Help with Politics and International Relations personal statement

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ludo.milne
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#1
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I am applying to uni this year to do Politics and IR to LSE, Bristol, Exeter and a few others and I was wondering if some people who had applied/go to these unis doing the course could help me with what they wrote in their personal statement
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PQ
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(Original post by ludo.milne)
I am applying to uni this year to do Politics and IR to LSE, Bristol, Exeter and a few others and I was wondering if some people who had applied/go to these unis doing the course could help me with what they wrote in their personal statement
Both Bristol and LSE give detailed advice on what they look for in a PS
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Snufkin
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(Original post by ludo.milne)
I am applying to uni this year to do Politics and IR to LSE, Bristol, Exeter and a few others and I was wondering if some people who had applied/go to these unis doing the course could help me with what they wrote in their personal statement
There should be some LSE, Bristol, and Exeter PS' here:

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...nal_Statements
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...nal_Statements

:flute::fluffy:
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Hildi
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Hello! I got offers from Bristol and Exeter for Politics and International Relations (my firm is Cambridge and my insurance is Warwick), and I've been helping some younger students with their personal statements. So I can give some advice:

Do:
- Structure your personal statement into sections. I had an opening which set out the theme of my PS, which was what it was exactly about Pol/IR that I enjoyed and why they meant a lot to me. I had 3 paragraphs afterwards on background reading and my experiences (eg: participating in debating at school) and a final paragraph for conclusions

- Background reading. If you're applying to Exeter and Bristol you may be competing with Oxbridge-level personal statements anyway (the Oxbridge people could be intending to make these unis insurances) so you have to read around and show that you know a lot about your course. Political philosophy (eg: Plato's "Republic" ) is great for politics, and there are lots of new/interesting politics books which could be good (eg: "Saving Capitalism", "The Establishment" ) as well. The same goes for International Relations - I'd recommend "Prisoners of Geography", and I've heard that Kissinger's "Diplomacy" is good as well

- Include (relevant) extracurriculars or things you've done eg: participate in a school debate club on political topics, canvass for a political party or volunteer for a charity like Amnesty International. This and/or your background reading can be the bulk of your personal statement

- Talk about whatever it is you've done in depth, and don't be afraid to give your (political) opinions on it - so long as you have come to them in a thoughtful and rational way. The unis won't hate you for liking "The Communist Manifesto" or joining UKIP or the Conservatives, it's fine

Don't:

- Put in pretentious quotes, especially if they're really well known. If they're well-known, the chances are that other students will be using them too, making you seem unoriginal. I'd advise avoiding quotes altogether myself, unless you're desperate

- Use rhetorical questions, bad grammar, exclamation marks or anything else which is really informal

- Act like you're automatically qualified to pursue an IR course just because you know about another culture - like that's cool, but the key is to show how you've extended your knowledge even further and that this knowledge relates to your course. (I've been so annoyed by personal statements that act like having multiple expensive holidays in one place automatically gives them enough knowledge to do IR )

- Not read the books you've said you've read, but expect to be able to talk about them as convincingly as someone who has

- Make unfounded political assertions without evidence, or be close-minded
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