- How To Write Your Undergraduate Personal Statement
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How to end your personal statement
- How to start a personal statement: The attention grabber
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What's on this page?
What’s a personal statement, preparing to write your personal statement, how to open your personal statement, your personal skills and achievements, work experience and future plans.
An undergraduate personal statement is a chance to get noticed for the unique talents and experiences you have. It’s an important part of the application process as it’s an opportunity to talk about yourself and your passions, outside of your grades.
In this article, we’re going to talk you through how to write an undergraduate personal statement that stands out, without leaving you feeling overwhelmed.
Chloe Ng, HE Career Coach, Manchester Metropolitan University
You’ll have heard the saying preparation is key, and that’s no different when you’re tackling your personal statement. There are two things to think about when you’re planning. The practical and factual information you need to get across, and the more emotional, human parts of you that make you different to everyone else.
Before you start writing, take some time to think about the key things you’d want an admissions tutor to know about you, and get them down on paper. Don’t worry too much about making your notes perfect – this is more about making sure you know why you should be offered a place.
You can also look at the course description as this’ll help you with what to include and give you a good idea of what each uni is looking for.
Here are a few questions you can answer to help you get started:.
- Why have you chosen this course?
- What excites you about the subject?
- Is my previous or current study relevant to the course?
- Have you got any work experience that might help you?
- What life experiences have you had that you could talk about?
- What achievements are you proud of?
- What skills do you have that make you perfect for the course?
- What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?
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.
You can find a full guide on How to start a personal statement: the attention grabber , but here are the main things to think about .
- Don’t overthink the opening. Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve.
- Avoid cliches! Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you.
- Keep it relevant and simple. You’re limited on how much you can include so avoid long-winded explanations. Why use 20 words when 10 can make your point?
Annabell Price, L’Oréal degree apprentice (Professional Products Division)
Next, you’ll need to write about your personal skills and achievements. Universities like to know the abilities you have that’ll help you on the course, or generally with life at university.
Don’t forget to include evidence to back up why you’re so excited about the course(s) you’ve chosen.
- Be bold and talk about the achievements you’re proud of.
- Include positions of responsibility you hold, or have held, both in and out of school.
- What are the things that make you interesting, special, or unique?
Your work experience and future plans are important to include. You should share details of jobs, placements, work experience, or voluntary work, particularly if it's relevant to your course.
- Try to link any experience to skills or qualities that’ll make you successful.
- If you know what you’d like to do after as a career, explain how you plan to use the knowledge and experience that you’ll gain to launch your career.
It’s always good to connect the beginning of your statement to the end and a great way to reinforce what you said at the start.
You want to see the ending as your chance to finish in a way that’ll make the admissions tutor remember you.
This final part of your personal statement should emphasise the great points you’ve already made and answer the question of why you should be offered a place on the course.
Read our full guide on How to finish your statement the right way.
Want to read more?
Check out our full list of Personal Statement Dos and Don’ts
See how you can use a personal statement beyond a university application
Now you’ve written your undergraduate personal statement, you’ll need to do a couple of final things before you submit it.
- Have you proofread it?
Don’t just rely on spellcheckers. We’d recommend reading it out loud as that’s a great way to spot any errors as well as checking it sounds like you.
- Have you asked for feedback?
Ask friends, family or a careers advisor to have a read through your personal statement and take their feedback on board.
Want more advice on your personal statement? Use the links below.
Use the UCAS’ personal statement tool alongside this guide to help you structure your ideas. Are you interested in how you can turn you Personal Statement into your CV? Read our advice here
UCAS scans all personal statements with the Copycatch system, to compare them with previous statements.
Any similarity greater than 30% will be flagged and action could be taken against you.
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Personal Statement Examples
Browse our UCAS personal statement examples for university in the UK by subject, from A to Z. Please do not plagiarise phrases, sentences or whole paragraphs, as UCAS can detect this and will penalise your application.
Accounting and Finance
These two subjects lie at the heart of any business, and a degree in at least one of these will equip you with essential skills for life.
View 49 Accounting and Finance Personal Statements
To become a successful actuary you will need to use both mathematical and business skills to solve problems concerning financial risk and uncertainty.
View 13 Actuarial Science Personal Statements
Learn more about American culture, society, history and politics with this specialised degree
View 4 American Studies Personal Statements
Study the evolution and history of humanity around the world.
View 24 Anthropology Personal Statements
Dig into the history of human activity.
View 23 Archaeology Personal Statements
Understand the processes involved in the planning, designing and constructing of buildings and other structures.
View 35 Architecture Personal Statements
Art and Design
Pursue painting, pottery, textiles, sculpture and any other discipline that interests you in the world of art.
View 53 Art and Design Personal Statements
Investigate biological processes at the molecular level.
View 18 Biochemistry Personal Statements
Use traditional engineering techniques and apply them to real-world problems.
View 6 Bioengineering Personal Statements
Study a wide range of biological topics, and choose to specialise in microbiology, ecology, zoology, anatomy or any number of other areas.
View 85 Biology Personal Statements
Study and explore medically related subjects such as genetics, physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience.
View 66 Biomedical Science Personal Statements
Learn how to apply biological organisms, processes and systems to industrial tasks.
View 6 Biotechnology Personal Statements
Learn about economics, accounting, management and more.
View 85 Business Management Personal Statements
Learn all the skills you need to be successful in the world of business.
View 111 Business Personal Statements
Gain a solid theoretical foundation and practical training in this fascinating arm of science.
View 35 Chemistry Personal Statements
Delve into the literature, history, philosophy and archaeology of the Greeks and Romans.
View 8 Classics Personal Statements
Combine analytical knowledge and technical skills to ready yourself for an in-demand career.
