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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

where to write personal statement ucas

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  • The essential ingredients for writing a great Personal Statement
  • How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples]

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The UCAS Personal Statement can sometimes be a student’s only chance to impress a UK university. Read our in-depth guide to helping your students plan & write a winning application.

There are hundreds of articles out there on how to write a UCAS Personal Statement that will grab the attention of a UK university admissions officer.  

But if you’re working with students to help them perfect their Personal Statement in time for the  relevant UCAS deadlines , we can sum up the secret to success in three words.

Planning, structure and story. 

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s chance to talk about why they want to study for a particular degree, course or subject discipline at a UK university. 

As they set about writing a personal statement, students need to demonstrate the drive, ambition, relevant skills and notable achievements that make them a  suitable candidate for the universities they have chosen to apply to . 

But the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to write a lot about themselves in a relatively short space of time. That’s why lots of planning, a tight structure and a compelling story are essential if a student’s Personal Statement is to truly excel. 

As important deadlines for UK university applications grow closer, we at BridgeU have put together a guide, outlining some of the strategies and techniques to help your students to write a personal statement which is both engaging and truly individual.

Handpicked Related Content

Discover the simple steps that will boost the confidence of your native English speaking & ESL students alike in  University Application Essays: The 5 Secrets of Successful Writing .

As they begin to plan their Personal Statement, students may feel intimidated. It’s not easy to summarise your academic interests and personal ambitions, especially when you’re competing for a place on a course which is popular or has demanding entry requirements. In particular, students will likely come up against the following challenges.

Time pressure

Unfortunately, the Personal Statement (and other aspects of university preparation) comes during the busiest year of the student’s academic life so far.

Students, and indeed teachers and counsellors, must undertake the planning and writing of the personal statement whilst juggling other commitments, classes and deadlines, not to mention revision and open day visits!

Because there is already a lot of academic pressure on students in their final year of secondary school, finding the time and headspace for the personal statement can be hard, and can mean it gets pushed to the last minute. The risks of leaving it to the last minute are fairly obvious – the application will seem rushed and the necessary thought and planning won’t go into  making the personal statement the best it can be . 

Sticking closely to the Personal Statement format

The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict – up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it’s also important that they don’t feel the need to fill the available space needlessly.  Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential .

Making it stand out

This is arguably the greatest challenge facing students – making sure that their statement sets them apart from everyone else who is competing for a place on any given course; in 2022 alone, UCAS received applications from 683,650 applicants (+1.6k on 2021) students. In addition, UCAS uses its own dedicated team and purpose built software to check every application for plagiarism, so it’s crucial that students craft a truly  original personal statement which is entirely their own work .

The essential ingredients for writing a great UCAS Personal Statement 

We’ve already mentioned our three watch words for writing a high quality Personal Statement.

Planning. Structure. Story. 

Let’s dig deeper into these three essential components in more detail.

Watch: How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement with University of Essex

Planning a ucas personal statement.

It might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s vital that students plan their Personal Statement before they start writing it. Specifically, the planning phase could include: 

  • Students thoroughly researching the UK university courses they plan on applying to. 
  • Deciding on what relevant material to include in their Personal Statement (we’ll cover this in more detail later on). 
  • Writing an unedited first draft where they just get their thoughts and ideas down on paper. 

Structuring a UCAS Personal Statement

As we’ve discussed, the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to be extremely disciplined – they will be required to condense a lot of information into a relatively short written statement. This means that, after they’ve written a rough first draft, they need to think carefully about how they structure the final statement. 

A stand out Personal Statement will need a tight structure, with an introduction and a conclusion that make an impact and really help to tell a story about who your student is, and why they are drawn to studying this particular degree. 

This brings us nicely to our third and final ingredient…

Telling a story with a Personal Statement

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s opportunity to show a university who they are and how their life experiences have shaped their academic interests and goals. 

So a good Personal Statement needs to offer a compelling narrative, and that means making sure that a student’s writing is well-structured, and that every sentence and paragraph is serving the statement’s ultimate purpose –  to convince a university that your student deserves a place on their subject of choice. 

How to help your students start their UCAS Personal Statement

In order to ensure that a personal statement is delivered on time and to an appropriate standard, it’s essential to plan thoroughly before writing it. Here are some questions you can ask your students before they start writing:

How can you demonstrate a formative interest in your subject?

It may sound obvious but, in order for any UCAS personal statement to have the necessary structure and clarity, students need to think hard about why they want to study their chosen subject. Ask them to think about their responses to the following questions:

What inspired you to study your chosen subject?

Example answer:  My desire to understand the nature of reality has inspired me to apply for Physics and Philosophy

Was there a formative moment when your perspective on this subject changed, or when you decided you wanted to study this subject in more detail?

Example answer:  My interest in philosophy was awakened when I questioned my childhood religious beliefs; reading Blackburn’s “Think”, convinced me to scrutinise my assumptions about the world, and to ensure I could justify my beliefs.

Can you point to any role models, leading thinkers, or notable literature which has in turn affected your thinking and/or inspired you?

Example answer :  The search for a theory of everything currently being conducted by physicists is of particular interest to me and in “The Grand Design” Hawking proposes a collection of string theories, dubbed M-theory, as the explanation of why the universe is the way it is.

Asking your students to think about the “why” behind their chosen subject discipline is a useful first step in helping them to organise their overall statement. Next, they need to be able to demonstrate evidence of their suitability for a course or degree. 

How have you demonstrated the skills and aptitudes necessary for your chosen course?

Encourage students to think about times where they have demonstrated the necessary skills to really stand out. It’s helpful to think about times when they have utilised these skills both inside and outside the classroom. Ask students to consider their responses to the following questions. 

Can you demonstrate critical and independent thinking around your chosen subject discipline?

Example answer :  Currently I am studying Maths and Economics in addition to Geography. Economics has been a valuable tool, providing the nuts and bolts to economic processes, and my geography has provided a spatial and temporal element.

Are you able to demonstrate skills and competencies which will be necessary for university study?

These include qualities such as teamwork, time management and the ability to organise workload responsibly.

Example answer:  This year I was selected to be captain of the 1st XV rugby team and Captain of Swimming which will allow me to further develop my leadership, teamwork and organisational skills.

How have your extracurricular activities helped prepare you for university?

Students may believe that their interests outside the classroom aren’t relevant to their university application. So encourage them to think about how their other interests can demonstrate the subject-related skills that universities are looking for in an application. Ask students to think about any of the following activities, and how they might be related back to the subject they are applying for.

  • Clubs/societies, or volunteering work which they can use to illustrate attributes such as teamwork, an interest in community service and the ability to manage their time proactively.
  • Have they been elected/nominated as a team captain, or the head of a particular club or society, which highlights leadership skills and an ability to project manage?
  • Can they point to any awards or prizes they may have won, whether it’s taking up a musical instrument, playing a sport, or participating in theatre/performing arts?
  • Have they achieved grades or qualifications as part of their extracurricular activities? These can only help to demonstrate aptitude and hard work. 

How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples] 

If sufficient planning has gone into the personal statement, then your students should be ready to go!

In this next section, we’ll break down the individual components of the UCAS Personal Statement and share some useful examples.

These examples come from a Personal Statement in support of an application to study Environmental Science at a UK university. 

Watch: King’s College London explain what they’re looking for in a UCAS Personal Statement

Introduction.

This is the chance for an applying student to really grab an admission tutor’s attention. Students need to demonstrate both a personal passion for their subject, and explain why they have an aptitude for it .  This section is where students should begin to discuss any major influences or inspirations that have led them to this subject choice. 

Example :  My passion for the environment has perhaps come from the fact that I have lived in five different countries: France, England, Spain, Sweden and Costa Rica. Moving at the age of 15 from Sweden, a calm and organized country, to Costa Rica, a more diverse and slightly chaotic country, was a shock for me at first and took me out of my comfort zone […] Also, living in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, definitely helped me realize how vulnerable the world is and how we need to take care of it in a sustainable manner. 

This opening paragraph immediately grabs the reader’s attention by giving the reader an insight into this student’s background and links their academic interests with something specific from the student’s personal backstory. 

Discussing Academic Achievements 

The next paragraph in this Personal Statement discusses the student’s academic achievements. Because this student has had an international education, they frame their academic achievements in the context of their personal background. They also cite useful examples of other curricula they have studied and the grades they have achieved. 

Example : 

Throughout my academic life I have shown myself to be a responsible student as well as a hard working one, despite the fact that I have had to move around a lot. I have achieved several other accomplishments such as a high A (286/300) in AS Spanish at age 15, and also completed a Spanish course of secondary studies for ‘MEP’(Ministerio de Educacion Publica), which is a system from Costa Rica.   

You’ll notice that this student doesn’t just list their achievements – their strong academic performance is always linked back to a wider discussion of their personal experiences. 

Showcasing Extracurricular Activities

As well as discussing academic achievements, a good Personal Statement should also discuss the student’s extracurricular activities, and how they relate back to the student’s overall university aspirations. 

By the third/fourth paragraph of the Personal Statement, students should think about incorporating their extracurricular experiences, 

Another valuable experience was when my class spent a week at a beach called ‘Pacuare’ in order to help prevent the eggs of the endangered leatherback turtle from being stolen by poachers who go on to sell them like chicken eggs. We all gained teamwork experience, which was needed in order to hide the eggs silently without scaring the mother turtles, as well as making it more difficult for the poachers to find them. 

When the poachers set fire to one of the sustainable huts where we were staying, not only did I gain self-awareness about the critical situation of the world and its ecosystems, I also matured and became even more motivated to study environmental sciences at university.

This is a particularly striking example of using extracurricular activities to showcase a student’s wider passion for the degree subject they want to study. 

Not only does this Personal Statement have a story about volunteering to save an endangered species, it also illustrates this applicants’ wider worldview, and helps to explain their motivation for wanting to study Environmental Science. 

Concluding the UCAS Personal Statement

The conclusion to a UCAS Personal Statement will have to be concise, and will need to tie all of a student’s academic and extracurricular achievements. After all, a compelling story will need a great ending. 

Remember that students need to be mindful of the character limit of a Personal Statement, so a conclusion need only be the length of a small paragraph, or even a couple of sentences. 

“ After having many varied experiences, I truly think I can contribute to university in a positive way, and would love to study in England where I believe I would gain more skills and education doing a first degree than in any other country.  “

A good Personal Statement conclusion will end with an affirmation of how the student thinks they can contribute to university life, and why they believe the institution in question should accept them. Because the student in this example has a such a rich and varied international background, they also discuss the appeal of studying at university in England. 

It’s worth taking a quick look at a few other examples of how other students have chosen to conclude their Personal Statement. 

Medicine (Imperial College, London) 

Interest in Medicine aside, other enthusiasms of mine include languages, philosophy, and mythology. It is curiously fitting that in ancient Greek lore, healing was but one of the many arts Apollo presided over, alongside archery and music.   I firmly believe that a doctor should explore the world outside the field of  Medicine, and it is with such experiences that I hope to better empathise and connect with the patients I will care for in my medical career. 

You’ll notice that this example very specifically ties the students’ academic and extracurricular activities together, and ties the Personal Statement back to their values and beliefs. 

Economic History with Economics (London School of Economics)

The highlight of my extra-curricular activities has been my visit to Shanghai with the Lord Mayor’s trade delegation in September 2012. I was selected to give a speech at this world trade conference due to my interest in economic and social history. […] I particularly enjoyed the seminar format, and look forward to experiencing more of this at university. My keen interest and desire to further my knowledge of history and economics, I believe, would make the course ideal for me.

By contrast, this conclusion ties a memorable experience back to the specifics of how the student will be taught at the London School of Economics – specifically, the appeal of learning in seminar format! 

There’s no magic formula for concluding a Personal Statement. But you’ll see that what all of these examples have in common is that they tie a student’s personal and academic experiences together – and tell a university something about their aspirations for the future.

Watch: Bournemouth University explain how to structure a UCAS Personal Statement

where to write personal statement ucas

Know the audience

It can be easy for students to forget that the person reading a personal statement is invariably an expert in their field. This is why an ability to convey passion and think critically about their chosen subject is essential for a personal statement to stand out. Admissions tutors will also look for students who can structure their writing (more on this below). 

Students should be themselves

Remember that many students are competing for places on a university degree against fierce competition. And don’t forget that UCAS has the means to spot plagiarism. So students need to create a truly honest and individual account of who they are, what they have achieved and, perhaps most importantly, why they are driven to study this particular subject.

Proof-read (then proof-read again!)

