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  • Personal Statement:Sociology 1

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Contents

Sociology Personal Statement

I have always been passionately interested in society's influence on our actions and the structure of society, as these issues are relevant to everyone in everyday life, and Sociology is therefore a subject that affects me on a personal level. I have been able to explore the structure of society and the role of the individual more deeply and rigorously through my Sociology A-level course, which I love studying, and reading more about in the 'Sociology Review', in newspapers, sociological literature such as 'Street Corner Society and by watching 'Newsnight'. It is a subject that has broadened my horizons, and made me question the ways in which I view society, particularly in terms of whether there is class conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletariat or a consensus in society, in the key debate between Functionalism and Marxism. I am extremely intrigued by studying and debating sociological and political perspectives and ideologies, and particularly enjoy researching and evaluating key sociological issues through the essays we write in class

I enjoy travelling, and have visited the vastly different cultures of Egypt, Crete, Florida and France. Through this I have become aware of social injustices in the world. This is why I have decided to join Voluntary Services Oversees for my Gap Year Project. Taking a year out will help me develop on a personal level, and enable me to develop my interpersonal skills and my communication skills, which are very important. In addition, developing these skills, I conducted work experience at a solicitor's office, where I was found to be 'extremely helpful, adaptable, and a joy have to have in the office'. I enjoy working with children, and I have volunteered at a local Primary School for three weeks last year, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I baby-sit regularly. I love charities, and one of my biggest projects will be next year when I run the Flora London Marathon in Easter 2003

Another one of my passions is also music. I have taken part in many musicals, for example, taking the lead role in "Fame," and I am grade 8 standard on the violin, hoping to take a diploma next year

Other activities that fill my free time include reading, particularly modern novels - my favourite authors being Jeanette Winterson and Ian McEwan, due to Winterson's abstract and thought-provoking style, as well as her interesting ideals of a world where imagination, freedom and creativity are vital, where McEwan's fascinating novels study the psychology of the intricately created characters. Other activities that fill my spare time include a range of sports. I play football for Peterborough United under-19's, I regularly play golf to a handicap of 3, and I also play hockey for the school team

Most of all, by studying sociology at university I hope to gain a more tolerant attitude to the people around me, and understand better the dynamics of society.


General comments

This is a very waffley statement which doesn't particularly address the applicants desire to study sociology at university. There are many occasions where sociology could have been discussed in detail, and the applicant relies heavily upon their extra curricular activities to pad out the application rather than spending the majority of the statement saying why they wish to study sociology. The applicant has undertaken many activities which are particularly interesting and relevant to sociology and society, which indicates they do have an ingrained interest in this discipline but these themes are not built on in the statement.

The applicant has only used around 75% of the 4000 characters available for a personal statement on UCAS. This means the personal statement is very short, and although applicants are not obliged to use all of the space available, it is reccommended and universities will notice if the personal statement is short and wonder why this is the case. There are many ways I have mentioned for the applicant to expand on their personal statement and bring it closer to the 4000 character mark, which I feel would also improve the work.

It would have been nice for the applicant to have stated their motivations in a clearer manner in the introduction, then used these as a stepping stone to discuss their interests in sociology in more depth later on. Their A level studies of sociology could have been used more, referencing coursework, particular module topics, and independent study and research.

In general, the spelling, grammar and punctuation needs more work and it does not appear that the applicant has proof read the work out loud. This would have uncovered many of the structual and punctuation issues. The applicant needs to pay attention to spelling and their use of full stops at the end of paragraphs.

Overall, I think this statement has the potential of turning into something which could be used in applications to high ranking universities but at the moment it lacks content, depth and structure. The applicant needs to ensure that they discuss their interest in the field of sociology for at least two thirds of the statement and therefore loose some of the extra curricular activities in place of a discussion of their desire to study at university. This can be done by constantly following up statements by saying why this particular thing is important, relevant or interesting.

