Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Hey!

    Recently, I've been wondering on what I should write in my personal statement which would help me to get on a civil engineering course. However, I have no relevant experience in this field although I do have experience on team working/leadership skills.

    What else can I do now (my UCAS application should be submitted by October 15) to make my personal statement "good enough" for this course?

    Thanks in advance.
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by JazzledJunior)
    Hey!

    Recently, I've been wondering on what I should write in my personal statement which would help me to get on a civil engineering course. However, I have no relevant experience in this field although I do have experience on team working/leadership skills.

    What else can I do now (my UCAS application should be submitted by October 15) to make my personal statement "good enough" for this course?

    Thanks in advance.
    Why do you need to apply by Oct 15th?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    Why do you need to apply by Oct 15th?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Oxbridge... although he can apply for the other Unis afterwards
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by Metrododo)
    Oxbridge... although he can apply for the other Unis afterwards
    I know that, but does the OP...

    Because neither Oxford or Cambridge offer a pure CivEng course.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    Why do you need to apply by Oct 15th?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Some universities require applications to be submitted by that date as they are "top universities" such as Oxford or Cambridge. However, in my case I do not need to do that but I would like to get it in by then so I can get it out of the way. It's not the end of the world if I get it in later though. (:
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    (Original post by JazzledJunior)
    Some universities require applications to be submitted by that date as they are "top universities" such as Oxford or Cambridge. However, in my case I do not need to do that but I would like to get it in by then so I can get it out of the way. It's not the end of the world if I get it in later though. (:
    See my comment above. So if you aren't applying to Oxbridge there is absolutely no point rushing to complete your PS.

    By the way, you don't need work experience etc. Just strong academics and an interest in your course.

    Have a read of the stickied posts at the top of this forum.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Sorry about the late message. Would extra reading on civil engineering be useful? I want Imperial to be one of my options and I think it might help me in having things to talk about in the interview/show my "passion"?

    Thanks for your help!!
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JazzledJunior)
    Sorry about the late message. Would extra reading on civil engineering be useful? I want Imperial to be one of my options and I think it might help me in having things to talk about in the interview/show my "passion"?

    Thanks for your help!!
    Although my PS wasn't on Civil Engineering but Economics, here's a tip that I did that you might still find useful.

    As UCL was my first choice I had a look at papers written by professors there in certain fields of economics that I was interested in and made subtle references to several of the points made (in my case it was about specific applications of game theory models).

    As Jneill said, first have a look at the PS stickies and perhaps research papers from Civil Eng Depts online (try google scholar), and possibly some published by Imperial professors - if there's something in particular that interests you about Civil Eng (fluid mechanics, certain constructions, etc.) it's definitely a good way to stand out!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Metrododo)
    Although my PS wasn't on Civil Engineering but Economics, here's a tip that I did that you might still find useful.

    As UCL was my first choice I had a look at papers written by professors there in certain fields of economics that I was interested in and made subtle references to several of the points made (in my case it was about specific applications of game theory models).

    As Jneill said, first have a look at the PS stickies and perhaps research papers from Civil Eng Dept sonline (try google scholar), and possibly some published by Imperial professors - if there's something in particular that interests you about Civil Eng (fluid mechanics, certain constructions, etc.) it's definitely a good way to stand out!
    That's advice I have never been told before; thank you very much! I will start doing that soon. I will definitely look at the PS stickies also (new to TSR so still finding out about things).

    Thank you both Jneill and Metrododo for taking the time to reply and help me.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by JazzledJunior)
    Hey! Recently, I've been wondering on what I should write in my personal statement which would help me to get on a civil engineering course. However, I have no relevant experience in this field although I do have experience on team working/leadership skills. What else can I do now (my UCAS application should be submitted by October 15) to make my personal statement "good enough" for this course? Thanks in advance.


    This is what I put into my personal statement for civ, received conditional from all 5 of my unis: Southampton, Surrey, Loughborough, Heriot-Watt and Swansea. My A levels are: maths, physics, geology and geography (AS only).

