Accessibility statement

York Leaders

York Leaders logo

Discover the leader in you

York Leaders will advance your understanding of what it means to be a leader, while exploring and developing your own leadership skills in a group setting. 

  • The programme will take place in-person as a single-day event held on Saturday 27 April, 8.45am to 5:15pm.
  • 84 places are available to undergraduate students who are in their second year of study or beyond.
  • Applications closed on Friday 1 March at 5pm. Places will be offered to successful applicants on a first-come, first-served basis so early applications are encouraged. 

What is York Leaders?

This unique programme offers the opportunity to take part in a series of interactive group challenges, all of which will test your leadership capabilities under the guidance of a professional facilitator. 

You’ll get to explore different perspectives on leadership, which, together with feedback from your facilitator, will help you reflect on your approach to the interactive challenges through the day.

Who is York Leaders for?

You might not see yourself as a leader (yet), you might join the programme with a wealth of previous leadership experience, or you might be anywhere in between. 

No matter what your starting point, the York Leaders programme will help you to better understand your own existing leadership capabilities, and develop them further alongside both peers and professionals.

You might be looking for an opportunity to do one or more of the following:

  • Better understand what leadership actually is and what it requires
  • Discover how your personal strengths can unlock your leadership capabilities, whatever your existing experience
  • Put your existing leadership skills to the test in a new context, working alongside students from different backgrounds and academic disciplines. 
  • Develop your approach to leadership and receive feedback from an experienced facilitator along the way

Sound like it could be for you? 

We’re looking for students who see the value of effective leadership and can show us their enthusiasm and potential to develop as leaders who bring about positive change.

More reasons to take part

As part of the programme you will:

  • Gain certified recognition for successful completion of the programme and leave with a great addition to your CV that you can talk about in applications and interviews.
  • Meet and build relationships with other motivated students across a range of academic disciplines.
  • Have an opportunity to use, develop and reflect on your existing strengths.
  • Receive developmental feedback from your peers and professional facilitators.
  • Build confidence in your leadership capabilities, skills, and what your next steps might be.

Here's some of the feedback we've received from previous York Leaders participants: 

York Leaders 2023

“The programme was far more useful for developing teamwork and leadership skills than I had even anticipated and provides a good safe environment for experimentation and learning your own skills.”

“It helped me explore and engage with my leadership potential.”

“Go for it! I believe university is about so much more than just getting a degree. The York Leaders programme is an amazing way to meet like minded people and really reflect on our values and motivations as well as the positive impact we are capable of creating for those around us.”

“Apply even if you don’t think you are a leader, it is a fun activity and you may surprise yourself.”

York Leaders 2022

“Do it for the experience! I met some great people and I feel like we genuinely came up with an interesting and feasible proposal.”

“It's an amazing opportunity to meet new, like-minded people who might become long-term friends, while also understanding yourself more.”


York Leaders is open to undergraduate students from any discipline who are in their second year or beyond.

You do not need to hold any formal leadership qualifications, experience or evidence of holding a leadership position in order to take part. 

We’re looking for applicants who can show us potential, demonstrate their enthusiasm for the programme, and commitment to their leadership development.

How to apply

Applications closed on Friday 1 March 2024.

Places will be offered to students on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be informed as to whether you have been awarded a place by early March 2024.

Once all 84 places have been offered, additional students who submit successful applications will be offered a slot on a reserve list and contacted if a place on the programme becomes available.

Application process (CLOSED FOR 23/24)

Application is via Google form and should take roughly 15-20 minutes to complete. You will be asked to confirm your eligibility for the programme and answer three short questions on:

  • Your leadership potential and what you will bring to the programme
  • Your leadership ambition and how you would like to develop as a leader

The application form gives some prompts for each question, and guidance on the kind of examples we’re looking for in your application. It is important to highlight that prior experience of leadership will not be valued more highly than any other kind of experience. Unlike job applications, it is perfectly acceptable for you to include reference to instances and examples from your personal life in your responses, including those from before you started university. 

This application process is designed to be a short, straightforward and light-touch assessment of your suitability to participate in York Leaders. There are no "trick" questions and, in assessing your responses, we will simply be looking for your commitment and readiness to engage with the York Leaders programme in a way that will benefit you.

Prior to application

To get the most out of the programme, you will need to have a good understanding of York Strengths and your personal strengths. You must have completed York Strengths Online (and submitted your results) or attended a York Strengths Development Session prior to attending York Leaders.

If you have not attended a York Strengths Development Session or completed York Strengths Online yet, you can still submit an application and commit to completing York Strengths Online prior to taking part in York Leaders.

On offer of a place

Successful applicants will be sent a short package of pre-work materials at least a week before the start of the programme.

Completing the application form

  • You can work on your application form at any time in the completion window, going back to the original link to access and edit your own form as much as you like.
  • Each time you make changes/updates to your form, you must remember to always click SUBMIT at the end of the form or your updates will not be saved.
  • We recommend you use a separate document to prepare your answers then copy and paste them into the form.
  • Be aware of character limits, which are enforced automatically in the online form. Each question response field has a character limit of 1000 characters, which is roughly 150 words.
  • Always use the BACK / NEXT buttons at the bottom of the form pages; do not use your browser’s back button or you may lose your work.
  • You can write in full paragraphs or bullet points. Your application will be assessed on how effectively the content of your responses meets the criteria, not on the quality of your prose. 

If you have any questions about the application process or require additional support please contact us at