Award will also be eligible to apply for a York Futures Scholarship. Find out more about York Futures Scholarships.

Who can apply?

York Award is available to students in the Autumn Term of their second year. The next opening of York Award applications will be in Week 1 of 2019/20 Autumn Term. 

How will I be assessed?

The York Award assessment form is split into three sections;

The first section of the application will ask you to reflect on your Strengths and identify specific examples of when you have demonstrated your Strengths since arriving at the University of York. All students are given the opportunity to explore their Strengths through the York Strengths Programme in their first year.

The second section asks you to reflect back on the last 12 months and the experiences you have undertaken at York that have supported your development.

The final section then asks you to outline how you plan to develop yourself, your Strengths and your employability further over the remainder of your time at York.

The York Award uses the well known 'CAR' model for answering questions, encouraging you to talk about your experiences in a way that is valued by employers. C-A-R stands for Context, Action, Result:

  • Context - explain the situation/context briefly 
  • Action - describe what you did, how did you go about the task/solve the problem/challenge
  • Result - what was the outcome of your actions? How did you or others (e.g. society/group) benefit?

You should try to draw on examples from a range of contexts to support your answers. These can include; your academic studies, college life, sports clubs and socities, volunteering, campus events, internships and work experience. The more you have been involved in during your first year, the more you will have to use and reflect on in your application. 

For employers

The York Award and York Award Gold require students to reflect on their personal and professional development during their time at the University of York.

Students can apply for the York Award at the start of their second year.  A student who has been successful in achieving the York Award has taken a proactive approach to life at university and their own personal development. They have undertaken a range of extracurricular experiences alongside their degree studies including engagement with the York Strengths Programme.  They demonstrated, through a written application form, a good awareness of themselves and their Strengths as well as the development of a range of transferable skills. 


'Applying for the York Award is a great way to pull together and reflect on what you have done at University.  It's amazing to have an award that sums up all your skills and achievements so far!'

- York Award applicant, 2016