From the UK undergraduate UCAS to postgraduate application, we have it all covered for some quick and useful tips on how to write a personal statement.
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What is a Personal
Applying to a UK university can be
daunting experience having to navigate through the whole application process
and various documents required. One of the biggest challenges voiced by our
students is the writing of a personal statement.
So, what exactly is a personal
statement and why do you need to write one?
Personal statements form an
important part of your university application. It gives whoever is assessing
your application an opportunity to form a mental picture of you.
It is a 450-600-word piece of
writing that explains your intention in applying to a particular university,
the course of your choice, your experience and why the university should offer
you a place.
The critical question then for most
‘How do I make an impression and
stand out from among thousands of other applicants that I should be offered a
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As an applicant, you have this
opportunity to share with the admissions tutor (the person reading your
personal statement to decide if you should be offered a place) what you want to
include in your personal statement.
It is your only opportunity at this
initial stage to make an impression on why you should be offered a place to
study with them.
So, WHAT do you have to write in
your personal statement?
Though you may include details to
demonstrate your academic ability and achievement, it is equally important to
demonstrate your engagement with the subject.
A good place to start is to share
what motivates or inspires you to pursue the subject, which you can use to
elaborate to demonstrate your understanding and engagement with the subject,
and how it relates to your future plan.
Requirements for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Applications
There are some different
requirements when it comes to writing a personal statement for Undergraduate
and Postgraduate application.
For the Undergraduate application,
you will only write ONE personal statement (of no more than 4,000 characters;
approx 500-550 words) to apply to all your 5
Remember, since it is the same
personal statement the admissions tutors of your 5 choices are going to read, don’t
mention a specific university’s name in your personal statement.
Most students would choose similar
courses within one subject area for their 5 choices but if you have
choices that cover two or more subject areas, you can focus more on a common
topic and your transferrable skills such as problem-solving, communication,
On the other hand, you get to write
a dedicated personal statement for each of your Postgraduate applications.
This means you can tailor your
personal statement to match the course and the university since Postgraduate
courses generally cover more depth than Undergraduate courses and the same
course title offered at different universities may have very different scopes
It is the level of intention and
personalisation that admission tutors look for to identify prospective
should I go about Writing my Personal Statement?
- Before you begin, list down your
strengths – academic and non-academic.
- Research on the university and
course that you’re interested in.
- Think about how this course will
help you in the future
- Structure your information well
the universities and colleges value most
What should you
include in your personal statement?
Try asking the following:
1. Why do you like this subject? (What
do you find interesting about the subject?)
2. What aspects of the course interest
you? (Which part of the course you are looking forward to learn?)
3. Do your current or previous studies
relate to the course? (Subjects that you are currently studying and how they
relate to your course)
4. Do you have any experience that
shows commitment to the course?
- Work experience
- Extra-curricular activities/workshops
- Other activities that you feel are relevant to
5. Do you have any achievements or soft
skills gained from previous experience?
KEY to Success
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1. Be specific
2. Show that you’ve done your
3. Evaluate your learning experience
to demonstrate what you have learnt
4. Keep it positive
5. Show enthusiasm but keep it
concise and natural
6. Draft until you’re happy with it
7. Make sure you proofread, get the
team at UKEC to check before sending it out!
8. Be original. Don’t copy from your
friend or the internet! It is after all your personal statement, not someone
else’s. If you get caught, your application will be flagged and you could face
some serious consequences!
Strong, Finish Strong!
The last paragraph of your personal
statement is your final chance to “sell” yourself to the university of your
Be sure to use this paragraph to make
that final impact.
You can also opt to sum up your
personal statement and reiterate why you should be offered a place to study.
This is only a small guide to
writing your personal statement. Remember, the team at UKEC will assist you in
preparing your personal statement and revising them accordingly if necessary.
This way, you can be at ease when
you apply for the course and university of your choice with us!
Got a question about writing your