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How to write a UCAS personal statement

A student writing a personal statement on a laptop

Writing a great personal statement

Read our guide on what it is, what to include, how to start, length and what makes a good personal statement 

Once you've decided which universities and courses to apply for, completing your application is pretty simple – until it comes to how to write your UCAS personal statement.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to write a personal statement for university. We look at what it is and how you can start your personal statement. We've also got questions to guide you and a suggested personal statement structure you can use so you know what to put in it.

If you'd like even more resources, support and UCAS personal statement examples, you can sign up to access our personal statement hub .

What is the UCAS personal statement?

How universities use your ucas personal statement, how to start a ucas personal statement.

  • Get feedback on your UCAS personal statement

The personal statement is part of your UCAS application. It's how you show your chosen universities why you'll make a great student and why they should make you an offer.

Your personal statement also helps you think about your choice of course and your reasons for applying, so you know you’ve made the right decision.

Get feedback on your personal statement

Sign up to our personal statement hub to get feedback on your draft. You'll also get access to videos, help sheets and more tips.

Sign up now

UCAS personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. 

This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper.

You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Applying for multiple courses

Although you can apply for up to 5 courses on your UCAS application, you can only submit 1 personal statement. So it needs to cover all your course choices.

If you really want to show your commitment to applying for different courses, we will accept a second personal statement from you to reflect your application e.g. if you are applying for Law elsewhere, but Criminology and Criminal Justice with us.

Lots of students who apply to university have achieved the basic entry requirements and many more students apply than there are places available. Admissions teams can use your UCAS personal statement to get to know you and decide why you're more suitable than other applicants.

Some universities read every personal statement and score them. Then they use them alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you a place or interview. Other universities put less emphasis on the personal statement and use it with students who have borderline entry requirements.

Universities might refer to your personal statement again on results day if you don't get the grades you need. So a good personal statement could clinch you a uni place even if your grades aren't what you hoped for.

Starting your personal statement can seem scary when you're staring at a blank screen. But, things will seem less daunting once you start.

  • Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
  • Write down anything and everything that's influenced your decision to go to university and study your chosen subject. Jot down your skills and experience too.
  • Use the questions below to guide you. Don't worry about the personal statement length at this point – you can cut things out later.

When to start your UCAS personal statement

Ideally, you want to leave yourself plenty of time – a few weeks or even months – to plan and write your personal statement.

Try not to leave it to the last minute, as tempting as this may seem when you've got so many other things to think about.

Questions to guide you

Your motivation.

  • Why do you want to study at university?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • How did you become interested in this subject?
  • What career do you have in mind after university?

Academic ability and potential

  • How have your current studies affected your choice?
  • What do you enjoy about your current studies?
  • What skills have you gained from your current studies?
  • How can you demonstrate you have the skills and qualities needed for the course?
  • What qualities and attributes would you bring to the course and university?

Your experience

  • What work experience (including part-time, charity and volunteer work) do you have and what have you learnt from it?
  • What positions of responsibility have you held? (For example, prefect, captain of a team or member of a committee)
  • What relevant hobbies or interests do you have and what skills have they helped you develop?
  • What transferable skills do you have, such as self motivation, team working, public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking?

Research and reading

  • How do you keep up with current affairs or news in your chosen subject?
  • What journals or publications relevant to your chosen subject do you read?
  • Which people have influenced you, such as artists, authors, philosophers or scientists?

Now it's time to write your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, and remember to save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with it.

Personal statement structure

While there's no set template for a personal statement, you may find it useful to follow this personal statement structure when you decide what to put in your statement.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university
  • Summary including why you'll make a great student

Further tips for a good UCAS personal statement

  • Use information on university websites and the UCAS website. This often includes the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
  • Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in. They might remember your successes better than you do
  • Don’t include lists in your application, like a list of all your hobbies. Focus on 1 or 2 points and talk about them in depth to show their relevance to your application
  • Explain and evidence everything. It’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate it with an example of when and how you’ve used it
  • Avoid clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’ as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
  • If you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects, give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities
  • Never lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you

Sign up to our personal statement hub

Watch videos, get top tips and download our help sheets – that's what our personal statement hub is for. It's for you to write your story, so you can show your strengths, ideas and passion to your chosen universities.

