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Successful Personal Statement For Computer Science At Oxford

Author: Rob Needleman

Table of Contents

Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it. 

Today, we are looking through a Computer Science applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Oxford University. The Computer Science Course at Oxford is about understanding computer systems and networks at a deep level. Read on to see how this excellent Personal Statment gives attention to the mathematical side of Computer Science and showcases their achievements. 

Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement (the applicant came very close to the 4,000 character limit):


The universities this candidate applied to were the following:


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Computer Science Personal Statement

My first experiences with mathematics throughout school were always enjoyable but not inspiring. While I loved working with maths, and enjoyed representing our school in both the UKMT and Hans Woyda team competitions, I felt that maths could not be the end-in-itself the school syllabus presented it as. As I progressed through secondary education, however, I began to really see it as the powerful tool to understand and structure reality that it is.

The first time I saw that my interpretation of the use of maths had some substance was during a work experience placement I organised at IMSO (International Mobile Satellite Organization). There I encountered some examples of the mathematical and computing problems involved in working with satellites: from the difference between the Euclidean geometry on a map and the Elliptical geometry on a globe, to the logistics of moving satellites around to meet demand while keeping them in orbit. These were problems that demanded much more than mere number crunching, and being exposed to this gave me a taste of what maths beyond school might involve. A second work experience spell at Siemens provided me a much more in-depth view of the important role that communication systems play in keeping a company running efficiently and effectively.

My passion for mathematics and computing was further extended while reading ‘The Magical Maze’ by Ian Stewart. The description of maths as the exploration of a maze of our own creation had an incredibly profound effect on my understanding of what research in mathematics involves. What interested me especially was the visual part of resolving problems, so that they did not rely completely on resolving long calculations. This was close to how I like to understand and explain my ideas in mathematics.

Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘Gödel, Escher, Bach’ gave me a much deeper understanding of the axiomatic systems that make up maths and how parallels can be drawn between different subjects to gain a further understanding of them all. Connected by the theme of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, the author passes through seemingly unrelated topics, such as the problem of consciousness and the mathematics of Zen principles, to explain the theorem. Although not the focus of the book, I have also enjoyed reading the links that are presented between maths and computing; it seems to me that maths is not just related to computing – computing is the physical manifestation of mathematics.

Maths and computing are about describing mental processes in a precise, logical way. The rigour required for mathematical proof leaves little room for subjectivity: something can be proven, disproven or unproven, but this depends completely on the validity of your logic. The idea of being able to extract order from apparent chaos, working through concepts until they click is what I love about these subjects, and what has attracted me to take those as an integral part of my further education.

However passionate I am about my academic studies, I also enjoy being involved in extracurricular activities. As head of mentoring and a prefect, I have improved my organizational abilities working with staff and mentors in developing study programmes for those students requiring extra help. Completing the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award – now working on the silver award – has allowed me to practice and develop my leadership and teamwork skills.

In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis, skiing and swimming; the latter I practice at competition level. I also love travelling, as having spent my childhood in Denmark, Egypt, United Kingdom and Spain has given me a hunger for mixing with different cultures. I like to unwind by playing the piano – I find that the pleasure one derives from making a piece your own is one that few activities can match.

I am thrilled about the prospect of further study in these subjects with some of the leading professors in the fields, and look forward to participating in university life.

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

Successful Personal Statement For Computer Science At Oxford

Good Points Of The Personal Statement

This is a well-written, structured statement. The student explains their reasons to pursue a dual-honours degree and gives equal attention to both disciplines to which they are applying. The student adds personality to the statement by thoroughly explaining their own views on all of the examples of literature read around maths and computing.

Bad Points Of The Personal Statement

There are quite a lot of short paragraphs. The student could have saved space by consolidating some paragraphs into one, hence shortening the statement. The student starts three paragraphs with ‘My’ or ‘In my’. This is quite repetitive. There are too many paragraphs, seven in total. Paragraphs five and six could be shortened and grouped into one paragraph. In the third paragraph, it appears as though the student has either forgotten to add an addition space (in order to start a new paragraph) or has incorrectly started a new line for the sentence ‘Douglas Hofstadter’s…’.