View 107 Computer Science Personal Statements
Computing and IT
Get ahead in IT by becoming an accomplished programmer, learning how computers work and expanding your Mathematics skills.
View 120 Computing and IT Personal Statements
Study the science behind criminal behaviour, laws and justice.
View 40 Criminology Personal Statements
Explore the practice of dance and develop your performance, choreography and teaching skills
View 3 Dance Personal Statements
Study the latest approaches in dentistry, combined with practical clinical experience that will prepare you for your career.
View 15 Dentistry Personal Statements
Apply your artistic skills in a commercial environment.
View 24 Design Personal Statements
Qualify as a dietician in the UK with this degree that explores the science of nutrition and how to communicate it to the wider world.
View 2 Dietetics Personal Statements
Combine theatre theory and practice to help you on your way to centre stage.
View 19 Drama Personal Statements
Learning the fundamentals of this subject will pave the way to many career options, including a data analyst, stockbroker, forensic accountant and external auditor.
View 158 Economics Personal Statements
Explore how people develop and learn in their social and cultural contexts.
View 25 Education Personal Statements
Browse our engineering personal statement examples to help you write your own, unique statement.
View 182 Engineering Personal Statements
Improve your reading, creative writing and critical thinking with an English degree.
View 157 English Personal Statements
Explore different habitats, climates, formations and societies and how we can reduce the human impact on nature.
View 10 Environment Personal Statements
Learn more about the science of the environment through collaborative research, expeditions and teaching partnerships.
View 12 Environmental Science Personal Statements
This varied and exciting field will prepare you for a number of careers, including a hotel manager, charity fundraiser and a tourism officer.
View 4 Event Management Personal Statements
Find out more about the fundamentals of fashion and find out more about how to research, design and develop clothing.
View 17 Fashion Personal Statements
Discover the core skills required to become a screenwriter, director or critic.
View 23 Film Personal Statements
Equip yourself with the basic skills and techniques needed for a successful financial career.
View 57 Finance Personal Statements
Food Science and Catering
Discover more about travel, tourism, event management and food science in this exciting subject.
View 3 Food Science and Catering Personal Statements
Study a wide range of subjects from chemistry and biology, to criminalistics and toxicology.
View 10 Forensic Science Personal Statements
Personal statements written by students taking a year out before university.
View 7 Gap Year Personal Statements
Study the earth’s physical structures and scientific processes to prepare yourself for a career in urban planning, environmental consultancy, conservation and many more.
View 61 Geography Personal Statements
Understand the evolution of the earth, how our planet works and what the future holds for us through both laboratory and field work.
View 15 Geology Personal Statements
This subject provides a broad base of scientific knowledge and skills applicable to many occupations and potential career opportunities.
View 21 Health Sciences Personal Statements
History of Art
Increase your understanding of ancient and modern society and culture.
View 5 History of Art Personal Statements
Study the events and people from the past to better understand what our future could be like.
View 144 History Personal Statements
Give yourself a solid foundation for many different career options in this exciting and thriving sector.
View 6 Hotel Management Personal Statements
Understand how politics, history, geography, economics and law all require international co-operation to resolve global problems.
View 96 International Relations Personal Statements
Read personal statement examples written by international students.
View 23 International Student Personal Statements
A subject that is applicable to a wide range of professions in the private and public sectors, including international agencies and government bodies.
View 10 International Studies Personal Statements
Study the foundation and development of Islamic knowledge from a broad and multidisciplinary perspective.
View 4 Islamic Studies Personal Statements
Explore Japan’s society, culture and language, with some universities offering the opportunity to spend a year abroad.
View 9 Japanese Studies Personal Statements
Develop the full set of skills required for a career in journalism.
View 14 Journalism Personal Statements
This multi-disciplinary social science course focuses on the study of economics, business and law and their relationship to the environment around us.
View 1 Land Economy Personal Statement
Set yourself on the path to an international career with a languages degree.
View 87 Language Personal Statements
Develop a critical awareness of the common law legal tradition and apply problem-solving skills to a range of legal and non-legal settings.
View 166 Law Personal Statements
Learn the science behind languages, and how to understand and interpret language on a global scale.
View 19 Linguistics Personal Statements
Gain a broad foundation in topics relating to business, finance, economics and marketing.
View 44 Management Personal Statements
Give yourself the knowledge and skills you need to excel as a professional marketer.
View 24 Marketing Personal Statements
Take your understanding of the theories and concepts of mathematics to a higher level.
View 105 Mathematics Personal Statements
Read personal statement examples written by mature UCAS students.
View 15 Mature Student Personal Statements
This degree is ideal if you want to pursue a career in PR, journalism, film, advertising or broadcasting.
View 45 Media Personal Statements
Become a great doctor with one of the most rewarding degrees at a UK medical school.
View 102 Medicine Personal Statements
Gain the necessary skills and clinical experience to become a qualified midwife.
View 9 Midwifery Personal Statements
Develop your ability to create new music by studying topics such as composition, performance and music theory.
View 26 Music Personal Statements
Prepare yourself for a career in the music and audio industry.
View 7 Music Technology Personal Statements
Focus on various perspectives of the natural world, including chemical, physical, mathematical and geological.
View 18 Natural Sciences Personal Statements
Explore the workings of the human brain, from molecules to neural systems.
View 12 Neuroscience Personal Statements
Qualify for a rewarding career as an adult, children’s or mental health nurse.
View 35 Nursing Personal Statements
Learn the knowledge and skills to treat people with psychological, physical or social disabilities.
View 8 Occupational Therapy Personal Statements
Learn the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to become a registered osteopath.
View 1 Osteopathy Personal Statement
Personal statements by those applying to study at Oxbridge.
