Review the personal statement for your postgraduate application

A fair few of you are now thinking about applying for postgraduate study and what to include in the personal statement.

It’s great if you can  speak to a Career Development Adviser beforehand to review the statement but if time is running short then here is a checklist of what should typically should or could be included. Our advice is to follow all instructions and guidance given by the institution on word count, what exactly to include, if it needs to be in sections and any other advice given.

Essentially though you are taking the reader/s ( admissions tutor and lecturers) on a journey with you from what you have done to why you want to do this course now and also beyond.

Organise  the statement with a clear structure

  • Introduce yourself and your interests
  • Give good strong and clear reasons for applying … why do you want to do this course ?
  • Explain how the course links to current or previous study. Any particular modules that link? Does your dissertation relate to it in any way? Can you discuss that in more detail?
  • Any work or voluntary experience that might relate or be relevant?
  • What key skills do you have both related to academia and if relevant, to employment?
  • Are there any weaknesses  you need to address, for example have you failed any modules and why did this happen and what did you do to address the situation e.g more time spent in reading and working on this ?
  • Why do you want to go to this university? As you apply to each one individually  you can say more about the university and what attracts you to it.
  • Are there any research projects they are working on or any work by lecturers there you have come across who’s work has inspired or interested you?
  • What facilities have they got that attract you to the university?
  • How will studying this course be of benefit?
  • What might you hope to do in the future with the qualification?

And what not to do…

  • Make spelling and grammar errors
  • Copy and paste the same information across different applications
  • Exaggerate qualifications or experience
  • Use clichés, hackneyed phrases or text speak

There is more help on applying for postgraduate study on our website.


  Eric Domond via Compfight





careerspostgraduateskillstransferable skills

Pamela Coppola • 09/01/2019

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