You'll also be able send us your draft, so you can get feedback and feel confident about what you've written.

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By Nik Taylor (Editor, The Uni Guide) | 18 August 2023 | 22 min read

How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps

Stand out from the crowd: here's how to write a good personal statement that will get you noticed

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how long should my personal statement be ucas

Your personal statement forms a core part of your university application, and the sooner you get going, the better you can make it. You may think that your personal statement won’t matter as much to unis as your grades and experience but a great personal statement could make all the difference between you and a candidate with the same grades. Sure, your application might not reach that deal breaker stage. But is it something you want to leave to chance?  Here we’ll take you through the process of planning, writing and checking a good personal statement, so you end up with something you can submit with confidence. And to make sure the advice we're giving you is sound, we’ve spoken to admissions staff at loads of UK universities to get their view. Look out for video interviews and advice on applying for specific subjects throughout this piece or watch our personal statement playlist on YouTube .

  • Are you looking for personal statement examples? Check our library of hundreds of real personal statements, on The Student Room

Personal statement deadlines

You'll need to make sure you've got your personal statement written well in advance of your application deadline. Below are the main university application deadline dates for 2024 entry.

2024 entry deadlines

16 October 2023: Deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge universities, along with most medicine, dentistry, and veterinary courses.   31 January 2024: Deadline for applications to the majority of undergraduate courses. After this date, universities will start allocating places on these courses –   but you can still apply after the 31 January deadline , as this article explains . 30 June 2024:  Students who apply after this date will be entered into Clearing .

  • Read more: Ucas deadlines and key application dates

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is a central part of your Ucas application, where you explain why you’ve chosen a particular course and why you’ll be good at it. It's your chance to stand out against other candidates and hopefully get that all-important offer. You only write one personal statement which is then read by each university you apply to, so if you are applying for more than one subject (or it's a combined course) it's crucial that you include common themes or reference the overall skills needed for all subjects. Personal statements are especially important if you’re trying to get on a very competitive course, where you need to do anything you can to stand out to admissions tutors. Courteney Sheppard, senior customer experience manager at Ucas, advises that your personal statement is "the only part of the application that you have direct control over. Do lots of research to demonstrate your passion, curiosity and drive to pursue your chosen subject." There’s a limit on how much you can write: your personal statement can be up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines of 95 characters (including spaces); whichever is shorter. This may appear generous (read: long) but once you've got going you may find yourself having to edit heavily.

  • Read more: teacher secrets for writing a great personal statement

1. Plan what you want to cover

The first thing you need to do is make a plan. Writing a personal statement off the top of your head is difficult. Start by making some notes, answering the following questions:

  • What do you want to study?
  • Why do you want to study it?
  • What is there about you that shows you’re suited to studying this subject at university? Think about your personality, as well as your experiences.
  • What are your other interests and skills?

These few points are going to form the spine of your personal statement, so write them in a way that makes sense to you. You might want to make a simple bulleted list or you might want to get all arty and use a mindmap. Whatever you choose, your aim is the same. You want to get it clear in your own head why a university should offer you a place on its course. Getting those details down isn't always easy, and some people find it helpful to make notes over time. You might try carrying a notebook with you or set up a memo on your phone. Whenever you think of something useful for your personal statement, jot it down. Inspiration sometimes comes more easily when you’re thinking about something else entirely. It might help to take a look at The Student Room for some sample personal statements by university and sample personal statements by subjects , to give you an idea of the kind of thing you want to include. 

