Undergraduate courses - UCAS - Your Personal Statement

Personal statements are 4,000 character statements that sell you as a student to the university you are applying for. Universities will use what you have written in the personal statement to either offer you a place on the course without interview but also use it as a tool to determine whether they will offer you an interview or not.

The amount of characters may sound like a lot however once you get started you will find it will take a couple of drafts before you are ready to send if off with your application.

When should I start my Personal Statement?

As soon as possible is the answer. The more time you have to spend on your personal the better as this will allow you to tweak it as many times as you need to and mean you are not rushing to meet a deadline.

What will I write in my personal statement?

You will have gathered a lot of information during your research for your course so will have a lot more at hand if you keep a few notes along the away.

It is worth rereading the information on the course you are applying for to see if there are any key words that the university used to describe the course and their students for example: problem solving, good communicator and so on.

Don’t try and cover all aspects of what the course entail but make sure to cover key skills and qualities that are typically associated within your course of interest.

Remember to answer the obvious questions too such as ‘Why you want to study the course’. Whilst this seems obvious many people forget to do this!

A few hints and tips on writing a personal statement:

  • Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
  • Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
  • Don’t tell fibs! Not even white lies as the admissions team will see through it or call ask for more info on it.
  • Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

If you are really struggling to start your personal statement there are many online that you can read to get things going. This can be done by looking up personal statements on a search engine or check out The Student Room website. This site was set up by students for students applying to university: www.thestudentroom.co.uk

What not to write in a personal statement

  • Do not mention a specific university by name especially if are applying to other universities.
  • Plagiarism, lies or exaggeration – applications are automatically checked and will be disqualified if plagiarised. Lies and exaggeration can become troublesome when asked to demonstrate it.
  • Irrelevant personal facts – you may have be able to bake the most scrumptious cupcakes in town but those in the field of archelogy won’t find it much use in your application (though might appreciate it when you are out on site!)

At ER&M we recommend that you write your personal statement in a word document THEN transfer it to your application when it is completed. This will avoid you sending off the application before it is finished.

When you add to your application save it regularly as the screen will refresh periodically with any unsaved changed lost.

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