How to write a personal statement for a UK university | British Council

 

how to structure a personal statement for university

This worksheet is designed to help you think about information you could include in your personal statement. We’ve included space for you to write down any thoughts you have as you go along. More detailed advice and guidance about writing your personal statement, or generally with life at university, such as any accredited or non. Oct 19,  · When applying to a UK university, the discovery that school grades alone are not enough to gain entry onto the programme of your choice can come as an unwelcome surprise. This is especially true for international students, many of whom see the words 'personal statement' for the first time when starting their university application. Think carefully about how you want to structure your personal statement. If your argument flows naturally and follows a logical order, this will impress admissions tutors and show them that you will do well on their course. After all, it’s a skill that will come in very handy when it’s time to write your essays and sit your exams over the next three or four years.


Structure of a Personal Statement | Apply To Uni


Writing a personal statement is probably one of the most difficult parts of the UCAS application form. Many students will not have done much creative writing since GCSE, and even if you have, it's still very hard to write about yourself. We've produced this short guide to help you with the process, and make sure you don't end up with a poor personal statement that won't sell you to university admissions tutors.

We suggest you have a pretty good idea of what course you want to study before continuing much further with your personal statement. Generally, personal statements are quite specific so if you decide to change the course you are applying for you would need to rewrite your personal statement.

This tells you about all the things to consider when selecting your degree course, in order to ensure you make the right choice for you. The UCAS personal statement is a 47 line or 4, character piece of writing that allows you to tell the universities and colleges you are applying to why they should offer you a place on the course. In order to do this successfully, you need to convey your passion and enthusiasm for the subject to the admissions tutors, how to structure a personal statement for university, as well as demonstrate your suitability to the course.

Please be aware that application personal statements and essays vary between countries, and that the guidance below is only applicable to those applying to a UK higher education institution through UCAS. Our guide will help you put together a personal statement, although you may find that using your own ideas gives a better reflection of yourself than using advice from anywhere else.

Our personal statement template may also help you structure a decent first draft. Here is an outline of what our personal statement writing guide has to offer, which also allows you to skip to the parts you particularly want to read:.

In the 'Your personal statement' section at the UCAS websiteyou are given a brief introduction to personal statements, and then a list of links to other sections to help you write your statement. If you think this information is enough to go on, and your personal statement is already forming in how to structure a personal statement for university mind, then you can stop reading here and get on with writing it!

If not, go on to the next section below. Many universities don't interview applicants, so the only information they have about you is on your UCAS form.

A majority of the UCAS form contains your details - the bits the universities are interested in are your grades, your references and your personal statement.

The personal statement is the only part you really have full control over, so this is your chance to present a good image to the admissions tutor, even if your grades don't really seem to reflect this.

If you are applying to an oversubscribed university course, e. Physiotherapyhow to structure a personal statement for university, Medicineetc. When the admissions and subject tutors look at your personal statement, they are likely to be asking two main questions:. Ultimately, how to structure a personal statement for university, admissions tutors are human too, and may well have hundreds of personal statements to sift through, so even if you think you've answered all these questions really well you may still be unlucky.

There are other techniques you can use to make your statement stand out and appeal to admissions tutors, but remember people are all different and therefore may have different ideas about what they look for in a prospective student. Now you have some idea of why you're writing a personal statement, you need to think about what you're going to put in it. You don't need to start thinking about the wording or structure yet - the first thing to do is get down some ideas on what you could include.

The best way to do this is to use a set of headings and write bullet points about how how to structure a personal statement for university relate to these headings. Here are some example headings you may wish to think about. Obviously, if you're not taking a Gap yearyou can avoid this section. If you are it could still be left out, but you may be asked why you're taking it at interview. You should now have lots of bullet points about yourself, all of which will be useful in preparing your personal statement.

Don't worry too much if you don't seem to have done many of the things outlined above - just think about things you've done that show all your qualities, or could be written in a way that displays The important thing is that you have a good reason for why you want to study the course.

It doesn't matter if the reason sounds silly at the moment - you can work on the language later. All admissions tutors will be looking for people who are enthusiastic and passionate about the subject s they want to study, so make sure you really are.

If you're choosing this course just because you can't think of anything better to do, how to structure a personal statement for university, that's not a good enough reason, and maybe you should consider looking for a course you would enjoy more. Saying why you want to take your course is possibly the most important part of your personal statement.

You can have perfect grades, great extra curricular activities and be a really wonderful person, but if admissions tutors feel you aren't committed to your course, you won't get a place. Hopefully the notes you have written for the section above have already given you a good idea of what to write about why you want to take your course.

If not then you should at least be sure you want to take that subject - writing a personal statement is a lot of work, and you don't really want to get to the end of it and decide you want to study a different subject. So before you go much further be sure you have chosen the right subject for you.

Remember you don't actually have to choose the course you want to take yet, just have a rough idea of the subject area or areas you might be interested in. Now you need to think about exactly why you want to take this subject. If they accept you, you are going to be studying this course for at least the next three years, and you need to convince them that you are committed to it.

Have a think about exactly why the subject appeals to you, and write down as much as you can about it. It doesn't matter if you only scribble a few notes - you can modify them before you write the statement, and the important thing is you can be sure of the key reasons why you want how to structure a personal statement for university take the subject.

Write down as many as you can, and if you end up with quite a few, you can always just pick the best.

There are two options you can use to tailor your personal statement to joint degrees a degree where you take two subjects e. Economics and Politics. You can talk about the subject you feel is most important, and not mention the other. This has the advantage that you can apply for two different joint degrees and only talk about the common element e. If you decide to do this, make sure you talk about the qualities you how to structure a personal statement for university which show you are suitable for the other half of your joint degree.