Time pressures mean that students can easily make mistakes with their Personal Statements. As the deadline grows closer, it’s vital that they are constantly checking and rechecking their writing and to ensure that shows them in the best possible light. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to giving feedback to students writing their Personal Statements, make sure you’re as honest and positive as possible in the days and weeks leading up to submission day. 

And make sure they remember the three key ingredients of writing a successful Personal Statement. 

Planning, structure and story! 

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How to write a UCAS personal statement

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Writing a great personal statement

Read our guide on what it is, what to include, how to start, length and what makes a good personal statement 

Once you've decided which universities and courses to apply for, completing your application is pretty simple – until it comes to how to write your UCAS personal statement.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to write a personal statement for university. We look at what it is and how you can start your personal statement. We've also got questions to guide you and a suggested personal statement structure you can use so you know what to put in it.

If you'd like even more resources, support and UCAS personal statement examples, you can sign up to access our personal statement hub .

What is the UCAS personal statement?

How universities use your ucas personal statement, how to start a ucas personal statement.

  • Get feedback on your UCAS personal statement

The personal statement is part of your UCAS application. It's how you show your chosen universities why you'll make a great student and why they should make you an offer.

Your personal statement also helps you think about your choice of course and your reasons for applying, so you know you’ve made the right decision.

Get feedback on your personal statement

Sign up to our personal statement hub to get feedback on your draft. You'll also get access to videos, help sheets and more tips.

Sign up now

UCAS personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. 

This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper.

You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Applying for multiple courses

Although you can apply for up to 5 courses on your UCAS application, you can only submit 1 personal statement. So it needs to cover all your course choices.

If you really want to show your commitment to applying for different courses, we will accept a second personal statement from you to reflect your application e.g. if you are applying for Law elsewhere, but Criminology and Criminal Justice with us.

Lots of students who apply to university have achieved the basic entry requirements and many more students apply than there are places available. Admissions teams can use your UCAS personal statement to get to know you and decide why you're more suitable than other applicants.

Some universities read every personal statement and score them. Then they use them alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you a place or interview. Other universities put less emphasis on the personal statement and use it with students who have borderline entry requirements.

Universities might refer to your personal statement again on results day if you don't get the grades you need. So a good personal statement could clinch you a uni place even if your grades aren't what you hoped for.

Starting your personal statement can seem scary when you're staring at a blank screen. But, things will seem less daunting once you start.

  • Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
  • Write down anything and everything that's influenced your decision to go to university and study your chosen subject. Jot down your skills and experience too.
  • Use the questions below to guide you. Don't worry about the personal statement length at this point – you can cut things out later.

When to start your UCAS personal statement

Ideally, you want to leave yourself plenty of time – a few weeks or even months – to plan and write your personal statement.

Try not to leave it to the last minute, as tempting as this may seem when you've got so many other things to think about.

Questions to guide you

Your motivation.

  • Why do you want to study at university?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • How did you become interested in this subject?
  • What career do you have in mind after university?

Academic ability and potential

  • How have your current studies affected your choice?
  • What do you enjoy about your current studies?
  • What skills have you gained from your current studies?
  • How can you demonstrate you have the skills and qualities needed for the course?
  • What qualities and attributes would you bring to the course and university?

Your experience

  • What work experience (including part-time, charity and volunteer work) do you have and what have you learnt from it?
  • What positions of responsibility have you held? (For example, prefect, captain of a team or member of a committee)
  • What relevant hobbies or interests do you have and what skills have they helped you develop?
  • What transferable skills do you have, such as self motivation, team working, public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking?

Research and reading

  • How do you keep up with current affairs or news in your chosen subject?
  • What journals or publications relevant to your chosen subject do you read?
  • Which people have influenced you, such as artists, authors, philosophers or scientists?

Now it's time to write your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, and remember to save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with it.

Personal statement structure

While there's no set template for a personal statement, you may find it useful to follow this personal statement structure when you decide what to put in your statement.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university
  • Summary including why you'll make a great student

Further tips for a good UCAS personal statement

  • Use information on university websites and the UCAS website. This often includes the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
  • Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in. They might remember your successes better than you do
  • Don’t include lists in your application, like a list of all your hobbies. Focus on 1 or 2 points and talk about them in depth to show their relevance to your application
  • Explain and evidence everything. It’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate it with an example of when and how you’ve used it
  • Avoid clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’ as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
  • If you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects, give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities
  • Never lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you

Sign up to our personal statement hub

Watch videos, get top tips and download our help sheets – that's what our personal statement hub is for. It's for you to write your story, so you can show your strengths, ideas and passion to your chosen universities.

You'll also be able send us your draft, so you can get feedback and feel confident about what you've written.

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IS UNIVERSITY WORTH IT?

Finding an apprenticeship, finding your passion, make the most of clearing.

USING THE LEAGUE TABLES

CHOOSING YOUR GCSE SUBJECTS

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HOW TO DECIDE YOUR NEXT STEPS

WRITING A PERSONAL STATEMENT

Picking your degree, degree apprenticeships vs traditional degrees, making smart financial decisions, taking a gap year.

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USING THE LEague tables

How to decide your next steps, choosing what to study after gcses, life after your ucas discovery exhibition, how can i make it great, so, how do i tackle this, what do i need to remember, who am i writing it for, writing a personal statement.

Always write in a way that's true to yourself, but remember there’s someone on the other side of the paper reading what you’ve got to say.

where to write personal statement ucas

Jane Marshall, Director – Optimising Futures

What can I start doing now?

Organise your choices in the UCAS Hub.

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Don't fret.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Be you — you’re great.

Discover the UCAS Hub

See your opportunities. Organise your choices.

where to write personal statement ucas

Writing a personal statement takes practice. You’re putting yourself out there in a way that you’ve probably not had to do before. It’s both an art and a science, and the topic is YOU. With a bit of planning, it’s not just doable but a really good experience in learning about yourself.

So, how do you begin to sell yourself to someone you’ve never even met?

The short answer: With confidence and a bit of structure.

The longer answer: An admissions officer or hiring manager is looking to see what kind of person you are and why you want to do something. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it, why you think it’s important, and what you’ve done to show it. Don’t be afraid to share those ambitions and interests. Let them out!

My advice is to always think carefully about the course you want to study and if it’s something you find interesting.

where to write personal statement ucas

Start with who you are as a person, your skills and interests, and why a subject or apprenticeship matches you. End it with how you hope this will influence the future, small or big, it’s the beginning step of something great.

Be authentic

No one knows you better than you know yourself, so show your interests, achievements, goals and personality.

Don’t get stuck in cliches like “I’ve always wanted to…” It’s not about the goal — your ambition is real and important. Tell them the why and why it matters to you.

where to write personal statement ucas

Talk about your experiences and what they’ve meant to you. No two people have lived the same life and that makes your perspective unique.

You’ve 4,000 characters, which seems like a lot until it’s not enough. Before you start, set out the points you want to make, and work out what you need to say in order to land your point.

There’s no way like just starting, and once you get into it, the less awkward it is.

Your first draft won’t be your final draft, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t immediately come together.

“You are you.

Now, isn’t that pleasant?”

where to write personal statement ucas

If you’re stuck, talk to someone. Friends, parents, teachers — they all see you in a different light.

Speaking to them can help you get an idea of some of your best qualities and how much you’ve grown.

It’s easier to write about yourself when you’re talking about things you’re passionate about.

If you love reading, building things, understanding why things are — then let it show.

where to write personal statement ucas

Give yourself time

Explain the why

Don’t be shy

Talk about the future

Walk away from your computer for a day or two. Come back and ask yourself, “Can I say this in a more direct way?” If you can, then change it.

Do you love reading? Interested in sustainability? Ask yourself why you’re drawn to something and share it.

In or out of school. Climbed mountains? Part of a local climate change group? Chief recycler in the house? Think about including these — they say a lot about who you are.

Even if you’re still figuring things out, how you want to be contributing to the world or what you want from it is great to share.

Oh, and remember: you won’t be able to submit your personal statement if it’s over the word limit — the system literally won’t let you. Happy writing.

where to write personal statement ucas

The University Guys

UCAS Personal Statement and Examples

What is the ucas personal statement .

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Personal Statement is the main essay for your application to colleges and universities in Great Britain. UCAS gives a nice explanation here , but in short, this is your chance to stand out against the crowd and show your knowledge and enthusiasm for your chosen area of study.

You’ve got 4,000 characters and 47 line limit to show colleges what (ideally) gets you out of bed in the morning. How long is that, really? Use your “word count” tool in Google or Word docs to check as you go along, but 4,000 characters is roughly 500 words or one page.

HOW IS THE UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT DIFFERENT FROM THE US PERSONAL STATEMENT?

Think they’re the same? Think again. Here are some key differences between the UCAS and the US Personal Statement:

When you apply to UK schools, you’re applying to one particular degree program, which you’ll study for all, or almost all, your time at university. Your UCAS personal statement should focus less on cool/fun/quirky aspects of yourself and more on how you’ve prepared for your particular area of study.

The UCAS Personal Statement will be read by someone looking for proof that you are academically capable of studying that subject for your entire degree. In some cases, it might be an actual professor reading your essay.

You’ll only write one personal statement, which will be sent to all the universities you’re applying to, and it’s unlikely you’ll be sending any additional (supplemental) essays. Your essay needs to explain why you enjoy and are good at this subject, without reference to any particular university or type of university.

Any extracurricular activities that are NOT connected to the subject you’re applying for are mostly irrelevant, unless they illustrate relevant points about your study skills or attributes: for example, having a job outside of school shows time-management and people skills, or leading a sports team shows leadership and responsibility.

Your personal statement will mostly focus on what you’ve done at high school, in class, and often in preparation for external exams. 80-90% of the content will be academic in nature.

A QUICK STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO WRITING THE UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT

This may be obvious, but the first step to a great UCAS Personal Statement is to choose the subject you’re applying for. This choice will be consistent across the (up to) five course choices you have. Often, when students struggle with a UCAS personal statement, it’s because they are trying to make the statement work for a couple of different subjects. With a clear focus on one subject, the essay can do the job it is supposed to do. Keep in mind you’re limited to 47 lines or 4000 characters, so this has to be concise and make efficient use of words.

To work out what information to include, my favourite brainstorming activity is the ‘Courtroom Exercise’. Here’s how it works:

The Courtroom Exercise

Imagine you’re prosecuting a case in court, and the case is that should be admitted to a university to study the subject you’ve chosen. You have to present your case to the judge, in a 47 line or 4,000 character statement. The judge won’t accept platitudes or points made without evidence–she needs to see evidence. What examples will you present in your statement?

In a good statement, you’ll make an opening and a closing point.

To open your argument, can you sum up in one sentence why you wish to study this subject? Can you remember where your interest in that subject began? Do you have a story to tell that will engage the reader about your interest in that subject?

Next, you’ll present a number of pieces of evidence, laying out in detail why you’re a good match for this subject. What activities have you done that prove you can study this subject at university?

Most likely, you’ll start with a class you took, a project you worked on, an internship you had, or a relevant extra-curricular activity you enjoyed. For each activity you discuss, structure a paragraph on each using the ABC approach:

A: What is the A ctivity?

B: How did it B enefit you as a potential student for this degree course?

C: Link the benefit to the skills needed to be successful on this C ourse.

With three or four paragraphs like these, each of about 9 or 10 lines, and you should have the bulk of your statement done. Typically two of these will be about classes you have taken at school, and two about relevant activities outside of school.

In the last paragraph, you need to demonstrate wider skills that you have, which you can probably do from your extracurricular activities. How could you demonstrate your time management, your ability to collaborate, or your creativity? Briefly list a few extracurricular activities you’ve taken part in and identify the relevant skills that are transferable to university study.

Finally, close your argument in a way that doesn’t repeat what you’ve already shared. Case closed!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I’m not sure what I want to study? Should I still apply? 

There are a number of broader programs available at UK universities (sometimes called Liberal Arts or Flexible Combined Honours). However,  you should still showcase two or three academic areas of interest. If you are looking for a broader range of subjects to study and can’t choose one, then the UK might not be the best fit for you.

What if I haven’t done much, academically or via extracurriculars, to demonstrate that I’ll be able to complete the coursework for my degree? Should I still apply?

You certainly can, but you will need to be realistic about the strength of your application as a result. The most selective universities will want to see this evidence, but less selective ones will be more willing to account for your potential to grow in addition to what you’ve already achieved. You could also consider applying for a Foundation course or a ‘Year 0’ course, where you have an additional year pre-university to enable you to develop this range of evidence.

If I’m not accepted into a particular major, can I be accepted into a different major?