View 149 Oxbridge Personal Statements
Apply for this course to successfully qualify as a registered pharmacist in the UK.
View 20 Pharmacy Personal Statements
Find out how to form and voice your own opinions, and how to analyse and communicate ideas clearly and logically.
View 86 Philosophy Personal Statements
A course combining academic study and hands-on practice to help you become a skilled photographer.
View 9 Photography Personal Statements
Learn about the fundamental building blocks and forces of nature and how physics helps us understand the world around us.
View 54 Physics Personal Statements
Choose from a medical, human or general physiological science course.
View 4 Physiology Personal Statements
Learn the theoretical disciplines and gain the practical experience required to become a qualified physiotherapist.
View 6 Physiotherapy Personal Statements
Study how governments work, how public policies are made, international relations and other topics to open the door to a wide range of careers.
View 194 Politics Personal Statements
Read example personal statements written by postgraduate students for their chosen universities.
View 44 Postgraduate Personal Statements
Explore how our minds work and why we behave the way we do.
View 154 Psychology Personal Statements
Help diagnose and treat illness by producing and interpreting medical images, or learn how to treat cancer patients with therapeutic radiography.
View 5 Radiography Personal Statements
A creative discipline, vital to contemporary understandings of economy, art, politics, media culture and globalisation.
View 5 Religious Studies Personal Statements
A popular degree course, with a practical focus, that allows you to develop your professional skills and knowledge as you study to become a qualified social worker.
View 25 Social Work Personal Statements
Gain the knowledge and skills required to critically engage with issues facing society today.
View 66 Sociology Personal Statements
Sports & Leisure
Understand the value and purpose of sport in society, as well as the social, cultural and economic importance of sport and contemporary issues in sport and leisure.
View 13 Sports & Leisure Personal Statements
Learn about sports performance and the factors that affect behaviour in sport.
View 15 Sports Science Personal Statements
Discover how to manage buildings by exploring topics such as project management, legal and technical advice, building reports, defect diagnosis and conservation.
View 2 Surveying Personal Statements
Become a qualified teacher with this popular training course.
View 14 Teacher Training Personal Statements
Understand the different religious and spiritual perspectives in the contemporary world.
View 9 Theology Personal Statements
Travel and Tourism
Prepare for a career in one of the fastest growing industries with this vocational degree.
View 3 Travel and Tourism Personal Statements
Gather the skills required to help you shape and design the world around us.
View 3 Urban Planning Personal Statements
Study the basic veterinary sciences first before learning to apply that knowledge to veterinary practice as a clinical student.
View 6 Veterinary Science Personal Statements
Learn about all kinds of animals, including their anatomy, physiology, genetics, and their adaptations for survival and reproduction in different environments.
View 8 Zoology Personal Statements
How To Write A Bad Personal Statement
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Personal Statement Mistakes To Avoid
What is a personal statement?
The UCAS personal statement is an important piece of writing you need to put together for your UCAS application .
It is where students should sell themselves in order to try and secure a place at their chosen universities . This includes your strengths, achievements, interests and ambitions, and you need to convey why the university should choose you over other candidates.
How do I write a personal statement?
We recommend you start by making some notes about what you want to study at university and why, as well as a list of skills and interests, and your gap year plans (if you have any).
We then suggest reading some example personal statements for inspiration, and to see how previous students have successfully applied for courses at university.
This should give you an idea of how to put your own statement together, starting with an attention-grabbing opening that explains what aspects of your subject you enjoy and why.
The next few paragraphs need to cover your relevant work experience and activities outside of school, as well as your interests or hobbies, and anything else you’ve done related to your subject that isn’t already on your UCAS form.
The final paragraph should round off your statement succinctly and talk about your future plans after university, and how a degree can help you achieve these.
Our personal statement template can help you structure your statement correctly.
Remember that the language you use and the way it is laid out will be judged too, so it’s important to get all aspects of your statement right.
Once you’ve written your personal statement, ask family, friends and tutors to read it and give you some feedback. Look through their comments and amend your statement accordingly (if you feel they improve it).
Try to ask for several rounds of feedback to make sure it's as good as it can be before sending it off.
For more advice, please see our in-depth personal statement writing guide .
How do I start a personal statement?
The first rule with opening your personal statement is to avoid using any cliches or over-used phrases or sentences that the admissions tutors have seen a million times before.
These include: "ever since I was young/a child", "I have always wanted to be..." and "for as long as I can remember".
If you want the reader to go to sleep or immediately put your UCAS form in the rejection pile, then this is a sure way to go about it.
Instead, try to put together an eye opening sentence or two that will grab their attention and make them want to read on.
Our example personal statements above will help you with this, by showing you how students have constructed successful statements in the past.
Many students choose to start their statement by talking about a specific aspect of the subject they enjoy most and why they are interested in it. Others choose to relate a life experience (avoiding cliches) from their younger days, while some decide to begin their statement in another way.
There's no right or wrong answer - just make sure it doesn't read like hundreds of other statements the tutors have already seen before!
How do I end a personal statement?
You should conclude your personal statement with a concise summary of why you are an ideal candidate for this course, your career plans, and any other ambitions you have for the future.
Try to keep it to no more than three or four lines, but make sure the content sells you as a person and has a positive tone that will encourage admissions tutors to offer you a place.
Take a look at your initial notes to help you - remember, it doesn't have to be perfect at this point, as you will have time to redraft it later.
Again, our example personal statements above will provide you with some inspiration for this part of your personal statement (but please don't copy any of them, or UCAS will penalise your application!).
How do I structure my personal statement?
Your personal statement should have a clear beginning , middle and end.
Structure is important if your statement is to be a coherent creative piece of writing, so all the paragraphs should flow nicely together.
