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Personal Statements

Personal Statements

Presentation and live Q&A on the importance of a personal statement.

This session was recorded in March 2021

Watch the session on personal statements

Personal statement tips

BCU alumna Claire shares her top tips on how to put together a winning personal statement.

Application advice

Looking for more application advice? From personal statements to important dates and tips from students, we've got your back.

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Personal statement guide

Download your FREE personal statement guide - full of tips and advice from students and staff to help you get your personal statement ready to send off.

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  • Personal statement tips
    Claire: [00:00:02] Well done, you've made that brave, amazing decision to go to university, so you get onto UCAS and go to apply, but you come to this page. [00:00:11][8.7] Claire: [00:00:12] Personal statements. Oh, my God. What do I write in this personal statement, where do I begin and how do I start? Do you know what, this is exactly what I thought when I got to this page, but I'm here to hopefully give you some advice and tips on how to make the best of this personal statement. Tip number one. So you want to start writing your personal statement on a word document. Don't do it straight onto UCAS because there is a time out and you might lose your work. Tip number two, even though word has a spell checker it doesn't always pick up words that are actual words that don't make sense in sentence. If that makes sense. So just make sure once you've finished your personal statement to get someone to proofread it, the spelling and grammar for you. I'll just make the world of difference. Tip number three. So your personal statement might be the 100th personal statement that person has read that day. They're gonna be bored out of their mind from reading the same thing over and over and over. So my next tip is all about standing out. So find something completely different from what you're talking about. I think in mine I actually wrote about saving a pigeon. I know he had a broken wing and I took him home to my nan and my nan was very angry with me. And that made me stand out, I think, in a weird, strange sort of way. Tip number four, you want to put in your personal statements, any work experience, volunteering in any form of experience relevant to the course that you're applying to, put that in there. But don't worry, because if you don't have any experience relevant to what you're going to study, there will be something that you've done in your life, whether you've worked when you've gone to school, whether you've joined a club, whether you've done anything, anything in your life that you can transfer those skills. That's a really good thing to do in your personal statement. Universities also like you to just touch upon briefly on what you already know about the course, because they want me to know what you're getting yourself in to basically before you start. Tip number five, when writing your personal statement, make sure you don't mention any particular university that you're applying to because this one personal statement does all of the universities. You get five choices and you'll be getting sent to every single one of them. Tip number six, you want to be talking about your ambitions and where you want to go in life. So you want to talk about your goals and what you can achieve from doing the course and where you want to progress from then. And not only this, but actually put what interests you to that course and what's drawn you to actually apply for that particular course. Tip number seven. Just be mindful of what you're putting in and what you're writing about. So you want to make sure that flows really, really nicely, and when you read it back to yourself, make sure it is not too complex or you haven't used big fancy words or just be you. Be yourself when you're writing this. Something that helped me keep to the word count was on my word document I just put little sub-headings, so a bit about myself, why I wanted to apply for the course, future ambitions and careers. My skills and qualities that be suitable for the course. And that just really helped make it flow nicely, I think, for mine and it might work for you, it might not work for you. It's about finding out how you write and your style of writing things. So do what works for you, basically. Tip number eight, you want to bring out your passion and your enthusiasm in this writing. So make sure it shows when you're reading it back to yourself. Read out loud, read it to other people. Get other people to read it. The person at the university that's going to read this, they want to see that passion come through the paper and draw them into you and sell yourself. Basically, you want to sell yourself. Tip number nine people tend to panic because they're mature students, they're going back to university and so when you write your personal statement, you want to show what you've done recently. You want to show any maybe access courses that you've done beforehand. Any training, any certificate or anything like that, put all of that in there so that they can get a sense of what you've done so far. And last but not least, tip number 10, we've come to the end. So this one is for all of you international and EU students. Firstly, they will want to know why you want to study in the UK. Then they will want to know what sort of relevant English language skills that you have, any training or courses that you've been on to help with your English. And then they might want to know something like why you want to study in the UK over your own country. So just be mindful of those three things. So that's it, my top 10 tips for writing your personal statement. I really hope it's helped. I hope you've got something from this video. And don't forget that you can go onto the UCAS web page with lots of tips and help on the own university web site that you're applying to as well. And good luck! [00:00:12][0.0] [8.7]