Writing your personal statement

Don’t be afraid of your personal statement. It’s your chance to tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience, and no one can do that better than you! You have 4,000 characters to impress us – here’s how to make your words count.

Things to remember

  • Give yourself enough time to research and write a personal statement that shows you’re a strong candidate for the course.
  • The best personal statements are those that give the Admissions Team an idea of who you are, why you want to study your course of interest, and what you’d ideally like to go on to do after university.

How to write a personal statement: your step-by-step guide

Step 1: Think about the information you want to include in your application

Don't worry about the structure yet. Think about and write notes on the following:

  • What interests you about this course / subject? What do you want to do after you qualify? If you're passionate about the course, show it in your writing. Be enthusiastic and upbeat in your tone.
  • Read through the description of the course and the requirements online and in our undergraduate prospectus. Here's some questions you might want to consider:
    - What is the course / university looking for in a student?
    - Have you got relevant personal qualities or attributes? If so, what are they and how can you show that you have them?
    - Do you have skills, knowledge and experience that's relevant to this course?
    - Have you done any relevant voluntary work? Have you done unaccredited training? - Have you undertaken relevant part-time or full-time paid or voluntary work?
  • Take a look at examples of activities on the UCAS site that you can use to prove you're a good candidate for this course. Keep all of the information relevant to what the university is looking for.

Step 2: Plan your structure 

You’ve done your research and written your notes. You have a clear idea about what makes you a strong candidate. Now you just need to do the following:

  • Make sure your personal statement is well structured, convincing and easy to understand. Whatever course you do at university, you'll be required to write essays. If you can show in your personal statement that you can communicate well in writing, you’ll make a really good impression.
  • Put your notes in order according to what the course you’re interested in is looking for. If it’s essential to be organised and demonstrate an interest in equestrian studies, for instance, put your examples of these at the top of the page.

Step 3: Write your statement

  • Give yourself time to write it properly. Your first draft alone could take you a whole day to write.
  • Write in a formal style. You want to make an impression, but don't include jokes, conversational language, or anything unusual.
  • Don’t copy. Avoid clichés. Keep your statement unique.
  • Remember you have a lot to offer – you just have to write about yourself in a natural and positive way, and sell all the skills and experience that you have.
  • Check carefully that your spelling and grammar is correct. Keep your statement factual and accurate.
  • Get your teachers / friends / partner / work colleagues / someone you trust to read it out loud to you. It's a great way to spot errors and make sure it makes sense. Don’t be afraid to re-draft your statement until you feel really happy with it.

Good luck with your application!

Further information on how to write your personal statement

For more hints and tips, visit the UCAS site or book your place on an NTU open day and attend our talks on how to write a personal statement (You may find UCAS’ free personal statement timeline, mind map and worksheet particularly helpful).

Also see:

The Student Room

Which? University

Video icon
Putting together a portfolio for an interview

Putting together a portfolio for an Art and Design course?

Watch our video to find out what to include and what our tutors are looking for in your portfolio.

The best personal statements are those that give the Admissions Team an idea of who you are, why you want to study your course of interest, and what you’d ideally like to go on to do after university. Give us an outline of what motivates you to study and why.

Laura, NTU Admissions Team

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418