At Studential, we recommend the following approach as a guideline:
- Paragraph 1: Introduction to your subject, the aspects you’re interested in and why
- Paragraph 2: What you have done related to the subject that isn’t already on your UCAS form
- Paragraphs 3 and 4: Work experience placements and relevant extracurricular activities at school
- Paragraph 5: Your interests and hobbies outside of school, particularly those that show you are a responsible and reliable person
- Paragraph 6: Your goal of attending university and a memorable closing comment.
Of course, you may wish to structure yours differently and it's entirely up to you at the end of the day - just remember to make sure it's coherent and flows together well.
For additional help on piecing it together, use our personal statement template , which will give you an idea of how a successful statement should look.
What makes a great personal statement?
Tell the reader why you're applying to this particular course and university – include your ambitions, as well as what interests you about the subject, the course provider, and higher education.
Think about what makes you suitable – this could be relevant experience, skills, or achievements you've gained from education, work, or other activities.
You need to show the admissions tutors why you make a perfect candidate for your chosen course, and what value you can bring to their department.
What should you not write in a personal statement?
Avoid these common mistakes if you want your personal statement to be successful:
- Listing your skills, experience etc. Use full sentences and examples to back everything up.
- Any form of negativity - be positive!
- Omitting any relevant skills or achievements
- Embellishing the truth or lying outright
- Not checking for spelling and grammar issues - this sort of sloppiness just tells the admissions tutors you don't care very much
- Not asking for feedback from friends, family and teachers - this is a great way of receiving objective advice
- Stating the obvious or repeating what is already mentioned on your UCAS form elsewhere
- Including over-used words, phrases and sentences, such as "ever since I was a child..." and "I have always wanted to be...".
- Using jokes or humour - this isn't the time or place, and the admissions tutors probably won't appreciate it!
How long should my personal statement be?
For undergraduate courses, UCAS allows students up to 4,000 characters for their personal statement.
This isn't a huge amount of space, so you need to make sure every word counts and you sell yourself in the best possible light at all times!
Once you have put together an initial draft, you can check if it's too long or short with our personal statement length checker .
When should I start writing my personal statement?
We recommend you begin writing some notes during the school summer holidays, and maybe even have your first draft written before going back in September (especially if you're applying to Oxbridge ).
The sooner you start writing, the sooner you can get your final draft in place ready for your UCAS form. This also helps to take the pressure off, and means you won't be rushing to get it done at the last minute.
Use our handy UCAS personal statement template to help you structure your statement, and make sure you have included everything you need to.
Personal statement tips
For a successful personal statement, we recommend following these top tips:
- This is your opportunity to sell yourself - so use it! Talk about your strengths, abilities, achievements, personal traits, hobbies, extracurricular activities and anything else relevant that makes you an amazing candidate for this course.
- Start writing your personal statement early - ideally over the summer holidays, which give you plenty of time to get a perfect statement in place by the autumn (this advice especially applies if you are applying to Oxbridge , or for medicine , veterinary science , or dentistry ).
- Make sure you back up everything you say with solid examples, using your initial notes to help you.
- Talk about your motivations for choosing this particular course, and showcase all strengths using your own voice.
- Don’t embellish the truth or lie outright (you’ll get caught out at the interview!), and don’t use humour or tell jokes (this isn’t the time or place).
- Use positive language and let your enthusiasm shine through - tutors only want students on their course that are passionate about their subject!
- Don't get someone else to write your statement for you, or buy/plagiarise a statement online. UCAS check statements for similarity, and your chances of being offered a place at university could be affected if they find you have cheated on your statement.
- Ask those you know and trust to provide you with feedback, and incorporate their comments and suggestions accordingly.
- Go through at least several rounds of feedback before polishing your statement into a final draft.
- Don't just rely on a Spellchecker to check your statement for errors - read it through carefully three or four times to make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
- Use an reputable personal statement editing service if you're struggling with your final draft, or just want to try and give it some extra shine!
These tips and advice apply to all personal statements, whether you’re applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate course. If you follow them, you will have a better chance of securing a place at your chosen universities.
Best of luck with your UCAS application!
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What to include in a Personal Statement
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Hundreds of personal statement examples to help your application.
Browse by subject and from A to Z. For more help and inspiration, check out our advice pages for Personal Statements.
A-Z of Personal Statements
Learn from previous student personal statements here. We have collated over 700 personal statement examples to help you on your university journey and to help you with how to write a personal statement.
These personal statement examples will show you the kind of thing that universities are looking for from their applicants. See how to structure your personal statement, what kind of format your personal statement should be in, what to write in a personal statement and the key areas to touch on in your statement.
A personal statement is a chance to tell your university all about you - a good personal statement is one that showcases your passion for the subject, what inspired you to apply for the course you’re applying for and why you think you would be an asset to the university.
Our collection includes personal statement examples in Mathematics, Anthropology, Accounting, Computer Science, Zoology and more.
Writing a personal statement has never been easier with our vast collection of personal statement examples.
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Personal Statement Help
What is a personal statement.
A personal statement is an essay written by a student applying to either a college or university. A personal statement is written and then uploaded to UCAS and is then attached to any university applications that the student may then make.
If you need more information check out our personal statement advice articles .
How to write a personal statement
There isn't a clearly defined personal statement template for you to use as each person's statement is different.
When it comes to writing a personal statement for universities, your personal statement should touch on your passions, your interest in the course, why you're applying for the course and why you would be an asset to the university you're applying to.
Talk about the clubs and societies that you belong to, any work experience you may have and any awards you might have won.
If you're still looking for information check out our article on how to write a personal statement .
