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Clearing 2017

Postgraduate personal statement

When applying for any postgraduate course, the personal statement is understandably a difficult part of the process after making your decision on what or where to study. Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study, such as a Masters or Doctorate.

1

Do your research

Make sure you know exactly why you’re applying for this course and why you have chosen this particular institution. What are the employment prospects? What have previous students said about the course? Are they working on any areas of research that interest you?

2

Show your passion and motivation

Let the admissions tutors know why this particular course of most interest to you, perhaps including the university’s reputation, particular modules and relevance to your chosen career path. You could also tell a story about why you got interested in this subject in the first place. It’s easy to say you’re passionate about the subject, but they want you to prove it with examples to back it up.

3

Be personal and positive

A personal statement is meant to be personal so use your life experience to show how you got interested in this career path and subject, but make sure you keep a positive spin. Perhaps you want to study psychology because a close friend or family member suffers from a health condition – it’s fine to use examples like this to show what sparked your interest but try to keep it positive.

4

Sell your skills

This isn’t the time to be modest, show the tutor what makes you a great student and why you’ll be a fantastic addition to the student community. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? The admissions tutors want to know that you have the skills and experience to make the transition to 

5

Use plain English

Discontinue excessively utilising verbiage which obfuscates your linguistics – bit wordy, huh? When writing your personal statement, you’re not trying to hit a word count so try to keep it plain and concise. Feel free to be slightly less formal than you may be in an essay or dissertation, but keep professional and use the language of the industry you’re targeting as long as it’s relevant. Also try not to start every sentence with ‘I’ if you can, it can get repetitive.

These tips scratch the surface of what makes a good personal statement; if you’d like to get more advice, check out our next Postgraduate Open Day, which will give you plenty of opportunity to speak to your course tutors, ask questions about postgraduate student life and more.

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Ambitious at heart

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