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York Strengths Development Day sessions

 Relationship builder, communicator, achiever, learner

Our award-winning York Strengths Development Day enables you to discover your strengths - the things you are good at and you love to do - through enjoyable group activities, and with support and feedback from a trained observer.

York Strengths Development Days are offered to undergraduate first year students, and postgraduate taught students.

Book Your Place Now - Undergraduate First Years

Sessions will be running during spring and summer term 2022. You can currently book for sessions in Week 6, 8 and 9 of Spring Term. 

IMPORTANT: Booking is essential for all events. This is so we can manage numbers of both attendees and staff required to deliver the sessions. 

To secure your preferred day we advise booking as soon as possible. You should only book one of the sessions. Below, you can see all York Strengths Development Day sessions open to you and currently available to book via Handshake.

Students in Psychology, Environment and Geography and Archaeology are expected to attend on specific days arranged by their department. Please check your email for more information or contact

Book your place now. There are still plenty of sessions to choose from, but these are the last ones available to first year undergraduates. 

Booking now:

Any questions - contact

What is a Development Day session?

A Development Day session lasts about four hours, and is supported by the content in York Strengths Online.

The Development Day sessions build on what you’ll learn in York Strengths Online, giving you the opportunity to work with others, and get feedback in a safe environment. This will give you a broader understanding of your strengths that will support you in your university journey.

Benefits of attending a Development Day session:

  1. Test what you have discovered about yourself through York Strengths Online through interactive group exercises
  2. Experience a group exercise akin to job recruitment assessment centres in an informal environment
  3. Get feedback on your personal strengths from a trained Observer, enabling you to confidently articulate your strengths for future opportunities
  4. Support your final submission at the end of York Strengths Online, helping you progress your personal and professional development.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I book my place?

All Development Day sessions will appear on our events booking system, Handshake from mid January 2022.

You can see all York Strengths Development Day sessions open to you and currently available to book by searching 'strengths’ in the events search field in Handshake.

IMPORTANT: Booking is essential for all events. 

It's best to book as early as possible to be sure of a place on your day of choice. Handshake will show the most up to date booking information and which sessions still have places available.

Please do not book onto more than one session, as this takes up a place that might be needed by other students and makes it harder to forecast the numbers likely to actually attend on any particular day.

If you have a specific question, please email

What if I book, but then can't attend?

It's really important that you make a commitment to attending when you book your place. If you find out you can no longer attend, please cancel your booking via Handshake as soon as you know. 

Your place can then be released for another student, who might be on a waiting list for that day.

Observers are assigned for the number of students we are expecting, and still have to be paid even if you don't attend. That can be a wasted resource that could have been allocated elsewhere if you change your mind and do not attend your Development Day session without letting us know.

Sometimes sickness or emergencies mean that you won't be able to come along, and won't know that until the morning of the event - that's quite understandable. If this happens to you then it's really helpful if you can email on the day to let us know.

If you can't make the day you originally book, please consider rebooking on a different day so you don't miss out.

What happens on a Development Day?

The Development Day sessions run as morning or afternoon sessions each lasting about four hours. 

  • After a brief introductory session, you'll move into small groups in seminar rooms. You'll work with the same small group for the whole session.
  • Your group Observer will take you through a series of interactive activities, noticing what you're good at and what energises you, as well as asking you to consider this for yourself. You are not compared to anyone else, there is no pass or fail, and they'll be focusing on the positive.
  • You'll get your feedback from your Observer and consider what you’ve discovered about yourself.
  • To close the session, you'll have an opportunity for a one-to-one discussion with your Observer about any aspects of the day, your strengths or your future action plans.
  • There is a break part way through the session (with cake!) and the water fountains in the building will be operating to top up water bottles (please bring your own).

Read our guest blog from a past participant of how the Development Day helped her.

Photography and video recording may take place during York Strengths Development Days, which may be used for marketing purposes by the University of York. If you have any concerns or would prefer not to feature, please email

Do I need to do anything before the Development Day?

To get the most out of the session you'll need to access York Strengths Online before attending. This will give you an introduction to the programme, and you'll complete an initial consideration of your strengths.

Please complete all sections at least up to and including completing your York Strengths Grid in the ‘Strengths Discovery’ section. This can normally be completed in no more than 60 minutes. Please bring a copy of your completed York Strengths Grid with you to the Development Day.

Will the Development Day be Covid-safe?

The Development Day sessions will be operated in-line with the wider University of York approach for delivery of learning and teaching activities during the pandemic, including the requirements for face coverings, room occupation levels, hand sanitising and maintaining air flow.

The content for the sessions has been substantially redesigned to create an engaging experience while maintaining Covid-safe practices, and we will keep this under review as guidance changes.

If I attend, do I still need to do York Strengths Online?

York Strengths Online and the York Strengths Development Day work together to support you in assessing yourself against the nine York Strengths, and identifying YOUR strengths.

  • York Strengths Online introduces you to strengths-based methodology. You'll then complete a strengths assessment independently (through a self-led series of self-discovery reflections and exercises) and be supported in forming an action plan to develop your strengths and gain experience. 
  • On the York Strengths Development Day you work with others. The focus is on taking part in a series of interactive activities, led by an Observer, and completed with others in a small group. The Observer will be noticing what you're good at and what energises you, as well as asking you to consider this for yourself. This will give you additional insight into your strengths.

York Strengths Online provides the core content for all students, and the alternative to the Development Day for those who are unable or do not wish to attend.

The York Strengths Development Day session provide an added opportunity to explore your strengths in more depth, with feedback from group members and an external observer. 

To be recorded as having completed York Strengths, have this added to your student record and receive a certificate you must complete the final submission at the end of York Strengths Online.

I have additional needs / concerns about attending - can you support me?

We are really keen, and working hard to make sure this event is as accessible as possible, and that everyone has a positive experience when they attend.

Please notify us using the booking form if you may need some adjustments to help you get the most out of the day (relating to a disability or health condition). A member of the York Strengths team will be in touch to discuss this further with you.

If you have any questions, concerns or would just like to talk through what's involved, then please email before booking.

Staff will be available to offer support on the day if needed.