How to - personal statements
What we look for in a personal statement for an application
As part of the application process, all applicants must write a personal statement. This statement provides a chance to tell us why you would like to study a particular course, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for and understanding of your chosen subject.
The personal statement is a very significant part of your application, especially where for courses where there are is a lot of competition for places. It is your opportunity to tell us about you suitability for the courses that you hope to study.
In your personal statement you should include:
- Why you want to study the course you are applying for.
- Evidence that you clearly understand what the subject entails and any career exploration that you have undertaken, including work or voluntary experience.
- Confirmation that you have the skillset to succeed in your studies (e.g. Organisation, communication, team working, time management skills) using examples where possible.
- At undergraduate level, you can include any extracurricular interests or achievement (sport, music, part-time work), especially those that show positions of leadership or responsibility you have held. Remember to relate how these achievements, and the skills acquired, may help you in your studies.
Where the demand for a particular course is very high, your personal statement takes on extra significance. For many vocational/professional courses (e.g. teacher training, allied health professions), evidence of specific career exploration is something we look for as part of the selection process. For example, for applications to allied health profession courses, universities will want to see evidence that you have experience that demonstrates:
- Specific experience in our chosen subject / course areas (e.g. visiting hospital departments or work shadowing).
- General experience of working with others (e.g. nursing homes, day care centres, voluntary work).
- You will be expected to highlight what you have learnt from this experience. You should be able to demonstrate that you have an empathetic nature and an ability to work well with other people.