Accessibility statement

Applications for York Award 2019/20 are now CLOSED.

What is the York Award?

Starting in your second year, 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, going beyond your academic studies to enhance your own personal and professional development. It is a great addition to your CV, helping you to pull together and reflect on your experiences so far 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 work, work shadowing and insight days
    • Volunteering; getting involved in giving something back to the community
    • Involvement in University life - including participation in your college, clubs, sports, societies and more

Students who complete the York Award will also be invited to apply for York Leaders in Spring Term of their second year - an exclusive opportunity to develop valuable leadership skills that will support you in your activities at University as well as in your future career. Click here to find out more.

Who can apply?

The York Award is open to second year undergraduate students ONLY. 

If you are a first year undergraduate student, you can prepare for the York Award by getting involved in as much as possible to develop your strengths, skills and experiences.

If you are a final year undergraduate student, you will be invited to apply for York Award Gold in Spring Term.

If you are a postgraduate student, you will be invited to apply for Postgraduate York Award Gold over the Summer.

All undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a York Futures Scholarship to support their participation in personal and professional development activities. Click here to find out more.

How will I be assessed?

The York Award assessment form is split into three sections;

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Find out more about how to develop your skills and experiences at York.
  3. 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?

We would expect good applications to make full use of the words available, using the prompt questions in the application form to structure your answers. 

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. Think about examples you might use with an employer as this is good preparation for future job applications/interviews.

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

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 and professional development. They have undertaken a range of extracurricular experiences alongside their degree studies, including engagement with the York Strengths Programme. They have demonstrated, through a written application form, a committment to their personal and professional development, a good awareness of themselves and their personal strengths, the development of a range of transferable skills and the ability to plan their next steps. 


Read the application questions, example answers and top tips on the York Award Resources page (student or staff log in required).


How do I apply?
You can apply for the York Award in the Autumn Term of your second year. When applications open, the link will be uploaded to the York Award webpages. You will then be asked to complete a series of reflective questions before submitting your electronic application mid-Autumn Term. 

Why can't I access the form?
The application form can only be accessed with a university email address so make sure you are logged in to your university google account before trying again.

What if I haven't attended a York Strengths Development Day?
The first section of the York Award asks you to reflect on your top 3 strengths. All students are given the opportunity to explore their strengths through the York Strengths Programme in their first year. If you did not attend one of the York Strengths Development Days, we would encourage you to visit the York Strengths webpages and complete the Online Discovery before completing section 1 of the application form. 

Can I use experiences from before University in my application?
No, you must only refer to experiences in your application that you have undertaken since arriving at the University of York. This can include vacation periods and anything you've done since returning in your second year.

I want to apply but I don't feel like I've done enough
It's not too late to get involved! Make the most of Freshers week in your second year and think about where you can build on your experiences. Take a look at the Your Career Journey map for some ideas on where to get started. Also take note of the advice below from one of last year's York Award applicants..

"York Award made me realise all the great things I'd done during uni so far and I felt inspired to keep going with my busy extracurricular life! Even if you don't think you've done much aside from studying, definitely give it a go - you'll likely suprise yourself(Dan, Biology, York Award applicant 2018)

Do I have to answer all of the questions?
Yes, any incomplete applications after the deadline has passed will automatically be marked as fail. Make sure you check before submitting that you have not accidentally missed a question!

Can I resubmit if my application is unsuccessful?
No, you will not have the opportunity to resubmit however you will recieve feedback on how your application could have been improved. Applications may be failed for a number of reasons; 
1. The answers are too short, give minimal information, or lack detailed reflection
2. The applicant does not refer to a range of experiences or relies too heavily on course-related examples
3. The form is incomplete

Can I get support with writing my application?
Yes, Careers will be running 'Discover York Award' sessions in Weeks 2-5 of Autumn Term. This is a chance to find out more about what the York Award involves and tips on how to write a good application.

Is there funding available to support my future development goals? 
Yes, University of York 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

What do I do if my query is not answered here?
We are sorry that your question has not been answered. Please get in touch at

"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 recieve 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