Top Tips for Personal Statements

Applying to university is a big step in your life. It is important to not only find the right course and university for you, but to make your application as strong as possible as UCAS receive over 2.5 million applications each year so there is a lot of competition for places.

The Basics

  • It is  limited to 4,000 characters 
  • You only write one personal statement, so ensure you address the requirements for all the courses you apply for
  • Discuss your understanding of the subject/career
  • Use appropriate examples and give details

Here are our top tips to help you make your application as strong as possible:



  • Research! Make sure you understand what the course you are applying for is about and what skills you need. You have to impress admissions tutors so that they are confident that you would be an excellent addition to their university.
  • Set yourself a schedule. It will take longer than you think to write your personal statement and it is important that you allow time to review your work several times.
  • Write in correct English. Incorrect grammar or punctuation will create the impression that you were rushed, or that you don’t pay attention to details.
  • Include details of your career aspirations. This will show universities that you understand the benefits of studying and are motivated to succeed.
  • Ask for advice. Contact university academic departments to find out what they want you to include so that your personal statement is relevant for all of the courses you are applying for.
  • Include details from any voluntary or paid work experience you have.  Remember to make the most of what you have done and make it relevant.



  • Include a dictionary definition of a subject. Universities know what their degrees are about; what do you understand and enjoy about the subject?
  • Embellish or lie. If that quote or example you find on the internet looks good there is a high chance that lots of others will use it too!
  • Name drop. Universities do not know who else you have applied to so do not mention one in your statement. Unless you reveal otherwise each university will think that you really only want to go to them!
  • Write lists. Make sure you explain why your skills or experiences are relevant to being an excellent student or future professional.
  • Cheat. Anti- plagiarism software scans every application so do not copy other people’s work because you will be caught.

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