How to start a personal statement
When it comes to starting your personal statement, the best thing to do is to be succinct and to have enough tantalising information to keep the reader informed and eager for more.
Your introduction should touch on your personal qualities and why you are applying for the subject you're applying for. Keeping things short and sweet means that it also allows you to break your personal statement up, which makes it easier for the reader.
We have plenty of advice for students that are wondering about what to include in a personal statement .
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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]
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.
Download your free UCAS Personal Statement worksheet
Download our free worksheet and template to help your students plan and write an original UCAS Personal statement that is positive, engaging and sets them apart.
What are the big challenges students should be aware of before writing their UCAS Personal Statement?
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.
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 .
Related Resource: 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 .
The essential ingredients for writing a great 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: UCAS explore how students can find a formula for a successful Personal Statement
Planning a 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 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.
Related Resource: Learn how you to nix procrastination and improve the quality of your students’ applications with BridgeU's How to Improve Your Students’ University Application Essays with BridgeU .
How to help your students start their 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 a UCAS personal statement: free worksheet
Use our free worksheet as a classroom resource to help your students plan and write an original UCAS Personal statement that is positive, engaging and sets them apart.
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
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,
Example : 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.
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.
Example : 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
Final hints & tips to help your students, 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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I want to register in order to achieve all my goals because it is clear at this time that you cannot achieve your goals and dreams without a university degree, and I hope you accept.
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How to Write the UCAS Personal Statement (Guide + Examples)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The primary author of this blog, David Hawkins, specializes in helping students navigate the UCAS process and applications to universities outside the U.S. (And he’s a super great human.) To reach him, click here.
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.
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 you 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 is 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 favorite UCAS personal statement examples with some analysis for 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 lays out 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 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 which 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 which 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
Ucas personal statement example for aeronautical engineering.
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 that demonstrates 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 teminology 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 an 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.
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 that demonstrate 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 on 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 though 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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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.
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.
- 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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- Medical School Application
UCAS Personal Statement Examples for
Personal statement examples for the ucas medical school application.
UCAS personal statement examples can be a great coaching tool for applicants applying to medical schools in the UK through UCAS. Students will need to submit a personal statement with their UCAS application, to demonstrate why they want to be a medical doctor and how they meet the requirements of the discipline. UCAS personal statements need a blend of the relevant personal, professional, and academic qualities of the applicant in a compelling narrative. In this blog, we’ll tell you what is required of your UCAS personal statement and show you 5 prime examples of UCAS personal statement examples.
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Article Contents 18 min read
If you are applying through UCAS to study medicine, your medicine personal statement has one key goal: to demonstrate why you want to become a medical doctor. This must be done by conveying your motivations, explaining why you are a good fit for the profession, and demonstrating what you have done to learn about medicine as a career. A strong personal statement will weave a narrative that paints a picture of who you are as a student, as a candidate for the program(s) to which you are applying, and as a person.
The medicine personal statement for UCAS must be no longer than 4,000 characters (including spaces), and is submitted as part of the overall UCAS application. The due date for UCAS is mid-October, and thus this is also the due date for your personal statement and the rest of your application materials.
I’ve had a good deal of privilege in my life. My family isn’t wealthy, but we’ve always had enough food, access to resources, reasonable shelter, the ability to fulfill all needs and many wants. The biggest realization of my life has been understanding just how privileged that basic description is. Through volunteer work and guided inquiry, I have come to see how central physicians are to contributing to their communities and to increasing equitable access to healthcare worldwide. At home and abroad, for individuals and populations, physicians play a critical role in advancing well-being and equality. I want to be on the frontlines of providing access to care, so I can contribute to that global effort.
Two years ago, the Missing Maps Project came to my school. Missing Maps is a project founded by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which crowdsources map creation for vulnerable developing areas. While we take something as basic as maps for granted, many places in the world still need mapping; Google Maps doesn’t chart places like rural South Sudan. These maps help groups like MSF reach those in need of care, particularly following conflicts or other disasters. Participating in this project and learning about MSF introduced me to the world of humanitarian medical aid, expanding my understanding of how physicians can contribute to social justice work. It also gave me a whole new perspective of what such work requires in our shared world. If something as fundamental as basic mapping can mean the difference between someone receiving aid or not, this means the gaps in access to care are much larger than I’d once assumed; it also means that there are ways for medical and humanitarian individuals to come together to make real and lasting impact in the struggle for social justice.
Working on this project sparked my interest in pursuing medicine as a career. It was immensely satisfying to contribute meaningfully, but the deeper I looked into the issue, the more I wanted to be one of the people heading to the areas we mapped. I started volunteering at King’s College Hospital and took on several shadowing opportunities with local physicians. I was scheduled for a volunteer shift at King’s at 8am on June 14. When I awoke that morning, news of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire was everywhere. I rushed to the hospital, knowing that there would be patients in need, worried families, and dedicated staff, all whom I could help in some way – even if only with a warm blanket, a kind word, or a cup of tea. Being in the hospital that day and seeing the camaraderie of the health team, the precision of their efforts, and their love for the community put so many things into perspective for me. I was grateful to contribute and support them in any way, but I also determined there and then to pursue medicine not just as a career, but as a calling.
Along with shadowing physicians and pushing myself to excel academically, I completed an Emergency First Aid course. Soon after, I received advanced First Aid training and began working as an Event First Aid Volunteer through the Red Cross. Physician shadowing and first aid work helped me understand the practicals of healthcare work. I learned that I have a knack for the technical elements of providing such care, and that I can maintain composure in tense situations. I also learned that the mundane realities and long hours of a physician’s work are well worth the meaning derived from that work.
