Writing a personal statement

Article

What is a personal statement?

As part of your UCAS application you’ll be asked to write a personal statement. This is read by admissions staff, and academics from the department you’ve applied to. You upload one personal statement which is read by all of the universities you're applying to.

Why is it important?

Alongside your grades, and any other conditions you need to meet, your personal statement will be used to decide if you should receive a place at that university. A lot of universities won't interview you, so this is your chance to get across your passion for the subject you want to study.

What do I need to include?

The personal statement needs to address 3 key areas:

  • Why do you want to study your chosen subject?
  • What skills and knowledge do you already have about this subject?
  • What do you do when you’re not studying?

The personal statement is not your life history. It should mostly focus on what you’ve done since you joined sixth form or high school.

It should be confident and show your best side, but make sure you don’t exaggerate or claim to have done things that you haven’t. It also needs to be conversational - your personality should come through but be mindful that this is a formal application so no text speak or emojis.

You should provide examples that demonstrate your effort and commitment to your chosen subject. Anyone can say ‘I’m passionate about studying English’. What have you done to show this is true? Do you have relevant work experience? Have you read articles and books that relate to what you want to study?.

Getting it checked

Before you upload your statement, choose a couple of people you know well to read it and give you feedback. This could be a tutor or family member.

Watch our video on preparing your personal statement.