UniAdmissions Overall Score:

This is a very good statement. The student has clearly achieved a lot and writes in a clear and easy-to-understand way. Attention is given to both maths and computer sciences, which is essential as the student is applying for a dual honours course. With some restructuring, this could be an excellent statement.

This Personal Statement for Computer Science is a great example of how to tackle applying to two different degrees or dual honours. The candidate’s interest and achievements are clearly shown which is vital to Admissions Tutors.

Remember, at Oxford, these Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.

You can find more successful personal statements and our expert guides on our Free Personal Statement Resources page.

Our expert tutors are on hand to help you craft the perfect Personal Statement for your Oxford Computer Science application.

With our  Oxbridge Computer Science Premium Programme, we help you craft the perfect Personal   Statement , score highly on the MAT  and teach you how to  Interview effectively .

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University of Oxford Department of Computer Science

Phrases to avoid

Writing the Peronsal Statement

"Computers have intrigued me from an early age."

Almost every applicant could say this. Use the space to tell us something distinctive about yourself: be specific!

"I first became interested in computers when my family got a PC."

That's fine, but we're going to see a lot of applicants who've started in the same way. If your next phrase is something like "and I worked out how to write a program for a hangman game," that's great: it's something specific that you have done. But this statement on its own won't make you stand out from the crowd.

"Computers are increasingly important in the modern world."

As professional Computer Scientists, we are already aware of this! Tell us something specific about yourself instead.

"I have written my own web page by editing the HTML with Notepad."

Writing web pages is not the same thing as computer programming. Refusing to use editors that make it easier is a sign of pig-headedness, not intelligence. It's good to be curious about the way the World-Wide Web works, but a good computer scientist can know how something works without getting bogged down in the details.

"I am fascinated by Artificial Intelligence."

What is it about this topic that fascinates you? What advances in AI have been made over the past decade or two? Why can computers beat grand-masters at chess now, when they couldn't in the sixties? Are you ready to talk about these and similar things at interview?

"I know the whole of Java."

Really? You tempt us to ask questions about the parts of it we never really understood properly, just to see if you really understand them yourself. Computer Science is not about learning specific languages: it's about learning to think about computer programs and systems in a way that goes beyond the details of what language they're written in. Tell us what specifically you've done with your favourite language: it doesn't have to be earth-shatteringly original!

"I am familiar with programming in Visual Basic, C, C++, Java and Perl."

Don't give us a shopping list of languages that you've tinkered with: by the time you leave Oxford, you'll be able to pick up a new language and begin to use it productively in a single day. Tell us instead about the programs you have written. It's perfectly possible to write fascinating programs in the simplest of languages, such as the QuickBasic that comes with every copy of Windows. On the other hand, programs written in C or Java or Perl can be pretty boring if all they do is add up a column of numbers. Give us something interesting to talk about in the interview.

BrightLink Prep

(Low GPA) Sample Personal Statement Oxford Computer Science

personal statement computer science oxford

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement.

Below is a personal statement written by an applicant who was accepted to Oxford university’s computer science program. He earned his undergrad in electrical engineering with a 2.2 GPA.

This example personal statement is also a great sample of how one can explain bad grades in a personal statement .

This essay demonstrates how, through failure, the applicant overcame his low GPA, despite suffering from multiple mental diseases and conditions. With sheer perseverance, he showed his sincerity in his passion for data analytics and computer science.

You might also be interested in reading this   Sample Cambridge University Personal Statement.

Here is the personal statement of the Oxford Student in computer science explaining low GPA

People often only see the tip of the iceberg when measuring a person’s success. Based on that, they presume that the person came from a fortunate background or got lucky. My recent achievements are a perfect fit for the preceding statement. It’s easy to assume that being a Software Developer and a Data Scientist working with multi-million-dollar startups and companies, I got lucky or was fortunate. However, my skills and expertise span many software and hardware platforms, culminating in years of hard work and resilience through failure. Hence it demands a peek into my humble beginnings.