I have excelled in my science A levels and enjoy the precision and problem-solving needed to do so. More than that, though, I am driven by the desire to know enough to bring people care when they need it, to run toward those in crisis and provide aid. I want to become a physician so I can use my academic skills, my experiences, and my privileges to acquire more knowledge and advance wellness, caring for my community and building bridges over the gaps of access to care, both at home and abroad. (3966 characters)
In essence, your UCAS personal statement for medicine has one job: to answer the question, “ Why do you want to be a doctor ?” This singular goal, however, is more complex than it seems. Discussing your motivation requires more than simply articulating your own personal reasons for pursuing medicine; it also requires you to show what makes you suitable for such a profession, what you’ve done to learn more about the profession, and what drives you to follow this particular path.
Describing personal experiences that shaped your perspective and aspiration is definitely part of the personal statement essay, but you also need to summarize key roles you’ve had and activities you’ve completed, in ways that show your reader that you are already taking this pursuit seriously. That is to say, while desire and motivation are part of your story, these must be backed up with evidence. What have you done to learn more about the day-to-day realities of practicing medicine? What volunteer or paid work have you done that have helped you develop the qualities sought in aspiring medical professionals? What self-directed learning have you undertaken to personally advance your knowledge?
Admissions committees review your personal statement to determine how your experiences have shaped you and your desire to practice medicine, and how you have used your experiences and opportunities to demonstrate key qualities of the medical profession. Per the Medical Schools Council’s Statement on the Core Values and Attributes Needed to Study Medicine , those key qualities are:
- Motivation to study medicine and genuine interest in the medical profession
- Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses
- The ability to reflect on your own work
- Personal organization
- Academic ability
- Problem solving
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Manage risk and deal effectively with problems
- Ability to take responsibility for your own actions
- Insight into your own health
- Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
- Ability to treat people with respect
- Resilience and the ability to deal with difficult situations
- Empathy and the ability to care for others
My passion for medicine was sparked in an unconventional place: my garden. I have vivid memories from my youth, spending time nourishing life in the flower and vegetable beds my mother diligently tended every year. When I was very young, I admittedly just liked playing in the dirt. As I grew, however, I understood the beauty of watching each tiny seed reach invariably toward the sun, taking on new and evolving forms at each stage of growth, struggling defiantly from the soil with a singular goal: to live. I witnessed how my mother’s care strengthened the tiny seedlings, the response each fragile life had to her efforts. A bit more nitrogen here, a bit less calcium there; snip this off, secure that with a tie; protect them from anything that could harm them. That sense of awe at life’s workings has propelled me toward the field of medicine.
Two years ago, I began volunteering in a local retirement home, helping residents to meals and ensuring basic needs were met. In the hours before or after my shifts, I visited with welcoming residents, keeping them company and learning about their lives. The lessons they taught me, their zest for life in its golden years, helped me connect my fascination with life’s processes to my desire to foster wellness in others. I also began learning the daily realities of providing care from the medical staff. I saw them burst into action when a code was called, and I watched them develop meaningful relationships with the residents, who thrived under their expertise and warmth. Being part of a team devoted to the care and comfort of others quickly became a calling.
I began shadowing physicians at Lincoln County Hospital, particularly in the rehabilitation ward. Watching doctors and other medical professionals work with patients overcoming tremendous injury, watching those patients themselves in their tenacious effort to heal and thrive, helped me see both the highs and lows of medicine. I cannot help but be invested in the patients’ efforts – efforts that sometimes exceed expectations, and that sometimes fall short. I’ve seen doctors, nurses, and patients alike light up as a trauma patient took his first independent steps in months; I have seen the dashed hopes when a similar patient was not able to support herself in the expected timeframe. What draws me in, though, is that drive – shared by medical professionals and those under their care – that continuous reaching toward the light, toward wellness, toward growth. Between my scholastic accomplishments, my innate curiosity, and my sense of awe for all those who strive for their own well-being and that of others, I am confident that my vocational path leads to the practice of medicine.
My A levels have left me enthralled with the sciences, especially the hands-on learning that takes place in labs. Learning more about biology and chemistry, the living systems of all bodies, has nurtured the curiosity I developed in my youth, while also helping me refine my practical problem-solving skills. Uncovering the hidden processes that sustain life, and the equilibrium that keeps those processes running, leaves me eagerly anticipating new modules and assignments for the knowledge they will bring. As demonstrated in my supporting materials, this dedication has resulted in excellent marks and the gold medal in the Biology Olympiads. What matters most to me, though, is the refined understanding and the deeper questions I am able to ask with each step of the learning process.
My mother’s love of gardening instilled in me a love for caring and tending and a sense of wonder for the functions of life, and my own academic interests have propelled me toward the sciences. The field of medicine allows me to combine both of these, while also learning more about how to prioritize the wellness and well-being of others. To pursue this in the noble field of medicine would be to combine my deepest passions and follow my most intense interests, and to do so in the service of others. (3999 characters)
Check out our video for a recap:
I’ve been lucky in my life not to have to think about my health status. I’ve always been healthy. I’ve never broken a bone or had to take more than one or two visits to the emergency room in my childhood. I do my best to eat right, to exercise plenty, and I have the luxury of good genetic health, too. And being an able-bodied, healthy person is a luxury. It’s a privilege I’ve enjoyed. Others have not been as lucky as me.
I first realized how fortunate I was many years ago, when I first met Tim. Tim was the first friend I made as the new kid in fourth grade. As a shy kid, having moved across the country the previous week, introducing myself to a crowd of students who’d all known each other for years was scary. Tim made the transition easier, by immediately coming up to me and offering the hand of friendship. Tim was funny, outgoing, athletic, and a supportive friend. Tim also used a wheelchair every day of his life.