It’s important to understand that we are not talking about a ‘major,’ as what you are accepted into is one entire course of study. Some universities may make you an ‘alternative offer’ for a similar but perhaps less popular course (for example you applied for Business but instead they offer you a place for Business with a Language).At others, you can indicate post-application that you would like to be considered for related courses. However, it’s not going to be possible to switch between two completely unrelated academic areas.

What other information is included in my application? Will they see my extracurricular activities, for example? Is there an Additional Information section where I can include more context on what I’ve done in high school?

The application is very brief: the personal statement is where you put all the information. UCAS does not include an activities section or space for any other writing. The 47 lines are all you have. Some universities might accept information if there are particularly important extenuating circumstances that must be conveyed. This can be done via email, but typically, they don’t want to see more than the UCAS statement and your school’s reference provides.

Now, let’s take a look at some of my favourite UCAS personal statement examples with some analysis of why I think these are great.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR CHEMISTRY

When I was ten, I saw a documentary on Chemistry that really fascinated me. Narrated by British theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili, it explained how the first elements were discovered and how Chemistry was born out of alchemy. I became fascinated with Chemistry and have remained so ever since. I love the subject because it has very theoretical components, for example quantum Chemistry, while also having huge practical applications.

In this introduction, the student shows where his interest in Chemistry comes from. Adding some additional academic detail (in this case, the name of the scientist) helps guide the reader into more specific information on why this subject is interesting to him.

This aspect of Chemistry is important to me. I have, for example, used machine learning to differentiate between approved and experimental drugs. On the first run, using drug molecules from the website Drug Bank, I calculated some molecular descriptors for them. I started with a simple logistic regression model and was shocked to find that it had apparently classified almost all molecules correctly. This result couldn’t be right; it took me nearly a month to find the error. I accidentally normalized the molecular-descriptor data individually, rather than as a combined data set, thereby encoding the label into the input. On a second run, after fixing the error, I used real machine learning libraries. Here I actually got some performance with my new algorithm, which I could compare to professional researchers’ papers. The highest accuracy I ever saw on my screen was 86 percent. The researchers’ result was 85 percent; thanks to more modern machine learning methods, I narrowly beat them. I have also studied Mathematics and Physics at A Level and have been able to dive into areas beyond the A Level syllabus such as complex integration in math and the Schrödinger equation in Physics.

This paragraph outlines a clear case for this student’s aptitude for and interest in Chemistry. He explains in detail how he has explored his intended major, using academic terminology to show us he has studied the subject deeply. Knowing an admissions reader is looking for evidence that this student has a talent for Chemistry, this paragraph gives them the evidence they need to admit him.

Additionally, I have worked on an undergraduate computer science course on MIT Opencourseware, but found that the content followed fixed rules and did not require creativity. At the time I was interested in neural networks and listened to lectures by professor Geoffrey Hinton who serendipitously mentioned his students testing his techniques on ‘Kaggle Competitions’. I quickly got interested and decided to compete on this platform. Kaggle allowed me to measure my machine learning skills against competitors with PhDs or who are professional data scientists at large corporations. With this kind of competition naturally I did not win any prizes, but I worked with the same tools and saw how others gradually perfected a script, something which has helped my A Level studies immensely.

Introducing a new topic, the student again uses academic terminology to show how he has gone beyond the confines of his curriculum to explore the subject at a higher level. In this paragraph, he demonstrates that he has studied university-level Chemistry. Again, this helps the reader to see that this student is capable of studying for a Chemistry degree.

I have been keen to engage in activities beyond the classroom. For example, I have taken part in a range of extracurricular activities, including ballroom dancing, public speaking, trumpet, spoken Mandarin, and tennis, achieving a LAMDA distinction at level four for my public speaking. I have also participated in Kaggle competitions, as I’m extremely interested in machine learning. For example, I have used neural networks to determine the causes of Amazon deforestation from satellite pictures in the ‘Planet: Understanding the Amazon from Space’ competition. I believe that having worked on projects spanning several weeks or even months has allowed me to build a stamina that will be extremely useful when studying at university.

This penultimate paragraph introduces the student’s extracurricular interests, summing them up in a sentence. Those activities that can demonstrate skills that are transferable to the study of Chemistry are given a bit more explanation. The student’s descriptions in each paragraph are very detailed, with lots of specific information about awards, classes and teachers.

What I hope to gain from an undergraduate (and perhaps post-graduate) education in Chemistry is to deepen my knowledge of the subject and potentially have the ability to successfully launch a startup after university. I’m particularly interested in areas such as computational Chemistry and cheminformatics. However, I’m  open to studying other areas in Chemistry, as it is a subject that truly captivates me.

In the conclusion, the student touches on his future plans, using specific terminology that shows his knowledge of Chemistry. This also reveals that he aims to have a career in this field, which many admission readers find appealing as it demonstrates a level of commitment to the subject.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE

This next statement has to accomplish a number of tasks, given the subject the student is applying for. As a vocational degree, applicants for veterinary medicine are committing to a career as well as a subject to study, so they need to give information demonstrating they understand the reality of a career in this area. It also needs to explain their motivation for this interest, which quite often is demonstrated through work experience (something which is often a condition for entry into these programs). Finally, as this is a highly academic subject to study at university, the author should include a good level of academic terminology and experiences in the statement.

There is nothing more fascinating to me than experiencing animals in the wild, in their natural habitat where their behaviour is about the survival of their species. I was lucky enough to experience this when in Tanzania. While observing animals hunting, I became intrigued by their musculature and inspired to work alongside these animals to help them when they are sick, as a veterinarian.

In an efficient way, the applicant explains her motivation to become a vet, then squeezes in a bit of information about her experience with animals.

As a horse rider and owner for nearly ten years, I have sought opportunities to learn as much as I can about caring for the animal. I helped around the yard with grooming and exercise, bringing horses in and out from the fields, putting on rugs, and mucking out. I have also been working at a small animal vet clinic every other Saturday for over 2.5 years. There, my responsibilities include restocking and sterilising equipment, watching procedures, and helping in consultations. Exposure to different cases has expanded my knowledge of various aspects, such as assisting with an emergency caesarean procedure. Due to a lack of staff on a Saturday, I was put in charge of anaesthesia while the puppies were being revived. I took on this task without hesitation and recorded heart and respiration rate, capillary refill time, and gum colour every five minutes. Other placements following an equine vet, working on a polo farm, and volunteering at a swan sanctuary have also broadened my experience with different species and how each possesses various requirements. During pre-vet summer courses, I was also introduced to farm animals such as pigs, cows, sheep and chicken. I spend some time milking dairy cows and removing clustered dust from chicken feet, as well as tipping sheep in order to inspect their teats.

In this paragraph, she synthesizes personal experience with an academic understanding of vet medicine. She demonstrates that she is committed to animals (helping in the yard, regular Saturday work, assistance with procedures), that she has gained a variety of experiences, and that she understands some of the conditions (caesareans, clustered dust) that vets have to deal with. Note that she also briefly discusses ‘pre-vet summer courses,’ adding credibility to her level of experience.

I have focused on HL Biology and HL Chemistry for my IB Diploma. I was particularly excited to study cell biology and body systems because these subjects allowed me to comprehend how the body works and are applicable to animal body functions. Topics like DNA replication as well as cell transcription and translation have helped me form a fundamental understanding of genetics and protein synthesis, both important topics when looking into hereditary diseases in animals. Learning about chemical reactions made me consider the importance of pharmaceutical aspects of veterinary medicine, such as the production of effective medicine. Vaccines are essential and by learning about the chemical reactions, I f developed a more nuanced understanding about how they are made and work.

Now, the statement turns to academic matters, linking her IB subjects to the university studies she aspires to. She draws out one particular example that makes a clear link between school and university-level study.

I have also written my Extended Essay discussing the consequences of breeding laws in the UK and South Australia in relation to the development of genetic abnormalities in pugs and German shepherds. This topic is important, as the growing brachycephalic aesthetic of pugs is causing them to suffer throughout their lifetime. Pedigree dogs, such as the German shepherd, have a very small gene pool and as a result, hereditary diseases can develop. This becomes an ethical discussion, because allowing German shepherds to suffer is not moral; however, as a breed, they aid the police and thus serve society.

The IB Extended Essay (like an A Level EPQ or a Capstone project) is a great topic to discuss in a personal statement, as these activities are designed to allow students to explore subjects in greater detail.

The first sentence here is a great example of what getting more specific looks like because it engages more directly with what the student is actually writing about in this particular paragraph then it extrapolates a more general point of advice from those specificities.

By choosing to write her Extended Essay on a topic of relevance to veterinary medicine, she has given herself the opportunity to show the varied aspects of veterinary science. This paragraph proves to the reader that this student is capable and motivated to study veterinary medicine.

I have learned that being a veterinarian requires diagnostic skills as well as excellent communication and leadership skills. I understand the importance and ethics of euthanasia decisions, and the sensitivity around discussing it withanimal owners. I have developed teamwork and leadership skills when playing varsity football and basketball for four years. My communication skills have expanded through being a Model U.N. and Global Issues Network member.

This small paragraph on her extracurricular activities links them clearly to her intended area of study, both in terms of related content and necessary skills. From this, the reader gains the impression that this student has a wide range of relevant interests.

When I attend university, I not only hope to become a veterinarian, but also a leader in the field. I would like to research different aspects of veterinary medicine, such as diseases. As a vet, I would like to help work towards the One Health goal; allowing the maintenance of public health security. This affects vets because we are the ones working closely with animals every day.

In the conclusion, she ties things together and looks ahead to her career. By introducing the concept of ‘One Health’, she also shows once again her knowledge of the field she is applying to.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

Standing inside a wind tunnel is not something every 17 year old aspires to, but for me the opportunity to do so last year confirmed my long-held desire to become a mechanical engineer.

This introduction is efficient and provides a clear direction for the personal statement. Though it might seem that it should be more detailed, for a student applying to study a course that requires limited extended writing, being this matter-of-fact works fine.

I enjoy the challenge of using the laws of Physics, complemented with Mathematical backing, in the context of everyday life, which helps me to visualise and understand where different topics can be applied. I explored the field of aeronautics, specifically in my work experience with Emirates Aviation University. I explored how engineers apply basic concepts of air resistance and drag when I had the opportunity to experiment with the wind tunnel, which allowed me to identify how different wing shapes behave at diverse air pressures. My interest with robotics has led me to take up a year-long internship with MakersBuilders, where I had the chance to explore physics and maths on a different plane. During my internship I educated young teenagers on a more fundamental stage of building and programming, in particular when we worked on building a small robot and programmed the infra-red sensor in order to create self-sufficient movement. This exposure allowed me to improve my communication and interpersonal skills.

In this paragraph, the student adds evidence to the initial assertion that he enjoys seeing how Physics relates to everyday life. The descriptions of the work experiences he has had not only show his commitment to the subject, but also enable him to bring in some academic content to demonstrate his understanding of engineering and aeronautics.

I’m interested in the mechanics side of Maths such as circular motion and projectiles; even Pure Maths has allowed me to easily see patterns when working and solving problems in Computer Science. During my A Level Maths and Further Maths, I have particularly enjoyed working with partial fractions as they show how reverse methodology can be used to solve addition of fractions, which ranges from simple addition to complex kinematics. ­­­Pure Maths has also enabled me to better understand how 3D modelling works with ­­­the use of volumes of revolution, especially when I learned how to apply the calculations to basic objects like calculating the amount of water in a bottle or the volume of a pencil.

This paragraph brings in the academic content at school, which is important when applying for a subject such as engineering. This is because the admissions reader needs to be reassured that the student has covered the necessary foundational content to be able to cope with Year 1 of this course.

In my Drone Club I have been able to apply several methods of wing formation, such as the number of blades used during a UAS flight. Drones can be used for purposes such as in Air-sea Rescue or transporting food to low income countries. I have taken on the responsibility of leading and sharing my skills with others, particularly in the Drone Club where I gained the certification to fly drones. In coding club, I participated in the global Google Code competition related to complex, real-life coding, such as a program that allows phones to send commands to another device using Bluetooth. My Cambridge summer course on math and engineering included the origins of a few of the most important equations and ideologies from many mathematicians such as, E=mc2 from Einstein, I also got a head start at understanding matrices and their importance in kinematics. Last summer, I completed a course at UT Dallas on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The course was intuitive and allowed me to understand a different perspective of how robots and AI will replace humans to do complex and labour-intensive activities, customer service, driverless cars and technical support.

In this section, he demonstrates his commitment to the subject through a detailed list of extracurricular activities, all linked to engineering and aeronautics. The detail he gives about each one links to the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in these subjects at university.

