Personal Statement - Environmental Science

Environmental Science Personal Statement

I turned to her and asked "Why do you love your job so much?" Her reply was simple, yet powerful, "I am able to help something which is defenceless". This exchange of words took place while flying to Colorado, speaking to a woman whose job it was to work alongside oil companies to research their environmental impact on the physical landscape around them. As the conversation continued over the duration of the flight, I became inspired by the projects she had worked upon and started to realise that a subject I had enjoyed taking at school could progress into further education, and on to higher education. My love for the environment has stemmed from my appreciation for the natural power that it holds, and how something we have taken for granted, such as water, can cause a catastrophe like the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This, coupled with an inspiring Geography teacher in secondary school has led me to explore these topics further through education and personal interest. The media often only expresses the social and medical impacts that natural disasters have on our society, such as the recent earthquakes in Haiti and the outbreak of Cholera. They focus less on the physical impacts these events can have to our environment, for instance Mount Pinatubo's eruption in 1991 having an effect on the global climate. I am particularly captivated by volcanoes and the processes of an eruption. My interest in this area increased after studying the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and looking at the events surrounding and during the eruption, such as the pyroclastic flow. Understanding why these events happen has intrigued me. My enthusiasm for skiing has allowed me to travel to different environments, such as the Rocky Mountains and Glaciers in Europe, and see the earth's formation in a visual perspective which can only be described as awe-inspiring. I have also travelled to Belize, and experienced the incredible 'Great Blue Hole' located near the Lighthouse Reef. My experiences with different environments has given me an unconditional respect for the power of our earth. I am currently attending an Access to Higher Education; Social Sciences course, on which I study Environmental Studies, Biology, Sociology and Psychology. This course has not only provided me with the educational requirements I need to progress into higher education, but has allowed me to develop my personal skills in organisation, independent study, essay and report writing, ICT skills and the ability to embrace new concepts. Alongside my studies, I have committed my time to reading various environmental research journals and articles, and watch documentaries, including Planet Earth and Blue Planet. Making myself aware of environmental issues and the development of the earth has assisted me in understanding in more depth the subjects that I study. The opportunity to study at University will allow me to understand the environment in a more advanced manner and develop my understanding in a topic that I am fascinated by. This will empower me to focus my academic studies into an area which I love in more depth and which will give me the technical skills and knowledge I require to progress further in this subject than I would without University education. As the environment and the impacts we have on it is becoming an increasing worry for our society, studying in this subject area at university will put me into a position to be able to help understand, research and combat these issues. Being able to study the earth's environment will not only fulfil a desire I have to further understand the natural processes, but allow me to be a part of a movement that will inspire a younger generation, like I was inspired, to be educated on the environment and proceed to carry on the work of the many scientists, researchers and other personnel to understand our planet and create a more sustainable and resourceful way of living.

Universities Applied to:

  • University of Durham (Earth Sciences) - Rejection
  • University of Leicester (Physical Geography) - Offer (Distinction in all Units)
  • University of Southampton (Geography) - Withdrew
  • University of Portsmouth (Environmental Science) - Offer (Merits in all Units) Firm
  • University of East Anglia (Environmental Sciences) - Offer (Pass of Access to HE course) Insurance

Grades Achieved:

  • Access to HE - Biology - Merit
  • Access to HE - Environmental Studies - Distinction
  • Access to HE - Psychology - Merit
  • Access to HE - Sociology - Merit


I am a mature student (21) and decided to go back to education to gain a university standard education. Due to the courses around me, I was forced to take a Social Sciences Access to HE course rather than a pure Sciences course, which obviously was less than optimal for a pure science based subject.

I did not receive an offer to Durham, which was to be expected and withdrew my application from Southampton due to not being impressed when the course on my interview day.I received offers from UEA, Portsmouth and Leicester, but decided overall to go with Portsmouth due to the content of the course and the possibility of continuing to do a masters at the university which is extremely interesting to me (Masters in Geological and Environmental Hazards).

Comments from both UEA and Southampton on my interview day reguarded my personal statement as 'Excellent' and commenting on the introduction into the personal statement as eye-catching. I attempted to put as much of my interests to do with the subject in my personal statement, including some personal experiences. I also wanted to express the passion I have for the Physical side of the subject, Rather than the human side.