Accessibility statement

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 normally offered to undergraduate first year students, and postgraduate taught students. They will be running during weeks 8, 9 and 10 of summer term 2021.

A Development Day session takes about 3 1/2 hours, and is supported by the content in York Strengths Online.

  • Before attending, you'll need to access York Strengths Online for an introduction to the programme, and an initial consideration of your strengths
  • Book a place on one of our York Strengths Development Day sessions on Handshake. Search 'strengths' in the event listings and select your preferred UoY: York Strengths Development Day session (for first year undergraduates/postgraduate taught students) to secure your place.
  • After the Development Day session you'll also need to complete the submission at the end of York Strengths Online to be recorded as having completed York Strengths

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.

How do I book my place?

All Development Day sessions will appear on our events booking system, Handshake. 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 soon 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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Development Day?

The Development Day sessions run from either 10.00am, 12.30pm, 2.15pm or 4.30pm, all for just over 3.5 hours. 

  • After a brief ice breaker and introduction, your 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 work with the same small group for the whole session. 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 1-1 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, 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.

Please note: photography and video recording will 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?

Before attending you'll need to access York Strengths Online for an introduction to the programme, and an initial consideration of your strengths. Please complete all sections up to and including ‘Strengths Discovery’ (section 6, task 2a) before attending. This should normally take no more than 30 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. 

The content for the sessions has been substantially redesigned to create an engaging experience while maintaining Covid-safe practices and social distancing (2m). There will be a maximum of four students and one observer in a room (Spring Lane Building). You'll remain with this same group for the whole session. 

As the Development Day content is similar to problem based learning, the following specific requirements apply:

  • Students and observers must wear either a face covering, or if they are exempt, a visor (if you need a visor, we can supply this for you).
  • Where a student is exempt from wearing both a face covering and a visor, York Strengths Online is available as an alternative to the Development Day.

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 exercises and reflections) and be supported in forming an action plan to develop your strengths and move towards a career you'll enjoy. 
  • 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.

For the 2020/21 academic year, York Strengths Online will provide 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 Days will 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.

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. 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.

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.

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

You can 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.

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