Alternatively you can just talk about why you want to do both subjects, although the approach you choose will probably depend on how closely related your subjects are. There is no easy way to write a personal statement for two unrelated subjects.

If the subjects are similar, such as Maths and Statistics, or Accounting and Business Studiesyou may find you can write a general personal statement that applies equally to both courses.

If this is the case you many not want to mention either of the subjects by name, and instead talk about the related work that you've already done and why you have enjoyed it. If your subjects are totally unrelated there is no way you wan write a personal statement that will cover all of them. Instead you need to come up with a statement that gives you the best chance of being accepted.

For example, if you are applying for one subject at four of your university choices and another subject at the other two, you may just want to write a statement related to the subject you chose to study at four universities and either forget about, or change the course, how to structure a personal statement for university, at your other two choices. You also want to consider your predicted how to structure a personal statement for university in relation to the universities you are applying to.

Universities that normally make lower offers are less likely to be concerned about a badly targeted personal statement, whereas for universities that make high offers, the personal statement will be much more important. Try and alter your personal statement so it is more specific to the universities asking for higher grades, as this will give you the best chance of being offered places at all your choices.

There will probably be some cases where there is nothing you can do, for example, if you are applying for three totally unrelated subjects, each at two different universities. There is no advice that will help in a situation like this, except just to consider whether this is really what you want to do, and that you may be seriously reducing your chances of being offered a place on your chosen courses. Even if you do apply for three different courses, you will only be able to study one of them, so it helps if you try to limit your choices to similar subjects.

Some people may know exactly how they are going to lay out and write their personal statement, but for the rest of us it's a bit more difficult.

Even though you now know what you're going to put in your statement, do you know how to make it read well? The best way to get an idea of how to go about producing your personal statement is to look at other people's personal statements. This gives you a chance to see the sort of structure and language other people use, how they explained why they wanted to study their chosen how to structure a personal statement for university, as well as their own interests and abilities.

When you read through sample personal statements, have your own notes from the section above ready. If you find anything you've done but haven't already thought about, make a note of it.

Reading through lots of personal statements will allow you to judge which ones you think are good or bad, and find parts of statements you really like or dislike. This exercise will come in useful in the next section. Hopefully your school or college will give you some example personal statements, but if they don't, there are loads of personal statement samples available here at Studential.

We have a collection of over 1, personal statementsmaking us home to the largest catalogue of personal statements on the web. Use this knowledge to decide how you are going to write your personal statement. From the personal statements you have just read through, you may have gathered the following guidelines:.

Guidelines like these should give you an idea of what to focus on and think about when writing your own personal statement. They also stop your statement from looking too much like one of the examples that you might have copied bits from.

Remember - you don't have to use any of these goals as your own. If you think you are really witty and some light humour will go down well in your statement, then take the plunge and put it down. These goals are really just ideas you might how to structure a personal statement for university to use to help you come up with your first draft - remember a personal statement is supposed to be personaland you should stick with writing whatever you think will work best for you.

From looking at example personal statements you have probably found some language that you like or think works well. The first thing to remember is: do not directly copy any of it! The reason is, copying statements is plagiarismand if an admissions tutor sees a statement they recognise they will probably reject you instantly. You should also not copy single sentences for the same reason - sentences that stick out in your mind may stick out in the examiners also, how to structure a personal statement for university.

It is ok to find a sentence or paragraph that says what you want to say, but make sure you adapt it yourself and don't just copy it. You need to use language that makes you sound enthusiastic about your courses and portrays you as an interesting person. If you're still wondering what sort of language to use look at existing personal statementsprospectuses and on the web to find sentences you feel fit your views. University prospectuses are a good place to look - find your course, see how it is described and see if you can work anything similar into your personal statement.

Don't copy the sentences you find outright - change them or write your own sentence in a similar style. If you can't find any sentences you like, try and write your own - it is a personal statement after all. Now it's time to think about the structure of your personal statement - you should have read lots of examples by now and may have a fair idea about how yours is going to look, how to structure a personal statement for university, but this section should clarify things a bit if you don't, how to structure a personal statement for university.

Most statements are written in an essay format, but you don't have to do yours like this. We don't recommend you write it as one large block of text. Even though you can fit more words in, this just makes it hard to read. You could however use headings rather than write in an essay style. Not many personal statements are written like this but if you think yours would work better like this, then go ahead. A starting guideline is to simply spend half the statement talking about the course and why you want to take it, and spend the other half writing about yourself and your own abilities, though once you get into it this can be easily changed.

Another approach is to split up your notes into a few categories and write a paragraph on each category. For example:.

 

How to begin your UCAS personal statement: the opening sentence | TARGETcareers

 

how to structure a personal statement for university

 

Think carefully about how you want to structure your personal statement. If your argument flows naturally and follows a logical order, this will impress admissions tutors and show them that you will do well on their course. After all, it’s a skill that will come in very handy when it’s time to write your essays and sit your exams over the next three or four years. Oct 19,  · When applying to a UK university, the discovery that school grades alone are not enough to gain entry onto the programme of your choice can come as an unwelcome surprise. This is especially true for international students, many of whom see the words 'personal statement' for the first time when starting their university application. If you’re after personal statement examples for university, top tips and no-nos for creating them, you’re in the right place. For ideas on how to write a personal statement, examples of best practice (and even examples of good personal statements for jobs), grab a pen and read on.