Ucas Personal Statement Examples Postgraduate Education

Personal statements for postgraduate study applications

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Before you start

When considering postgraduate study, as with any career move, it is essential that you think carefully about what you want to achieve before you get started with the application process. Postgraduate courses can be costly in terms of both time and money. However, properly selected, they can be an enjoyable and effective way of enchancing your career prospects. It’s therefore very important to spend time researching the available options; doing this thoroughly will also enhance the quality of your personal statement.

What is a personal statement?

In a nutshell, it is your opportunity to demonstrate to postgraduate course providers that a course is right for you and that you have the potential to successfully complete the course or research programme. Often you are given prompts to give you an indication of what areas you need to cover in your personal statement. 

In most cases you are given one page of A4 to make your case which equates to between 300 and 500 words. Not all postgraduate course providers will give you prompts so it is worth looking for those that do so for similar courses to help you identify the key issues that need to be addressed. If you are applying for a postgraduate research degree, your personal statement will almost certainly need to include an outline of your research proposal, and you should speak to the department you are applying to before embarking on this.

Who will read the personal statement?

This will usually be either an admissions tutor for a taught postgraduate course or the project supervisor for a postgraduate research programme (e.g. MRes or PhD supervisor). For taught and research masters courses there will probably be a large number of applications. Admissions tutors will often have several decisions to make. Firstly, they will decide who is eligible to be accepted on the course. Secondly, if there are too many eligible applicants they will decide who has priority. Thirdly, where there are studentships available that pay for fees, living expenses etc. an admissions tutor (or a panel of academics) will decide which applicants will be given such awards.

How to write an effective personal statement

  • Write in excellent English or another relevant language
  • Proof-read your personal statement for any grammatical or linguistic errors
  • Write in a style that is clear, logical, concise and not too elaborate or complicated.

Before you start

  • Research the course, department and institution thoroughly.
  • Think about the evidence you will include to demonstrate that you have the right skills, knowledge and experience for the course.
  • Decide how you will structure the personal statement. There is no ‘ideal’ structure; make sure that you present your case in a clear and logical way.

Those reading your personal statement will be looking for:

  • A clear understanding of why you want to do the course.
  • An understanding of why you want to do the course at that institution.
  • An insight into your overall abilities (including academic, work based and personal achievements) and an explanation of how they have prepared you for the content and demands of the course.
  • How your academic background and work experience will contribute to your ability to get the most out of the course.
  • A sense that the course links to (and potentially builds on) what what you have done in the past, and how it relates to what you want to do in the future.
  • Evidence of your communication skills, an indicator of how well you are likely to perform on course assessments and course requirements in general (e.g. presentations, group work, written reports).
  • Commitment and enthusiasm. This is usually revealed by the way in which you write about the reasons that you have selected the course. It is not good enough just to say that you are committed and motivated; it needs to be very clear why this is true.

Do's and don'ts when writing your personal statement

  • Do allocate enough time to writing your statement – it usually takes a lot of time to get it right, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
  • Do make sure that you carefully read and follow any instructions relating to the personal statement.
  • Do find clear and specific reasons for wanting to do that specific course at that institution.
  • Do write a response within the word limit set. Don’t be tempted to get around limits by using a very small font.
  • Do write a separate personal statement for each application. Even if the courses you are applying for are very similar and at similar institutions it is unlikely that they will need exactly the same response.
  • Do make sure that you think carefully about your positive qualities and achievements and how they help demonstrate that you will be successful on the course.
  • Do remember that work experience, hobbies, volunteering activities etc. are potentially important sources of evidence.
  • Do be as definite as possible in the way you word your statement. Don’t say "I hope to do this", "I might like to do that". Instead it would be better if you could say "I want to/intend to do this".
  • Don’t try to flatter the organisation that you are applying to, unless they really are the very best in the world.
  • Don’t put any embellishments or untrue information into your application.
  • Don’t overstate your achievements - write them in a way that makes your achievements clear but does not seem overly boastful.
  • Don’t repeat information that is already dealt with in sufficient detail elsewhere in the application.

