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  • Personal Statement:History 10

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Contents

History Personal Statement

I have chosen to study History because I believe it is the most important and relevant subject there is. I have a desire to understand the social and economic processes that have produced modern society. History has fascinated me since early childhood, when I loved to visit museums and historical sites. As an academic subject, my love for History was triggered when I studied the Second World War as a 10 year old. I could not believe the immense impact it had on the world, and the sheer scale of it. It in turn had a huge impact on me, and consolidated my love for the subject. I recently attended a lecture by Professor Edward Acton on the Russian Revolution, which was an extremely valuable experience.

Studying History for GCSE and A-Level has been good preparation for what the degree course would entail. I have successfully learned the skills of analysis and historiography, and how to infer from sources. It has encouraged me to read around the topic at hand and to research independently. I have greatly enjoyed the course and was very pleased with my result in August.

I am also studying English Literature, Psychology and Critical Thinking. All three subjects have given me skills that will be needed for the degree. English Literature has required a significant amount of independent reading, and has also taught me the importance of sticking to deadlines. I believe my Psychology A-Level will help me as there is a great deal of analysis and evaluation involved in the subject, for example looking at the validity of a theory. Critical Thinking has taught me how to identify and write a reasoned argument, as well as to think without bias and identify the relevant parts of an article. I think all of the above skills are beneficial to the study of History.

I have a number of key skills and achievements that I think will help me on the degree. I am highly computer literate; I have made my own website using HTML and am experienced in Adobe Photoshop. Studying essay-based subjects has taught me to express myself eloquently through writing and to structure my ideas coherently. For the duration of my time at secondary school I was a member of my school's highly successful Anti-Bullying Council. This included a course on how to give counselling sessions to my fellow students, which I then did on a number of occasions. It was a very important learning experience for me that I think I could definitely apply to my time at university. One of my greatest achievements came in 2002, when I wrote an essay for the Wellcome Trust that won my school's Science Department £1,000. Lastly, I have had an enthusiasm for acting all my life. I have appeared in a number of productions, including devised pieces. A significant amount of teamwork, creativity and devotion was necessary in this area.

I have had two Work Experience placements. I spent two weeks working at a nursery, and last summer I volunteered at my local Play Scheme. I enjoyed this work thoroughly. Both placements required energy, patience and commitment. The work was also very spontaneous and I often had to make independent decisions. It is in this sense that I think the work was a great experience and will be relevant to my degree choice. I have chosen to take a gap year so that I can experience the world of work, and also the world, before entering university.

I would love to study a History degree to increase the skills mentioned above, but most importantly to expand on my knowledge of the subject. I am keen to study any area and any period in depth, and look forward to what I will discover. I am hard working, independent and, above all, have a life-long passion for the subject that will guarantee me to succeed.

Universities applied to:

  • University of Birmingham (History and Social Sciences) - Offer ABB
  • University of Bristol (History) - Offer AAB
  • University of Leeds (History) - Offer AAB
  • University of Manchester (History) - Offer AAB including grade A in history
  • University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (History) - Offer AAB
  • University of Sheffield (History) - Offer AAB

Comments

General Comments:

Overall, the applicant places little emphasis on history and more on extracurricular activities and work experience. The applicant would be better off focusing instead on history and their passion for the subject than on topics with little relevance to their intended degree. The applicant still has a little room left to make additions to their statement and with a little rephrasing, they would be better able to place more emphasis on their love of history. The applicant should focus less on their extracurricular activities, to which this statement is largely devoted, and instead focus on their interest in their intended subject.

Comments on the statement:

I have chosen to study history The subject should be written in lower case, unless referring to the name of a course such as "History GCSE" because I believe it is the most important and relevant subject there is. How so? The applicant should try to explain this statement/go into more detail I have a desire to understand the social and economic processes that have produced modern society. Why do you? What about the processes producing past society? History has fascinated overused word in PSs me since early childhood, very clichéd – it isn’t important that you’ve liked a subject for most of your life, what is important is that you show you have a big interest in it NOW when I loved to visit museums and historical sites. As an academic subject, my love not a good word to use in PSs for history was triggered when I studied the Second World War as a ten year old. If mentioning things like this, it needs to relate to their current interest and not just left as it is. I could not believe the immense impact it had on the world, and the sheer scale of it. It in turn had a huge impact on me, and consolidated my love for the subject. So what have you done then relating to WW2? Any reading? Coursework projects? I recently attended a lecture by Professor Edward Acton on the Russian Revolution, which was an extremely valuable experience. The applicant should expand on this - what did they learn? How was it a valuable experience? There is little point in simply name-dropping, they need to mention what was learnt from it. However, it would be best to do this in the following paragraph.