Comments on the statement

I have always been passionately interested This is very cliche and an unneeded exageration - The applicant will not have always have been interested in this from birth. in society's influence on our actions and the structure of society, it would have been good to give an example here as these issues are relevant to everyone in everyday life, and Sociology is therefore a subject that affects me on a personal level. This is a very short introduction, and the applicant needs to expand on why sociology affects them. It is pointless just making a statement if one then does not go on to say why this is the case. new paragraph I have been able to explore the structure of society and the role of the individual more deeply and rigorously through my Sociology A-level course, which I love studying, and reading more about in the 'Sociology Review', in newspapers, sociological literature such as 'Street Corner Society and by watching 'Newsnight'. This is a very long list, and the applicant should select one or two of these, and say exactly what literature they have read, why it was useful, what they learnt and if they agree or disagree with the sociologist in question. As structure of society and the role of the individual have been mentioned as interests, the wider reading should reflect this fact. It is a subject that which has broadened my horizons, and made me question the ways in which I view society, particularly in terms of whether there is class conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletariat or a consensus in society, in the key debate between Functionalism and Marxism. As the applicant has asked 'whether there is', they should follow this up by giving their opinion as to whether or not there is a class conflict. Again, this could have taken into account wider reading or parts of the A level curriculum covered in class. Marx and Functionalism appear to be very name dropped here, without actually mentioning anything about them. The PS could be improved by again expanding on this, and mentioning ideas and what reading (if any) has been done. I am extremely intrigued by studying and debating sociological and political perspectives and ideologies, Again, the applicant should say which ones in particular and why- are we discussing something new, or still discussing Marxist ideology? and particularly enjoy researching and evaluating key sociological issues through the essays we write in class. full stop added here This would have been an appropriate time to mention coursework or other research in the field undertaken by the applicant.

I enjoy travelling, and have visited the vastly different cultures of Egypt, Crete, Florida and France. This list reads oddly because two are countries and two are regions of a country, it would be better if the applicant chose one or the other and kept the list constant. Through this I have become aware of social injustices in the world. The applicant needs to mention which social injustices in particular, as this statement means very little at the moment. This is why I have decided to join Voluntary Services Oversees spelling correction: overseas for my Gap Year Project. gap year project does not need capital letters. Taking a year out will help me develop on a personal level, It will not help to develop the applicant on a non personal level, so this is non sensical! and enable me to develop my interpersonal skills and my communication skills, which are very important. I feel the applicant could do a lot more justice to their VSO project by interlinking it much more with sociology and their application, rather then simply mentioning improved communication skills. It would have been good for there to have been very strong links to sociology here, in terms of what the applicant will experience when they are abroad. In addition, developing these skills, I conducted work experience at a solicitor's office, where I was found to be 'extremely helpful, adaptable, and a joy have to have in the office'. A PS is not the place for quoting other people, this should be done in the reference. The university does not care what people in the office thought of the applicant, they care about what the applicant thought of the experience. These are two different things. I enjoy working with children, and I have volunteered at a local Primary School for three weeks last year, there is a problem with tense here which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I baby-sit regularly. I love charities, this doesn't really make sense, and the applicant needs to expand on why they love charities and one of my biggest projects will be next year when I run the Flora London Marathon in Easter 2003. full stop added All of these things should be related in some way to sociology rather than just being listed as interests.

Another one of my passions is also delete also, does not make sense music. I have taken part in many musicals, for example, taking the lead role in "Fame," and I am grade 8 standard on the violin, hoping to take a diploma next year. full stop added, and there are several problems with punctuation and tense. Again, the applicant should attempt to discuss these in more detail with sociology as a focus.

Other activities that fill my free time include reading, particularly modern novels - my favourite authors being Jeanette Winterson and Ian McEwan, due to Winterson's abstract and thought-provoking style, as well as her interesting ideals of a world where imagination, freedom and creativity are vital, where McEwan's fascinating novels study the psychology of the intricately created characters. Issues with tense and structure here. This reads too much like an essay, and as though the application is for English Literature. It is fine to mention Literature, but it would have been nice to have seen the applicant make links to society. Some of McEwan's books would have done this appropriately Other activities that fill my spare time the applicants spare time has been filled twice now include a range of sports. I play football for Peterborough United under-19's, I regularly play golf to a handicap of 3, and I also play hockey for the school team. full stop added

Most of all, by studying sociology at university I hope to gain a more tolerant attitude to the people around me, and understand better the dynamics of society. This is a short conclusion which says very little about the applicant and their motives. The applicant could become more tolerant about people around them without undertaking the academic study of sociology. The conclusion should tie together the previous themes and ideas discussed in a final summary without bringing in any new information. Again, there are issues with the structure of the sentence.

Comments

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