After you've finished the personal statement

  • Review your personal statement several times, making sure you’ve included all information asked for and checking for errors.
  • You can get feedback on your application from a Careers Adviser by booking a quick query appointment.

Other useful information and example personal statements

Personal statements for teacher training applications

Before starting your application you need to think carefully about whether you want to be a primary school teacher or a secondary school teacher and which subjects you want to teach, as well as looking into the various training options. It is well worth looking at the Get into Teaching website provided by the Department for Education and at the relevant sections of the Prospects.ac.uk website (search for either primary or secondary school teacher). 

Advice and examples on writing a personal statement for teacher training applications: 

 

We hope our collection of UCAS Education personal statements provides inspiration for writing your own. Please do not plagiarise them in any way, or UCAS will penalise your application. Our Personal Statement Editing & Review Services are available if you feel you need a little extra help.

If you are applying to university in the USA, please visit Studential.com/us.

Early Childhood Studies Personal Statement

Throughout the first year of the course I have gained 5 merits and 2 pass grades. I enjoy learning and extending my knowledge of children and child development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work placements, as in the placements I have been able to extend both my practical and theoretical knowledge...

Education/Drama Personal Statement (Oxbridge)

"I shall have poetry in my life. And adventure. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart, come ruin or rapture." Perhaps one should not begin with the words of another when presenting oneself, but as an actress, utilising the words of others is something that has become second nature...

I have chosen the courses listed because I feel that these will benefit me most in my goal to become a primary school teacher. After experiencing the BA (Hons.) Performance: Theatre at Saint Johns College, York, I decided it was not the course I wanted to do, and that a Primary Education degree would be a better preparation for teaching rather than a one year PGCE course...

I have always been enthusiastic about English. I spent a lot of time reading when I was younger and feel that this benefited me by encouraging me to develop and learn quickly. I had a vivid imagination as a child, possibly influenced by my interest in the captivating work of such authors as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Charles Kingsley...

What particularly captivated me towards working in the area of psychological background is when my younger brother started speaking to his 'imaginary friend'. From observation I noticed he would become aggressive, often throw temper tantrums as he was not able to express himself through neither words nor thoughts...

I have wanted to pursue a career in Primary Education for several years now. I also greatly enjoy my studies of English, having achieved A grades at AS level in both English Literature and English Language, which is why I wish to study this as a specialism...

Teaching Personal Statement

I am a fun loving, outgoing, and sociable girl. I love kids and working with them. My calling is to teach children; inside and outside the church. I am currently going to Bakersfield College studying Liberal studies...

Childhood Studies Personal Statement

I have chosen to apply for a degree course in working with children and young people as I enjoy learning and extending my knowledge of children and their development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work as a qualified nursery nurse, working 5 years with Sure Start, and being heavily involved within a multi disciplinary team, and enjoying the satisfaction achieved through working as a team member and helping and sign posting disadvantages children and their families to the relevant professionals...

Primary Teaching Personal Statement

I have chosen to apply for a primary teaching degree because I enjoy working with children. I have a strong interest in teaching and the learning process of children. This is been confirmed by my work experience report...

I am one of ten, so you may see why I would like to work with children. I wasn't always sure as to what profession I would like to join but for the past couple of years it has became apparent that I want to work with children...

Primary Education Personal Statement

I am applying for the listed courses as I have very much enjoyed and found satisfying the experiences I have had working with children in my life so far. I feel that becoming a teacher will fulfil my dream of being able to aid children in learning things as well as assisting the staff that work with me...

Primary English Personal Statement

Confidence and good communication skills have continuously helped me to interact well with people. Having had many jobs that involve contact with the public, I feel this has allowed me to better these skills through situations that have sometimes challenged me...

Primary PGCE Personal Statement

I am currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood studies at Birmingham University. It is my ambition to go on to study for a Primary PGCE. I became interested in teaching whilst raising my own children...