  • Read more: personal statement FAQs

2. Show off your experience

Some things are worth adding to your personal statement, some things are not. Firmly in the second camp are your qualifications. You don’t need to mention these as there’s a whole other section of your personal statement where you get to detail them very precisely. Don’t waste a single character going on about how great your GCSE grades are – it’s not what the admissions tutor wants to read. What they do want to see is: what have you done? OK, so you’ve got some good grades, but so do a lot of other applicants. What have you done that’s different, that shows you off as someone who really loves the subject you’re applying for? Spend some time thinking about all the experience you have in that subject. If you’re lucky, this might be direct work experience. That’s going to be particularly appropriate if you’re applying for one of the more vocational subjects such as medicine or journalism . But uni staff realise getting plum work experience placements is easier for some people than others, so cast your net wider when you’re thinking about what you’ve done. How about after-school clubs? Debating societies? Are you running a blog or vlog? What key skills and experience have you picked up elsewhere (eg from hobbies) that could be tied in with your course choice? Remember, you’re looking for experience that shows why you want to study your chosen subject. You’re not just writing an essay about what you're doing in your A-level syllabus. Use this checklist as a guide for what to include:

  • Your interest in the course. Why do you want to spend three years studying this subject at university?
  • What have you done outside school or college that demonstrates this interest? Think about things like fairs/exhibitions, public lectures or voluntary work that is relevant to your subject.
  • Relevant work experience (essential for the likes of medicine, not required for non-vocational courses such as English )
  • Skills and qualities required for that career if appropriate (medicine, nursing and law as obvious examples)
  • Interest in your current studies – what particular topics have made an impression on you?
  • Any other interests/hobbies/experiences you wish to mention that are relevant either to the subject or 'going to uni'. Don't just list your hobbies, you need to be very selective and state clearly what difference doing these things has made to you.
  • Plans for a gap year if you’re deferring entry.

Read more: 6 steps you need to take to apply to university

3. Be bold about your achievements

Don't be bashful about your achievements; that’s not going to help you get into uni. It's time to unleash your inner Muhammed Ali and get all “I am the greatest” with your writing. Do keep it focused and accurate. Do keep your language professional. But don’t hide your qualities beneath a layer of false modesty. Your personal statement is a sell – you are selling yourself as a brilliant student and you need to show the reader why that is true. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and if you’re finding it difficult to write about how great you are it’s time to enlist some help. Round up a friend or two, a family member, a teacher, whoever and get them to write down your qualities. Getting someone else’s view here can help you get some perspective. Don’t be shy. You are selling your skills, your experience and your enthusiasm – make sure they all leap off the screen with the way you have described them.

  • Read more: the ten biggest mistakes when writing your personal statement  

4. How to start your personal statement

Type your personal statement in a cloud-based word processing program, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word and don’t copy and paste it into Ucas Hub until it’s finished.  One of the benefits of doing it this way is that you can run spell check easily. (Please note, though, that Word adds "curly" quotation marks and other characters (like é or ü) that won't show up on your Ucas form, so do proofread it on Ucas Hub before submitting it to ensure it is how you typed it.)  Another big benefit is that you'll always have a backup of what you've written. If you're being super careful, you could always save your statement in another place as well. Bear in mind that extra spaces (eg adding spaces to the beginnings of paragraphs as indentation) are removed on Ucas. In your first sentence, cut to the chase. Why do you want to do the course? Don’t waste any time rambling on about the daydreams you had when you were five. Just be clear and concise – describe in one line why this course is so important to you. Then, in the rest of your intro, go into more detail in demonstrating your enthusiasm for the course and explaining how you decided this is what you want to do for the next three or more years. However you choose to start your statement, just avoid the following hoary old chestnuts. These have been some of the most used lines in personal statements over the years – they are beyond cliche, so don’t even think about it.

  • From a young age I have (always) been [interested in/fascinated by]…
  • For as long as I can remember, I have…
  • I am applying for this course because… 
  • I have always been interested in… 
  • Throughout my life I have always enjoyed… 
  • Reflecting on my educational experiences… 
  • [Subject] is a very challenging and demanding [career/profession/course]… 
  • Academically, I have always been… 
  • I have always wanted to pursue a career in… 
  • I have always been passionate about…   

5. Focus your writing on why you've chosen that subject

So you’ve got your intro done – time to nail the rest of it. Bear in mind that you’ve got to be a little bit careful when following a personal statement template. It’s easy to fall into the trap of copying someone else’s style, and in the process lose all of your own voice and personality from your writing. But there is a rough order that you can follow, which should help keep you in your flow. After your opening paragraph or two, get into any work experience (if you’ve got it). Talk about extracurriculars: anything you've done which is relevant to the subject can go here – hobbies, interests, volunteering. Touch on your career aspirations – where do you want this course to take you? Next, show your enthusiasm for your current studies. Cite some specific examples of current work that you enjoyed. Show off your relevant skills and qualities by explaining how you’ve used these in the past. Make sure you’re giving real-world examples here, not just vague assertions like “I’m really organised and motivated”. Try to use examples that are relevant.   Follow this up with something about you as a person. Talk about non-academic stuff that you like to do, but link it in some way with the course, or with how it shows your maturity for dealing with uni life. Round it all off by bringing your main points together, including a final emphasis of your commitment to studying this particular course.

