Writing a Great Personal Statement

The beauty of UCAS acting as the clearing house for UK universities is that you only need to write one personal statement. This means you want to make sure your statement represents who you are, your goals and dreams and the value you can bring to the school that chooses you.

Your statement needs to draw the reader in and keep them wanting more. At the end they should feel that you are exactly the type of student they are looking for.

Just as you will be doing your research about the school and their programmes, they will be using your statement to create a picture of who you are and the type of student you are most likely to be.

Your Background

Share a bit about your history. Do you come from a large family of scholars or are you the first in your family to pursue higher education? Did your desire to follow a particular career path stem from a pivotal moment? Your story should tell us.

Your Experience

Have you already been working in the field that you now want to gain formal qualifications on? This is the time to share that. Internships and volunteer opportunities also count as valuable experiences which can show your interest in the course.

Your Hobbies

Include information about your hobbies if it directly correlates to your desired area of study or if it shows that you have interests which could be of service to the school or community you will be moving to. You want to show that you are a well-rounded individual. No need to sell yourself as a nerd if you are not.

Have you been part of social clubs such as the Rotaract or Rotary Club, other associations of note or a church organisation which has a track record for service? Share this and explain what roles and activities you worked in. If they contributed to your awareness of your community’s needs and how you can continue to help, it should be included in your statement.

Your Area of Study

Why do you want to spend the next three years or more studying this course of work? What contributions will it allow you to make to your home country? This is the time to show that you have thought about what it will take to be away from home and your intention to succeed at your chosen course of study.

Before You Hit Send

Have another pair of eyes look over your statement. Choose someone who has your best interest at heart and are also good editing. They need to spot errors you might have missed and also ask you to clarify any statements which are unclear.

Your essay does not need to be extremely long, but it does need to present the reader with a clear picture of who you are and why you are passionate about your area of study.

Good luck.

Nerissa Golden is the author of Start, Grow, Thrive: Build a Business to Last and founder of Truly Caribbean Academy, a learning platform to teach and support Caribbeanpreneurs.

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