I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at age 15. OCD is the kind of disease that can be misinterpreted by people’s presumption about being overly concerned with details. In reality, it is a disease that consumes a person. I started my psychiatric medication a few weeks after my diagnosis. Unfortunately, my medication came with a range of side effects and, at one point, necessitated a dose that crippled my brain. As a result, I gained 80 pounds over two months and was at a point where my parents thought I would be lucky to get through high school.

Three months before my high school exams, I decided I didn’t want to live this life anymore. From that day, I studied 12 hours a day. I did nothing except study because only a tiny portion of my brain was in working condition. I cleared high school, after which my health improved, and my medication was reduced. I lost 90 pounds, aced the SAT with 2370/2400, and entered Electrical Engineering at a premier college.

For once, I saw hope in my life. But that didn’t last long. I believed my brain wasn’t working at its full potential due to my medication’s side effects. So, I stopped taking my medication, and instead of getting better, I went into a severe relapse. I was naive to think I would recover from my ailment with sheer willpower alone. As a result, I ruined four semesters at college. Not just that, but I returned to square one and had to start my medication all over again.

It took me a couple of more semesters before my condition stabilized. I was on the verge of relegating to a junior batch when I was awarded 3 Fs in the 5th semester. It would have been easy to give up then, and the idea of quitting crossed my mind several times. But unfortunately, people prey on the weak. I realized that when a teacher ridiculed me in front of the whole class. He said he was fortunate not to have a child like me and that I was a liability to my parents.

But not all people are the same. At the time, the Associate Head of the Department, Dr. Kaneu, inquired about my situation. After explaining, he understood and encouraged me to start my Final Year Project. I don’t know how to describe his contribution, but he was a beacon of light when I was surrounded by darkness. I was always passionate about programming and drones, so I started Control Design of a Tri-copter as my FYP. With a bit of technical background at the time, I knew I would have to work very hard if that drone was to take a flight.

So, I worked tirelessly, often working days at a time without sleep. When I felt low on motivation, Dr. Kaneu was always there to support and guide me. Finally, after months of grueling and painstaking flight simulations and hardware designs, I completed my maiden flight. That was one of the happiest moments of my life as I had secured not only a flight but also designed a radically new approach to Master-Master control system design contrary to the traditional Master-Slave architecture. I did several other projects with Dr. Kaneu in key research areas, including Microcontroller development and IoT integration with Mobile Apps. I also designed the digital instrument cluster for the Shell Eco-marathon team. This equipped me with the skills to seamlessly integrate several hardware and software platforms.

Upon graduation, I had to leave for my hometown, and that’s when the reality of my GPA dawned upon me. I applied to several companies for job placement but never heard back due to the GPA cut-off criteria. When I explored the option of pursuing a master’s, I again faced GPA requirements that I couldn’t remotely fulfill. I once again felt nothing ahead of me, but I knew I was passionate about programming. That’s when I started freelancing as a software developer. Programming came naturally to me, and although I wasn’t a computer scientist, I realized that my strong foundations in Object Oriented Programming in C++ and Data Structure/Algorithm design were enough to get me started.

I learned platforms like Android and iOS through multiple online courses and secured projects with clients on Upwork. In the beginning, the financial reward was minuscule, and often I would spend the whole amount on my equipment and taking paid courses. To increase my professional credibility and improve my GPA, I started a master’s in Data Science at a local university. By this point, I had become proficient in Mobile App development and gained experience in Web development and backend frameworks such as Node JS and Firebase.

The turning point came when a client (Tom Martin) hired me for a Geolocation Proof of concept project. The project was for a university that required an end-to-end software solution. The solution mandated an iOS mobile app synced with a backend system like Firebase and a front-end Admin Panel made with Angular. In parallel, I also worked with Hauni GmbH, the leader in the German Tobacco industry. I brought their Digital Vape to life by resolving background data sync issues using Google cloud. In addition, my efforts turned their vape into an iBeacon transmitter that iOS devices could monitor in the background.

Once I completed the Geolocation proof-of-concept, Tom revealed that he had a background in Corporate IT with 20 years of experience in Big Data architecture. He also offered me to join his Big Data and Software solutions startup, IX Tech Global. I happily accepted the offer as the job description demanded a wide range of technologies like AWS, which I always wanted to learn but didn’t have the resources to incur Infrastructure costs.

