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Personal Statement perfection!

The early deadline for students applying to Oxbridge and Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science is October 15th 2024. For everyone else, the deadline is 29th January 2025 (NB conservatoires have their own deadlines - please check!). So, you need to put together a compelling Personal Statement. Here's how......



Remember - the person reading your statement is an academic who has devoted their life to a subject you are now claiming to have an interest in. Therefore, the main focus of the statement should be your interest in the course and you should have plenty of relevant academic and/or vocational examples you can include to prove your interest. What you should be doing now is building up your evidence.


To get started, why not read articles from newspapers, relevant magazines and online, for example:

If you research any topic in a bit more depth, you can mention the ones you find particularly interesting as evidence in your Personal Statement. For example, you may be interested in a current legal case, a news story, or an exciting piece of new research - note down a couple of key points that you learned and include them in your statement. You can follow this up with anything you went on to read or research in a related area.

If a university has been helpful enough to suggest books, podcasts or research you might find interesting, my advice would be to take a look and find a interesting book or two to read. For example:


NB Oxford also has an entire collection of Very Short Introductions - they may be short but they still count as evidence!

You might like to visit museums, art galleries and interesting buildings; many are still offering an online experience and this can count as evidence if it is relevant to your chosen course. There are amazing museum tours, gallery tours, and the fabulous RIBA website for any architects out there. We live in a fascinating world, so get exploring!

You can also watch online talks - explore TEDtalks and find YouTube lectures or even university courses in your subject area – the internet is your friend!

If you want to do STEM subjects visit websites like NRICH and Cut the Knot for extra maths problems to practice.... this counts as evidence! You might also like to look at the exciting research your chosen universities are doing at the moment: Imperial, Manchester, Sheffield……


Podcasts are very useful - here are some interesting examples:

Structuring your statement:

  • Start with a simple sentence or two to explain why you are applying for the course

  • Aim for about 80% evidence of your interest in the course, with lots of lovely examples you have collected and reflected on (see UCAS website, and the extensive resources above!)

  • The final 20% encompasses your skills, good qualities and outside interests

  • Finish off with a final sentence summing up why you have applied for the course

  • Don't forget to ask someone (politely) if they could check your statement for content and accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation

Job done! Good luck with your application


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