Personal statement advice from the experts

If you're stuck with your personal statement, who better to give you advice than the people who will be reading your statement to consider offering you a place? We spoke to our lecturers and our course enquiries team for their top tips.

Rosemarie Lowe

Programme Director Early Childhood Studies

School of Education

Quirky quotations are never original...don't bother! It's more important to explore what skills and interests you have, as well as your experiences and how they demonstrate you would be an asset to the course and the university, don't just repeat the qualifications you have, or what you are studying, all of that information is already on the form.

Make sure you meet the entry requirements.  Look at GCSEs or equivalents that are required, if practical experience is necessary then demonstrate you have done this and more importantly what you have learnt from it. If you are planning to get the experience required outline how and when and what you anticipate learning from it.

Get someone to check your statement - school teachers, tutors even parents! Check for clarity of written English, this is not the time to make punctuation or spelling errors.

Nicki Schiessel Harvey

Built Environment

They are looking for students to demonstrate knowledge of and enthusiasm for the built environment industries. They want students to show that they understand what the industry is about and what it is about a career in the built environment that excites them. (a lot of people don’t have a clear picture of what ‘built environment’ means, so they would expect that prospective students do understand what the course involves.) It’s also good to show how your skills, such as teamwork or communication, can be applied to your studies.

Shona McQuillan

Pre-Entry Enquiries Manager

Pre-Entry Enquiries Team

A good personal statement should:

  • Provide the admissions tutor with relevant background information about you.
  • Reflect the distinctive style and characteristics of its author – admissions tutors are not seeking to admit clones.
  • Explain why you have chosen that particular subject and supply concrete evidence of your enthusiasm for it. What is it about the course you’ve chosen that made you select it over other subjects? What’s involved in the course you’re applying for? What sort of skills does it involve – practical, analytical, research? What can you draw on from your previous studies or work experience which help to demonstrate your suitability for the course? If the course leads to a professional qualification, what qualities do you have which lend well to that professional area?
  • Show that you are positive and motivated.
  • Be written in clear and concise English.

David Gibson

Digital Technology

He expects students to show an interest in their area of study, through their hobbies and activities. He also wants students who take an interest in extra-curricular activities and are pro-active in doing things outside their work.

What should you do next?

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