At IX Tech Global, I asserted my position by learning AWS and developing decoupled Big Data Pipelines using Apache Kafka and Lambda functions. The pipeline ingested data from multiple sources such as Shopify, Google Ads/Analytics, Mintsoft, and Facebook Ads and stored them in the S3 data lake. After data preprocessing, I ran a wide range of Analytics, including revenue prediction using Random Cut Forest and other regression algorithms like Random Forest Regressor, Support Vector Machines, and Multivariate regression.

In addition, I co-founded the Jurassic Apps product, in which I developed Shopify Apps. In my work, I used React as the front end and AWS as the backend with apps like Geosaur, Stockosaurus, and Syncosaurus. My work on these apps has buzzed the Shopify App Store market. I also contributed to the Snagtights business, Tom’s leading venture, and boosted the revenue by engaging repeat customers using recommendation systems and integrated anomaly detection using ElasticSearch and Kibana Dashboards.

As part of my Masters’s Thesis, I developed the Control System Design of a UAV using Deep Reinforcement learning to bridge Data Science with Electrical Engineering and used a DDPG Agent to complete a successful flight of the Parrot Rolling Spider Minidrone.

For my Master’s, I graduated at the top of my class in Data Science. I became 2x AWS Certified and am currently working at IX Tech Global as a Full-stack Software Developer and Data Scientist. I am also developing products as an Independent Contractor for startups such as Seadog Fishing Solutions, where we are rolling out a Geolocation based App. This app tracks fishing activity, sends data to backend services, and provides real-time analytics to increase fishing output. This is achieved by learning correlations between Geospatial references and fisher-man activity such as catches, gear deployment, sales, etc.

I believe that I am at a point of starting a new chapter in my life and want to expand my skill set into innovation rather than mere application. For this reason, I believe a degree in Advanced Computer Science at Oxford will help me achieve my goals. Till now, I have been developing my academic projects on a shoestring budget and had to often self-finance these projects. I want access to world-class facilities and resources, such as dedicated GPUs at Advanced Research Computing at Oxford, so I can focus more on developing new algorithms rather than be constrained by computational power.

I believe that Reinforcement Learning can be applied to any system. Combined with the pre-training of models, the same algorithm can be used for multiple UAVs. I wanted to experiment with this idea, but due to the limited computational power at my disposal, I could barely run enough simulations to complete a successful flight of one system, i.e., a Quadcopter.

A Quadcopter has four rotors, and a Tricopter has 3 with a servo motor that equates to the same number of control surfaces. This means that a model trained for a Quadcopter and a Tricopter will contain the same number of Observations and actions, and a model pre-trained on one system can be fine-tuned on another. A graduate degree in Advanced Computer Science will also give me the ability to understand computational complexity in-depth, and I will be able to design Neural Networks that can exponentially reduce CPU utilization in microcontrollers or iOTs.

These systems are constrained in CPU power due to their size. In Data Science, I learned the applications of different kinds of Machine Learning models but didn’t get the opportunity to design new models. I don’t consider techniques like bagging and boosting to improve accuracy as something novel. Still, things like Random Forest Regressor or Google’s Bert that change these domains forever are the ones that matter. I would also like to understand Artificial Intelligence and its enhancement through Quantum Computing. Given the extensive research at Oxford in this domain, I will be able to not only enhance my knowledge of this subject but also contribute to this field upon graduation.

My clients and professors have told me several times that I am an extraordinary individual who has learned several technology stacks that can take years to master. I would like to disagree with them respectfully. What separates me from others is that no matter how often I get knocked down, I keep getting back up and never give in. This attitude has helped me in turning my life around. It holds for everything I have and will experience. From my first 10-mile run to graduating at the top of my class in my Master’s when I graduated at the bottom in my undergrad, I want to be remembered for my innovation.

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personal statement computer science oxford

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An Example Personal Statement for Oxbridge Computer Science

Maths & Computer Science , oxbridge | 0 comments

example oxbridge computer science personal statement

It can be difficult to know where to start with your personal statement. Summing up the interests, motivations and passions that have driven your academic life up until now in only 4000 characters is a tough task. However, taking a look at example personal statements can be massively helpful. Here, we have an example Oxbridge Computer Science personal statement, annotated to explain why it’s successful.

