A personal statement can make or break your application, so you need to make a convincing case for why you deserve a place on the course. Our Assistant Business Development and Recruitment Manager, Raj Purewal, discusses her top tips on how to make your application stand out.
What is a personal statement?
A personal statement supports your application to study at a university. It is a chance for you to articulate why you would like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for your chosen field. At WBS, we use personal statements to understand your reasoning behind applying to a course.
How long should a personal statement be?
Your personal statement should approximately one side of A4 (approximately 500 words), and so it needs to be concise and to the point.
What should be included in a personal statement?
A personal statement should include a brief overview of who you are, your strengths and any work experience and/or education you have. Be sure to include skills you have gained, such as time management, customer service, teamwork, computer skills etc. During your application, you should also include the reason why you are applying for a particular course. Make sure you include your ambitions and future career goals, as well as what interests you about the subject, the course provider, and higher education. Your personal statement is also the perfect opportunity for you to highlight any clubs or societies that you belong to or extra-curricular activities that you take part in.
How should a personal statement be structured?
In order to structure your personal statement make sure you answer the following questions:
- Why are you applying for your chosen course?
- Why does this subject area interest you?
- Why do you think you are suitable for the course?
- Do your current or previous studies relate to the course that you have chosen?
- Have you taken part in any other extra-curricular activities that demonstrate your interest in the course?
It is important that you do your research on the course you are applying for, and if possible briefly mention certain modules and link this to a key area of your learning. You can also include any other achievements which you are proud of, as this is what will make your application unique.
How should you start a personal statement?
The best way to start a personal statement would be to start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you are interested in studying the area you are applying for and ensure that it reflects your enthusiasm for it. The opening of a personal statement is also your chance to introduce yourself, so make sure it is genuine.
How should you end a personal statement?
Looking ahead to the future is an optimistic way to conclude your personal statement. This can indicate that you are goal-oriented, which is an admirable quality. It will also show that you have carefully thought about how this university course fits into your plans.
What should you avoid writing in a personal statement?
Do not mention a specific university. Unless you reveal otherwise, we will think that you really only want to come to us! It is also a good idea to avoid quotes and clichés – we receive a lot of applications so you really want yours to be distinctive in order to stand out.
What are recruitment coordinators looking for in your personal statement?
They are looking for you to express why you are interested in the MSc course you are applying for; it has to be unique to you. We want to learn more about you and your motivations. Most importantly we want to understand how this will help develop you both personally and professionally.
Applications for our one-year MSc courses are open on a continuous basis, however, demand for our MSc courses is very high so we recommend that you apply as early as possible. Find out more about our range of business, finance and management MSc courses.