Geography is a degree that attracts many students at universities, so to be able to do the course you're going to have to show admission tutors why you are better than the rest.
The chance to do this is by sending them your personal statement. This is your opportunity to tell the university exactly what you can provide.
There is no need to start panicking about what to include, we have your back. We went out and asked them a very specific question. What makes a good geography personal statement?
The important advice can be found below, but if you're itching to find out more then visit our collection of geography personal statements.
"Highlighting relevant work experience is crucial"
To make a lasting impression, seek to demonstrate what you hope to get out of the course you have applied to study and how you perceive it as benefiting you and your career.
Simply saying that you have a love or passion for subject areas is not enough. Therefore, highlighting relevant work experience, be it via part-time employment or otherwise, is crucial to making yourself standout, as is the mentioning of relevant voluntary work.
Such information becomes of crucial importance to the admissions tutor when considering applications from individuals who may not have quite met the stated qualifications requirements but who clearly want to study geography at degree level. Such experience can make all the difference.
"Add your own opinion to current geographical events"
Be clear about which courses you have chosen and why – e.g. do you want a traditional mix of human and physical geography, or a more specialised course such as Environmental Policy?
Aspiring geographers often like to tell us about their travels. Get the most out of your holiday stories by including some geographical analysis: did the city you visit conform to traditional ideas about urban layout, for example.
You could also consider the geographical aspects of stories in the news: will the Brexit affect migration patterns or do the pros of fracking outweigh its risks?
All universities want to recruit students who are aware of what’s going on around them. If you are able to add your own opinion on these topics it shows that you have the analytical skills needed.
"We are looking for students who have the capacity to engage with the world around them "
Geography is a subject that asks big questions about the way our world works and fails to work – and constantly strives to answer those questions.
We are looking for students who have the capacity to engage with the world around them, who can identify the challenges we all face, who can be critical of easy assumptions and who challenge the status quo.
The best personal statements can and do reveal these qualities. While it may be tempting to list recent holiday destinations as evidence of this kind of worldly engagement, the challenges of inequality, climate change, conflict and mass migration (to name but a few) can also be detected in the communities that surround us everyday – and require the attention of critical, creative and scholarly minds.
Show us that you’ve got what it takes!
"Be genuine and honest"
The best statements to me are ones that show a genuine appreciation of the breadth of the discipline. Meanwhile, the worst statements are those that equate a degree in geography with going travelling.
I'm particularly impressed when applicants say why they want to study a degree in geography, for example the sort of career that they want with it or their general ambition (although I would advise that applicants only mention this if they have a genuine direction and realise that if they don't know this at the stage of applying, that's okay too).
Some fundamental tips that I can give is that you should be genuine and honest. Explain to us why extracurricular activities have prepared you for university. Finally, you should also write with a sense of why Geography is a prescient and timely subject to study.