I have represented Model UN as a delegate and enjoyed working with others to solve problems. For my Duke of Edinburgh Award, I partook in several activities such as trekking and playing the drums. I enjoy music and I have reached grade 3 for percussion. I have also participated in a range of charitable activities, which include assisting during Ramadan and undertaking fun-runs to raise money for cancer research.

As with the introduction, this is an efficient use of language, sharing a range of activities, each of which has taught him useful skills. The conclusion that follows is similarly efficient and to the point.

I believe that engineering is a discipline that will offer me a chance to make a tangible difference in the world, and I am certain I will enjoy the process of integrating technology with our everyday life.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL POLICY

Applying for a joint honours course presents a particular challenge of making the case that you are interested in the first subject, the second subject and (often overlooked) the combination of the two. In this example, the applicant uses her own academic studies and personal experiences to make her case.

I usually spend my summer breaks in Uttar Pradesh, India working at my grandparents’ NGO which produces bio-fertilizers for the poor. While working, I speak to many of the villagers in the nearby villages like Barokhar and Dharampur and have found out about the various initiatives the Government has taken to improve the production of wheat and rice. I understand the hardships they undergo and speaking to them has shown me the importance of Social Policy and the role the government plays in improving the lives of people and inspired me to pursue my university studies in this field.

In the introduction, this applicant explains where her interlinking experiences come from: she has personal experiences demonstrating how economics impacts the most vulnerable in society. In doing so, she shows the admissions reader that she has a deep interest in this combination and can move on to discussing each subject in turn.

My interest in these areas has been driven by the experiences I had at high school and beyond. I started attending Model United Nations in the 9th grade and have been to many conferences, discussing problems like the water crisis and a lack of sustainability in underdeveloped countries. These topics overlapped with my study of economics and exciting classroom discussions on what was going on how different events would impact economies, for instance how fluctuations in oil prices will affect standards of living. Studying Economics has expanded  my knowledge about how countries are run and how macroeconomic policies shape the everyday experiences of individuals.

Unusually, this applicant does not go straight into her classroom experiences but instead uses one of her extracurricular activities (Model United Nations) in her first paragraph. For students applying for subjects that are not often taught at school (Social Policy in this example), this can be a good idea, as it allows you to bring in material that you have self-studied to explain why you are capable of studying each subject at university. Here, she uses MUN discussions to show she understands some topics in social policy that are impacting the world.

By taking up history as a subject in Grade 11 and 12, I have seen the challenges that people went through in the past, and how different ideas gained momentum in different parts of the world such as the growth of communism in Russia and China and how it spread to different countries during the Cold War. I learned about the different roles that governments played in times of hardships such as that which President Roosevelt’s New Deal played during the Great Depression. From this, I gained analytical skills by scrutinizing how different social, political and economic forces have moulded societies in the past.

In this paragraph, she then takes the nearest possible class to her interest in Social Policy and draws elements from it to add to her case for Social Policy. Taking some elements from her history classes enables her to add some content to this statement, before linking to the topic of economics.

To explore my interest in Economics, I interned at Emirates National Bank of Dubai, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, and also at IBM. At Emirates NBD, I undertook a research project on Cash Management methods in competitor banks and had to present my findings at the end of the internship. I also interned at IBM where I had to analyze market trends and fluctuations in market opportunity in countries in the Middle East and Africa. I had to find relations between GDP and market opportunity and had to analyze how market opportunity could change over the next 5 years with changing geo-political situations. I have also attended Harvard University’s Youth Lead the Change leadership conference where I was taught how to apply leadership skills to solve global problems such as gender inequality and poverty.

Economics is explored again through extracurriculars, with some detail added to the general statement about the activities undertaken during this work experience. Though the level of academics here is a little thin because this student’s high school did not offer any classes in Economics, she does as well as she can to bring in academic content.

I have partaken in many extra-curricular activities which have helped me develop the skills necessary for this course. Being a part of the Press Club at school gave me an opportunity to hone my talent for the written word and gave me a platform to talk about global issues. Volunteering at a local library taught me how to be organized. I developed research and analytical skills by undertaking various research projects at school such as the sector-wide contribution of the Indian economy to the GDP in the previous year. As a member of the Business and Economic Awareness Council at school, I was instrumental in organizing many economics-based events such as the Business Fair and Innovation Mela. Being part of various Face to Faith conferences has provided me with an opportunity to interact with students in Sierra Leone, India and Korea and understand global perspectives on issues like malaria and human trafficking.

The extracurricular activities are revisited here, with the first half of this paragraph showing how the applicant has some transferable skills from her activities that will help her with this course. She then revisits her interest in the course studies, before following up with a closing section that touches on her career goals:

The prospect of pursuing these two subjects is one that I eagerly anticipate and I look forward to meeting the challenge of university. In the future, I wish to become an economist and work at a think tank where I will be able to apply what I have learnt in studying such an exciting course.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR HISTORY OF ART & PHILOSOPHY

This applicant is also a joint-honours applicant, and again is applying for a subject that she has not been able to study at school. Thus, bringing in her own interest and knowledge of both subjects is crucial here.

At the age of four, I remember an argument with my mother: I wanted to wear a pink ballerina dress with heels, made for eight-year-olds, which despite my difficulty in staying upright I was determined to wear. My mother persistently engaged in debate with me about why it was not ok to wear this ensemble in winter. After two hours of patiently explaining to me and listening to my responses she convinced me that I should wear something different, the first time I remember listening to reason. It has always been a natural instinct for me to discuss everything, since in the course of my upbringing I was never given a simple yes or no answer. Thus, when I began studying philosophy, I understood fully my passion for argument and dialogue.

This is an unusual approach to start a UCAS Personal Statement, but it does serve to show how this student approaches the world and why this combination of subjects might work for her. Though it could perhaps be drawn out more explicitly, here she is combining an artistic issue (her clothes) with a philosophical concern (her debate with her mother) to lead the reader into the case she is making for admission into this program.

This was first sparked academically when I was introduced to religious ethics; having a fairly Christian background my view on religion was immature. I never thought too much of the subject as I believed it was just something my grandparents did. However, when opened up to the arguments about god and religion, I was inclined to argue every side. After research and discussion, I was able to form my own view on religion without having to pick a distinctive side to which theory I would support. This is what makes me want to study philosophy: it gives an individual personal revelation towards matters into which they may not have given too much thought to.

There is some good content here that discusses the applicant’s interest in philosophy and her own motivation for this subject, though there is a lack of academic content here.

Alongside this, taking IB Visual Arts HL has opened my artistic views through pushing me out of my comfort zone. Art being a very subjective course, I was forced to choose an opinion which only mattered to me, it had no analytical nor empirical rights or wrongs, it was just my taste in art. From studying the two subjects alongside each other, I found great value, acquiring a certain form of freedom in each individual with their dual focus on personalized opinion and taste in many areas, leading to self- improvement.

In this section, she uses her IB Visual Arts class to explore how her interest in philosophy bleeds into her appreciation of art. Again, we are still awaiting the academic content, but the reader will by now be convinced that the student has a deep level of motivation for this subject. When we consider how rare this combination is, with very few courses for this combination available, the approach to take slightly longer to establish can work.

For this reason, I find the work of Henry Moore fascinating. I am intrigued by his pieces, especially the essence of the ‘Reclining Nude’ model, as the empty holes inflicted on the abstract human body encouraged my enthusiasm for artistic interpretation. This has led me to contemplate the subtlety, complexity and merit of the role of an artist. Developing an art piece is just as complex and refined as writing a novel or developing a theory in Philosophy. For this reason, History of Art conjoins with Philosophy, as the philosophical approach towards an art piece is what adds context to the history as well as purpose behind it.

Finally, we’re given the academic content. Cleverly, the content links both the History of Art and Philosophy together through a discussion of the work of Henry Moore. Finding examples that conjoin the subjects that make up a joint-honours application is a great idea and works well here.

Studying Philosophy has allowed me to apply real life abstractions to my art, as well as to glean a deeper critical analysis of art in its various mediums. My IB Extended Essay examined the 1900s Fauve movement, which made a huge breakthrough in France and Hungary simultaneously. This was the first artistic movement which was truly daring and outgoing with its vivid colours and bold brush strokes. My interest expanded to learning about the Hungarian artists in this movement led by Henri Matisse. Bela Czobel was one of the few who travelled to France to study but returned to Hungary, more specifically Nagybanya, to bestow what he had learned.

Again in this paragraph, the author connects the subjects. Students who are able to undertake a research project in their high school studies (such as the IB Extended Essay here, or the A Level Extended Project or AP Capstone) can describe these in their UCAS personal statements, as this level of research in an area of academic study can enliven and add depth to the writing, as is the case here.

As an international student with a multicultural background, I believe I can adapt to challenging or unfamiliar surroundings with ease. I spent two summers working at a nursery in Hungary as a junior Assistant Teacher, where I demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills that I had previously developed through commitment to sports teams. I was a competitive swimmer for six years and have represented my school internationally as well as holding the school record for 100m backstroke. I was elected Deputy Head of my House, which further reflects my dedication, leadership, teamwork and diligence.

As in the previous examples, this statement gives a good overview of the applicant’s extracurricular activities, with a mention of skills that will be beneficial to her studies at university. She then concludes with a brief final sentence:

I hope to carry these skills with me into my university studies, allowing me to enrich my knowledge and combine my artistic and philosophical interests.

UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLE FOR LIBERAL ARTS

A good range of UK universities now offer courses called ‘Liberal Arts’ (or similar titles such as ‘Flexible Combined Honours’), which allows students to study a broader topic of study–perhaps combining three or four subjects–than is typically available in the UK system.

This presents a challenge in the personal statement, as within the 47 line / 4000 character limit, the applicant will have to show academic interest and knowledge in a range of subjects while also making the case to be admitted for this combined programme of study.

As a child I disliked reading; however, when I was 8, there was one particular book that caught my attention: The Little Prince. From that moment onwards, my love for literature was ignited and I had entered into a whirlwind of fictional worlds. While studying and analysing the classics from The Great Gatsby to Candide, this has exposed me to a variety of novels. My French bilingualism allowed me to study, in great depth, different texts in their original language. This sparked a new passion of mine for poetry, and introduced me to the works of Arthur Rimbaud, who has greatly influenced me. Through both reading and analysing poetry I was able to decipher its meaning. Liberal Arts gives me the opportunity to continue to study a range of texts and authors from different periods in history, as well as related aspects of culture, economy and society.

Here we have a slightly longer than usual opening paragraph, but given the nature of the course being applied for this works well. A personal story segueing from literature to modern languages to history and cultural studies shows that this student has a broad range of interests within the humanities and thus is well-suited to this course of study.

Liberal Arts is a clear choice for me. Coming from the IB International Baccalaureate Diploma programme I have studied a wide range of subjects which has provided me with a breadth of knowledge. In Theatre, I have adapted classics such as Othello by Shakespeare, and playing the role of moreover acting as Desdemona forced me to compartmentalise her complex emotions behind the early-modern English text. Studying History has taught me a number of skills; understanding the reasons behind changes in society, evaluating sources, and considering conflicting interpretations. From my interdisciplinary education I am able to critically analyse the world around me. Through studying Theory of Knowledge, I have developed high quality analysis using key questions and a critical mindset by questioning how and why we think and why. By going beyond the common use of reason, I have been able to deepen greaten my understanding and apply my ways of knowing in all subjects; for example in science I was creative in constructing my experiment (imagination) and used qualitative data (sense perception).

Students who are taking the IB Diploma, with its strictures to retain a broad curriculum, are well-suited to the UK’s Liberal Arts courses, as they have had practice seeing the links between subjects. In this paragraph, the applicant shows how she has done this, linking content from one subject to skills developed in another, and touching on the experience of IB Theory of Knowledge (an interdisciplinary class compulsory for all IB Diploma students) to show how she is able to see how different academic subjects overlap and share some common themes.

Languages have always played an important role in my life. I was immersed into a French nursery even though my parents are not French speakers. I have always cherished the ability to speak another language; it is something I have never taken for granted, and it is how I individualise myself. Being bilingual has allowed me to engage with a different culture. As a result, I am more open minded and have a global outlook. This has fuelled my desire to travel, learn new languages and experience new cultures. This course would provide me with the opportunity to fulfil these desires. Having written my Extended Essay in French on the use of manipulative language used by a particular character from the French classic Dangerous Liaisons I have had to apply my skills of close contextual reading and analysing to sculpt this essay. These skills are perfectly applicable to the critical thinking that is demanded for the course.

Within the humanities, this student has a particular background that makes her stand out, having become fluent in French while having no French background nor living in a French-speaking country. This is worth her exploring to develop her motivation for a broad course of study at university, which she does well here.

