Chemistry is a rapidly-moving degree, where new research is being produced every day. If it's a subject you want to study at university you're going to have to make yourself stand out by proving that you're keeping up.


By sending a personal statement to a university, it provides the opportunity to impress them with information about yourself and the experience you have attained so far.


What exactly would they want to see though? Because that would definitely make it easier, wouldn't it? We are here for you, so we did just that.


Read on to find out what should be included in a fantastic chemistry personal statement. If you want more then take a look at our library of chemistry personal statements for further inspiration


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How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps


"Be honest, confident, enthusiastic and stress your strengths"


Peter Griffiths, head of pharmaceutical, chemical and environmental sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich


The personal statement is the best, and perhaps only, opportunity you have to convince the selectors that you have the potential to thrive on a particular course, and that you’ve researched your chosen programme in detail.

Universities are looking for applicants who will become committed and motivated students, and who want to study a subject thoroughly. So be honest but confident, stress your strengths, and ensure you sound enthusiastic and keen. After all, this choice will shape your life!


"Mention some new research in Chemistry"


Keith Hughes, chemistry admissions tutor, Bangor University


For Chemistry the things I look for in the personal statement are common to most subjects: why do they want to study this subject, what do they find particular interesting about the subject.

What is particularly eye-catching is if an applicant mentions some new research in Chemistry that has caught their interest and why they find it interesting.

What is crucial to a personal statement is that applicants eliminate, or minimise, typing and grammatical errors.


"Show that you have gone the extra mile"


Dr Philippa Cranwell, admissions tutor, University of Reading


There are a few things you need to mention in your personal statement if you’re applying for a chemistry-related degree. As admissions tutor I want to know why you are interested in chemistry.

Try to avoid the “usual” phrases like “I have always been interested in…” and tell me something that I won’t have come across before for example “when reading Chemistry World I was fascinated by the article about fluorescent proteins…”

This shows that you are going the extra mile to read about chemistry; over and above what you are taught in class. As an admissions tutor I look for enthusiasm, passion and a love of the subject. That will make you stand out.


"Demonstrate that you have a wider understanding of the subject"


Dr Audrey Matthews, principal lecturer and senior admissions tutor, De Montfort University


In writing a personal statement for chemistry (or any science subject) it is useful to state what has inspired you to consider this subject area, for example, hearing Brian Cox deliver a lecture.

Try to avoid inspirational influences picked up on television or over the internet (as we all know that CSI does not really represent the true role of a forensic scientist!). Try to demonstrate that you have a wider understanding of the subject through reading or attending events/lectures. Also add any university experience that you have gained through summer schools or day visits.

Finally, it is helpful if you can mention any skills area that you feel you have that you have particular strength, such as working out organic chemistry mechanisms, and reflect on any areas of development – this can show a realistic outlook to your educational development.

"Don't shy away from mentioning your career aspirations"


Dr David Robinson, chemistry admissions tutor, Nottingham Trent University


Avoid sweeping statements like 'chemistry is the stuff of life' and focus instead on what makes you passionate about chemistry. To be successful in chemistry you’ll need to put in the hours, both studying and in the lab - so in your personal statement you’ll need to demonstrate to an admissions tutor why you are motivated to study chemistry.

Don’t shy away from mentioning your chemistry-related career aspirations, it shows your long term commitment to the subject to the admissions tutor. You can strengthen your personal statement even further if you can show how your hobbies and work experience relate to your chemistry career. Have you volunteered at a science / chemistry community event, taken part in a chemistry competition at school or college? Won any prizes for chemistry talents?