At the time, I’d never met someone who uses a wheelchair. I had no idea of the physical, mental, and emotional struggles Tim dealt with everyday, as a disabled person in a rural town, often without access to proper accommodations. Our school only had one ramp. Before I met Tim, I had no idea how much extra effort he needed to put in just to live his life the same way I did. After finding out about the ramp, I did some at-home research with my dad’s help on how much wheelchair ramps cost to install and the specifications needed for a proper ramp. Then I went around my neighbourhood, the schoolyard and even the local park asking for donations until, many weeks later, I had enough to present to the school to get Tim another ramp.
In our teens, Tim and I started competing together in obstacle runs. Essentially, a foot race with some extra challenge thrown in for fun. On top of running, it requires jumping, climbing, crawling and other physical feats of strength and endurance to complete. Together, Tim and I have completed seven races. Me on foot, Tim on wheels. Tim even purchased an expensive new wheelchair with modifications like smaller wheels with wider treads and a lowered back that would make it easier and more comfortable for him to compete.
Six of those races, we organized together. Our first race was completed in a nearby city, which had been organizing the event for many years, and had the facilities and crew to make it happen. There were hundreds of racers. Some of them were in wheelchairs, like Tim. From them, we learned it was possible to host an athletic event that was all-inclusive and all fun. We got to work planning and executing our own race in our rural town.
Where we lacked the paved foot trails and equipment to set up challenging obstacles, we used dirt paths through the woods. We climbed over and under logs, hung from the support beams of a bridge, scaled up rope ladders we made ourselves. We did a trial run, and Tim was able to complete our homemade obstacle course in the woods after we cleared out any safety concerns like rocks and sticks and installed some ropes and handholds for him to use.
Researching and installing these adaptations to the course reminded me of my campaign to install a wheelchair ramp at our school. It reinforced how important it was for Tim to have access to proper equipment. The more I researched, the more I realized how much extra expense it is for patients to get the medical equipment and aid they need to succeed. On top of that, how important it was to install equipment like ramps properly to avoid accidents and deterioration. My interest in learning about medical accessibility prompted me to look seriously at it as a future career.
My friendship with Tim is what inspired me to seek a career in medicine. No one should have to struggle to live their life as they please, without access to the infrastructure and equipment they need. Tim is living proof that people like him can succeed in spite of a lack of access. But he shouldn’t have to. It is my goal to contribute the skills I have learned through this experience to finding better solutions and providing easy access to all. Good living shouldn’t be a luxury for only a few.
UCAS Personal Statement Example #4
The hardest part of being a paramedic is not knowing. My patients are in my care for minutes at most, in the mad rush to the emergency room. For my patients, they will be the most critical minutes of their lives. For me, they are some of the longest minutes I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes long enough for me to learn their names, to learn about their lives. And then I pass them into the care of the emergency room staff, and my job is done. My care ends at the closed hospital doors.
Most of the time, I don’t get to find out what happened to my patients. If I was successful, and got them there in time, or not. If I’m lucky, I might hear something through the grapevine or on the news. But usually, it’s back on the rig and on to the next emergency call.
I chose to become a paramedic because I couldn’t imagine another profession that suited me more. But now, after having served as a paramedic for nearly a decade, I decided it was time to change course, and take my passion for patient care further. So, I decided to apply for medical school.
Being a physician means committing to contributing positively to the profession and knowing that caring for a patient goes beyond the boundaries of diagnosing a problem and prescribing a fix. Ensuring my patients make it through their emergency requires much more from me than my medical knowledge, my technical skill and my focused attention. It requires my care. I need to give my patients the best possible care by investing in them. Many times, I wouldn’t have been able to provide to answer to a question without knowing all the facts. Those personal questions that EMTs and doctors ask you do have a reason!
Attending medical school will give me a chance to grow. Not just through the expansion of my medical knowledge and the practice of my medical skill, but it will give me a chance to apply my experience as a paramedic to patients who are coming out of the other side of an emergency. I already know I possess the grace under pressure, the ability to make quick decisions and act on them, needed of a doctor. But I know by specializing my skillset and learning more about the medical profession, I’ll be able to step through the hospital doors and continue in my mission to care for my patients.
At this point in my life, I feel I am ready to don the white coat. I have nine years as an EMT and have received numerous commendations for my service. I know I provide the best care I possibly can, on every call. I am ready to learn, to develop myself, and to take my skills into the emergency room. It is my goal to be the empathetic presence patients can expect after their care. To be the voice of wisdom they can turn to. With a medical degree from [University], I believe I will achieve my goal.
Check out this video for how to write a killer introduction to your personal statement:
I have always held a special connection with the elderly. As a child, I would often visit my great-grandmother in the small-town care home where she lived. Living so close and being able to visit her every week was a blessing for me. Hearing her stories and recollections was a unique learning experience for me, and an insight into another time.
My great-grandmother grew up in a rural area in the early 20th century. When she was a child, her family relied on lamps to light their home instead of electricity, and a water pump instead of a faucet for cooking and cleaning. Healthcare consisted of home remedies and a visit to the local doctor three towns away.
During my weekly visits, we would talk and play cards, and she would share her experiences with me. As I grew older, I began to take more notice of the nursing staff at her care home. I noted how they were perpetually understaffed, but always working hard to provide for the patients in our small town, some of whom had lived in the area their entire lives, like my great-grandmother. When I was a teen, I decided to volunteer my free time at the care home. It gave me a chance to continue visiting my great-grandmother and the other residents I had befriended, and I was able to do some good and add a gold star to my resume. Not only that, I was able to get hands-on experience caring for senior patients, learning what is required of senior care and expanding my knowledge of their healthcare.
But while I was volunteering there, working with patients sparked my passion. As I prepared for the end of high school and started working on my college applications, I realized the answer to what I wanted to do was right in front of me. I wanted to go into healthcare.
