Your UCAS personal statement is a chance to show universities and colleges why you want to study the course and why you’d make a great student. UCAS put a strict 4,000 character limit on your statement, which means they are not looking for a lengthy essay but a short outline of your personal attributes, skills and reasons for wanting to study at university.
You should start drafting your statement early. It might take a while to make sure it covers everything you want to say and you should allow plenty of time to check it through with teachers, advisers or family.
Structure your statement to include everything that you want to say in an order that’s most relevant to what the universities and colleges are looking for. You can use the outline below to think about the information that you can include which you can then refine for your final statement.
- Begin with a short sentence outlining why you are a great candidate with the skills and qualities that they are looking for. It’s important to be yourself, it may be tempting to write in a stiff and formal way, but it is most important to write clearly and appropriately but you should, ultimately sound like yourself.
- About the course
- Why are you applying for the chosen course?
- Why are you interested in the subject?
- How do your previous studies relate to the course?
- Do you have any particular skills and experience that make you suitable for the course and that will help you succeed?
- Do you have any activities or hobbies that demonstrate your interest in the course?
- Skills and achievements
- It’s great to include any training or achievements that show your skills. This can include any accredited or non-accredited achievements or representation such as sporting achievements, Duke of Edinburgh successes, or if you lead a club or association.
- Think about achievements that you are proud of, positions of responsibility that you hold or have held both in and out of school/college, and attributes that make you interesting, special or unique.
- Hobbies and interests
- Think about how your hobbies, interests and social activities demonstrate your personality, skills and abilities and try to link them to the skills and experience required for your course.
- Work experience
- Include details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if it’s relevant to your chosen course. Think about how this experience relates to the skills and qualities the university/college are looking for.
- Future plans
- Explain how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain completing the course in a future role or further study.
- Mature students
- Outline what you have been doing since leaving education and give details of any relevant work experience (paid or unpaid) as well as information about your current or previous employment.
- International students
- Tell universities why you want to study in the UK and to outline the skills and knowledge that you have to successfully complete a course taught in English. You could include information about studies and examinations you have undertaken in English and details of any activities where you have used English outside of your studies.
- Reinforce your commitment, enthusiasm and skills for the course and suitability for university/college study.
When you have completed your final draft check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Proofread as many times as possible as the spellchecker won’t pick up on everything. Reading your statement out loud to yourself can also help you to tell whether it makes sense and ‘flows’ effectively. Ask people you trust for feedback and ask them to check for spelling and grammatical errors too.
Once you think you’ve finished, revisit the information you have for your chosen courses and your original list and double check that you haven’t left anything out or repeated yourself. If, like most people, your statement starts off by being too long, avoiding repetition will also help you to cut down on the word count.
Want to know more?
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the application process, feel free to contact our Undergraduate Admissions Team.
T: 01244 511000
Or, for more general enquiries contact us, we’d be more than happy to help.
T: 01244 511000
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