Example Personal Statement

My interest in computing really took off when I realised I could tell the computer exactly what to do, and hence, in turn, tell others what to do. This was something with an obvious appeal to a teenage boy with a strict mother. This drew me to a game design club at age eleven where, instead of passively receiving other people’s ideas, I could create a game based on my own. 
Although I sometimes became frustrated with my limited mathematical understanding, I quickly learned I could use algorithms to bridge the gap between my abilities and my imagination.

This sentence is good as it shows a desire to further and deepen knowledge, above what you learn at school, and the sentence concludes with an example of how this has been done.

For example, on a course at the University of Aberdeen I performed a dry-run of a typical classifier algorithm, using Bayes’ theorem, which taught me how easily formulae can be adapted to seemingly bespoke situations to produce exciting outcomes. This not only developed my Java programming ability, but also gave me an insight into mobile-telephone development, and the care that needs to be given to topics such as memory allocation and battery usage. I realised I could apply similar techniques to conserve resources in a desktop application and create a higher performance app using less processing power.

This paragraph is good because it shows lots of active interest in computer science, and doing lots of self-learning and research, the sort of thing that stand out in a personal statement.

Of course, it is hard to predict the future, but it seems that computing will be increasingly dominated by artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning algorithms. I am excited to see, and to hopefully be a part of, the shift from specialist AIs – which can only be considered “intelligent” in one context – to a general AI which can potentially do most, if not all of the computational tasks that any human could. While attending the recent Computational Intelligence Unconference, I was struck by the suggestion that 95% of AI projects are unknown to the public; being carried out by secret company labs and, perhaps more worryingly, by governments.

There is a good balance of love and interest for the subject, backed up with knowledge and concrete examples of things done to explore this interest further. Passion is important in a personal statement, but it is equally important to ground this in things you have done.

Although there are possible negative consequences of such research, it is quite exhilarating as we are possibly living on the verge of a key paradigm shift: the dawn of artificial intelligence. 
Teaching and mentoring students has required me to communicate my ideas effectively. As a Maths Prefect, it is encouraging to see students who have previously achieved limited results flourish in the right environment. As such, I designed a tool to help sixth-form students learn about vectors. This required me to learn some of the FP3 content in advance, which improved not only my problem-solving but also my ability to self-teach, a challenge I relished.

Self-teaching is essential to success at university, so if you have done any independent learning, whether that be an online course, an EPQ, a school extended essay project, or teaching yourself a maths module, this is good to include.

I learnt how to expand my thinking when searching for a solution, a change from the majority of the maths course, where we tend just to be shown the relevant method. 
I was appointed a House Leader in Year 12, which gave me an opportunity to voice the concerns of the student body to staff and make changes for the better. Also, as a member of my school’s Digital Council, I have helped introduce new technologies and subsequently present them to the governing body.

Extra-curricular activities are good to include, especially if they link to the course you want to study, as this is ultimately what the admissions tutors are interested in. This is a good example of such a link.

At first I was too directive, but over time I learnt to use open questions to allow the governors to express their understanding, which led to them being more receptive to my proposals. Furthermore, I have delivered training to staff on several occasions, which was initially quite daunting at first but ultimately very rewarding. Unlike students, teachers are more resistant to change, which led me to adapt my approach and build on the familiar, to present it as an upgrade rather than a complete change. 
Technology is evolving and reshaping old industries (for better or for worse) because computer scientists are always trying to answer the question: “How do we do it better?” After university, I plan to pursue a career in the computing industry; a degree will help provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge for my selected career.

If you do have an idea of a career you intend to pursue, and it links into your course, then it is good to include this at the end, as it displays drive and focus. However, don’t lie, as you may get caught out in an interview – and it is fine not to know what you want to do, you don’t need to include it!

If you’re looking for more tips on personal statements, take a look at our guide to writing a Computer Science personal statement , or our suggested further reading for Computer Science .

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Oxford University Personal Statements

We hope our collection of oxford university personal statements provides inspiration for writing your own. please do not plagiarise them in any way, or ucas will penalise your application. our  personal statement editing & review services  are availble if you feel you need a little extra help..