  • Read more: how to write your personal statement in an evening  

6. How long should a personal statement be?

You've got to work to a very specific limit when writing your personal statement. In theory you could use up to 4,000 characters – but you’re probably more likely to be limited by the line count. That's because it's a good idea to put line breaks in between your paragraphs (to make it more readable) and you only get a maximum of 47 lines. With this in mind, 3,500 characters is a more realistic limit. But when you’re getting started you should ignore these limits completely. At first, you just want to get down everything that you feel is important. You'll probably end up with something that is far too long, but that's fine. This is where you get to do some polishing and pruning. Keep the focus of your piece on the course you’re applying for, why you want to do it and why you’re perfectly suited to it. Look through what you’ve written so far – have you got the balance right? Chop out anything that goes on a bit, as you want each point to be snappy and succinct.

  • Read more: universities reveal all about personal statements  

7. Keep it simple

8. Smart ways to end your personal statement

Writing a closing line that you’re happy with can feel as tricky as coming up with your opener. What you’re looking for here is a sign-off that is bold and memorable. The final couple of sentences in your statement give you the opportunity to emphasise all the good stuff you’ve already covered. Use this space to leave the reader in no doubt as to what an excellent addition you would be to their university. Pull together all your key points and – most importantly – address the central question that your personal statement should answer: why should you get a place on the course?

  • Read more: universities explain how to end your personal statement with a bang  

9. Make sure your personal statement has no mistakes

Now you’ve got a personal statement you’re happy with, you need to make sure there are no mistakes. Check it, check it a second time, then check it again. Once you’ve done that, get someone else to check it, too. You will be doing yourself a massive disservice if you send through a personal statement with spelling and/or grammatical errors. You’ve got months to put this together so there really is no excuse for sending through something that looks like a rush job. Ask your teachers to look at it, and be prepared to accept their feedback without getting defensive. They will have seen many personal statements before; use what they tell you to make yours even better. You’ve also got another chance here to look through the content of your personal statement, so you can make sure the balance is right. Make sure your focus is very clearly on the subject you are applying for and why you want to study it. Don’t post your personal statement on the internet or social media where anyone can see it. You will get picked up by the Ucas plagiarism checker. Similarly, don't copy any that you find online. Instead, now is a good time to make your parents feel useful. Read your personal statement out to them and get them to give you feedback. Or try printing it out and mixing it up with a few others (you can find sample personal statements on The Student Room). Get them to read them all and then try to pick yours out. If they can't, perhaps there's not enough of your personality in there.  

10. Don't think about your personal statement for a whole week

If you followed the advice at the very start of this guide, you’ve started your personal statement early. Good job! There are months before you need to submit it. Use one of these weeks to forget about your personal statement completely. Get on with other things – anything you like. Just don’t go near your statement. Give it a whole week and then open up the document again and read through it with fresh eyes. You’ll gain a whole new perspective on what you’ve written and will be well placed to make more changes, if needed.

  • Read more: how to write your personal statement when you have nothing interesting to say  

10 steps to your ideal personal statement

In summary, here are the ten steps you should follow to create the perfect personal statement.  

