Application Surgeries - Need help with your Personal Statement? Ask the experts!

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xahntra
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#41
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#41
(Original post by University of Leicester)
xahntra thanks for the question!

I think focusing on the skills you've developed within your industry experience would be a great place to start, particular in relevance to key areas within the Digital Marketing world (e.g understanding different cultures and how communication differs accordingly) and then overlaying that with the longer-term angle of what you'd like to do with the MSc which you've outlined above.

Definitely start with your interest in the course first (why Digital Marketing?), follow up with your skillset and relate this back to the modules/course content and follow-up with how you intend to use the MSc.

Hope that helps! Elliot
Thank you so much Elliot!
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fluffymochi
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#42
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#42
(Original post by University of Leicester)
Hi fluffymochi we tend to advise trying to stick to positive things within your personal statement so unless you can demonstrate within the point you're making about dropping out that there's a positive angle to it (e.g enabled you to follow a career/re-train/take a different life decision) then I'd probably avoid.

Hope that helps and good luck Elliot
I see. Thank you! I didn't want to mention anything negative, so I was hoping I could talk about the course I'm currently studying and how it is helping me to prepare to return to university, without going on about why I left previously.
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emmf2310
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#43
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#43
Hey I hope you don't mind but I have another question - how can I include information about the EPQ I did in a succinct way? I'm not sure how much I should talk about it but it's really relevant to an Anthropology course I'm interested in so don't want to leave it out. Thanks again
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#44
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#44
(Original post by emmf2310)
Hey I hope you don't mind but I have another question - how can I include information about the EPQ I did in a succinct way? I'm not sure how much I should talk about it but it's really relevant to an Anthropology course I'm interested in so don't want to leave it out. Thanks again
emmf2310 Hi, thanks for getting in touch again. That sounds like a great thing to mention in your personal statement, especially as it shows your passion for the subject.

Definitely talk about the research and independent study skills you gained from doing the project, and link back to how this would be useful in a university degree. Also, if you made any findings or came to a conclusion in the project, it would be great to mention this as proof of your academic skills - it'll show the research is personal to you, and could also make your statement stand out.

If you're struggling for space in your statement, I would suggest that 2 clear and concise sentences about this should be enough.
Thanks - Nia
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lucyyy.2003
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#45
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#45
any tips of what to include when applying to LSE for Management degree?
Last edited by lucyyy.2003; 3 weeks ago
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#46
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#46
(Original post by lucyyy.2003)
any tips of what to include when applying to LSE for Management degree?
lucyyy.2003 Hi Lucy, I can't give specific tips on what LSE will be looking for, so it may be best to ask this on their Student Room applicant thread here.

My general tips for writing a Management degree personal statement would be to show your passion for the subject by talking about any extra-curricular work you have done which relate to the degree (volunteering, work experience, reading around the subject). See if you can draw any transferable skills from these experiences, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, initiative, leadership or entrepreneurial flair. These will all be key skills for a Management degree.

You could also look at what topics appear in the modules for the degree (by looking at university prospectuses) and see if they relate to any topics you studied at school/college. For example, you may have studied accounting, finance or marketing previously and could display your academic interest by talking about previous projects. You could look at year 3 modules at universities to get an idea of the more in depth topics that you could go on to study. At Swansea University, we offer topics such as investment banking, data mining and innovation management. Discussing how these would fit in with any career ambitions you have could be a good way to explain your goals to the admissions tutor and help you stand out from the crowd.

Hope this helps, good luck! Nia
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#47
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#47
Thank you for your questions today, myself & Elliot will be back from 9am tomorrow to answer any other questions you have.
Thanks - Nia
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aditianand_x
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#48
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#48
(Original post by University of Leicester)
Morning everyone, Elliot here from the University of Leicester. I'm here all week with my colleague Nia from Swansea University to answer all your questions on all things personal statements.

There's no such thing as a silly question so fire away .

