The personal statement – 4,000 characters to make your case
You only have one Personal Statement. It is your chance to convince admissions Tutors of your enthusiasm and suitability for a course. You need to make your application stand out so it's important to work on your statement to create the best possible impression.
Research your course options before you apply for university
The personal statement is the one part of your UCAS application where you have an opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to the Admissions Tutor, especially if you are applying for a popular course. You need to make sure that you check the detailed information about your course choices. You can find out more about courses at Manchester Metropolitan University from our online prospectus.
It is really important you allow yourself plenty of time to research your course and write your personal statement; you may have to write several drafts until you get your statement right.
How much do I need to write?
You only have 4,000 characters (47 lines) to make your case, so you need to structure it well and check that each sentence adds something new. There is also a minimum limit of 1,000 characters. Make sure you tailor your personal statement and include relevant examples that are appropriate to your course.
It is important to plan what to include and list what evidence you think might interest an Admissions Tutor:
- Why you would like to study your course?
- What do you know about the subject?
- Skills and knowledge have you gained from your current studies and other activities that may be relevant to your course
- What are your plans for the future and career aspirations?
- What academic skills do you have?
- Work experience, placement or voluntary work you have done
- What are you interests and hobbies?
Once you’ve listed everything, think about what you have learnt from your experiences and how this relates to your course. Select relevant examples to include in your statement and organise the information so that your personal statement builds a strong argument for why you should be offered a place.
Structuring your personal statement – presenting your case.
Why you want to study this course – focus the tutor’s attention in the opening paragraph. First impressions count!
Main body of application
- Why have you chosen the courses you have listed?
- What is it about the subject that you like?
- How are your current studies relevant?
- Include details of any extra reading you have done about the subject
- Outline your academic skills, eg working to deadlines, doing research, completing reports
- What knowledge, skills and qualities do you have which are relevant to your course choice?
- Include evidence that you understand what’s required
- Do you have any experience relevant to your chosen degree subject?
- If you have work experience, what skills have you developed and how will these skills help you to complete your course?
- What skills/personal qualities has your part-time job or voluntary work given you?
- What other activities both in and out of college/school/work do you take part in?
- If you have a hobby other interest, how has it helped your interpersonal skills or your ability to work in a team?
- If you are applying for deferred entry, explain your plans for your year out.
- Make sure you include a conclusion and it leaves a good impression
- Don’t let your Personal Statement fizzle out. Try to pull together everything that you have covered and finish on a positive note.
Personal statement: Dos and Don’ts
- Make sure what you say is appropriate to all your choices
- Be positive and enthusiastic
- Make sure that your statement flows naturally, e.g. try not to overuse ‘I’ at the start of sentences
- Provide examples to illustrate your points
- Have several attempts until you’re comfortable with it.
- Leave plenty of time and keep deadlines in mind
- Ask other people to read it – tutors, parents, friends, etc – and take their comments on board!
- Feel that you have to use elaborate language to impress
- Just make a list of what you’ve done – reflect on what you have learnt from your experiences
- Make simple mistakes. Check your spelling and punctuation – don’t rely on spell check!
- Make things up to make it sound better – the information could be the basis of an interview
- Use anyone else’s work – UCAS run all statements through similarity detection software