Studying history for GCSE and A-Level has been good preparation for what the degree course would entail. This doesn’t really set them apart, as 99% of other candidates will be in this position too I have successfully learned the skills of analysis and historiography, and how to infer from sources. Rather than say this, give an example and relate it to an interest (in this case, maybe WW2) It has encouraged me to read around the topic at hand and to research independently. This is also a waste of space as the applicant is simply informing the university of the exam syllabus, which they will already know. Any A level student should have developed these skills during their history course, it isn't unique to the applicant. It needs to be made more personal to the applicant if it is mentioned, e.g. by describing independent research etc. I have greatly enjoyed the course and was very pleased with my result in August. Irrelevant, the university can see the applicants result on their application, whether the applicant thinks it’s good or not isn't important - the uni will decide if it’s good enough for them. I am also studying English Literature, Psychology and Critical Thinking. All three subjects have given me skills that will be needed for the degree. This information will be elsewhere on the application and is not personal enough to the applicant English Literature has required a significant amount of independent reading, and has also taught me the importance of sticking to deadlines. I believe my Psychology A-Level will help me as there is a great deal of analysis and evaluation involved in the subject, for example looking at the validity of a theory. Critical Thinking has taught me how to identify and write a reasoned argument, as well as to think without bias and identify the relevant parts of an article. Again, here the applicant is just telling the uni what is generic and expected of students who have studied these subjects. It can be deleted... their critical thinking A level probably isn't even accepted by the uni so they don't want to know about it! Applicants don’t need to list all of their A Level subjects and tenuously link them to their degree, as it adds nothing. They only need to mention the relevant things (i.e.: coursework if it relates to their degree) and if it doesn't then they shouldn't mention it, unis know that not everything relates perfectly to their degree choice. I think "Think" may express doubt about their intended degree and so this sentence would be more effective using another word all of the above skills are beneficial to the study of history.

This paragraph places too much emphasis on other subjects and would be better rephrased into something more succinct so that the applicant can focus more on history.

I have a number of key skills and achievements that I think will help me on the degree. Just list them, as this wastes characters I am highly computer literate; I have made my own website using HTML and am experienced in Adobe Photoshop. This sentence shows no relevance to history and with the already huge emphasis on extra-curriculars it would be better without this Studying essay-based subjects has taught me to express myself eloquently through writing and to structure my ideas coherently. This is repeating what has already been said and isn’t personal to the applicant, as it’s the same for any essay subjects. For the duration of my time at secondary school I was a member of my school's highly successful Anti-Bullying Council. This included a course on how to give counselling sessions to my fellow students, which I then did on a number of occasions. It was a very important learning experience for me that I think I could definitely apply to my time at university. Again has little relevance to history and would be better rephrased so that the applicant has more room to focus on their passion for history. One of my greatest achievements came in 2002, This is likely to be an old PS – keep everything relevant, in the last couple of years at most I wrote an essay for the Wellcome Trust that won my school's science department £1,000. Winning the department money isn’t really relevant to the application. It could be mentioned by the referee if they want it talked about. Lastly, I have had an enthusiasm for acting all my life. I have appeared in a number of productions, including devised pieces. A significant amount of teamwork, creativity and devotion was necessary in this area. OK, as long as in total the non-related extracurricular activities only take up a short paragraph. Not everything needs to be mentioned!

I have had two work experience placements. I spent two weeks working at a nursery, and last summer I volunteered at my local play scheme. I enjoyed this work thoroughly. Both placements required energy, patience and commitment. The work was also very spontaneous and I often had to make independent decisions. It is in this sense that I think the work was a great experience and will be relevant to my degree choice. Work experience that is unrelated to the course does not need to be mentioned I have chosen to take a gap year so that I can experience the world of work, clichéd phrase and also the world, before entering university. This should be rephrased so as to not appear as if placing university in a negative light.

I would love to study a history degree to increase the skills mentioned above, but most importantly to focus on your interests, rather than what you would gain from it expand on my knowledge of the subject. I am keen to study any area and any period in depth, This would be more effective if the applicant mentioned which areas they were particularly interested in. However, it is important to ensure that any areas mentioned are covered by the different universities being applied to. It would be better to have mentioned specific areas in more detail in the main body of the PS and look forward to what I will discover. I am hard working, independent and, above all, have a life-long passion for the subject that will guarantee me to succeed guarantee sounds a bit arrogant, so this would be better reworded. It’s also not the most attention-grabbing or interesting conclusion, but does cover the important aspects.



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