    College and youth council (skills I gained)
    Work experience on a landfill site (again the skills I gained)
    Uni visits (stating how this showed my interest)
    Visiting an ICE talk (shows that I've looked into what I may be doing in the future and confirming my interest)
    Extra reading such as via the ICE website (showing that I've actually looked into what civil engineering involves)
    My subjects (how they show my interest and skills I've gained) including EPQ (my EPQ was astrobiology)

    As you can see I haven't actually gotten work experience in the field but that would be quite hard to do because... well I've not got any necessary knowledge to be able to do anything. Look up what skills you will need in either consultant or contracting civil engineering and also put in skills that will be important in the course itself which you have gained from things you have done.

    I structured my PS into paragraphs like this:

    Intro
    Why I'm interested in the course
    Skills gained from my academic studies
    Skills and experience from non academic studies and my hobbies
    Closing paragraph on what specialisations I am interested in and possible projects I want to do (showing again your interest and that you have looked into it)

    Your largest section should be why you are interested in the course because you need to convince the person reading your PS that you are sure that you want to do the course. Then it should be relevant skills you have gained and what you have gained them from.

    You do not need work experience but it helps a lot and it most definitely does not need to be relevant but it shows you have experience working in possibly similar conditions as well as helping you gain relevant skills. I went for a scholarship at my firmed choice and they asked some questions about the work experience even though it wasn't civEng related and they asked some in depth questions which I then had to quickly answer which I would not have been able to have prepared for. Obviously going a bit off track on that but it shows that I was engaged with my work experience and that I understood it well rather than just turning up to it and just doing what the guy I was with said. Note you do not need to say loads about the work experience in your PS but what skills you gained and how you gained them.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    A strong personal statement should be clear, succinct, easy to read.

    It should be discuss the relevance of your further reading and experiences - eg if you've visited a massive Dam, the Burj Khalifa, Golden Gate Bridge, places such as the Palm Islands or Hong Kong (the construction involved reclaiming the oceans and fighting natural forces), or its inverse with examples of poor Civil Engineering and how its failures impacts local communities and the world at large like the Hyatt Regency collapse, Banqiao collapse, the Fukushima incident and how they've changed policies around the world, etc - and how those experiences led you to the position of applying to the course.

    You should demonstrate your passions by discussing/applying your extracurricular knowledge from all sources, whether it's reading "Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down" or publications from the American Society of Civil Engineers or elsewhere. And don't forget, your role in the future will be cross-disciplinary so the challenges of related Engineering disciplines will be relevant to you too, like developing cost-effective graphene to strengthen existing material or applications of transparent solar panels.

    It should discuss your academic strengths, whether you had any leadership qualities at school, the field trips you've attended, the projects and practical assignments you've done and their relevance to the course. If you've studied mathematics, further mathematics, physics, chemistry, and any mechanics modules then you're in luck because those have the most direct relevance - chemistry is about how matter interacts, and physics is about mathematical relationships used to model the world.

    Discuss how they've helped you develop your analytical skills, mathematical/scientific reasoning skills, and how they provide a foundation for your Higher Education studies. If you've studied a literature-based subject on top of two sciences, then discuss how it strengthens your teamwork skills or ability to work in a group as well as any (oral/written) communication skills.

    And lastly, depending on where you're applying to, discuss a little beyond the scope of your main interests - this should be about a single paragraph. Do you participate in interesting societies, or are involved in something that other people will find really fascinating? When it comes down to it, the last few places will be given to applicants who demonstrate their life is beyond academics alone and have participated in something unique and memorable.

    Try to avoid making a generic personal statement, or using too many personal statement clichés like droning on about how you've always been interested in a subject.

    A good rule of thumb when applying to Universities is to apply for one optimistic place (one grade above predicted), two/three realistic places (requirements at predicted grades), and one/two insurance place(s) that you're almost guaranteed to be accepted on no matter what happens (requirements two to three grades below predicted).

    Some videos you might like to watch

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvqFG-C9RvY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ3MJgdkJY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWxFVtSUAsQ

    NB - current affairs, volunteering, and research articles mentioned by Metrododo are really great to use too!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    This is what I put into my personal statement for civ, received conditional from all 5 of my unis: Southampton, Surrey, Loughborough, Heriot-Watt and Swansea. My A levels are: maths, physics, geology and geography (AS only).

