What to include in your personal statement

Writing about yourself is one of the most difficult things to do though, so to help you put pen to paper, here are our four key areas you need to include in your personal statement.

1. Your course choice

Admissions tutors want to see that you are enthusiastic and passionate about your chosen subject, and that you have the right skills and experience to succeed on the course. Discuss why you have chosen to apply for the course concerned; what motivates you to take this course at a university level? Mention how your interest developed, what you have done to pursue it or how you’ve drawn inspiration from your current studies.

2. School and college life

Include details of what you studied at school or college, as well as any extra-curricular activities, or positions of responsibility (for example prefect, student ambassador), that highlight the necessary skills needed for your chosen course. It’s vital that you provide examples to support your claims and relate everything back to your course or university life in general.

3. Experience

It could be work experience, volunteering, or a university masterclass/taster session; relevant experience is an essential requirement for many courses and will help to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment in wanting to study your chosen course. Reflect on your experiences, explaining what you’ve learned from them or how they’ve helped develop your interest in the subject.

4. Your hobbies and interests

Just because something isn't academic, doesn't mean you can't relate it to studying at university. Skills that you learn in your extra-curricular activities and hobbies might be able to help you at university or on your course. 

Play football every Saturday for a local team? Think about how that teamwork could help you on your course. Or maybe you've performed in the school play this year, did this help with your confidence or public speaking skills that are key for your course? Whatever the activity may be, there will be a useful skill you've learnt and can carry forward.

5. Your future plans

Think about what you want to do in the future – whether you have a specific job in mind or just a general idea of the type of field you want to work in. If you’re not sure yet, just talk about what you’re looking forward to at university and what you want to gain from your course or from university life.

If you are taking, or have taken, a year out, it is useful to state your reasons why and what you achieved or hope to achieve.

What should you do next?

Download your free personal statement guide

Get even more advice on starting, writing and checking your personal statement. Plus, be inspired by real personal statement examples from our students!

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