Studying the Liberal Arts will allow me to further my knowledge in a variety of fields whilst living independently and meeting people from different backgrounds. The flexible skills I would achieve from obtaining a liberal arts degree I believe would make me more desirable for future employment. I would thrive in this environment due to my self discipline and determination. During my school holidays I have undertaken working in a hotel as a chambermaid and this has made me appreciate the service sector in society and has taught me to work cohesively with others in an unfamiliar environment. I also took part in a creative writing course held at Keats House, where I learnt about romanticism. My commitment to extracurricular activities such as varsity football and basketball has shown me the importance of sportsmanship and camaraderie, while GIN (Global Issue Networking) has informed me of the values of community and the importance for charitable organisations.

The extracurricular paragraph here draws out a range of skills the student will apply to this course. Knowing that taking a broader range of subjects at a UK university requires excellent organizational skills, the student takes time to explain how she can meet these, perhaps going into slightly more detail than would be necessary for a single-honours application to spell out that she is capable of managing her time well. She then broadens this at the end by touching on some activities that have relevance for her studies.

My academic and personal preferences have always led me to the Liberal Arts; I feel as though the International Baccalaureate, my passion and self-discipline have prepared me for higher education. From the academics, extracurriculars and social aspects, I intend to embrace the entire experience of university.

In the final section, the candidate restates how she matches this course.

Overall, you can see how the key factor in a UCAS statement is the academic evidence, with students linking their engagement with a subject to the course of study that they are applying to. Using the courtroom exercise analogy, the judge here should be completely convinced that the case has been made, and will, therefore issue an offer of admittance to that university.

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How to write a great UCAS personal statement

What is a personal statement.

The personal statement is the most important part of the UCAS process. It is your opportunity to explain why you have picked the subject you want to study and demonstrate your personality, passion and knowledge about your chosen subject.

Although your personal statement is the most important part of your application, it can also be the most difficult to put together. Writing your personal statement requires you to think seriously about your goals and aspirations. You might even change your mind about these as you are putting together your statement. However, this is a key part of working out what you want to do in the future.

How long can my personal statement be?

Your personal statement can be up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines of text long – whichever comes first.

Seven tips for writing a great UCAS personal statement

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1. Do your research

You can use websites such as the National Careers Service to research the sort of jobs you would enjoy and the recommended routes into those careers. The UCAS website features details about every UK university course. Use this to find out subject specifics such as minimum entry requirements, available additional funding, career prospects and more. Visit campus open days and take the opportunity to speak with lecturers and see university facilities in person.

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2. Take your time to plan and draft

A good personal statement cannot be written the night before. Take your time to plan what you want to say, and use multiple drafts to make sure you say it in the right way. As well as this, make sure you have enough time before the deadline to give yourself a break before rereading and sending off your statement. Taking a break can help you notice things you might not otherwise see and catch mistakes that might otherwise damage your chances of success.

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3. Show off your personality

Hundred of thousands of students apply through UCAS every year — but only one of them is you. Your personal statement needs to reflect your personality and show universities what makes you unique. Talk about specific personal experiences and interests that have led to you choosing your subject. What do you do outside the classroom that is interesting and related to your chosen course? However, avoid using jokes or humour, even if it is a natural part of your personality.

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4. Show off your passion

Above all else, university admissions staff want to see how enthusiastic, motivated and focused you are on your chosen subject. Devote over half of your personal statement to talking about the subject area you are applying for and why you are passionate about it. Talk about specific areas of the course that interest you — but avoid mentioning anything that only one of your chosen universities offers. Keep in mind that you can only submit one personal statement, no matter how many places you are applying for.

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5. Be specific and relevant

Everything in your personal statement should show universities that you have the skills and qualities they are looking for. This means you should talk about your experience and aspirations in relevant ways. For example, if you have experience working in a shop, talk about how it has helped you develop the strong communication skills needed for a business management degree. Make sure you provide evidence for why you are the skilled, experienced person that your chosen universities are looking for.

Wooden letter counters

6. Use your own language

Keep your writing simple and to the point. Avoid cliched words like ‘passionate’, as these can come across as inauthentic to the person reading your personal statement. Stick to vocabulary that you are familiar with — if you do not use a word in your day-to-day life, then do not use it in your personal statement. Make sure that you do not plagiarise other people’s work: UCAS has software to detect any writing that is copied or paraphrased from anywhere else, and some universities will reject you outright if your application is plagiarised.

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7. Keep it brief

Admissions tutors have a lot of personal statements to read, so make sure you get to the point and do not take up more reading time than you need to. Use short paragraphs, straightforward language, and only include information that is relevant. A good idea is to write your opening and closing sentences last, as writing the rest of your statement might help inspire you and help cut down unnecessary words.

How to structure your personal statement

1. explain the reasons for your choice of subject.

Do not just talk about the importance of your chosen subject: the person reading your statement already knows this.

2. Explain why you are suitable for the course

You can use this section to explain how certain aspects of your chosen degree will help you progress and succeed.

3. Discuss your career aspirations

Demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen sector and your ambitions within it.

4. Describe the person behind the application

This can be a relatively short section: a few lines of interesting, relevant information will do.

5. Conclude by linking back to your introduction

Be brief: your conclusion is necessary, but everything above it is more important.

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Tips for writing a UCAS personal statement

A personal statement is a short, reflective piece of writing that you submit as part of your UCAS application to universities. We use it during the admissions process to decide if you’re suitable for the course you’re applying for – and so we can understand why you want to study your chosen subject.

Tips for writing your UCAS personal statement

Your personal statement

A good personal statement can mean the difference between receiving an offer and being unsuccessful, so it’s important you take the time to consider what you want to include in it.

Your personal statement is where you highlight you have what it takes to study on one of our undergraduate courses.

The personal statement is one of the most important parts of your UCAS application and gives you the chance to tell us how you stand out from other candidates.

For some of our courses you may be invited for interview, but for the majority the personal statement is the only opportunity that you will have to sell yourself.

Plan your personal statement

You can only submit one personal statement for the five courses and universities you apply for, so it is a good idea to plan out what you want to say before writing your personal statement.

There is no one-size fits all method when you are writing your personal statement, so try to be original and engaging.

We are looking for evidence of your interest in, enthusiasm for, and understanding of your chosen course.

Think about:

  • why you are interested in the subject
  • your ambitions and how taking the course will help you achieve them
  • why you are interested in progressing on to higher education.

It is also important to tell us about:

  • your reasons for choosing the course (this is the most important part of the statement)
  • your skills (and their relevance to your chosen subject)
  • wider reading you’ve undertaken
  • work experience (especially where this is relevant to the subject)
  • any achievements or prizes you have won during your study or work
  • your wider interests and hobbies (providing they are relevant)
  • any career plans you might have.

You may want to apply for a variety of different courses – if this is the case, write about common themes relevant to all courses.

If you are a mature student you can use your personal statement to talk about your wider experience and the skills and knowledge you have gained; as well as why you are now thinking about returning to education.

Be sure to include any personal circumstances that may have affected your education. For example, a physical or mental health condition, caring for a family member or changing schools due to being from an Armed Forces family. You can also let us know about any financial hardships you may have experienced during your studies.

Structure your personal statement

Use a clear structure in your personal statement and make sure each paragraph logically follows on from the one before. You are limited to 4,000 characters (and 47 lines).

Start and end your personal statement by highlighting your positivity and passion for the course and your future career options (if you have any at this stage).

When writing your personal statement, you should:

  • be honest and write in your own words – the best statements are always the most genuine
  • use clear language and avoid extravagant claims
  • be analytical rather than just descriptive – don’t just tell us what you’ve read or what you’ve done, we want to see what you gained from this, or how it changed your perception of your chosen subject
  • explain your motivations in choosing the degree you’re applying for and demonstrate your existing passion for the subject (whether that’s from studies you’ve already undertaken in school or college or wider reading you’ve pursued)
  • where you are applying to courses linked to a particular profession (such as Teaching or Social Work), also reflect on your understanding of that vocation. For example, this may be reflections on what you gained from relevant work experience or it could be other research you’ve undertaken which has given you an insight into that profession
  • draw on your other experiences – for example, are you a member of a society, have you won any awards, scholarships or prizes?
  • provide evidence of your transferable skills, including research, critical thinking, communication, organisation, planning and time-management
  • highlight any career aspirations you might have and show how the course will help you achieve them
  • use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • proofread your statement and ask a friend or relative to read it.

Make sure you allow enough time to plan and structure your personal statement, ensuring you include everything you want to say. You may need to redraft your statement a number of times.

If you are invited to interview, go back to your statement so that you can familiarise yourself with the information you have given us.

For more advice, see UCAS tips for writing a personal statement .

Use our UCAS personal statement checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

You might also be interested in:

  • how to apply for undergraduate courses
  • student support
  • your offer and confirming your place
  • transferring from other universities
  • writing a Masters personal statement .
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  • The Ultimate UCAS Personal Statement Guide

Last Updated: 31st May 2022

Author: Rob Needleman

  • Getting started

Table of Contents

When it comes to completing your UCAS application, the Personal Statement is one of the most important parts to consider.

While your grades show your academic ability and Admissions Tests assess your knowledge and capabilities, a Personal Statement is all about you. Tutors want to see the person behind the application and understand why you’re a suitable candidate for your chosen course. 

Although each university will have its own unique way of shortlisting applicants, your Personal Statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and let your personality shine through.

However, over 20,000 students apply for Oxbridge every year which is a lot to compete with. As such, you need to stand out from the crowd and really get across your reasons for wanting to study your topic, which can make the prospect of writing one and including all the right things pressurising. To help you, we have written this ultimate Personal Statement guide. Let’s get started.

How to write a Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement isn’t a long monologue of your life so far, nor a gigantic list of all your achievements. Think of yourself as a storyteller. Start at the beginning with how you developed an interest for your chosen subject and end with where you see yourself after university.

Before You Start

How to get started.

Before you sit down to write your UCAS Personal Statement, the first thing we recommend is to research the courses you want to apply for. This will help you prepare your statement as courses vary from university to university, and your content should reflect these. Bear in mind, you are only able to send one Personal Statement to all your chosen universities, so you can’t overly cater to one. Look at all of the details, including the structure, modules and examination methods, as well as what they’re looking for from a student. This will support your first draft, though bear in mind you’ll redraft a few times before it’s perfect.

For example, Oxford lists the personal characteristics that they look for in applicants to their Medicine degree:

How many words should a Personal Statement be?

Personal Statements can be up to 4,000 characters long (615-800), and no more. This might sound like a lot, but it’s just one side of A4 paper. There’s plenty of information to include, so make sure it’s concise, clear and easy to read.

When to start writing it

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Personal Statement and what you’re going to write about. But there is a deadline : October 15th for all Oxbridge courses including Medicine and Dentistry, and January 25th for other undergraduate subjects. We suggest you begin preparing at the start of the year, as this gives you plenty of time to plan, draft and rewrite until it’s perfect for submission.

Your Personal Statement is the first thing Oxbridge Admissions Tutors will see about you. It’s imperative you get it right.

Our Oxbridge Premium Programmes help you write a successful Personal Statment that ticks all the Admission Tutor’s boxes. Our proven support is implemented through various mediums including Personal Statment Intensive Courses, Personal Statment Marking and Personalised Reading Lists.

Discover our Oxbridge Premium Programmes  by clicking the button below to  enrol and triple your chances of success.

What To Include

Your Personal Statement is a glimpse into your passion, how keen you are to learn and what you already know about your chosen subject. Express your interest by commenting on the areas that fascinate you most. For example, is it helping people that draws you into Medicine, or is it the fascinating human anatomy? 

Another great way to show your enthusiasm is through your previous experience in the subject. Demonstrate why you’re suitable for the course by providing evidence of any relevant skills and qualities that relate to this. What are you good at? What have you done that proves it? 

  • Answering Your Personal Statement Questions

Mention any additional projects, work experience or extra-curricular activities you’ve got involved with that further demonstrate you’re an ideal candidate. Reflect on the skills you’ve gained from these (as long as they’re transferable to your studies). Admissions Tutors will be looking for such information, as well as your unique selling points — give examples of things you’ve done that show you have a wider interest in learning. 

You should also try to link your interests, skills and qualities to your university research. However, Oxbridge are not interested in sports, hobbies or if you play any musical instruments — keep it academic.

Show you’re an interesting person and have a true passion for your subject, and your Personal Statement should be a winning one. Your enthusiasm is what will make your statement stand out, so don’t shy away from expressing your love for your chosen subject, though you don’t need to say you’ve dreamed about doing the course your entire life.

