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Ok to mention a topic in your personal statement if the topic is taught at A Level?

Hi all,

In my geography personal statement I have talked about a book I read on geopolitics and how this book also changed my perception of globalisation. However, both geopolitics and globalisation are topics covered on my A Level specification and, from what I understand, universities like to see evidence of going beyond the curriculum in personal statements. Whilst I have also talked about other experiences that are related to topics that do not appear on my A Level specification, and obviously reading this book has allowed me to look at both topics in a greater depth, I was wondering if having these topics on there will weaken my application?

Thanks.
Original post by Ponnken
Hi all,

In my geography personal statement I have talked about a book I read on geopolitics and how this book also changed my perception of globalisation. However, both geopolitics and globalisation are topics covered on my A Level specification and, from what I understand, universities like to see evidence of going beyond the curriculum in personal statements. Whilst I have also talked about other experiences that are related to topics that do not appear on my A Level specification, and obviously reading this book has allowed me to look at both topics in a greater depth, I was wondering if having these topics on there will weaken my application?

Thanks.


Hi!! I think that’s fine to do. You can always say your interest in your a levels led you to read the book. As long as you learnt something new from the book that was not in your spec it should be fine, as it shows you’re going into more in depth knowledge!
Hope this helps and good luck with uni! 😁
Reply 2
You could say that because you studied it in your course it interested you and researched it further out of school, showing your interest in the subject
Reply 3
Original post by Ponnken
Hi all,

In my geography personal statement I have talked about a book I read on geopolitics and how this book also changed my perception of globalisation. However, both geopolitics and globalisation are topics covered on my A Level specification and, from what I understand, universities like to see evidence of going beyond the curriculum in personal statements. Whilst I have also talked about other experiences that are related to topics that do not appear on my A Level specification, and obviously reading this book has allowed me to look at both topics in a greater depth, I was wondering if having these topics on there will weaken my application?

Thanks.


No, these topics will not weaken you, and in fact you would be hard-pressed in many cases to not have this occur. Reading beyond the curricuum can mean things that aren't mentioned in what you're learning at school, but when you have things like science for example (even social ones), you are going to find that your interests overlap with the required curriculum. There is going to be an obvious and hard limit to those assessing your application as to what is taught at A level, compared to what somebody has read extra about, and mentioning what you've learnt and where you've learnt it nullifies any negative effects here. Right now I'm applying for psychology, but for example, it would be ludicrous to expect I keep away from the curriculum at large by avoiding psychopathology (esentially mental health), and I demonstrate my interest it with further learning. Do not be worried- this overlap is normal and not something to be concerned about.
Useful list of extra-reading etc per subject from Cambridge - useful for all Unis - https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/sites/www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/super-curricular_suggestions.pdf
And a good guide ti how to incorporate this sort of stuff into your PS - https://www.worc.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/page/supercurricular_guide_0.pdf

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