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How to write a personal statement

The personal statement element of the application is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, and why you want to study the subject that you have applied for. We want you to tell us what it is about your chosen subject that ignites your passion to study it at university.

Your personal statement is a great place to showcase your understanding; reflect on any relevant experience or further reading that you have done; as well as tell us a little bit about you.

Things to consider in your personal statement 

Your chosen course

  • The specific areas of the course you find the most interesting and what else you want to learn
  • Whether there was something or someone that influenced your interest in the subject or inspired your intended career
  • If you've done any wider reading on the subject, or independent research on the subject
  • How the course fits into your intended career path. 

Your experience

  • Any personal or work experience you've had that you feel will be relevant to the course or studying at university
  • Focus on what you have learned from your experience and reflect on the skills you have gained. 

Your extra-curricular activities

  • Any regular extra-curricular activities or unique one-off experiences that can demonstrate your skills and ability relevant to the course. 

Tips for writing a personal statement

You only have one personal statement

  • Each university you apply to will see the same personal statement. You should avoid naming specific universities or course titles. If you have applied to similar courses, you should focus on the subject area of interest 
  • Universities recognise applicants may wish to apply to more than one subject area. If this is the case with your application, we would recommend you focus on more general skills and experiences relevant to study at university.

Reflect on experience

  • Your academic achievements and abilities are already listed elsewhere on your application 
  • Use the personal statement to tell admissions more about your interest in your chosen subject, relevant experiences, and personal achievements. You may wish to also include hobbies outside of academia.

Plan your personal statement

  • Be sure to make a plan before writing your personal statement. This might be a list of what you would like to include and how much space you want to dedicate to each point 
  • UCAS allows a personal statement of 4,000 characters or 47 lines. This is approximately one side of A4 
  • You may wish to write more than one draft before submitting your personal statement 
  • There is a lot of guidance available on structuring a Personal statement online, UCAS has some useful information here.

It’s important to proofread

  • Be sure to proofread your personal statement before submitting your application
  • You may wish to ask a friend or family member to proofread your personal statement as well.