If you’re applying to university via UCAS, then your personal statement is one of the most important parts of your application. It’s your opportunity to show why you want to study the course you’re applying for and why you should be accepted onto it.
It’s important to show enthusiasm for the course and demonstrate you have a genuine interest in the area you want to study. What did you like about it at school? Do you have hobbies or interests outside the classroom that compliment your understanding? Have you read wider than the books your teachers provided? Why have you chosen this subject? When did your interest for it first develop and why? Include information about what drives you to study this area. Your passion for learning the subject needs to jump off the page.
Make sure your statement is relevant to all the courses you are applying for. If you’re applying to a joint honours course, have you dealt with both subject areas evenly and explained why you want to study both?
Plan out your statement before writing it and write several versions until you’re happy with it. It’s worth spending this extra time to get it exactly how you want it and to make sure it best describes you.
Be honest. Don’t lie or exaggerate on your statement. Many universities interview applicants and they will refer to your personal statement. If you can’t back up the claims you make in your statement when in an interview situation, you’ll come across poorly. Be honest and focus on your achievements and reasons for choosing the course.
Include a balance of academic and non-academic interests, but always remember the skills you’re developing which will boost your statement. If you were part of a sports team, how did it help your teamwork? If you had a part-time job, how did it help your confidence or planning skills? Always relate back the skills you learn from non-academic interests to the skills that will help you with your studies.
What are your future career plans and how will this course help you achieve those aims? If you don’t have a firm idea of what field you’d like to work in, will your course enable you to experience a ‘year in industry’ to help you decide what type of work is right for you? If you’re really stuck then focus on the skills the course will teach you, and how you can apply these to different sectors.
Finish with a summing up paragraph and get someone you trust, like a teacher of family member, to proof read it for you. Take constructive feedback on board, as it will make your statement even better.
Good luck! 🙂
This is a guest post written by the digital communications officer at the University of Kent.