Aim to include things like:

  • Personal attributes, such as adaptability, problem-solving and organisation
  • Employment experience and volunteering work
  • Personal interests in your subject
  • Relevant extracurricular activities, like any clubs or societies you belong to
  • Your future after university

The Structure

The key to writing a good UCAS Personal Statement is getting the structure right, as this can have a huge effect on the message it delivers. Often, students get caught up in the content and forget that presenting information effectively is just as important as the words included.

Each section of your statement needs to be crafted correctly so that Admissions Tutors can digest the information easily. While there are no strict rules on how to structure it — since it’s personal to you — there are a few rules of thumb to use to find the right balance. In general, though, remember to consider the format, structure and content equally, and you’ll write a great Personal Statement.

  • Personal Statement Cheat Sheet

Here is a breakdown of how we recommend students to split up their essay:

  • Introduction - About six lines
  • Academic abilities - 22 - 27 lines
  • Extra-curricular information - 10 - 12 lines
  • Conclusion - No more than four lines

Personal Statement Introduction

Rightly or wrongly, it is highly likely that your UCAS Personal Statement will be remembered by its opening sentence. It must be something short, sharp, insightful, and catch the reader’s attention. It sets the precedent for the rest of your statement and unfortunately, decides whether your statement is paid particular attention to when read.

  • Avoid using overused words like “passionate”, “deeply fascinating”, and “devotion”.
  • Avoid using clichéd quotes like the infamous Coco Chanel’s “fashion is not something that exists in dresses only”.
  • If you are going to use a quote, then put some effort into researching an obscure yet particularly powerful one – don’t forget to include a reference.
  • Draw on your own personal experiences to produce something both original and eye-catching.

Once that’s out of the way, you need to answer the most important question:

The introduction does not need to be very long. It is generally a good idea to open the statement with something that sets the context of your application. For example, someone who is applying to study History may open: ‘History is all around us’, rather than ‘I have always been interested in History because…”

By the end of the introduction the reader should clearly know:

  • What subject you are applying for
  • What motivated you to apply for this subject

Make sure you keep it personal and honest! The exact phrase: “from a young age, I have always been interested in” was recently used more than 300 times in Personal Statements in a single year, and substituting “young” for “early” gave an additional 292 statements – these phrases can quickly become boring for Admissions Tutors to read!

Personal Statement Main Body

In the rest of your text, your aim should be to demonstrate your suitability for the course by exemplifying your knowledge of the course structure and its requirements through personal experience. Again, there are no rigorous guidelines on how to do this and it is very much down to your own writing style. Whereas some prefer a strict structure, others go for a more synoptic approach, but always remember to be consistent to achieve a flowing, easy to read Personal Statement.

Here’s the structure we recommend:

Paragraph #1: This should cover why you are suited for your subject. This will include your main academic interests, future ambitions (related to the chosen degree), and what makes the course right for you. This should be the academic side of why you want to study this subject.

Paragraph #2: This should still cover why you are suited for your subject. However, it can be less focused on academic topics. If you’ve had to overcome any significant challenges in life and wish to include these in your Personal Statement, this is normally the best place to do so. Similarly, any work experience or relevant prizes & competitions should be included here.

Paragraph #3: This is the smallest part of the main body and is all about extra-curricular activities. It is easy to get carried away in this section and make outrageous claims, e.g. claim to be a mountain climber if all you have ever climbed is a hill at the end of your street etc. Lying is not worth the risk, given that your interviewer may share the same hobby that you claim to be an expert in. So, don’t be caught out!

What you should include in your Personal Statement main body:

  • Sports and other hobbies
  • Musical instruments
  • Work experience
  • Personal interests in the field of study
  • Personal attributes

What you shouldn’t include in your Personal Statement main body (or anywhere!):

  • Negative connotations – always put a positive spin on everything
  • Lack of reflection
  • Controversy in whatever form it may come
  • Generic/stereotypical statements
  • Listing things

Personal Statement Conclusion

The conclusion of your Personal Statement should be more about leaving a good final impression rather than conferring any actual information. If you have something useful to say about your interest and desire to study your subject, you shouldn’t be waiting until the very end to say it!

A good conclusion should not include any new information, as this should be in the main body. However, you also need to avoid repeating what you have said earlier in your Personal Statement. This would be both a waste of characters and frustration for the tutor. Instead, it is better to put into context what you have already written and, therefore, make an effort to keep your conclusion relatively short – no more than four lines.

For more inspiration, take a look through our other successful Personal Statement a nalysis articles:

Successful Personal Statement For Natural Science (Physical) At Cambridge

Successful personal statement for economics at cambridge, successful personal statement for land economy at cambridge, successful personal statement for chemistry at oxford, successful personal statement for geography at oxford, successful personal statement for classics at oxford, successful personal statement for law at oxford, successful personal statement for classics at cambridge, successful personal statement for engineering at cambridge, successful personal statement for philosophy at cambridge, successful personal statement for veterinary medicine at cambridge, successful personal statement for psychological and behavioural sciences at cambridge, successful personal statement for psychology at oxford, successful personal statement for history at oxford, successful personal statement for physics at oxford, successful personal statement for cambridge mathematics and physics, successful personal statement example for computer science at oxford, successful personal statement for english at cambridge, successful personal statement for oxford english language and literature, successful personal statement for medicine at oxford university, successful personal statement for modern languages at oxford, successful personal statement for engineering at oxford, successful personal statement for natural sciences (biological) at cambridge, successful personal statement for economics & management at oxford, successful personal statement for ppe at oxford, successful personal statement for law at cambridge, successful personal statement for dentistry at king’s college london, successful personal statement for medicine at cambridge, our personal statement do’s.

1. Show passion for your subject

Admissions Tutors aren’t going to pick a candidate who doesn’t seem particularly interested in their field. Show your passion and eagerness to learn and succeed. Why do you love your subject? Why have you chosen it? What do you find most interesting and why?

2. Talk about you

This is your chance to talk about you, your interests and skills. It’s no good saying you’re passionate if you don’t prove that you are. Write in a natural style to show off your personality, making sure it’s genuine, relevant and specific.

3. Use appropriate language

Re-read your Personal Statement multiple times and check that the content is academic, engaging and clear.

4. Provide evidence to back up your claims

It’s all well and good saying you love medical science, but this is going to fall flat if you can’t back it up. Talk about your school subjects and results, any wider reading and relevant work experience. Perhaps you attended a lecture on your subject — this would be good evidence.

5. Link your activities outside of education to your course

Tell tutors why these activities are relevant and what you have learned as a result. Focus on transferable skills gained too, such as time management or organisational abilities.

6. Spell check and look for grammatical mistakes

Poor spelling and grammar makes for a terrible first impression, so ensure you triple-check it’s written to the highest standard before submitting it.

Our Personal Statement dont’s

1. Write a clichéd beginning

Don’t waste time thinking of a catchy opening. The best Personal Statements get to the point quickly, so avoid starting with phrases like “From a young age”, “I am applying for this course because”, and “Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…”. Go straight into why you are interested in your course subject.

2. Use cringe-worthy language and cheap gags

This is not impressive and can indicate that you’re not a serious student. It’s essential you don’t come across as verbose or pretentious too, as Admissions Tutors will spot this immediately. They are well-versed in the ramblings of students who think this tone makes them seem more intellectual.

3. Overcomplicate things

Say what you need to, be specific and don’t waffle too much — you’ll run out of characters fast.

4. Go overboard with extra-curricular activities

Talking about these is good, but the truth is, Admissions Tutors have very little interest in what you do outside of education unless you can find a way to directly link them to your subject.

5. Plagiarise content

You can read Personal Statement examples online for inspiration but avoid copying and pasting them. During your interview, you’re likely to be asked about specific parts of your statement, and if you’re caught off-guard, you’re going to look silly. This could ruin your chances of being accepted. Use a plagiarism detector to ensure your essay is unique.

6. Mention universities or specific courses by name

You can only write one Personal Statement, so it’s the same for each course you apply for. Avoid mentioning specific unis by name or detailing exact specifics of a module, for example. Keep it general.

Now you know what to include in your Personal Statement and the best practices for doing so, we hope you feel more confident writing it. We have plenty of guides and successful personal statement examples to go through in our Free Personal Statement Resources page. Good luck submitting your UCAS application!

First impressions count. Learn how to craft the perfect Personal Statement that demonstrates your suitability to Oxbridge Admissions Tutors.

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UCAS personal statement examples

Having managed successfully to navigate through the 370,000 courses at over 370 providers across the UK, it is now time to make a start at drafting your personal statement.

Students often find this the most daunting of tasks within the application process. This guide will help you through putting together the statement that is going to help get you a place on your ideal course.

Knowing where to start and what to say to when setting out your reasons for applying and convincing the admissions tutor to offer you a place can be a challenge. Looking at examples of how other students have approached this can sometimes be helpful.

Example one

Things to consider when reading this example.

  • Consider the structure – what are your thoughts around this?
  • Think about spelling, grammar, and punctuation– how does this fare?
  • What course do you think this personal statement may have been for?

“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi

From a young age this quote has inspired my chosen career path to become a children’s nurse. Being one of many siblings I have the role of supporting my nieces and nephews when they become ill and providing comfort. Working with children in my family has motivated along this career path as it has taught me to take responsibility in life, become more organised and mature.

I am currently undertaking a health and social care course. This course has given me insight into the different aspects of health care and its overarching infra structure. Caring for children and young people helped me gain an understanding of the risk that children and young people may be put in and the exploitative and abusive behaviour that they may encounter. We focused on the tragic case of Victoria Climbie. This brought home the significance of multi agency working.

I am committed to ensuring that children and young people in my care are safe,healthy, enjoying and achieving, economic well being and putting in a positive contribution. A core element of the course has been work placement, working with children. This came in very useful for me because it taught me how to deal with children at different ages and what I need to do in order to meet their needs. During this work experience I was responsible for supporting and maintaining the children’s hygiene needs and encouraging them with their speech. I learnt different approaches to meeting the needs of children; for example I was taught to talk the children in a calm, but stern tone of voice when they misbehaved and to use very positive gestures and praise when children listened and kept to task.

I consider myself as having very good communications skills I am able to reassure people positively in any circumstance, I am the committed to ensuring that children and young people in my care are safe and healthy and I am confident when dealing with both children and parents, For example when a child injured herself in the nursery I shadowed one of the senior staff while they administered first aid, it was then my responsibility to explain to the caregiver exactly what had occurred.

I take part in many activities which are helping me to become independent ad preparing me for my course that I want to take part in, in university; I presently volunteer in a nursery. I take part in planning and creating activities and I have a duty to observe the children throughout the day and then give feedback to the parents and carers.

I have many qualities which will be ideal for my future career path I am honest, patient and a reflective individual, this is something that I feel is most important when dealing with children and adolescents.

I have many hobbies that I carry out in my spare time. I have taken part in being a team leader to raise money for a charity that supports children who have been abused because I believe strongly in the cause. We raised awareness, held a campaign, fundraising and protest.

I also enjoy travel, I have visited countries such as Egypt, Eritrea, Holland, Germany and Italy - this has allowed me to explore the outside world and has given me a taste of different cultures and traditions; and ultimately giving me a better understanding of diversity.

I would like to be given the opportunity to study at university because I believe it will be the perfect platform to launch my career. Having the chance to study Paediatric Nursing at university will allow me to fulfil my career path and make a change to my life as I will feel that I am achieving new things on a day to day basis with what I am able to offer children and young people when it comes to having a positive impact on their health.

Being given the opportunity of Working in an environment with children daily would be my dream goal in life that I wish to achieve.

Example two

  • Thinking about the experiences gained from a gap year, how has this applicant drawn on these transferrable skills?
  • How does experience both in and outside the classroom environment relate to the chosen subject area?

I am a hardworking, talented and motivated young woman looking forward to studying at degree level and taking an active part in university life.

I have a keen interest in the world around me, and enjoy taking part in a variety of activities for example: volunteering at my local brownies, volunteer marshal at Brighton Marathon; textile and weaving classes; completion of the Trinity Guildhall award at both Bronze and Silver level; and a Stand Up Paddle board instructor. These activities, coupled with part time work whilst at sixth form college, have not only been enjoyable but have also helped me to develop skills in communication, organisational, leadership and interpersonal skills.

Although having been accepted to start university in 2014 (Primary Education) I realised that I was not ready to fully commit to the course and took the decision to gain some real life experience and reflect on what I really want from university and my future career.