Personal statement dos and don'ts

  • Remember that your personal statement is your personal statement, not an article written about your intended field of study. It should tell the reader about you, not about the subject.
  • Only put in things that you’re prepared to talk about at the interviews.
  • Give convincing reasons for why you want to study the course – more than just "enjoying the subject" (this should be a given).
  • For very competitive courses, find out as much as you can about the nature of the course and try to make your personal statement relevant to this.
  • Be reflective. If you make a point like 'I like reading', 'I travelled abroad', say what you got from it.
  • Go through the whole thing checking your grammar and your spelling. Do this at least twice. It doesn’t matter if you’re not applying to an essay-based course – a personal statement riddled with spelling mistakes is just going to irritate the reader, which is the last thing you want to do. If this is something you find difficult then have someone look over it for you.
  • Leave blank lines between your paragraphs. It’s easier for the reader to get through your personal statement when it’s broken into easily digestible chunks. Remember that they’re going to be reading a lot of these! Make yours easy to get through.
  • Get someone else's opinion on your statement. Read it out to family or friends. Share it with your teacher. Look for feedback wherever you can find it, then act upon it.
  • Don’t write it like a letter. Kicking off with a greeting such as "Dear Sir/Madam" not only looks weird, it also wastes precious space.
  • Don’t make jokes. This is simply not the time – save them for your first night in the union.
  • Don’t criticise your current school or college or try to blame teachers for any disappointing grades you might have got.
  • Be afraid of details – if you want your PS to be personal to you that means explaining exactly which bits of work or topics or activities you've taken part in/enjoyed. It's much more compelling to read about one or two detailed examples than a paragraph that brushes over five or six.
  • Just list what you're doing now. You should pull out the experiences that are relevant to the courses which you're applying to.
  • Mention skills and activities without giving examples of when they have been demonstrated by you or what you learnt from them. Anyone can write "I have great leadership skills" in a PS, actually using a sentence to explain when you demonstrated good leadership skills is much rarer and more valuable.
  • Refer to experiences that took place before your GCSEs (or equivalent).
  • Give explanations about medical or mental health problems. These should be explained in your reference, not your PS.
  • Apply for too many different courses, making it difficult to write a convincing personal statement which supports the application.
  • Write a statement specific to just one institution, unless you're only applying to that one choice.
  • Copy and paste the statement from somewhere else! This means do not plagiarise. All statements are automatically checked for plagiarism by Ucas. Those that are highlighted by the computer system are checked manually by Ucas staff. If you’re found to have plagiarised parts of your statement, the universities you apply to will be informed and it could jeopardise your applications.
  • Use ChatGPT or another AI program to write your personal statement for you. Or, if you do, make sure you thoroughly edit and personalise the text so it's truly yours. Otherwise you're very much at risk of the plagiarism point above.

You may want to look at these...

How to write your university application.

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It might feel like it's taking forever for your uni offers to come through. Find out what's going on, and when you should hear back

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How to write your personal statement for University

Your ucas personal statement, what is a personal statement.

A personal statement is an important part of your UCAS application, which will need to be submitted to study in the UK. It will support your application to study at university or college, and is a great way to showcase your personal qualities, skills and passions. Crucially, it gives you a platform to demonstrate to admissions tutors and lecturers how you are the perfect candidate for your chosen course or subject.

How long should a personal statement be?

Your personal statement can be around 47 lines (there is no word limit but there is a character limit of 4,000 characters, which is roughly 1 side of A4). You will only write one statement for all of your choices, so it needs to be relevant/applicable for all.

Tips on what makes a good personal statement

• Think about what gets you excited about the course you are applying for and just start writing - you will be amazed at how effective it is to get all your thoughts on paper. • Be positive when you describe how you get motivated about the course you want to study, and what inspired your decision. • Talk about your transferable skills and knowledge - e.g. leadership, teamwork, problem solving, communication, organisation, that will help you on the course. • Talk about you and what makes you unique, exciting, interesting. What makes you stand out? • Back it up with evidence - use evidence from relevant work experience, extracurricular activities, outside reading, and all the other things you do. • Don’t overcomplicate things, leave out flowery language and stick to plain English.

In summary, strive to make your personal statement authentic, a good combination of head and heart that captures your enthusiasm. Take your time and you’ll produce something special that sums up what you are all about.

How to write your personal statement

Writing a personal statement for your university application can be daunting, but it shouldn’t be. We would suggest that you complete this section once you have selected your university course choices, as this will allow you to tailor your personal statement to your chosen subject or course(s). You should explain your motivation for applying to University. It is important to showcase your drive and passion for the subject area, and any skills or experience you may have which will help you become a successful student. Suggested plan : How to begin your personal statement - Start off with a great opening sentence that conveys how excited you are about the course and shows that you really understand what you’re getting into. Middle - Your middle paragraphs should emphasise your skills and knowledge, provide evidence that proves your interest in the course and your personal qualities. How to end your personal statement – this bit is about what makes you unique, what will make you fit into the course you are interested in?

