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How to write your UCAS personal statement

By: Sophie Hazell

A Student’s Perspective

Here’s an insight into writing your personal statement from Jack Henderson, HNC Creative Media Production at City College Plymouth.

  • Giving yourself an identity is key to being successful in applying for higher education. You can do this easily by writing a unique and eye catching personal statement.
  • Plan ahead and structure your personal statement correctly.
  • Sell yourself to your dream university or college, especially if you are applying for a competitive course.
  • Display how much you understand the course that you’ve applied for.
  • Get involved in extra curricular activities at school or college, such as signing up to be a student representative or ambassador. By stepping up to the mark and volunteering in these type of roles, it will prove that you are a confident and independent individual, qualities which are recognised by admissions tutors.
  • You could take part in some of the many physical activities that your sixth form or college organises, such as football and rounders for example, or you could even work towards the coveted Duke of Edinburgh Award*.
  • Being able to prove that you’re academically successful is one thing; having developed personal skills and being able to showcase yourself in a positive light as an individual is another. A balance between both is absolutely vital when crafting your personal statement.

* To gain a DOE award, you will need to hone a range of skills, take part in numerous projects and participate in physical fitness amongst other activities. A lot of hard work and dedication will be required, but as this is a nationally recognised qualification which is seen as highly valuable by all universities and colleges, it’s definitely worth a look at the least.


Admissions Tutor

“It’s about demonstrating that the student knows what course they are applying for. Many people will apply to be a social worker for instance, not having the foggiest idea what a social worker does. We can’t get across to students enough that they need to demonstrate that they understand what they’re applying for, and why.

Mention any extracurricular activities you have taken part in. This also shows how skills gained in the process might be beneficial on the course. Even UCAS have had their say on the matter, declaring extracurricular activities as “great ways to prepare for higher education””.

Lynette Soames, Careers Advisor at City College Plymouth.


Resources

Every year we scour the web for the latest and most relevant resources about personal statements, this video, by Dr Matt Williams provides a comprehensive guide to how to put together your personal statement.

How to Plan

It can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to writing the UCAS personal statement, but with a little preparation and planning, you’ll be on your way in no time!

Our interactive guide below will take you through the key points to consider before you get started.

*Click on the bottom right icon to enlarge.

Unsure on what course to apply for take a look at our course guide

For more tips and advice on writing your personal statement visit UCAS.

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