Writing your statement

quillYou have up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines (whichever you reach first), to tell the admissions tutors about yourself in relation to the course. This is your chance to outline the experiences, abilities, motivations and achievements that show why you will make a fantastic undergraduate on their course.

Keep in mind who is going to read it. Then imagine the admissions tutor with a stack of hundreds of UCAS forms. You will be competing against a number of other students for the same place. What are you going to do to make your form stand out?

Make it sharp, crisp, interesting, to the point and clear. Make sure the structure is clear so they can skim-read it quickly. Avoid the following:

  • Waffle (meaningful sentences only please!)
  • Bluff (don’t try and sound like a professor from the 1900s – be yourself)
  • Repetition (saying something over and over doesn’t strengthen the point – it weakens it)
  • Clichés (“I’ve always wanted to study…”)
  • Starting every sentence with ‘I’ (come up with more interesting and varied openers)

What kind of person are they looking for?

Demonstrate through examples some of the following attributes:

  • Passion for the subject
  • Ability to lead
  • Effective communication
  • Commitment, dedication and enthusiasm
  • Hard work
  • Understanding of roles within teams
  • Maturity of thought
  • Awareness of current affairs
  • Sense of responsibility
  • Intellectual prowess
  • Motivation to study independently
  • A well-rounded individual with a range of interests

Structure

We have given a suggested structure for your statement – the size of each section will vary for everyone. For top universities you should aim for at least 75% academic / 25% non-academic.

Introduction. Why do you want to study this particular course?

Your interest in the subject. What have you done in school that makes you a better candidate, but that also makes you stand out from your peers? What you’ve read, around and beyond your subject. What have you done that shows genuine interest? This should be the longest section, split into several paragraphs.

Wider Skills. Here is where you explain your non-academic achievements which have developed key skills making you a well-rounded individual.

Conclusion. This is the last thing that the tutor will read so summarise exactly why they should select you and what you’re looking forward to about university life.