You've chosen the course you want to apply for at University, great! Now you're looking forward to getting your application underway. The only problem? - You've got to write a personal statement first. Many people find writing a personal statement a stumbling block in the UCAS application process. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to get the word count up. To help with this confusion, I have written this article. In it, you will find information about what you should write in your personal statement, along with general tips and an example of how to lay it out. 

A personal statement is basically an essay talking about you and why you want to study the course or courses you've applied for. It's a great opportunity to explain to Universities why you chose your subject and tell them how excited you are to start studying the course. 

General Tips

Don't worry - The best advice I would give for anyone writing a personal statement is to not worry about it. The UCAS process isn't as difficult as it's often made out to be and it's good to remember that you're applying to study this course because you want to pursue this subject, meaning you will have plenty to write about.

Proofread - Yes, it can feel embarrassing to get a family member or friend to proofread your personal statement for you. However, it's a great way to check your grammar, spelling and see if anyone else have ideas of things you can add. It's easy to miss errors when you read over your own work. 

Write it Out in a Word Processor First - Write out your statement in a word processor, then copy and paste it into UCAS. It's easier to see the overall structure and correct any mistakes this way.

Linking each sentence to the course - It's good advice to make sure everything you're saying links back to the course. There should be a justification for each point you make, so think about what each detail tells Universities about you and why they should accept you. Just make sure you're not overdoing it by mentioning the subject name too much! 

For example, say you have a job in a little local cafe and you think it's good to mention this because it shows teamwork, you could say:

"Over the summer, I worked in a local cafe where I learnt the importance of teamwork, this will help me in _(subject)_ when I'm required to work in a team" - this is a bit wordy.

"Over the summer, I worked in a local cafe which gave me experience of working with others" - this is more succinct and it still tells the reader what you're saying.

In previous sentences, you'll have linked back to the course subject so you don't have to do it after every piece of information you give.

Things to Include in Your Personal Statement

Why do you want to study the course?

Spend some time thinking about why you have chosen this degree. Make a list of what you would enjoy about it and why you love this subject, then work out how you can word this in your statement. You can also think about the specific parts of the course that you're looking forward to studying and how this links in with your passion for the subject.

Gap years
If you've taken any gap years you can include things you learnt throughout the time you had off from studying and experiences that may have helped you decide to go to university. It could be worth explaining why you made the decision to take a gap year to start with.

Future Career Plans
Think about where the course you've chosen could take you in the future. Maybe you've already got an idea of why you're studying it and what career prospects it brings. Perhaps you would like to do more studying after this degree so you can get a job in the sphere you're interested in. Make sure to write about all of this as it tells universities why you're enthusiastic to come and study your course.

Previous Studying
The subjects you studied at A level, Btec or similar probably say a lot about you. If one of your subjects was particularly influential in helping you decide to choose this course, talk about it, the things you studied in it that particularly interested you and topics, coursework, projects you completed that connect to your future degree. Don't be afraid to be excited talking about the subject you love.

About You as a Person
Have you had any experiences unique to you? If you have studied some unusual subjects or taken a different route of education (such as Home Education), talk about it, what it taught you and the skills you can take away from it.

Do you have any hobbies? Mention them and what skills they require, such as working in a team or having to be organised. You don't have to go into lots of detail, but it's another great way to stand out and explain a bit about you and your characteristics.

Experience that helps you
If you've done any volunteering or awards such as Duke of Edinburgh, give it a mention. It doesn't have to be a long paragraph unless you think it's necessary. Again, mention the skills this challenge gave you, such as working on your own initiative or using coordination. Universities also like to see examples of work experience in the field you're going into, even if it was only for a short time, so it would definitely be worth mentioning this as well. 

Brainstorm other ideas
Brainstorm some other ideas on a piece of paper. These categories are only suggestions and you probably have lots of unique experiences that will help your application. You could make a mind map and write on it all the ideas you have that could go in your statement. 

How to lay it out

There are several ways of laying out a personal statement. Here is one outline that you might find helpful:

IntroductionTalk about why you chose the course in the first place. Have you had any Gap years and how has this led you to the decision to go to university and choose this degree?

Paragraph 1 - About you. Here you can add your hobbies, experiences and attributes that are unique to you. 

Paragraph 2 - Education. Write about specific things you enjoyed about a particular A Level or BTEC subject that led you to want to do this. Include projects and coursework if applicable.

Conclusion -  Careers. Where do you see yourself heading with this degree and what plans do you have for the future?

Overall, writing a personal statement isn't that hard once you figure out the things you want to write in it. If you make a good case for your skillset, mention your experiences and explain your excitement about studying the course, you're well on your way to a great Uni application.

Are you applying to UCAS this year?

Thanks for popping by! I hope you learnt something from this post.


Find me on:  Instagram  Pinterest

No comments