Computer Science is becoming more and more popular in this day and age as our technology advances. This also means it has become a competitive degree choice, so if you want to take it at university you're going to have to make yourself stand out.
How would you do this? You have to grab their attention with your personal statement. A well thought out personal statement gives you a great chance in capturing the admission tutor's attention and helping your application to that university.
If you're stumped about what to include then don't panic. We have exactly what you need, as we went and asked universities for their top tips and they got back to us.
In addition to the advice below, we also have examples of computer science personal statements nearby, waiting for you to read!
"Important to know why applicant is interested in subject"
Admission tutors use personal statements to learn more about applicants.
For Computer Science, it is important to know why the applicant is interested in studying the subject, what experience she/he has with programming languages, which programming languages she/he knows and to what extent, and whether she/he studied decision mathematics, probability and statistics, and other related subjects at school or elsewhere.
"Evidence that you endeavour to improve yourself "
Subjects in the Computer Sciences require students to be concise and factual, so avoid superfluous statements like “Technology has advanced at a radical pace” or “Since I was little, I’ve been interested in computers”. This is obvious and we would expect you to be interested anyway.
What really grabs our attention is the engagement you’ve had in the subject. That could be anything from specific programming languages you’ve learnt, to game engines or software you’ve used or projects that you’ve worked on.
Evidence that you endeavour to improve yourself, whether it’s through social responsibilities or learning for the love of learning, also impresses those that are considering your applications.
"Any practical experience in computer science should be highlighted"
When you apply for Computer Science, particularly somewhere like the University of Reading you should bear in mind that most of the modules have a strong focus on practical assignments in order to increase the employability of our students.
If you have had any practical experience in computer science, even if it is very little, such as writing small programmes or configuring a computer network, this is beneficial and should be highlighted. It’s not essential but can certainly help.
The Computer Science department at Reading also has strong relationships with IT companies supports and encourages industrial placements during your studies. The department is proud that a large portion of his students are employed shortly after their studies, and so mentioning the opportunity of industrial experience through placements as a motivation to apply would also be a strong point.
"Evidence of your own personal investigation could be valuable"
Your personal statement is an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the subject you are applying for, as well as other skills that demonstrate your capacity to study at university, like team working or independent learning.
At Hull we do not ask for specific computing, programming or mathematical skills – though some evidence is valuable. If you have formal qualifications in these areas, that should be included in the qualification list. So your personal statement is a way to tell us more.
If you haven’t recently studied computing before, evidence of your own personal investigations could be valuable. Generic statements such as ‘keeping up to date with technology’ tell us very little, but if you have experience of Scratch programming, have investigated a programming language such as C# or Java, or have built something using a Raspberry Pi, that’s relevant.
Visiting a university computing department, attending a science fair, or being a member of a computing society would also show a personal interest in the subject.
"Tell us how computing fascinates you!"
A good personal statement for Computer Science should demonstrate a general interest in science and, ideally, mathematics too.
The interest needs to be evidenced – what science projects are you really proud of and why? Tell me about the specific books you’ve enjoyed and why? What did you learn from reading these?
Doing a programming project in college is a great standout. Tell us if you created a video game or utility, set up a home network, made an interactive website (be sure to include the URL), built a computer, constructed a gadget, used a Raspberry Pi or Arduino? If so, tell us! Tell us how computing fascinates you and how passionate you are.