DOs & DON’Ts

• Be authentic • Be positive • Be enthusiastic • Be clear and concise • Plan your statement like an essay • Make sure your statement is appropriate for all of your course choices • List your skills and qualities but avoid sounding big-headed • Draft, redraft and seek feedback • Be careful when using quotes – only use those which are relevant, and well thought out • Back it up with evidence • Allow plenty of time

DON'T 

• Copy someone else’s statement – there is software that will catch you out on this! • Waffle – it is better to be short and relevant • Use clichés • Rely on spell check – proofread • Rush or underestimate the time it takes to write an excellent statement

We know that it's been difficult to carry on with sports and other hobbies during the lockdown periods. In your personal statement, can you tell us how you adapted your activities at this time? Did you do any virtual activities, remote training sessions or organise social events? Did you take the opportunity to listen to podcasts, broaden your reading or watch programmes about your chosen subject? Did you volunteer to support your local community or to help the NHS? We want to hear about your resilience, your patience and your adaptability. In your personal statement, consider telling us about: • How you adapted your activities at this time? • Any virtual activities, remote training sessions you attended or social events you organised? • How you took the opportunity to listen to podcasts, broaden your reading or watch programmes about your chosen subject? • Any volunteering to support your local community or to help the NHS that you did? We want to hear about your resilience, your patience and your adaptability.

How to create a winning personal statement

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How Long Should Your UCAS Personal Statement Be?

"The ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words." UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text.

Writing a UCAS personal statement can be a daunting task. It’s your chance to showcase your skills, experiences and motivations to universities, and convince them that you’re the right fit for their course. However, when it comes to the length of your personal statement, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and guidelines to help you determine the ideal length for your UCAS personal statement.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that there’s no official word count limit for a UCAS personal statement. However, UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines) for your personal statement. While this may seem like a lot of space, it’s important to use it wisely.

When it comes to length, quality should always be prioritized over quantity. Admissions tutors are looking for evidence of your passion and potential for their course, not a long list of achievements or experiences. In fact, including irrelevant or unnecessary information can actually be detrimental to your application.

It’s important to structure your personal statement in a way that flows logically and is easy to follow. A good rule of thumb is to divide your statement into three parts: an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. In your introduction, you should grab the reader’s attention and explain why you’re interested in the course. In the main body, you should expand on your experiences, skills and achievements, and explain how they relate to the course. Finally, in your conclusion, you should summarize your main points and explain why you’d be a great fit for the course.

When it comes to the length of each section, the introduction and conclusion should be relatively brief, while the main body should make up the bulk of your statement. As a general guideline, aim to spend around 70% of your personal statement discussing your skills, experiences and achievements, and around 15% on your introduction and conclusion respectively.

It’s also important to tailor your personal statement to each individual course you’re applying to. Make sure to do your research and understand what each course is looking for in a candidate. This will help you to emphasize the most relevant skills and experiences in your personal statement.

In summary, the ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words. Aim to use the space available wisely, and focus on showcasing your passion and potential for the course. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a compelling and effective UCAS personal statement.

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How to write your personal statement

It can be hard to know where to begin when writing your UCAS personal statement. We've put together some top tips and advice to help you make the most of your personal statement.

how long should my personal statement be ucas

As part of the UCAS application process, you'll need to complete a personal statement. Your personal statement might be the only chance you have to ‘speak’ directly to an Admissions Tutor so it’s important to get it right. Many people find it difficult to write about themselves. Particularly their own strengths, so don’t worry if you’re struggling for ideas. You can use this guide to help ensure you write a great personal statement. 

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Guide to writing your personal statement

Discover how to write a great personal statement with our handy guide. It covers everything you need to know from structuring to tips on what to include.

Hear from our students

Writing about yourself in a personal statement can be difficult, I’ve put together some tips that I found useful when writing my own personal statement.