1st tip - Make a plan. Your statement needs to read well so make sure you plan out how you're going to structure it, where your key bits of evidence are going to slot in and how you're going to round it off. #PostItNotesForTheWin
Do you have to talk about your a levels in your ps?
I want to apply for environmental science and have taken biology, chemistry, maths, and I don't know how to include them and link them to my course.
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University of Leicester
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#49
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#49
(Original post by aditianand_x)
Do you have to talk about your a levels in your ps?
I want to apply for environmental science and have taken biology, chemistry, maths, and I don't know how to include them and link them to my course.
Hey aditianand_x we do recommend talking about your A Levels yes. if the specific content isn't totally relevant to the course you're applying, think about the skills you've developed within these that'll help you on environmental science (e.g. data analysis, problem solving, independent work/group work etc - check the course description(s) for the unis you're considering to look for any specifics) then talk about examples within your A Levels that have helped you develop these skills .

Hope that helps! Good luck Elliot
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University of Leicester
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#50
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#50
Morning everyone, happy Wednesday. Elliot here from the University of Leicester with you this morning to answer all of your personal statement questions and queries with my colleague Nia from Swansea University taking over the reins this afternoon .
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thanos34
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#51
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#51
Hey, how can I include things about my background in my PS? I had some experiences in my childhood that led to me wanting to study the subject I want to study, but I dont want to sound cliche. Any advice?
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University of Leicester
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#52
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#52
(Original post by thanos34)
Hey, how can I include things about my background in my PS? I had some experiences in my childhood that led to me wanting to study the subject I want to study, but I dont want to sound cliche. Any advice?
Hey thanos34 good question. we tend to find with specific childhood anecdotes they never sound cliche because they are personal to you. I'd just avoid using stock phrases like 'i have known from an early age I wanted to study x' because a) you didn't know that when you were young and b) lots of people use that.

So just be yourself, reflect on what it was about those experiences that led you to where you are now and that'll really stand out. some of the best personal statements are the ones that really cleverly link something that happened at a young age and how that has manifested itself into wanting to apply for a degree. An example I always use was one from a student applying for Genetics. Their mum had twins when they were young, as a youngster they had no comprehension of how that even works but as they got older and started learning more about Science in Year 8/9 then Biology in GCSEs, they understood more about genetics which had led them on to wanting to study it at a higher level. A great way of utilising their own example but relating it to the subject.

Hope that's been useful? Elliot
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no═
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#53
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#53
I'm currently in the process of writing my personal statement. I'm in a gap year after doing Geography, Economics and Maths at A Level and getting 3 A*s. Since I was rejected from my first choice for UCAS 2021, The Uni of Edinburgh, I decided to take a gap year and attempt to reapply. I was rejected on the basis of my personal statement not being up to standard which is making me really paranoid about rewriting my personal statement as I'm concerned it will not be good enough again. I really struggle to "sell myself" and thus find it difficult to write all sorts of applications such as my CV.
I'm looking to apply to a joint honours Geog/Econ course or just an MA Geography course. I would really appreciate any advice from applicants or current Geog/Econ students!
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twelvenights2
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#54
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#54
Hey, when writing your personal statement what are your top tips for staying under word count? I'm making mine far too long and getting scared about cutting it down!

Is there anything you see that is the most common mistake in personal statements as well?
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#55
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#55
(Original post by no═)
I'm currently in the process of writing my personal statement. I'm in a gap year after doing Geography, Economics and Maths at A Level and getting 3 A*s. Since I was rejected from my first choice for UCAS 2021, The Uni of Edinburgh, I decided to take a gap year and attempt to reapply. I was rejected on the basis of my personal statement not being up to standard which is making me really paranoid about rewriting my personal statement as I'm concerned it will not be good enough again. I really struggle to "sell myself" and thus find it difficult to write all sorts of applications such as my CV.
I'm looking to apply to a joint honours Geog/Econ course or just an MA Geography course. I would really appreciate any advice from applicants or current Geog/Econ students!
@no═ Thanks for your question. I would suggest starting with the basics again, which is to get a good plan down first. Working from a clear plan will ensure your statement is really concise. I would advise:

1. Beginning
Opening paragraph that conveys how excited you are about the course
Why do you want to study the course?
Opening line must make an impact
2. Middle
Middle paragraphs emphasise your skills
Maybe one for your academic course and achievements, and one for your extracurricular hobbies
Give evidence for each point & always link back to why it's relevant to your chosen degree
3. End
Revisit your key points
What makes you unique? What motivates you? Why do you have the potential to study this course?
Talk about future career plans, if you have them
Finish on a positive note & make it memorable

One of the key things here is that each point you make needs to be relevant to why you want to study that degree, so that it's really clear for the admissions tutor.

