How to write a stand-out personal statement

Your personal statement is 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 tell us your story – here’s how to make your words count.

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Students in Nottingham Trent Students’ Union (NTSU)

How to write your personal statement

  • What to include

    Before thinking about structure, consider the following:

    • Why are you interested in the course? What do you want to do after you qualify? If you're passionate, prove it!
    • Get to know your course of interest. Here are some questions to consider:
      • What is the course or 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 the relevant skills, knowledge and experience?
      • 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?

  • Structure

    Once you’ve done your research and written your notes, you should know what makes you a strong candidate. Now 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. By showing that you can communicate well in writing, you’ll make a good impression.
    • Order your statement based on the requirements of the course you’re interested in. If it’s beneficial to demonstrate, for instance, organisational skills or an interest in fashion, put your examples of these at the top of the page.

  • Your statement

    • Give yourself time to write it properly.
    • Write in a formal style. You want to express your personality, but don't include jokes, conversational language, or anything unusual.
    • Don’t copy. Avoid clichés. Keep your statement unique. Be honest, thorough and persuasive.
    • Believe in yourself – write in a natural and positive way and showcase all your skills and experience.
    • Check that your spelling and grammar is correct. Keep your statement factual and accurate.
    • Ask someone that you trust to read your statement out loud to you. It's a great way to spot errors and ensure it makes sense. Work on your statement until you’re happy with it.
    • Remember, universities can only make a decision based on the information you give them.

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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

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Student Ambassadors at a City Campus open day

Nothing beats seeing us for yourself

Come and visit us in person on an open day and see for yourself how we’re special, and why we’re different. Your journey’s just started. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Our 2020 entry open days will be held on:

  • Saturday 8 June 2019
  • Wednesday 10 July 2019
  • Saturday 7 September 2019
  • Sunday 3 November 2019
  • Saturday 30 November 2019

To book your place, follow the link below to search for your course and year of entry. You can then take your pick from our available events.

Book your place at an open day

Still need help?

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