UCAS Personal Statement
What is a university personal statement?
A personal statement is part of your application to study at a UK university. In a personal statement, the student writes about what they hope to achieve on the course, what they hope to do after the course and why they are applying to this particular university. It is your first chance to show a demonstrable passion and understanding of your chosen subject away from exam results.
How long should my personal statement be?
The length of a personal statement varies depending on the university, but generally the average length for an undergraduate application is between 400-600 words, around one side of A4 paper or a maximum of 47 lines. Certain postgraduate programmes may require a 1000 word personal statement, but this will be clearly specified.
Try not to go over the given character limit as admissions officers have many personal statements to go through, and a clearly written and concise personal statement is more likely to stand out.
What to include in your personal statement
- Your career aspirations
- How you became interested in studying the subject
- What, if any, relevant work experience you have undertaken that is related to the course or subject
- What aspects of your previous education you have found the most interesting
- What attracted you to the particular university
- Other relevant academic interests and passions which display positive character and personality
Genuine experiences of extra-curricular clubs, work experience or knowledge around a subject are much more likely to make your personal statement stand out, while admissions officers are also for looking for positive evidence of your character which will make you a productive member of the university.
Common personal statement errors
- The personal statement is too short/long
- The personal statement does not include important information/includes negative information
- The personal statement has a confusing structure
It is also important to not lie about any aspect of your personal life and education history, or even exaggerate. Admissions officers will question you about almost all aspects of your application and are more than adept at getting to the bottom of any non-truths.
UCAS personal statement tips
- Express a passion for your subject
- Start the statement strongly to grab an admission officers attention
- Link outside interests and passions to your course
- Be honest, but don’t include negative information
- Don’t attempt to sound too clever
- Don’t leave it the last minute, prepare ahead of the deadline
- Have friends and family proof read it
- Don’t duplicate material from your CV/resume
In terms of presentation, attempt to create five clear paragraphs of text in a clear font such as Arial or Times New Roman, with a maximum size of 12.
How we can help
Once you have completed your personal statement, visit SI-UK in London or Manchester for a free consultation. We will edit your personal statement and ensure the English is clear and grammatically correct. Once this process is complete, we will return your personal statement within 1-3 working days.
Personal statement example
Please see below for an example of a personal statement to a Development Studies course.