What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is your chance to sell yourself to the universities that you are applying to. It should focus on why you want to study the course that you are applying for, what you have read and done that links to the course, and why you are the right person for it. Make sure that you make clear what skills you have gained that make you a strong applicant. 

Personal Statement Writing

Suggested Structure

Section 1: Why you want to do this course? (Approximately 10% of the length)

  • Has anyone inspired you?
  • Why are you interested in this subject?
  • What do you like about it and why?

Section 2: Extra reading/media to do with your subject (Approximately 30% of the length)

  • What books have you read and why did you like them?
  • What documentaries have you watched and what did you learn?
  • What podcasts have you listened to?
  • What magazine articles have you read?
  • Check out the Reading Suggestions page for ideas

Section 3: Extracurricular activities to do with your subject (Approximately 30% of the length)

  • Are you part of any clubs in school that link to your subject?
  • Do you help out in your subject's department on open evenings?
  • Have you gone to any museums?
  • Have you completed any work experience linked to the subject?
  • Have you attended any public lectures or masterclasses?

Section 4: Extracurricular activities not to do with the subject (Approximately 20% of the length)

  • What clubs are you a part of?
  • Do you do any sports?
  • Do you play any instruments?
  • Do you volunteer?
  • Have you done any other work experience?
  • What other hobbies do you have?

Section 5: Conclusion (Approximately 10% of the length)

  • Why do you want this?
  • Why would you be good at it?
  • What do you want to get from this course?