Female student on campus carrying a laptop

What is a personal statement?

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell your admissions tutor why you’re the right student to be offered a place on your chosen course. We don’t interview all our applicants so this is your one chance to sell yourself for courses that don’t require an interview.
If you do apply for a course that does invite candidates to interview, your personal statement may also form the basis of your interview.

When I read your personal statement, the first thing I look for is enthusiasm about the subject. Your statement should paint a picture of why you want to study your degree. If you know what you want to do after the course, that is great but it is not essential.

Your outside interests and work experience can show more about you – which topics have already engaged you and which books have you read? Have you been a trusted person at work? Have you volunteered to help others learn at school? Have you trained people in a sport? Any of these things makes you a stronger applicant.

Dr Martin Lavelle, Associate Head of School and Admissions Tutor (School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics)


You can only write 47 lines and a maximum of 4,000 characters

There is also a minimum of 1,000 characters, so use these wisely.

The form does not have spell check

We recommend completing and spell checking the form in Word or equivalent and then copying the text across when you are ready. The form also times out after 35 minutes, so save it regularly as you don’t want to lose your hard work. 

Remember to be honest

Think about what makes you interesting, special or unique. Try and show your passion for your chosen course. 

Map out your ideas

Set your thoughts in writing and then build these up into paragraphs.

75% of your statement should cover your academic strengths, motivation and interests

Why did you choose this course? How will it benefit you studying on it?

The remaining 25% should cover skills not directly related to your course 

For example, this could cover your personal achievements, career aspirations, life skills and strengths.
Student aboard a marine vessel
Student working in a laboratory
Student working on geological rock formations
Two students working on a scupture in a workshop

Your personal statement checklist