History is a degree choice that many people like to take, especially because of the transferable skills that can be acquired from it and put to use in different careers. As it is a popular degree, you're going to have to show how you stand out.
To do this you will have to show it in your personal statement, where you will have to talk about your academic life and life experience so far. However, you have to be able to stand out to the admission tutors.
How exactly would you do this? Well, we went out and asked.
Carry on reading below to find out what they said. If you're interested in seeing some more examples of brilliant history personal statements then do not hesitate to take a look!
"Your writing should be clear and your language kept simple"
Remember to discuss your passion for the subject, the skill sets that you possess, and your achievements and life experiences. By communicating to us your enthusiasm for studying history, and by providing examples of your engagement with history, whether as a member of a family history society, by contributing to archaeological digs, or by outlining your hobbies or your love of non-fiction books, documentaries and historical film, for example, you open a window into your appetite for learning.
Tell us also about why you think you are suitable for the course: what are your strengths, your skills and abilities, and which personal traits will help contribute to success in your degree study? Working with historical evidence requires attention to detail, questioning and analytical qualities, and personal characteristics such as resilience, patience, determination, so discuss times when you have employed these facets effectively.
Inform us about how your achievements and life experiences can prepare you for degree study. Have you previously completed any academic courses or gained certificates or awards that reflect excellence?
Describe the elements of your most recent occupation or position of responsibility that will serve you well at university. Outline the benefits of any placements, work experience or voluntary work undertaken. Finally, prepare for the writing of the statement well in advance. Plan, sketch an outline, and then gather your evidence to ensure you support and develop all of the key points raised. The writing should be clear, the language kept simple yet to the point, and most definitely, proofread the statement meticulously before submitting it.
"Show that you're excited by history"
How do we know where we are if we don’t know where we’ve been? The past provides so many keys for understanding the present and unlocking approaches to the future. History at Aston has a resolutely contemporary focus with a strong international dimension. We want to attract students who are keen to explore those critical zones where past and present connect - so be clear in your statement about how studying history can help us understand the world around us today.
Three more top tips: show knowledge of the history programme for which you're applying and tell us why this is the one for you; give a sense of where history might take you as a career path; and, above all, show that you're excited by the prospect of devoting yourself to the study of history. We want students who will graduate not just with a degree but with a life-long love for their subject!
"Well-developed essay writing and language skills are very important"
The History programme at LSE is focused on modern, international history so your personal statement should be drafted with this in mind.
We look for statements that show a genuine interest in and understanding of international history. In addition, we also value evidence of intellectual curiosity, additional reading, independent research and involvement in related activities (e.g. history or politics clubs).
Well-developed essay writing and language skills are very important; we are looking for a coherent and compelling piece of writing that puts your own views and opinions forward.
"I want to know why you are passionate about the subject"
A personal statement should be personal. If you are wanting to study History I want to know why you are passionate about the subject.
What is it about history that excites you and motivates you to want to know more? What kind of history intrigues you? When did your interest start? Who or what has inspired you? Was there a particular moment when you knew that History was what you wanted to study at University?
In short you need to convince me that you will be a committed student who will bring that enthusiasm to their studies.
"Demonstrate passion and commitment to studying History at degree level"
One of the most important elements of a personal statement is for an applicant to show engagement with the subject beyond the confines of A Level studies. This might take the form of a book, a location, or an activity that has been particularly influential in their choice course.
Telling us why this particular work or event is personally significant is good way for an applicant to demonstrate their passion for - and commitment to - studying History at degree level, showing us that they will be a bright and engaged student.
"The best History students are passionate, opinionated, questioning and challenging"
First, admissions tutors are looking for an enthusiasm for history. You need to show that you want to steep yourself in the subject for at least three years.
We are particularly looking for candidates who show that their enthusiasm goes beyond the conﬁnes of the sixth-form curriculum, for example by attending lectures, visiting historical sites and museums, or reading widely in history in their spare time. At the same time, we don’t want you only to be interested in history.
Indication of commitment to cultural, sporting, political, or voluntary interests is a sign that you are a rounded individual, keen on making a contribution to a wider community. Relevant work experience can show that you are capable of managing your time effectively.
Above all make it personal: too many UCAS statements have been so carefully edited as to remove any evidence of personality. The best History students are passionate, opinionated, questioning and challenging – don’t be afraid to show that this is you. Last of all, just remember that that you may be asked about your UCAS statement in an interview or during a university visit, so make it truthful!
"I want to see that the student has done their research about the course"
Personally, I look for two things. Firstly, I want to see why studying History is so appealing to a prospective student. I want to get a sense from the statement that they have a real passion for the subject and understand how studying History will help with regards to their career aims.
Secondly, I want to see that the student has done their research about the course they are applying to. It’s always impressive when an applicant can show they already understand the kinds of topics, themes and modules (information readily available in prospectuses/on course webpages) that the degree covers.
"Show us that you LOVE history"
First and foremost, it is a PERSONAL statement. We want you to be reflective about your own development as an historian. Tell us why history at university will change your life! How will the knowledge and skills enhance your career opportunities?
Don't forget to show us that you LOVE history, and not just that it’s the subject you do best in, or that you hate the least! Discuss a book/film/visit that really developed your interest in history. Remember to say WHY it is significant to you.
We advise against name dropping historians that you’ve studied without telling us HOW their work influenced your thinking. Additionally don't use a trite quotation such as ‘those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it’! Try to say something that the admissions tutor has not seen hundreds of times before. Finally, do not assume that because history is not a vocational discipline that you don’t need to talk about your future plans.