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Hi, my names Parsa, I am a 4th year pharmacy student. Writing a personal statement can be stressful and time consuming, but it doesn't need to be. Read my tips to help you to write the very best statement.

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Your personal statement questions answered

What is a personal statement.

A personal statement is a short written account used to support your university application. It is your opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to universities. And to show how and why you are a good candidate for your chosen course. A well-written application may convince a university to make you an offer or invite you to an interview. 

How to start a personal statement?

It’s never too early to start work on your personal statement. In fact, we’d recommend you give yourself as much time as possible.

Before you begin it’s important you have an idea of the course or subject area you want to study. Your personal statement needs to be specific so knowing what course you’re interested in will make it easier to start writing. It’s a good idea to check out the course descriptions in university prospectuses or on their website. This way you can find out the skills and experience that you’ll need. You can then reflect on how these relate to your own interests and qualities. 

Where to begin?

  • Start with an engaging and positive introductory sentence which makes the admissions Tutor want to read on.
  • Make it different. The most overused opening phrases are: “From a young age I have always been interested in…” and “For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with…”
  • State your reasons for applying to your chosen course and what it is that motivates you.

What makes a good personal statement?

The great thing about a personal statement is that it’s exactly that - personal. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd and explain why you’re the right choice for your chosen course.

It’s important that the statement reflects you, so you need to write in your own individual style. However, there are certain facts Admissions Tutors will be expecting to see. So it's important that you include these to ensure you give the best account of yourself, your skills and your experience.

Everything that you write should be relevant and linked to the course(s) you are applying for. Whilst you will only submit one personal statement it will be seen multiple times by all the universities and courses you have applied for.

Here are some questions to think about to ensure your statement stands out:

  • Why do you want to study the course? You need to show that you have a genuine interest in the subject area and the motivation to immerse yourself in it.
  • What makes you suitable? This is your chance to show how your experiences have prepared you to meet the demands of the course.
  • What makes you stand out? Think about what you can offer outside of the lecture theatre and how you will contribute to the university community as a whole.

Download our guide to writing your personal statement for more top tips.

How long should a personal statement be?

Your personal statement needs to stay within the 4000 character limit set by UCAS. This includes spaces and blank lines. This might seem like a lot, but it's only around 1 side of typed A4 paper. So you need to keep it clear and concise. Use the UCAS personal statement tool to help you keep within the limit as well as tips on how to structure your statement.

How to structure a personal statement?

There is no set layout for your personal statement. But here are some style and structure tips to help you along the way:

  • Make sure you sound interested in the course. Admissions Tutors will recognise applicants who aren’t totally committed.
  • Don’t use bullet points. A personal statement is a chance to show how you can make a reasoned argument in continuous writing.
  • Avoid repetition.
  • You need to show rather than tell the Admissions Tutor that you are a good candidate. So don’t just list all your skills and achievements. Pick the most relevant, explain them carefully and provide examples.
  • Check your statement for spelling and grammar. And then check again.
  • Ask your parents, friends and/or teachers to read through your finished statement. They can help to make sure it flows and that you’ve not forgotten anything.

Personal statement dos and don'ts

Read it out loud., check it’s all there., do some practice., be well prepared., don't be negative., don't complicate it., don't copy or paraphrase., don't include irrelevant facts..

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Clearing officially opens on July 5 2024, but you can sign up for priority Clearing early and we'll help you find a place on a course that's right for you.

University application dates

Completing and submitting your UCAS application

Start your UCAS application

You will need to start your UCAS application around September in the year before you want to apply to university. For example, if you want to start in September 2025, start your application in September 2024.

You can start you application as early as May, but you won't be able to submit until September.

You'll need to submit your form to college so they can add your reference.

Apply by the deadline

Make sure you submit your UCAS application online by the deadline. Deadlines vary each year and are different depending on the course you want to study.

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UCAS deadlines
September 2024 entry Deadline for applications to medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses and to Oxford and Cambridge Main application deadline. Some art and design courses have a March deadline, please check UCAS for details.
September 2025 entry  Deadline for applications to medicine, dentistry and Veterinary courses and to Oxford and Cambridge  Main application deadline. Some art and design courses have a March deadline, please check UCAS for details.