Since leaving sixth-form college I have been working full time as a waitress/ bar assistant at a local hotel, which has been hard but interesting work demanding stamina, patience and an open mind. I have also secured 3 weeks work at a trade exhibition in New York, where I will have the chance to attend networking dinner and I plan to go inter-railing across Europe in Summer 2015. As a result of these experiences I am more self-assured and resilient. I am ready to commit to full time study and have much to contribute to university life.

I realise that I am most interested in people, what makes them the people they are and how this manifests in their behaviour and opinions.

I enjoyed studying sociology at A level and gaining an insight into how the study of sociology helps us to understand how society works. This coupled with my recent experience in the hospitality world and observation of the behaviour of those who use and manage the service, has fuelled my desire to study Sociology in depth at degree level. I am completely fascinated by the behaviour of others and why we act the way we do. I believe that studying sociology at degree level will allow me to begin to explore and understand aspects of human social behaviour, including the social dynamics of small groups of people, large organisations, communities, institutions and entire societies.

I believe that the skills and knowledge that I will accrue whilst studying will be applicable to a wide variety of careers and that is why I have chosen to study the topic at degree level.

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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement: Complete Guide on How to Write a UCAS Personal Statements

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Universities & Colleges Admission Service or more commonly known as the UCAS. A personal statement is an essential element of your UCAS application that is an opportunity for you to express to admissions officers your goals, abilities, and experience.

A personal statement is used to bolster your admission to a university. It's an opportunity for you to explain why you want to study a specific course or subject, as well as what abilities and experience you have that demonstrate your zeal for your chosen sector. The UCAS Personal Statement is sometimes a student's only opportunity to impress a university.

In this blog, we will further look into what is the personal statement structure UCAS by smothering you with UCAS personal statement examples and also help you by providing you with necessary information about how to structure a UCAS personal statement by yourself, while mentioning a few UCAS personal statement examples.

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What is a UCAS Personal Statement?

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is an independent organisation that serves as the United Kingdom's common admissions service for higher education. It is the essential essay for your enrollment in British colleges and universities. It allows you to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your expertise and passion for your field of study.

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How Does a UCAS Personal Statement Help in Admissions?

The essential admissions document, the UCAS Personal Statement, has a significant impact on whether a candidate is admitted or denied. This is why it is critical to craft the UCAS Personal Statement in such a way that it impresses the academic advisor of the UK college and receives immediate acceptance. Overall, one can highlight all of their admirable traits in their statement to convey to the evaluators that they are genuinely interested in the course.

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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement: UCAS Personal Statement Format

One question that may be bothering you is, ‘how long should a UCAS personal statement be?’ Well, you only have 4000 characters or 47 lines, so you need to be succinct and utilise your words wisely. Your personal statement should adhere to this format:

Step 1: Plan

  • Students need to do extensive study on the UK universities and programs they intend to apply to.
  • Decide which pertinent information to put in their personal statement.
  • Write a rough draft without editing in which they merely record their ideas and thoughts.

Step 2: Structure

Students must exercise considerable self-control when writing their UCAS Personal Statements since they must pack a plethora of details into a limited amount of space. This means that they must carefully consider how they arrange the final statement after writing a rough initial draft.

A compelling personal statement must follow a strict format, have an impactful opening and conclusion, and provide insight into the applicant's character and motivations for choosing the program for which they are applying.

Step 3: The Statement

A student's chance to tell a university about themselves, how their life events have influenced their passion for learning and ambitions, and why they should be admitted to the topic of their choice is the UCAS Personal Statement.

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What To Include in a UCAS Personal Statement

How long should a UCAS personal statement be, well, not too long, therefore it must implore all the essential aspects you want to demonstrate to get into your desired course.

  • You can utilise the characteristics, competencies, and experience listed in the course descriptions to help you choose what to write.
  • Include your goals and the aspects of the topic that attract you.
  • Think about your qualifications.
  • Describe any groups or societies you are a member of.
  • Mention any relevant volunteer work or career experience you have.
  • Include any higher education courses, apprenticeships, seminars, or similar experiences you may have had.
  • Describe any personal situations in your personal statement that may have had an impact on your academic success.

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How to Start a UCAS Personal Statement?

The first and foremost step to start a UCAS Personal Statement is to begin with the course or program you’re choosing to study. Also, you should keep in mind to keep the starting very crisp and brief, precisely 47 words.

To start, you can add sentences relevant to why you want to pursue the particular subject, and even bring about a story to execute the example, and make it more engaging.

Also, watch this video below to know about all the elements to score a winning SOP! 

How to End a UCAS Personal Statement?

To end your UCAS personal statement, it is essential to list a few extracurricular activities, and internships that make you stand out from the crowd. Basically, through the last paragraph or the ending, you need to showcase and demonstrate your extra self, your skill set, and how you are different from other applicants. And then you can close your case by not repeating what you’ve already mentioned in your statement previously.

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UCAS Personal Statement Samples

Not too long is the answer to how long should your UCAS personal statement be. So, it is a necessity to write a statement that will knock the university’s socks off!

Below mentioned are the UCAS personal statements samples in writing ways simplified:

Initiate off by presenting oneself and your narrative. Talk about your reasons for being interested in the programs you're applying for.

Mention your qualifications.  Anything you did in high school that qualifies you for the role?

Talk about your long-term goals and what you want to do with your degree.

Conclude with an intriguing line to add just a little bit of sparkle. A good conclusion is a catchy sentence regarding your future goals.

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Given below are some UCAS personal statement samples for conclusion to help you understand how to write a personal statement UCAS:

UCAS Personal Statement Template

Before moving further, it is important for candidates to be well aware of the writing style and format of the UCAS personal statement. Do go through some UCAS personal statement examples to have a clear idea.

US Personal Statement V/S UCAS Personal Statement

The following are the elements that set UCAS personal statement apart from US personal statement:

  • If you register to UK universities, you're applying to a specific degree program that you'll pursue for all or almost all of your time in college. Your preparation for your specific field of study should be the main topic of your UCAS personal statement.
  • Someone will read your UCAS Personal Statement to determine whether you are qualified academically to pursue that field of study through the completion of your degree. It may occasionally be a real professor who is reviewing your paper.
  • All the universities you're applying to will receive the one personal statement you submit. Without mentioning any specific institution, your essay must describe why you appreciate and are brilliant at this subject.
  • Unless they highlight important aspects of your study habits or abilities, any extracurriculars that are not pertinent to the subject you are applying for are meaningless.
  • The majority of the personal statement will be on your high school experiences, including what you did in class and frequently in advance of external tests. It is to be highly academic in nature.

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where to write personal statement ucas

UCAS Personal Statement Tips: Writing the Best UCAS Personal Statements

Here are a few pointers that will help you in writing an efficient UCAS personal statement:

  • Students must show that they are not just enrolling in college for the social aspect of it and that they have the work ethic and academic aptitude to succeed at a further level of schooling.
  • It's crucial to demonstrate your capacity for managing your time and your workload.
  • To increase their chances of getting into the degree they choose, all students must show enthusiasm for the subject they have selected, which goes above and beyond classroom education.
  • The most crucial step in creating a UCAS application is to check everything. Every sentence must make sense and follow grammar rules.

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A good UCAS statement is critical to getting accepted into a UK university so it needs to have all necessary information without any unnecessary data that will hinder your chances at securing a spot into the course you’d like to enrol yourself into. For any further information subscribe to Yocket premium and get help from our team of experts.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Write a Good UCAS Personal Statement

How long should my UCAS personal statement be?

A standard UCAS personal statement should be 47 lines and 4000 words long.

How to start a UCAS personal statement?

You first start by introducing yourself in your UCAS personal statement. After that gradually start mentioning your goals, strengths and capabilities.

How to justify good UCAS personal statement examples?

A good UCAS personal statement will always mention only relevant to the field pointers and nothing else.

Why do we require a UCAS personal statement?

UCAS Personal Statement has a significant impact on whether a candidate is admitted or denied.

How much help does UCAS personal statement examples international students?

It helps international students formulate an appropriate format for their application to a UK university.

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Rohan Deshmukh

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Tips On How To Write A Great UCAS Personal Statement

Tips On How To Write A Great UCAS Personal Statement

The UCAS Personal Statement is a core part of your application to UK universities. Unlike the US university's application process, where there are specific essays to write for each university, the UCAS Personal Statement is the main essay that will be sent to all 5 UK universities to which you are applying. Hence, writing a good UCAS Personal Statement is crucial to your admission chances to your reach, target, and safety schools in the UK. Given that the admissions officer already has information about your grades, the UCAS Personal Statement is an excellent chance to impress the officer and show who you are. This blog aims to help you write a perfect UCAS Personal Statement.

What is the UCAS Personal Statement?

According to the UCAS website , the UCAS Personal Statement is “a chance for you to articulate why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for your chosen field.”

The Personal Statement allows you to showcase your knowledge and enthusiasm for your degree of choice and convince the admissions officer as to why you would be an excellent fit for this university degree.

The Personal Statement is meant to be degree-specific instead of university-specific , given that the same essay will be sent to all 5 universities. In terms of length, UCAS limits the Personal Statement to 4000 characters or 47 lines. That will roughly be around 500 words in total.

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Overview of UCAS Personal statement

To write a good UCAS Personal Statement, you have to include three main pieces of information – you can structure your Personal Statement based on these three things:

  • Interests/Motivations to study this particular degree/course

Previous preparation

Other soft skills, interests/motivations to study this particular degree/course .

To convince the admission officer that you will be a good fit for the degree/ course, you must explain why and how you decided to study this course .

For example, if you are applying for a law degree , which is largely vocational, you should be prepared to explain why you like the legal profession and why you think this career is right for you.

If you are applying for an academic degree (e.g., sciences or humanities), you should explain what you have enjoyed about the subject and why you would like to dedicate three years to studying this subject, mainly when it entails a lot of readings and hard work.

Many people can articulate their interests or motivations for choosing a particular course. Admissions officers differentiate those who are more genuine by looking at what the applicant has done over the previous years to prepare themselves for life as a university student studying that particular degree/ course. 

  • What Do Colleges Look For In Students & How To Stand Out

This part of the Personal Statement is where you choose and elaborate on relevant extra-curricular activities you have done during high school to support your application. The admissions officers want students who go above and beyond their school curriculum to explore a particular subject.

For example, if you are applying for a law degree, you may want to write about your law internship experience here and how that sparked your interest in particular areas of the law which you wish to study at university.

If you are applying for a science degree, you may want to write about a research project that you have embarked on outside the school curriculum and what you have learned from that particular project.

If you have any relevant achievements, such as academic competition prizes, please include them here as it would show the admissions officer that you have an aptitude in a particular subject. This part of your Personal Statement should take up the bulk of your essay.

Understandably, not all your extra-curriculars may be related to your degree/course of choice.

For example, students may be engaged in basketball, piano, leadership positions in student council, etc. You may include these activities in your personal statement. However, unlike US application essays, the UCAS Personal Statement is more geared towards demonstrating how you would be an excellent academic student for a particular course in the next few years.

Hence, even as you elaborate on these non-academic activities, you have to link them to specific soft skills (e.g., time management, juggling responsibilities, etc.) that would demonstrate that you will be able to be an excellent university student.

Oxford Strategist on UK Personal Statement Advice | College Tips Podcast

Tips on writing a Good Personal Statement & Things to Avoid

Prepare early.

You will only have the chance to write one Personal Statement in an application cycle for five universities. Hence, it is essential to prepare early and go through several drafts to ensure your work’s quality. You should seek feedback from your school’s career counsellor, teachers, and friends to ensure that your personal statement is clear, coherent, and convincing.

Appropriate scope

When you apply to UK universities, you are applying for a particular degree/ course. Hence, it is essential to pick and choose the information you include in your Personal Statement carefully. Be sure to phrase most information to your chosen degree/ course and leave out fun and quirky aspects of yourself. The Personal Statement is meant to convince the admissions officer of your potential academic ability instead of showcasing your personality.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the Personal Statement is phrased broadly enough to be applicable to all five universities. You do not want to be caught in a position where admissions officers can tell your preference for one university over the other.

It is essential to use simple English when writing the Personal Statement. For international students, the Personal Statement is also an avenue for admissions officers to assess your English language ability, given that most, if not all, UK university degrees are offered in English. Even for native English speakers, it is important to avoid complicated, verbose language that requires one to re-read your sentences to get your point. Ideally, you want admissions officers to get your point as easily as possible, given that they must read thousands of Personal Statements during the application process.

There are many examples of good UCAS Personal Statements online. However, it is important to note that you can only draw inspiration from these examples but cannot copy wholesale. Copying any parts of anyone’s Personal Statement will constitute as plagiarism, which is a severe academic offense in tertiary education. If you are caught for plagiarism, university offers will likely be revoked. It is important that your Personal Statement is genuine and is your piece of work.

