Skip to content
Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Careers and skills

York Futures

Studying at York gives you more than a degree. We help prepare you for whatever future path you choose to take.

During your time at York we offer you the chance to develop your skills, strengths and leadership qualities through a series of activities and opportunities. You can build a rich portfolio of skills and experiences to enhance your CV, impress employers, set up your own enterprise or prepare you for further study.

Contact us

Careers team
+44 (0)1904 322685

Shape your future

York Futures is our professional development programme that has been created in partnership with top graduate employers. Our unique approach starts early in your time at York, giving you the time you need to explore your options and take full advantage of our broad range of personal development opportunities.

A key part of York Futures is our sector-leading personal development day for first year students. This immersive full day event gives you the opportunity to understand yourself better, assess your progress and identify areas for development. The day culminates in the creation of a personal action plan to kick start your career planning.

Discover how our Careers team can inspire and support your ambitions.

US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was the star guest of Northern Youth, a student-led fashion show in aid of the refugee crisis. Projects like this can go towards your York Award and help you gain valuable work experience.

York Award

The York Award recognises and rewards your contribution to activities and communities at York. The award brings together your involvement in societies, volunteering, employer events, work placements and internships.

You can achieve the York Award at three levels; each offers a greater challenge: your First Year is a chance to develop employability skills; your Second Year develops your skills of self reflection. Finally in your Third Year you'll work alongside top employers on the York Award Leaders Programme. The York Award helps you to understand more about yourself, identify your strengths and equip you with the skills identified by businesses and alumni as key attributes of excellent graduate recruits.

Discover the York Award.

Stand out from the crowd

Get a head start to a brighter future through the opportunities, resources and advice we offer.

Go global

York has links with top academic institutions and employers all over the world. You can apply to go abroad for a few weeks, a semester or a full academic year.

You can also build up your language skills and cultural knowledge before you study abroad by joining one of our free courses (Languages for International Mobility) when you come to York.

Explore our global programmes and placements.

Olivia, Worldwide Exchange Programme in the USA. Where you can go depends on your course of study at York.

"My semester in Spain turned out to be one of the greatest, most special times of my life. I have no doubt that the friends and memories I have made on my year abroad will last a lifetime."

Laura, La Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Erasmus exchange)


Learn a language

Even if you're not preparing for an international placement, you can still develop new language skills alongside your studies. Whether you want to study for fun or improve your career prospects, we offer a wide range of flexible language courses.

Courses are available in different levels, from beginner to advanced, and include languages such as Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Japanese, Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Find out more about our Languages for All programmes.

"Extra activities can help expand your CV, knowledge, skills, experiences and personal development. They are what employers look for when recruiting.”

Alex, BA Sociology with Criminology

Work while you study

Gain valuable work experience and industry knowledge, and develop your key skills by taking a summer internship, choosing a Year in Industry, or by undertaking part-time work during your studies.

New for 2018. As an undergraduate student at York, you will have the opportunity to pursue a placement, regardless of what course you choose. This is the perfect opportunity to gain valuable work experience and enhance your employability.

Explore opportunities to work while you study.

"My internship at TSYS was about understanding the consumer perception around mobile payments. I designed an online survey and analysed the data using a statistical program which I learned to use during my Masters at York. What I did during the internship was linked so closely to what I studied throughout the academic year."

Lucio, MSc Global Marketing


Broaden your leadership and organisational skills and make a difference to other people’s lives through our extensive volunteering programme.

You could volunteer in a local school through our award-winning York Students in School scheme, support people with dementia with the Minds in Motion project, or run a fundraising event for Raising and Giving (RAG).

Explore our volunteering programme.

"I volunteered for the charity Minds in Motion. They hold social and recreational events for people living with dementia. My role included organising all the logistics like booking venues, inviting guests and recruiting volunteers to run the session. Through my volunteering, I’ve realised that working for a charity is what I want to do in the future.”

Heather, BA English Literature and Philosophy

Start a business

We can help you grow your fledgeling business. Connect with mentors and business advisers and tap into the culture of enterprise and innovation at our Student Enterprise Space. The centre offers free hot-desking facilities and support to help you put your ideas into action.

Competitions and activities run throughout the year and are a great way to get involved with enterprise, gain financial backing, and develop your skills. You can also access funding and extra support through YuStart, our crowdfunding platform, or by joining the Entrepreneurs Society, run by and for students who are interested in enterprise.

Find out more about how we support enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The Student Enterprise Space includes a 360 degree demonstration space.

"Staff from York’s Careers service helped me get my business idea off the ground. They encouraged me to formulate a business plan and apply for funding and support from the University – I went to entrepreneur bootcamp and learned a lot.”

Bethan Vincent, Director of Vincent’s Coffee and Bright Ethics, BA History, 2013

Benefit from a scholarship

Each year the University offers additional scholarships to students once they have started their studies at York, including scholarships to enhance employability and leadership skills.

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship

The Laidlaw Scholarship equips you with the skills, knowledge and behaviour to become a leader of tomorrow, and to make a significant impact in your chosen occupation.

The programme combines leadership development with a research project to develop key transferable skills and empower you to leave a lasting legacy in your field.

Meet our 2017/18 scholars

York Futures Scholarship

Offering 70 awards in 2017/18, the York Futures Scholarship provides funds for you to access opportunities that give you a head start in the job market.

Find out more

The Laidlaw Scholarship programme is offering 25 scholarships in 2017/18.

Link with our networks

You can meet top employers at our recruitment fairs held regularly on campus.

Benefit from networking opportunities that will link you with young graduates and professionals across a range of industries.

Engage with top employers

Employers regularly target our students and graduates for internships, placements and graduate vacancies. You'll also get the chance to meet them at careers fairs, workshops, presentations and networking events, as well as through your academic department.

This includes recruiters such as L’Oréal, Morgan Stanley, Nestlé, HSBC, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, IBM, the NHS, Teach First and the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate scheme.

Workshops and events

Access hundreds of workshops, skills sessions and networking events to enhance your career prospects, strengthen your CV and develop key transferable skills. Employer talks, recruitment fairs, departmental events, and careers workshops offer regular opportunities to network with potential employers, explore your options and get help and advice.

Online case studies

You can learn about successful York graduates' career journeys through talks, online case studies and mentoring schemes.

Our expert careers advisers will help you make the most of your time at university and fulfil your aspirations.

The Working In events provide an opportunity to talk to professionals working in areas that you're interested in.

York Alumni Association

Our global network of 116,000 York alumni work in organisations such as Twitter, the United Nations, Accenture, BBC, Deutsche Bank, European Space Agency, Microsoft, BMW, NATO, BP, Diageo, Google, and J P Morgan.

Many of our alumni visit campus, share their stories and are there to offer you support and advice through York Alumni Association.

York Award

Recognising and rewarding your contribution to activities and communities at York.

Find out more


Develop your skills and make a difference to other people’s lives

Get involved

Work while you study

Gain valuable work experience and industry knowledge.

Find out more

Study abroad

You can apply to go abroad for a few weeks, a semester or a full academic year.

Go global

Contact us

Careers team
+44 (0)1904 322685