Writing a personal statement for a medicine or dentistry application

Everything you need to know about writing your personal statement

What is a personal statement?

UCAS describes a personal statement as a a chance to describe your ambitions, skills, and experience to university and college admissions staff. This your your chance to sell yourself to the university admissions teams, explaining why you are a great fit for the course.

Your personal statement supports your academic qualifications because we don’t just want students who can meet our entry requirements; we will also consider whether the applicant is suitably motivated to complete their chosen programme of study. We want to know whether you will enjoy the course content (this is where ensuring you’ve researched the course you’re applying for really comes in to play).

Please note that the University of Plymouth does use personal statements as a selection tool for interview.

What to include

  • Remember you need to tell us why you are suitable to study medicine or dentistry. You’re limited in length so be sure to be concise and sell yourself as well as possible.
  • Create a plan, you can only write 4,000 characters so plan what you want to cover before you start.
  • Look in detail at the course descriptions – these can help you decide what to cover.
  • Cover your strengths, motivations and interests academically and personally. Include elements such as clubs and personal achievements. 
  • Ensure you double check your spelling and grammar. Remember the online UCAS form doesn’t have spell/grammar check and times out after 35 minutes.
  • Include any relevant work experience or volunteering experience you’ve done.