With respect to jazzing up your statement, is there a particular subject area you're interested in? With Geography for example, it could be climate change, meteorology or something niche like glacial environments and processes. Mentioning your specific interests will make your writing personal & will help you stand out too. It could also be impressive to mention current research at your chosen university - at Swansea, we have a lecturer who has contributed research on animal behaviour to Great Migrations, so showing knowledge of this would signal your passion and ambition as a prospective student.

Finally, if you are able to, ask someone to proof read your statement before you send it off. An English teacher at my sixth form helped a lot with my statement, or you could even ask your parents to read over how clear your points are. Sometimes, university admissions teams are happy to help give points on what your chosen university is looking for in a statement, so you could reach out to them by email too.

Good luck with the writing!

Nia
Last edited by Swansea University Enquiries; 3 weeks ago
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#56
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#56
(Original post by twelvenights2)
Hey, when writing your personal statement what are your top tips for staying under word count? I'm making mine far too long and getting scared about cutting it down!

Is there anything you see that is the most common mistake in personal statements as well?
twelvenights2 Hi! Top tips for keeping under the word count would firstly be not to repeat yourself or your UCAS application. Admissions tutors will see your whole application, so you don't need to mention every subject you've ever studied. Only mention key points that relate to why you want to study the course.

You could also limit how many sentences are used for each point. I was prone to overwriting when I applied for university - my first draft of my statement had points with 5 or more sentences, which ended up being cut down. If you stick to the process of point - evidence - explain, this should help your writing be more concise. I also cut out a lot of words in my redrafts, making sure any unnecessary words were removed, or long phrases shortened.

A common mistake which comes to mind is cliches. These can sound really grand (For as long as I can remember... I have always wanted to...) but actually take away the personal aspect of your statement. Make sure your writing and your experiences are unique to you, as this is what will also gain you marks when completing university assignments.

Hope this helps

Nia
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username5858020
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#57
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#57
Hi, I'm applying to university in the Netherlands and the word limit for the motivation letter is 500 words- I'm very prone to going over the word limit- any tips on how to keep it a bit more concise please? Also, I'm a bit worried about sounding clichéd, e.g.
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#58
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#58
(Original post by amatheflower)
Hi, I'm applying to university in the Netherlands and the word limit for the motivation letter is 500 words- I'm very prone to going over the word limit- any tips on how to keep it a bit more concise please? Also, I'm a bit worried about sounding clichéd, e.g.
Hi amatheflower, thanks for dropping in to ask this.

Having a good plan in place will definitely help your writing be more concise, as it'll keep you on track to only mention key points. I've written out a brief plan in a post above which could help with this. Furthermore, your statement should be focusing on two things - your interest in the course, and why you are a perfect fit to study that course. Keep these two questions on a post-it note when you're writing, and make sure all your points link back to one of these ideas.

In terms of being cliched, UCAS names the top 5 cliched openings as:
1. 'From a young age…'
2. 'For as long as I can remember…
3. 'I am applying for this course because…'
4. 'I have always been interested in…'
5. 'Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…'


I'm sure you can see a trend here too... If you avoid these story-telling phrases, and stick to personal experiences which are well-evidenced (through volunteering work, work experience, reading, online courses, discussions with academics), you should be able to avoid a cliched style.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with

Nia
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username5858020
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#59
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#59
(Original post by Swansea University Enquiries)
Hi amatheflower, thanks for dropping in to ask this.

Having a good plan in place will definitely help your writing be more concise, as it'll keep you on track to only mention key points. I've written out a brief plan in a post above which could help with this. Furthermore, your statement should be focusing on two things - your interest in the course, and why you are a perfect fit to study that course. Keep these two questions on a post-it note when you're writing, and make sure all your points link back to one of these ideas.

In terms of being cliched, UCAS names the top 5 cliched openings as:
1. 'From a young age…'
2. 'For as long as I can remember…
3. 'I am applying for this course because…'
4. 'I have always been interested in…'
5. 'Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…'


I'm sure you can see a trend here too... If you avoid these story-telling phrases, and stick to personal experiences which are well-evidenced (through volunteering work, work experience, reading, online courses, discussions with academics), you should be able to avoid a cliched style.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with

Nia
Thank you so much!
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Swansea University Enquiries
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#60
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#60
Thank you for joining us today with your personal statement queries. I'll be back tomorrow at 9am for our final day of the forum - see you then

Nia
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