Especially for the university admission process with an interview element, it is important not to lie in your interview. Applying to Oxbridge requires an interview, and your interviewer may ask you for details in your personal statement. There have been instances where interviewers quiz applicants over what they have written (e.g., they have read XXX book,) and it is easy to tell whether students were truthful or not in their Personal Statement. You don’t want to be caught lying in your Personal Statement, which will risk your chances of admission.

Example of a Personal Statement from an Accepted Student

Check out Crimson student Bluebelle’s personal statement for Philosophy which was accepted by Oxford University

Being torn between the arts and sciences has made me a person who uses mathematical equations to paint pictures and sees my physics lessons as an excuse to discuss the music of the spheres. It is no real surprise, then, that my first serious approach to philosophy was that of a mathematician. After attending the ESU Debate Academy’s Logic course, I saw logic as the linguistic iteration of mathematics and so decided to study it further, becoming an avid logical positivist after reading Halbach’s ‘The Logic Manual’, Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’ and Ayer’s ‘Language, Truth and Logic’. I was drawn to the promise of bringing the chaos of the ‘real’ world closer to the certainty I felt that maths provided, but despite this I could never resist the allure of a passionate metaphysical debate about morality or the nature of time whenever such topics arose. This conflict was resolved, somewhat ironically, by a paradox. The podcast Radiolab informed me of Godel’s incompleteness theorems, which state that any consistent set of axioms contains necessarily unprovable statements. With my view of absolute truths shaken, I began to carefully consider arguments opposing logical positivism and found ontological relativism more in keeping with how we relate to the complexity of everyday life. My new viewpoint still considers logic, but I now know how many alternative methods there are to explore and want to work to consider them all. For example, when writing on ‘what is disappointment?’ for the Edgar Jones Philosophy Essay Competition, I presented both possible evolutionary perspectives and the more subjective origins of the emotion. Resolving the false dichotomy between my scientific and artistic approaches was also vital in progressing my understanding of linguistics. Bloom’s ‘Open Yale’ series and Pinker’s ‘The Language Instinct’ taught me that to be worthy of debate a language must be restricted to a structured human system capable of expressing abstract thought. While my scientific leanings told me the universality of maths made it superior to other languages, I also saw how close this came to Orwellian Newspeak and had to accept the value of the multivalent nature of poetic language. I worked to resolve this when writing on bilingualism for the Trinity College Cambridge Linguistics competition. I initially argued that speaking multiple languages aids a person in understanding the logic of all linguistic systems, but then went on to explore how each language’s inconsistencies gives it cultural merit. As a keen reader and aspiring author, the first place I looked to understand language subjectivity was literature. In preparation for my school’s Poetry By Heart Competition, I analysed many translations of Baudelaire and saw just how crucial an authors’ lexical choice is on the overall impact of a piece. Language subjectivity is just as prevalent in science, as I saw when assisting UCL Professor David Lagnado as he searched for a reliable way to convey DNA or drug results in criminal trials. Even in such a seemingly concrete area as star-spectrum analysis, preparing to present my schools ‘Star Seekers’ project at the National Astronomy Meeting showed me just how many questions a single word can raise. If I didn’t understand the impact of my words, I doubt I would have been successful in the Camden Youth Council, competing or running debating competitions or founding the refugee pen-pal charity ‘Words not Wars’. I have, in turn, committed myself to being an artist, mathematician, author, physicist, podcaster, psychologist, philosopher, linguist and much more besides. My future goals range from founding a grass-roots radio network supporting free speech to reforming state education, but I also know that each passing year gives me more ambitions and plans. This course promises to teach me how, rather than simply what, to think, thus enabling me to go on to fulfil every ambition I have and have yet to find.

For more great examples download out free eBook below!

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Final Thoughts

The UCAS Personal Statement is a crucial part of your application. With over 600,000 applicants each year, admissions officers use the Personal Statement as a way to differentiate between stronger and weaker candidates. Hence, the Personal Statement can “make or break” your application. Hopefully, this blog has given you some insights into how to write an excellent Personal Statement. Good luck!

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11 episodes

I’ve worked in university student recruitment and admissions for well over 25 years. I’ve read countless Personal Statements, delivered hundreds of sessions on how to write them, and I have even trained teachers and advisers on how to help their students. This podcast is for you if you are applying through UCAS, and are writing your UCAS Personal Statement In just one hour, over 10 super-short episodes, I’ll give you information and insight into the admissions process, and a very practical guide on writing your statement. Just listen, take notes, and start writing. You’ll also find the whole series available as an online course, or as a written guide that you can download for free at: www.betterunichoices.com

How to write your UCAS Personal Statement - a Better Uni Choices podcast Jonathan Tinnacher

  • 28 MAR 2024

Part 10: Top Personal Statement tips

Looking for some final tips before you start your first draft? Here are some thoughts that I have picked up from a whole bunch of admissions selectors and other experts over the years.

Part 9: Getting help and support

Want to know how to get the best possible feedback on your statement? There are lots of people around who can help you with your Personal Statement. This part will help you get the very best input, by planning how and when you get feedback from different people.

Part 8: Using ChatGPT

Thinking of using ChatGPT? If you ask Chat GPT to write your statement for you, it will simply make stuff up; a whole statement full of lies. However, engage with it as if it is your counsellor, and it can be extremely helpful. In this part I suggest a couple of really useful prompts, and give some further helpful tips on how to use AI usefully and ethically.

Part 7: Writing a Personal Statement for two subjects

Are you applying for two different subjects? How to write a statement that covers two different courses could be the most asked question in university admissions history, and the answer is not straightforward. There are a number of possible scenarios, and in this part I suggest how to approach these.

Part 6: The power of reflective writing

How do you make sure everything you write really matters to the admissions tutor? You now have lots of content, and a sensible structure for your statement. You know which content you are going to prioritise, and roughly how long each section is going to be. There is just one more area to focus on before you start writing the statement in full, and that’s how to write reflectively.

Part 5: A clear, simple structure

Not sure what goes where? If you have done the exercise in Part 4 reasonably well, you now probably have several pages, and perhaps ten or twenty ideas about yourself, your skills, your experiences, and your chosen course. In this part I’m going to show you how to organise all this content within a really clear, simple structure.

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Higher Options career talks: Ucas & studying in the UK

Students from the republic pay the same domestic fees as those in uk and northern ireland.

Higher Options – UCAS: Studying in the UK

[  Check out our other Higher Options career talks: from architecture to zoology  ]

For Irish students willing to enrol into UK universities, course browsing and applications can be done through the UK equivalent of CAO known as Ucas ( ucas.com ).

Up to five course choices can be made, and the deadline for applications is generally the last Wednesday of January.

Along with personal details and results, a very important part of the UCAS application is the personal statement.

This is a 4,000-character formal piece of writing on why you would like to be considered for that specific course. An academic reference is required too.

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‘Put yourself in your statement’

Samantha Sykes of UCAS explains how important it is that students really put themselves into the personal statement without trying to plagiarise or get help from other sources. UCAS uses plagiarism detection tools and can easily flag non-genuine statements.

“It should communicate who you are, what drove your interest and enthusiasm into the course and why you would be a suitable candidate,” she says.

“But you should also show something ‘beyond curriculum’, what interests you in life beyond your achievements.”

Sykes says most universities share what they are looking for in personal statements, and a good amount of research needs to be done on this and on the courses themselves to understand what they expect from prospective students.

She recommends reaching out to UCAS customer service and social media for assistance and to attend their online seminaries and live sessions on the process.

Oxford and Cambridge

An additional process needs to be followed for Oxford and Cambridge, which usually set a separate and earlier UCAS deadline too.

When considering these universities, it’s better to get informed in advance as most of their courses require additional assessments and interviews to get in.

Students from the Republic of Ireland get to pay domestic fees in the UK and Northern Ireland.

There are also great funding opportunities for some medical and paramedical disciplines courses which are extended to students from the Republic.

Jonathan Holland from Ulster University says all-island students can be granted free tuition and a bursary during the training period.

Video recorded in 2021

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  1. HOW TO WRITE A UCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT

  2. UCAS Personal Statements Part 4: Preparing your content

  3. How to write a UCAS personal statement: easy to follow framework to get offers at your top choices

  4. How To Write The Best Personal Statement For UK / USA Universities

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COMMENTS

  1. How To Write Your Undergraduate Personal Statement

    How to open your personal statement. Admissions Tutors will be reading a lot of personal statements so it's important to grab their attention right from the start. Remember, it can only be 4,000 characters, which is about two sides of A4. So, you'll need to use your words wisely to fit everything in.

  2. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict - up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it's also important that they don't feel the need to fill the available space needlessly. Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential.

  3. How to write a UCAS personal statement

    UCAS personal statement word limit. Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550-1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

  4. Ultimate Guides

    Discover the UCAS Hub. See your opportunities. Organise your choices. Writing a personal statement takes practice. You're putting yourself out there in a way that you've probably not had to do before. It's both an art and a science, and the topic is YOU. With a bit of planning, it's not just doable but a really good experience in ...

  5. UCAS Personal Statement and Examples

    The UCAS Personal Statement will be read by someone looking for proof that you are academically capable of studying that subject for your entire degree. In some cases, it might be an actual professor reading your essay. You'll only write one personal statement, which will be sent to all the universities you're applying to, and it's ...

  6. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

    The UCAS personal statement strikes fear into most sixth formers. Sculpting the perfect personal statement is an arduous an unavoidable process. With approximately 600,000 people applying to university each year, admissions officers need a way to filter stronger candidates from the rest of the pool.

  7. 7 tips for writing a great UCAS personal statement

    Discuss your career aspirations. Demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen sector and your ambitions within it. 4. Describe the person behind the application. This can be a relatively short section: a few lines of interesting, relevant information will do. 5. Conclude by linking back to your introduction.

  8. Personal statements

    Watch this video and find out everything you need to know to write your UCAS personal statement. To find more videos, visit our video wall at http://www.ucas...

  9. Tips for writing a UCAS personal statement : How to apply for

    A personal statement is a short, reflective piece of writing that you submit as part of your UCAS application to universities. We use it during the admissions process to decide if you're suitable for the course you're applying for - and so we can understand why you want to study your chosen subject.

  10. How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps

    Use your closing couple of lines to summarise the most important points in your statement. 9. Check your writing thoroughly and get someone else to check it, too. 10. Give your brain a rest by forgetting about your personal statement for a while before going back to review it one last time with fresh eyes.

  11. How To Write A UCAS Personal Statement

    Tips for writing a Personal Statement. Express a passion for your subject. Start the statement strongly to grab attention. Link outside interests and passions to your course. Be honest, but don't include negative information. Don't attempt to sound too clever. Don't leave it until the last minute; prepare ahead of the deadline.

  12. The Ultimate UCAS Personal Statement Guide

    The key to writing a good UCAS Personal Statement is getting the structure right, as this can have a huge effect on the message it delivers. Often, students get caught up in the content and forget that presenting information effectively is just as important as the words included.

  13. UCAS personal statement examples

    Personal statement examples UCAS personal statement examples Having managed successfully to navigate through the 370,000 courses at over 370 providers across the UK, it is now time to make a start at drafting your personal statement.

  14. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement: Complete Guide on How ...

    A personal statement is an essential element of your UCAS application that is an opportunity for you to express to admissions officers your goals, abilities, and experience. A personal statement is used to bolster your admission to a university. It's an opportunity for you to explain why you want to study a specific course or subject, as well ...

  15. Tips On How To Write A Great UCAS Personal Statement

    The UCAS Personal Statement is a core part of your application to UK universities. Unlike the US university's application process, where there are specific essays to write for each university, the UCAS Personal Statement is the main essay that will be sent to all 5 UK universities to which you are applying.

  16. How to write your UCAS Personal Statement

    This podcast is for you if you are applying through UCAS, and are writing your UCAS Personal Statement. In just one hour, over 10 super-short episodes, I'll give you information and insight into the admissions process, and a very practical guide on writing your statement. Just listen, take notes, and start writing.

  17. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    Planning, structure and story. The UCAS Personal Statement is a student's chance to speaks about why they want to students for a particular degree, course or subject disciplinary at a UK university. As people set about writing a personality testify, students needs to demonstrate the power, ambition, relevant skills and notable achievements ...

  18. Higher Options career talks: Ucas & studying in the UK

    Along with personal details and results, a very important part of the UCAS application is the personal statement. This is a 4,000-character formal piece of writing on why you would like to be ...