History Personal Statement Example 3 Recently, I found out that my grandma was gambled into slavery for seven years. She escaped her prison and made her way back to Hong Kong, 300 miles south. I was amazed at how courageous she was. This personal discovery led me to read Jung Chang's 'Wild Swans' which made me both proud and ashamed of my heritage...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 4 I find it amazing to watch as the digital revolution sculpts society at a rate that has never before been seen; there is so much to still be discovered. Quantum computing is a topic that particularly interests me, stemming from my studies and keen interest in physics...

Economics and PPE Personal Statement Example My aspiration to study economics at both advanced and degree level has stemmed from my lasting interest in current affairs and world development. These issues require an application of economics in real-life situations and can be related to many diverse subjects such as politics, philosophy and psychology...

English Literature Personal Statement Example 1 When I saw Gatz, John Collin's eight hour interpretation of The Great Gatsby, I noticed that Fitzgerald changes the colour of Daisy's hair every time he describes it. It is "like a dash of blue paint", "yellowy" like her daughters and then "dark, shining"...

Geography Personal Statement Example 2 In a dynamic world, the study of geography is increasingly important. The diversity of the subject and the interaction between the physical environment and human population is becoming even more evident with climate change and globalisation influencing our everyday lives...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 11 “If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

History Personal Statement Example 13 Until I began my A-levels last September, I had never been to school or followed a formal syllabus. My parents homeschooled me. They guided, encouraged, and fed my interests with books, documentaries and discussions...

Natural and Biological Sciences Personal Statement Example Experiencing first-hand life as a human in the natural world, I have the authority to confirm that regardless of previous knowledge, unexplained phenomena still exist. As a scientist, I adore observing the unknown, analysing the known and making decisions accordingly...

English Personal Statement Example 22 What I enjoy above all else in a piece of literature is the feeling that it has brought about change, either in me or in some wider context. Literature which offers the opportunity for an adapted way of living or thinking, however slight, is I think a thing to be kept and treasured in our intellects...

English Literature and Creative Writing Personal Statement Example 1 I once aspired to be a visual artist, a photographer or painter. However, I later discovered the unique ability of poetry and the written word to maintain its power and resonance in a world saturated with images and messages...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 45 Advances in computer and information technology over the past few decades have brought about revolution in science, medicine, education, business, and entertainment. I wish to be part of the future revolution and that is why I want to study computer science...

English Literature Personal Statement Example 16 I believe that to read English is to read the human being itself: after all, we are all writers. Even in the very act of choosing our words - thinking them, speaking them, physically writing them down - we create something meaningful...

Human Sciences Personal Statement Example Perhaps what makes me different from other University applicants is that I have ambition to understand multidimensional human life. It is not the appeal of a top qualification or the zesty student lifestyle that attracts me to this course; but it is the long-term knowledge and answers to interdisciplinary human problems, and the enigmas that I will commit a lifetime investigating with perhaps no solution, that inspires me to apply...

Engineering Personal Statement Example 19 Physics is that branch of science without which science is just like a beautiful lamp with no light. For centuries, mathematicians and physicists have made plenty of scientific contributions thus helping the world make a better place to live...

History (Ancient and Modern) Personal Statement Example 1 It is those things we don’t yet know or understand that make history a fascinating, intellectual puzzle. We know a remarkable amount about history and the development of society but new archaeological discoveries, the dedicated efforts of historians, translators and other academics and advancements in areas such as archaeometry mean that the body of historical information is still expanding...

Archaeology and Anthropology Personal Statement Example 2 As an immigrant living in Spain, I am constantly reminded of the importance social and cultural factors have on my daily life, the language I speak, and the difference between the relationships I maintain with people from my own country and those I encounter here on a daily basis...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 49 My views about computing changed considerably when I heard about Linux. In the late nineties it was a newer operating system and tasks like installing and configuring were considered to be quite challenging in India...

Law Personal Statement Example 70 Law is ever changing, whether parliament is passing new legislation, existing legislation is being rewritten or the courts are interpreting laws in different ways. In the case of Anthony Bland the distinguishing of earlier precedents was vital...

