How to write a university personal statement

  • Demonstrate transferable skills

Some of the things that you should be looking to highlight include your ability to work independently, teamwork, good time management, problem-solving skills, leadership and organisational or communication skills.

 

Avoid simply making a list – pick the most relevant skills and expand on them.

Demonstrate how you have developed, used and improved on these skills. Again, tutors want to read about specific things, for example:

  • Projects or assignments – what was your role? What went well? What did you learn?

  • Positions of responsibility – what did you organise? How did you ensure it was a success?

  • Sport, music or drama – how did you work as a team? What did you learn from your role?

  • Volunteering or a part-time job – what are your duties? What have you observed? Did you take on any extra responsibilities

  • Mention a long-term plan

If you have a specific career path in mind, mention it but try to make it sound more interesting than “I want to be a journalist”, for example. It is perfectly acceptable to not have a long-term plan at this stage – in this case, talk about what you are looking forward to about university and what you hope to gain from it. If you are applying for deferred entry, talk about your (constructive) gap year plans. Universities are generally happy with you taking a gap year but you do need to indicate how you intend to spend it. 

 

  • Say what you want from the course – you have talked a lot about what you can offer the university. Also tell course tutors what you want to achieve through their course.

 

  • Keep it positive and conclude on a positive note. Make your conclusion short and sharp, don’t just repeat what you have already said. Choose what your key messages are and state them concisely. There are plenty of examples of personal statements online if you want to see how some are written – try entering ‘best personal statement’ in Google.

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