Writing a personal statement As part of the application process, all applicants must write a personal statement. This statement should help maximise your chances in the application process. The personal statement is a very significant part of the application. It is your opportunity to tell universities about your suitability for the course(s) that you hope to study. You need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment and, above all, ensure that you stand out from the crowd. While every effort has been made to ensure that the accuracy of the information provided here is correct, you should note that it is advisable to check with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and individual universities for confirmed details. You should include in your personal statement: The application process and personal statement Applications to undergraduate degree courses will be made online through the UCAS website. In the application you will be asked to complete a number of sections including personal details, course details, education and qualification details. The personal statement can be up to 4,000 characters in length (including spaces) or 47 lines of text (including blank lines), whichever comes first. • why you want to study the course/s you have applied for – this makes it important to ensure that your course choice/s do not vary wildly; • evidence that you clearly understand what the subject entails and any career exploration you have undertaken; • confirmation that you have the skill set to succeed in your studies (eg organisational, communication, team working, time management) using examples where possible; and • any extracurricular interests or achievements (sport, music, part-time work), especially those which identify positions of leadership or responsibility you have held. Remember to relate how these achievements/skills acquired may help you in your studies. 164 Where the demand for a particular course is very high, your personal statement takes on extra significance. For many vocational/professional courses (eg medicine, teacher training, allied health professions), specific career exploration is required. For example, for applications to Allied health profession courses, universities will want to see evidence that you have experience which demonstrates: • specific experience in your chosen career area (eg visiting hospital departments or work shadowing); and • general experience of working with others (eg nursing homes, day-care centres, voluntary work). You would be expected to highlight what you have learnt from this experience. You should also be able to show that you have an empathetic nature and an ability to work well with other people.