Making it personal – your guide to writing a personal statement

With the UCAS deadline just around the corner, you may be thinking about your university application.

Part of this includes a personal statement, which might sound daunting, but this is your chance to tell admissions staff why they should give you a place at your chosen university. Simply put, it’s your chance to shine.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few tips to help you get started:

Set the scene

This is your chance to tell admissions officers why they should choose you. Let them know how passionate you are about your subject. Outline the knowledge you have already gained by researching your subject (you could mention books or documentaries you’ve used) and why you want to pursue it. If you’re applying for a variety of subjects, just write about common themes, like problem-solving or creativity. Remember you can only write one personal statement, so it will be the same for each course and institution you apply for. Try not to mention universities or colleges by name.

Think outside the classroom

It’s not all about academic achievement – admissions officers like to see that you have interests outside school or college and it also shows you have transferable skills that can be applied to your chosen course and life in general. If you’re part of a sports club or volunteer for a local charity, include these in your statement

Share your personal circumstances

You may have faced challenges that have impacted your academic performance. You may have missed lessons due to illness or injury, or you may be a carer for a family member. You don’t need to feel embarrassed by your circumstances, whatever they may be. It shows you have the resilience and drive to overcome challenges, which is what admissions officers like to see. So don’t be afraid to share your circumstances.

Need more help? There are plenty of resources out there that can offer more tips and advice – this is a good place to start: Ten places to get personal statement pointers

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