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How to write a stand-out personal statement

No one can tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience better than you. You have 4,000 characters to tell us your story – here’s how to make your words count.

Three students working together on laptops in The Loft hangout.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is exactly that – a statement about you. Your personal statement is submitted with your UCAS application and should explain why you're a great candidate for the course and what would make you a brilliant addition to the university.

Now is the time to be confident. You have approximately two sides of A4 to share what's unique about you and to showcase the skills and experiences that are relevant to your application. We're looking for well-written personal statements full of passion, individuality, and honesty.

How to start your personal statement

What to include

  • Why are you interested in the course?
  • What do you want to do when you graduate?
  • Are you passionate? Prove it.

Make sure you get to know the course you’re interested in. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is the course or university looking for in a student?
  • Have you got relevant personal qualities? If so, what are they and how can you show that you have them?
  • Do you have the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to excel in the course?
  • Have you done any relevant voluntary work or training?
  • Have you got relevant work experience?

Structure

Once you’ve done your research and written your notes, you should know what makes you a strong candidate. Now you can start your personal statement.

Make sure that:

  • your personal statement is well structured, convincing and easy to understand. Whatever course you do at university, you'll be required to write essays. By showing that you can communicate well in writing, you’ll make a good impression.
  • you order your statement based on the requirements of the course you’re interested in. For example, if it’s beneficial to demonstrate organisational skills or an interest in fashion, put your examples of these at the top of the page.

Six tips for writing your personal statement

  1. Give yourself time to write it properly
  2. Write in a formal style
  3. Don’t copy. Avoid clichés. Keep your statement unique. Be honest, thorough and persuasive
  4. Believe in yourself – write in a natural and positive way and showcase all your skills and experience
  5. Check that your spelling and grammar is correct – ask someone you trust to read it too
  6. Remember, universities can only make a decision based on the information you give them.

Watch our personal statement Q&A

Find out more about what a UCAS personal statement is, why it's important to your university application and how to write one that stands out.

 

The best personal statements are those that give our 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