Writing your personal statement

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is an element of your application to study at your chosen university. It is a short document that is all about you, demonstrating why you are suitable to study your chosen course at university. 

What is its purpose?

This is where you demonstrate why you'd like to study a particular course or subject by displaying your relevent skills, attributes and experience that show your passion for your chosen subject. It also tells the admissions team that you have the writing capabilities needed to complete this course. 

What do you write about?

This is about you. You have to show the admissions team why you are suitable to study your chosen course at their university. 

Before you get started, here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Look at the course description and highlight the skills, qualities and experience that it requires. Then try and write an example of a time when you have displayed this. 

  • Tell the reader why you're applying, what are your ambitions and interests? Why have you chosen to go onto higher education with this course provider?

  •  Think about what else makes you stand out? Do you do any clubs or sports? Have you been involved in volunteering? 

  • Have you taken part in any programmes such as Duke of Edinburgh? These develop a range of transferable skills that you could include? 

How do you write it?

Your personal statement is meant to be unique to you, demonstrating you and your skills as an individual. This means that there isn't one way to write it. However there are a few pointers that can guide you: 

  • Before you start writing- write a brief plan outlining what you are going to discuss and how many words/lines this might take up. You have 4,000 characters and 47 lines- be sure to include all of your main points. 

  • Use enthusiastic language but remember to be clear and concise. 

  • Stand out, through enriching your content with your skills, and experiences. Try to avoid being humorous, you don't know the readers sense of humour. 

  • When you are thinking about structuring each of your points, take a look back at the course description and follow what the university values the most.  

  • Proof read aloud to yourself and then get another person, a teacher or a parent to read over it and redraft it until you are happy. This is an essential part, sometimes with our own work we don't see small mistakes or we may have to rewrite a sentence that isn't clear to an outside reader. 

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