History and English Personal Statement Example Studying history and English concurrently has appealed to me ever since I recognised the inseparability of the two disciplines closest to my heart. Personally, I believe that the literary style of a piece of writing is as important as scholarly research and I try to make my essays as lively as possible whilst still grounded in solid historical or literary method, dulce et utile, following the example of writers such as Richard J Evans...

Economics and Management Personal Statement Example 2 My interest in Economics goes beyond an appreciation of statistics and profit margins. In my mind, economics represents the relationship between people and their money – a relationship that dates back to the history of mankind...

German Personal Statement Example 7 The study of language has always been appealing and is the focus of much of my time and energy, but the study of the German language is what mesmerises me most. Before understanding German I was first intrigued by its sound, and as I began to learn it, I became fascinated by its complexity...

Economics Personal Statement Example 30 The ever-changing nature of the human science intrigues me. Newton’s laws of motion will never change, from wherever ‘the ball is dropped’. However, different strategies and policies have to be framed and implemented for each economic problem...

Mathematics & Computer Science Personal Statement Example I have found mathematics a fascinating subject since my early years. I enjoy it as it is challenging and logical. I am particularly interested in decision mathematics as it is a field that is directly related to real-life applications of mathematics and can be used to solve problems, such as finding the optimal solution for transporting materials from one place to another while minimising the cost...

Physics Personal Statement Example 15 I have always been intrigued by the world of physics. From everyday experiences to the most extreme boundaries of today's knowledge, I have always voraciously searched for answers to my questions. As I grew up, the elegance of mathematical demonstrations and of physical theorems fascinated me, and I have often dreamt of making contributions to the unification theory and of improving and simplifying the Navier-Stokes equations...

Electrical Engineering Personal Statement Example 2 The defining wonder of today’s age is electricity. In just two centuries, we have come from Faraday’s crude but prophetic experiments to devices just a square inch that can calculate in seconds what the most gifted of human minds might take days...

Medicine Personal Statement Example 70 The challenge of spending my working life immersed in the fascinating, ever-evolving world of the medical sciences, and the opportunity to use this knowledge to benefit others, has drawn me to seek a career in medicine...

Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement Example 3 In this day and age virtually every aspect of our lives may be considered political. My passion to study Politics stems from this tenet and a belief that a comprehension of Politics is integral to understanding the current state of humanity...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example 18 Chemistry explores the properties of all matter and energy in our universe, which eventually leads to breakthroughs that benefit mankind, ranging from how to prevent food from decomposing to understanding what chemicals can help or harm you...

Philosophy Personal Statement Example (Mature Student) Since leaving education in 2006 I have always wanted to return; a great love of learning, desire for knowledge and natural curiosity throughout my life resulted in an ambition to teach. It was with this ambition in my heart that I took the plunge and returned to education, beginning my Access course last year with the intention of applying to study for a primary education degree...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement Example 17 My decision to study engineering stems from a desire to contribute to the evolution of society through a process that does not just define our environment but our era. My personal inspiration is the Segovia aqueduct, an 800m long, 30 metre high Roman marvel which still stands today...

Ancient and Modern History Personal Statement Example 1 What makes history engaging and interesting to me is its interdisciplinary nature and its ability to take you on a journey to the discovery of humanity's past. History has been a constant source of captivation for me, from studying the mythology of Ancient Greece in primary school through to the study of the Russian Revolution at A Level...

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Oxford University Personal Statements

This page is part of The Student Room's information and advice about Oxford and Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge). Whilst the two universities have have much in common, they also have many differences. Our information on the application procedure and interviews applies to both.

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personal statement computer science oxford

Personal statement advice: computer science

Applying to university.

What to include in your computer science statement

Computer science personal statement pitfalls

Engagement with the subject

Admissions tutors at University of Portsmouth and University of Warwick both agreed that clichés like ‘I want to do computing because it’s the future’ or opening lines like ‘I got my first computer when I was three’ are a big turn-off.

However, they do like to see evidence of your most recent engagement with the subject, or something current that’s inspired you. In fact, the kind of statement that would really hit the mark would include your reflections on some or all of the following:

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