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Understanding UCAS

Personal statement, notebook and pen

UCAS personal statements

The personal statement is an integral element of your UCAS application form and inevitably the section that can prove to be the most challenging.

It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to Admissions Tutors your passion and enthusiasm for your chosen course and to highlight the transferable skills you have that will make you successful when studying.

There isn’t one set formula for writing the perfect personal statement, each will require time, patience and several redrafts to ensure that the finished piece really is the best representation of your capabilities. It is recommended that you include a variety of examples to illustrate what fuels your ambition, where you have acquired your skills from and how your current studies will complement your Higher Education choices.

Personal Statements

Find out how to write the perfect personal statement in our quick video guide

Wherever possible your personal statement should be structured through key paragraphs, the first should always outline the motivation behind an application – whether it is based on previous study in a related field, work experience or an extra-curricular interest the reasoning should be clear. Other paragraphs may include details surrounding current studies, part time and/or voluntary work and wider reading and research around the subject.

If you wish to discuss hobbies and interests this should be towards the end of their statement and shouldn’t dominate too much space. A strong statement is often one that can draw additional skills from these activities, for example, if you are the captain of a sports team you can use this to showcase skills in leadership, motivation and team work.

Things to consider

We would encourage you to emphasise your strengths and to structure your sentences to incorporate examples as evidence. You should proof read it several times and ask your teacher or parent to check it for you to make sure it is free of any spelling or grammar errors and slang terminology.

First impressions can make a real impact with Admissions teams. Don’t forget, you can’t ‘borrow” sentences from any existing personal statements – including those that have been previously submitted or that can be found on the internet. UCAS run each application through Similarity Detection Software and alert universities to any plagiarism that may have taken place. In order to reduce the risk of accidental plagiarism you should avoid including clichés and include content that reflects your own individual circumstances and ambitions as this is unique to you.

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