    College and youth council (skills I gained)
    Work experience on a landfill site (again the skills I gained)
    Uni visits (stating how this showed my interest)
    Visiting an ICE talk (shows that I've looked into what I may be doing in the future and confirming my interest)
    Extra reading such as via the ICE website (showing that I've actually looked into what civil engineering involves)
    My subjects (how they show my interest and skills I've gained) including EPQ (my EPQ was astrobiology)

    As you can see I haven't actually gotten work experience in the field but that would be quite hard to do because... well I've not got any necessary knowledge to be able to do anything. Look up what skills you will need in either consultant or contracting civil engineering and also put in skills that will be important in the course itself which you have gained from things you have done.

    I structured my PS into paragraphs like this:

    Intro
    Why I'm interested in the course
    Skills gained from my academic studies
    Skills and experience from non academic studies and my hobbies
    Closing paragraph on what specialisations I am interested in and possible projects I want to do (showing again your interest and that you have looked into it)

    Your largest section should be why you are interested in the course because you need to convince the person reading your PS that you are sure that you want to do the course. Then it should be relevant skills you have gained and what you have gained them from.

    You do not need work experience but it helps a lot and it most definitely does not need to be relevant but it shows you have experience working in possibly similar conditions as well as helping you gain relevant skills. I went for a scholarship at my firmed choice and they asked some questions about the work experience even though it wasn't civEng related and they asked some in depth questions which I then had to quickly answer which I would not have been able to have prepared for. Obviously going a bit off track on that but it shows that I was engaged with my work experience and that I understood it well rather than just turning up to it and just doing what the guy I was with said. Note you do not need to say loads about the work experience in your PS but what skills you gained and how you gained them.
    Thank you very much for your thorough response, Vikingninja. This will help me greatly especially given that the advice has come from somebody who applied for the same course. Thanks for explaining things clearly. I will definitely take on this advice! (:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rather_Cynical)
    A strong personal statement should be clear, succinct, easy to read.

    It should be discuss the relevance of your further reading and experiences - eg if you've visited a massive Dam, the Burj Khalifa, Golden Gate Bridge, places such as the Palm Islands or Hong Kong (the construction involved reclaiming the oceans and fighting natural forces), or its inverse with examples of poor Civil Engineering and how its failures impacts local communities and the world at large like the Hyatt Regency collapse, Banqiao collapse, the Fukushima incident and how they've changed policies around the world, etc - and how those experiences led you to the position of applying to the course.

    You should demonstrate your passions by discussing/applying your extracurricular knowledge from all sources, whether it's reading "Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down" or publications from the American Society of Civil Engineers or elsewhere. And don't forget, your role in the future will be cross-disciplinary so the challenges of related Engineering disciplines will be relevant to you too, like developing cost-effective graphene to strengthen existing material or applications of transparent solar panels.

    It should discuss your academic strengths, whether you had any leadership qualities at school, the field trips you've attended, the projects and practical assignments you've done and their relevance to the course. If you've studied mathematics, further mathematics, physics, chemistry, and any mechanics modules then you're in luck because those have the most direct relevance - chemistry is about how matter interacts, and physics is about mathematical relationships used to model the world.

    Discuss how they've helped you develop your analytical skills, mathematical/scientific reasoning skills, and how they provide a foundation for your Higher Education studies. If you've studied a literature-based subject on top of two sciences, then discuss how it strengthens your teamwork skills or ability to work in a group as well as any (oral/written) communication skills.

    And lastly, depending on where you're applying to, discuss a little beyond the scope of your main interests - this should be about a single paragraph. Do you participate in interesting societies, or are involved in something that other people will find really fascinating? When it comes down to it, the last few places will be given to applicants who demonstrate their life is beyond academics alone and have participated in something unique and memorable.

    Try to avoid making a generic personal statement, or using too many personal statement clichés like droning on about how you've always been interested in a subject.

    A good rule of thumb when applying to Universities is to apply for one optimistic place (one grade above predicted), two/three realistic places (requirements at predicted grades), and one/two insurance place(s) that you're almost guaranteed to be accepted on no matter what happens (requirements two to three grades below predicted).

    Some videos you might like to watch

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvqFG-C9RvY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQ3MJgdkJY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWxFVtSUAsQ
    Thank you sooo much, Rather_Cynical! This is very detailed and will definitely make writing my PS so much easier!

    That rule of thumb thing is new to me but I'll definitely take it into account. From a quick glance, the videos look helpful too so thank you for sharing the links.

    Appreciate the replies I have received, so thanks again.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.