One patient in particular—a long-time resident and friend of my grandmother’s—related to me a story I will never forget. She’d grown up on a dairy farm with four siblings, and often helped her parents with the chores. After a fall off a ladder where her brother broke his arm, she and her brothers and sisters were able to quickly fashion a homemade splint for him, having crafted them before to fix a calf’s broken leg. The splint held until they were able to get her brother to the nearest town doctor.
Working in the care home, speaking to the different residents about their memories and experiences, it was fascinating to hear how much medicine and healthcare had evolved over the years. It was inspiring to compare the 40 km trek my great-great-grandparents had undertaken to ensure their children could see a doctor, to having full-time care in their very own home today. And it forged a bond between myself and senior patients, who remind me of how far we’ve come, and the areas where we’re lacking and need improvement.
I want to become a doctor so I can continue the work of caring for the senior patients like my great-grandmother. As a volunteer, I’ve already been able to experience what it is like to work in a seniors’ care home, but I know as a fully-fledged medical doctor I will be able to step up in numerous ways. Seniors have specialized healthcare needs, and many of them have lived through the continuous evolution of the field of medicine, so they have experiences to share, too.
I believe I can bring this first-hand and hands-on learning with me into medical school. But I am also eager to deepen my medical knowledge and learn how to be the best doctor I can be. I know I will be an asset to this program and an excellent future example of the kind of physicians this program can produce.
A UCAS personal statement is part of your application to chosen medical schools. It’s an opportunity to express your passion for a field of study, and demonstrate the skills and experience you have that would be an asset to the profession.
A UCAS personal statement should answer the question: why do you want to be a medical doctor? It should include information on your personal motivations and experiences, as well as any professional experience in the medical field or extracurricular or volunteer activity relating to your motivation for applying.
UCAS personal statements should be around 550-600 words, or no more than 4,000 characters.
Personal statements should always include an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Yes! Proofreading is always important to make sure your essay is polished and free of errors. If an admissions committee sees you haven’t proofread your work, it may indicate you don’t have attention to detail or care for your work.
It depends on how quickly you write, but it generally will take more than a day. Before you start writing, you’ll need to brainstorm ideas, research the schools you plan to apply to, draft your essay and make time for rewrites and edits. This is why it’s best to start writing as soon as possible.
Focus on the information about the school’s culture, program curriculum and values. See how they align with your own values and experiences to see if it would be a good fit for you.
It depends on the program you’re applying to, but in general it is a requirement of most UK medical schools.
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Please I want the personal statement letter which covers educational background and working experience in nursing
BeMo Academic Consulting
Hello Abubakari! Thanks for your comment! When we update the blog, we will be sure to include a sample like this.
Have all of these examples essays been accepted?
Hey Medha! Thanks for your comment. Some of these were, while others were written by our admissions experts as examples.
Medical School Personal Statement Examples: 30 Best in
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How to write a UCAS personal statement
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.
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
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
Personal Statement Template: Free UCAS Application Help!
An exceptionally valuable way to ensure that your UCAS personal statement is written perfectly is to use a template .
This tool offers you a framework that will give you the structure and the content ideas you really need.
A personal statement template is an important tool in the writing process. It should identify the six areas of content that must be included in every application and offer suggestions for character counts for each section. An effective personal statement template also offers key content prompts.
Whatever subject you’re planning on studying, and whatever your previous accomplishments and experiences, I’ve developed a free downloadable UCAS personal statement template that you can use to help you complete a brilliantly successful, hassle-free UCAS undergraduate application.
You can find out all about it below…
An Effective Personal Statement Template for Uni
I have divided this personal statement template into six sections. You might like to think of these as individual paragraphs, but equally, you can easily split a section into a couple of paragraphs, if that works for you. Just make sure you include the relevant content in each paragraph you write.
There’s a link to the free downloadable pdf further down the page , so you can download the template and have all the information in the right place.
The Six Elements of a Successful Personal Statement
1 identifying the inspiration, motivation or reason behind your choice of course or subject, 2 establishing your academic suitability and potential, 3 showing evidence of your relevant wider reading and research, 4 outlining your practical and contextual experience of the subject you intend to study, 5 illustrating your relevant transferable skills, 6 linking the course outcomes with your personal and professional ambitions, how do you write a perfect personal statement.
A perfect personal statement is one that accurately represents your skills, experiences and suitability for the course, contextualises your relevant transferable skills, values and ambitions and consequently compels the reader to make you an achievable offer.
The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that you write with originality and purpose.
What are the Guidelines for UCAS Personal Statements?
Here are a few reminders about UCAS undergraduate personal statements before you dig into the template and submit your application:
Quick UCAS Personal Statement Questions
If you’ve read the checklist above and still have some questions about UCAS personal statements, then the chances are you’ll find the answers here:
Does UCAS Count Spaces As Characters?
What’s the personal statement character limit, do blank lines count in the ucas line count.
Yes, blank lines count as a line in your UCAS personal statement. You have a maximum of 47 lines, so don’t waste space by spacing out your paragraphs with blanks. There’s no need, and you’ll sabotage your chances of achieving an offer if you cut valuable content in favour of formatting.
Can I Edit My UCAS Personal Statement Online?
Yes, you can edit your personal statement within the UCAS platform, but my advice is not to! Instead, use a cloud-based service drive like Gmail, which will allow others to read and give feedback. Alternatively, use software like Microsoft Word or Pages, which let you edit and develop your content. Then, cut and paste your final personal statement draft into your UCAS track.
Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course. After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your...
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Any level of similarity of 30% or more are reviewed by members of the UCAS Verification Team and further action will then be taken. Business Management: I have