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"If you write a good personal statement you will impress
the university and hopefully be made an offer".
Brunel University





Postgraduate Writing Guide

The Reader
Imagine how difficult it must be to choose between thousands of students with straight "A" grades. admissions officers want subjective criteria to make a decision, and in most cases the personal statement is the best source for this information.

One of the key complaints admissions officers have, is that the personal statement is often poorly structured, and that they do not convey the reasons why the applicant wishes to study.

Get Into Uni surveyed UK admissions officers to find out exactly what is their criteria. Below are the top admissions requirements:

  • Write in clear English.
  • Allow friends, family, and teachers to read through your personal statement and provide feedback.
  • List paragraphs.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic.
  • Remember that admissions officers will read thousands of personal statements, and you want yours to be the one they remember.
  • Write in short sentences.
  • Be as clear as possible about why you have chosen your course of study.
  • Set out the unique features and extracurricular activities that will allow you to be selected ahead of your peers.
  • Take the opportunity to point out any occurrences or circumstances that may have affected your academic results.
  • Construct the personal statement into 4 to 5 paragraphs.
  • Keep sentences short and succinct.

Understanding what the admissions officers would like to read, will be advantageous and make your statement stand out. Below are comments from offical universities:
“The personal statement is very important, because it gives the applicant the opportunity to explain why they have chosen their course of study and  university and why they think they would perform well on the course. It also gives the applicant the opportunity to set out their unique features, which they feel should lead them to be ranked ahead of their peers”. University of Hertfordshire. Head of the University admissions service.
“At DMU, we are not looking only for students with a sound academic background - we seek students who are motivated and passionate about their subject area and have the potential to succeed in their studies. The graduate job market is competitive and we offer excellent preparation for both undergraduate and postgraduate students to enter or re-enter the world of work, but you have to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities we offer if you are to succeed. The personal statement is a crucial part of the application process and can make the difference as to whether you are offered a place or not. This is especially true for courses where applicants have not been invited to attend an interview. In these cases, the personal statement is the only chance to sell yourself and give a flavour of whom you are”. De Montford University.
“We are seeking aptitude, enthusiasm and genuine passion for the subject. The personal statement is important as a way of gauging motivation and enthusiasm, and helps us to assess the character of the applicant – what interests you and how you express yourself. Admissions tutors want to read statements that are clearly written and show why you are interested in the subject. Above all, be honest – it is easy to tell if work has been cribbed or copied”. University of East London. Carol Elliott, Head of Admissions; Hamid Jahankhani, Admissions Tutor, School of Computing & Technology.
It is important that you be aware of your readership because the personal statement should be tailored to what the reader wants to hear.
Now you have a better idea on what the admissions officers want to read let’s start our creative workshop.

Next: Start the creative thinking workshop.

Note: This guide is not intended to replace the advice of tutors, admissions officers, or teachers; Get Into Uni simply provides advice and exercises to help you write a compelling personal statement.