The personal statement is an important part of your UCAS application. It’s your chance to describe your ambitions, skills, and experience to university and college admissions staff.
The first video is a 4 minute overview of a personal statement. The second is a 42 minute deep dive into what makes a competitive personal statement.
Watch the first video then write down some ideas of what you would write in your personal statement. Then watch the second video, with some popcorn, and write yourself a job list of things you need to do to write a competitive personal statement.
Some advice from UCAS
A personal statement supports your application to study at a university or college. It’s a chance for you to articulate why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for your chosen field.
If you’re applying for an apprenticeship – you probably won’t need to write a personal statement, but you’ll need to prepare a CV.
You’re telling admissions staff why you’re suitable to study at their university or college.
It’s important to remember you can only write one personal statement – it’s the same for each course you apply for. So, avoid mentioning any universities or colleges by name.
If you’ve chosen similar subjects, talk about the subject in general, and try not to mention courses titles. If you’ve chosen a variety of subjects, just write about common themes, like problem solving or creativity.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
If you’ve developed skills through Duke of Edinburgh, ASDAN, National Citizen Service, the Crest Awards scheme, or young enterprise, tell them.
If you took part in a higher education taster course, placement, or summer school, or something similar, include it.
If you have a question about writing your personal statement, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are some useful blogs to help:
Your personal statement should be unique, so there’s no definite format for you to follow here – just take your time. Here are some guidelines for you to follow, but remember your personal statement needs to be ‘personal’.
We recommend you write your personal statement first, then copy and paste it into your online application once you're happy with it. Make sure you save it regularly, as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.
Here are some useful documents to get you started:
This tool is designed to help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to structure it. It also counts how many characters you’ve used, so it’s easy to see when you’re close to the 4,000 character limit. Use our tool to start building your personal statement over time by saving your progress as you go.
International and EU students
As an international student, there are a few extra things you should mention:
We've worked with the SCip Alliance to develop guides for Service children and their schools and colleges.
See our guide to writing a personal statement as a student carer for more help.
See our guide to writing your personal statement for estranged students.
Applying through UCAS Conservatoires?
Find out how to write a UCAS Conservatoires personal statement.
Adapted from UCAS.com