Early Childhood Studies Personal Statement

As an Early Childhood Studies graduate I feel achieving the Early Year's Professional Status is a natural progression in my career in order to become a competent and professional practitioner. I view the opportunity to gain the status as contributing to high quality practice and raising the standards in the Early Years and making a difference, with the children's holistic development at the centre, enabling them to reach their full learning potential...

Psychology and Education Personal Statement

Childcare, as well as Psychology has fascinated me in all aspects of my school education and this motivated me to enter 6th form; the A levels that I took were based around the mental development of young children...

Early Childhood Studies Personal Statement

My interest in young children first began my niece was born while my sister was still living with us. On a daily basis I would help care for the baby and I gained a large sense of my responsibility over those four years...

Primary education Personal Statement

My ultimate goal is to become a primary school teacher. I have a fondness for children and believe that they can be taught valuable life lessons during their time in primary school in addition to the content of the National Curriculum...

Early Childhood Studies Personal Statement

I first realised that I wanted my future career to be based around working with children completely by accident. I had started a college course which wasn't right for me, and had left during the first year...

High school personal statement

Hi ! My name's Lan and I'm a 15-year-old student from Vietnam.It's time for me to go to Gymnasium now and I found Kungsholmens to be the ideal school for me.I just came to Sweden for more than half a year so I don't have much experience about schools around here but I've heard many good comments about Kungsholmens Gymnasium and it's said to be one of the best school in Stockholm that has IB program which I'm choosing to study in Gymnasium...

Primary Education Personal Statement

. A big passion of mine involves anything remotely creative. I have numerous creative outlets such as card making, jewellery making or even something simple as designing a new house in computer game. My main outlet thought is food...

Physical Education Personal Statement

Whether watching or participating, Sport can be fun, exciting and at times rewarding. This is a personal view, but it is likely to be a view which is shared by other people of all ages. My enthusiasm for Sport first came to light when I was picked to try out for the County Trials, in Netball...

Education Personal Statement

Throughout life, my aspiration in terms of prospective careers has been shared by both education and business. The allure of an education degree to me is the prospect of some day stimulating the minds of young individuals and becoming an influential figure in their lives...

Primary Education Personal Statement

Ever since I can remember I have always held aspirations to become a primary school teacher. Earlier this year I acted on this and am now working as a classroom assistant at Carrick Knowe Primary School on a voluntary basis...

Teaching Personal Statement

I am applying for these courses because I believe it will help me succeed in my dream to become a teacher. I have always craved teaching and learning, one of my first memories is of me, around the ages of 4 teaching my toys how to count and taking a register, ever since then I have known I wanted to be a teacher and nothing was going to stop me...

Early Childhood Studies Personal Statement

Ever since I could remember I have always wanted to play a big part in children’s education. As I was growing up I could see children of my age in Africa struggling to go to school because of their circumstances...

Primary Teaching Personal Statement

I am hard-working, confident and conscientious and have a keen desire to be a primary school teacher. Working every day at an after school club for primary age students has given me excellent experience in this field and confidence in my ability in it...

Primary Education with QTS Personal Statement

Education is defined in its broadest sense as any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. This statement has etched an indelible and deeply profound mark on my recent career choices and philosophy...

Primary Education Personal Statement

Having a long term goal of working with children, I believe I am particularly suited to a degree in primary education. Coming from a large family with children and pets, I have always been a responsible individual, enjoying babysitting and helping with homework, seeing them as activities rather than chores...

Primary Education/Education Studies Personal Statement

Being the eldest of five I have always been surrounded by children and I have become a natural leader and carer. I think that education is a very important part of childhood, and I believe that primary school years are the most formative...

Primary Education Personal Statement

I find it bitterly ironic that the likes of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky (both of whom were male psychologists) contributed many ideas that revolutionised childcare, yet there is a shortage of males working in this particular field - this is one of many reasons why I would like to pursue a career in primary education...

Primary Education Personal Statement

I am applying to study within the education department because I have a keen interest to work with younger children and pursue a career as a Primary school teacher. I believe Primary School Teachers are extremely important as they support children through their first experience of going to school, giving them their first insight into education...

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