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Writing your Personal Statement

The Personal Statement in the UCAS application is all about you but it’s also an opportunity to tell universities why you want to study there and why you want to study a particular subject.

Why is it important?

There are some courses where you may have to have an interview, or provide a portfolio, but for many courses, universities make their decisions solely on your UCAS application - and the personal statement is your chance to sell yourself.

Read our current student Emma's hints and tips on writing your personal statement. 

What should you highlight in your Personal Statement?

This will depend on the courses you want to study. Generally, universities want to know how your current studies have shaped your decision and what experiences you've gained. They want to know what interests you about the subject area, and whether you have a long-term career goal. Ultimately, they want to learn about you - your extra-curricular activities, what you do in your spare time, any relevant work/volunteer experience, and any other achievements.  

You should use this opportunity to demonstrate the transferable skills and attributes you have gained from inside and outside of school/college. For instance, if you're a good maths student, you're likely to have good analytical skills and problem-solving abilities. If you are part of a sports team, you’re likely going to have good teamwork skills. 

If you're not sure where to start, scribble down a list of what you've done, and pick out the most relevant parts.  

If you are applying to a Health Course such as Nursing, we want to know that you understand the career and the skills and values needed to succeed in it, so make sure you do your research.  


Tips for constructing your personal statement 

  • Keep it focused - Don't waffle and avoid using unnecessary quotes or statements 
  • Keep it relevant - Don’t list everything you have ever done if it’s not relevant  
  • Keep it organised – make sure it’s clear, concise, and logical 
  • Keep it authentic – Don’t embellish or copy. Make sure you could talk about anything in your statement.  
  • Keep it neutral – You only get one statement for all universities 
  • Avoid cliches - Phrases such as 'for as long as I can remember' may sound good but they can sound cliched and at times simply aren't true 
  • Be enthusiastic – show some enthusiasm for what you want to do  
  • Back up your statements - For instance, if you find something interesting, don’t just say that, explain why. 
  • Get it checked – Have someone read it over before you submit 

UCAS have a few good templates on how personal statements can be organised - think about something like PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation) if you're struggling. 

Good luck! 


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