After you apply

Once you submit your application through UCAS, they will send you an acknowledgement. They will then forward your application to your chosen institutions.

Getting a decision on your application

Once you've submitted your application, you may have several stages before you find out if you have an offer.

Institutions will look at a number of things to make their decision. This includes your personal statement, reference and predicted grades.

Interviews and auditions

You might be invited to interview or audition to see if you're right for the course. This is also your chance to see if it's the right place for you.

Receiving an offer

If you submitted your application by the January deadline, you should receive all of your offers by March. Some courses and late applications may not receive responses until later in the cycle.

You can receive a conditional or unconditional offer, depending on whether you already have your grades or not.

Offer holder days

Some universities might invite you to an offer holder or applicant day . This is a great opportunity to get a taste for your course and meet your tutors. 

Accepting your offer

Usually, you'll need to reply to any offers you have received by May. This depends on when you submit your UCAS application.

If you have conditional offers, you'll be able to choose one university as your firm choice, and one as insurance .

If you've used all five choices on your application, and you're not holding any offers, then you can add extra choices to your application - free of charge.

Wait for your results and prepare to enrol

If you're waiting for your results, you should receive these in either July or August. This depends on what qualification you have taken. 

Your offer will either be confirmed or rejected based on your results.

If you don't receive the results you expected, or you apply after July, you will be entered into UCAS Clearing . This helps match you to university places that haven't yet been filled.

Once you've confirmed your offer at your chosen university, you will receive information about how to enrol .

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How to write a great UCAS personal statement

What is a personal statement.

The personal statement is the most important part of the UCAS process. It is your opportunity to explain why you have picked the subject you want to study and demonstrate your personality, passion and knowledge about your chosen subject.

Although your personal statement is the most important part of your application, it can also be the most difficult to put together. Writing your personal statement requires you to think seriously about your goals and aspirations. You might even change your mind about these as you are putting together your statement. However, this is a key part of working out what you want to do in the future.

How long can my personal statement be?

Your personal statement can be up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines of text long – whichever comes first.

Seven tips for writing a great UCAS personal statement

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1. Do your research

You can use websites such as the National Careers Service to research the sort of jobs you would enjoy and the recommended routes into those careers. The UCAS website features details about every UK university course. Use this to find out subject specifics such as minimum entry requirements, available additional funding, career prospects and more. Visit campus open days and take the opportunity to speak with lecturers and see university facilities in person.

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2. Take your time to plan and draft

A good personal statement cannot be written the night before. Take your time to plan what you want to say, and use multiple drafts to make sure you say it in the right way. As well as this, make sure you have enough time before the deadline to give yourself a break before rereading and sending off your statement. Taking a break can help you notice things you might not otherwise see and catch mistakes that might otherwise damage your chances of success.

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3. Show off your personality

Hundred of thousands of students apply through UCAS every year — but only one of them is you. Your personal statement needs to reflect your personality and show universities what makes you unique. Talk about specific personal experiences and interests that have led to you choosing your subject. What do you do outside the classroom that is interesting and related to your chosen course? However, avoid using jokes or humour, even if it is a natural part of your personality.

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4. Show off your passion

Above all else, university admissions staff want to see how enthusiastic, motivated and focused you are on your chosen subject. Devote over half of your personal statement to talking about the subject area you are applying for and why you are passionate about it. Talk about specific areas of the course that interest you — but avoid mentioning anything that only one of your chosen universities offers. Keep in mind that you can only submit one personal statement, no matter how many places you are applying for.

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5. Be specific and relevant

Everything in your personal statement should show universities that you have the skills and qualities they are looking for. This means you should talk about your experience and aspirations in relevant ways. For example, if you have experience working in a shop, talk about how it has helped you develop the strong communication skills needed for a business management degree. Make sure you provide evidence for why you are the skilled, experienced person that your chosen universities are looking for.

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6. Use your own language

Keep your writing simple and to the point. Avoid cliched words like ‘passionate’, as these can come across as inauthentic to the person reading your personal statement. Stick to vocabulary that you are familiar with — if you do not use a word in your day-to-day life, then do not use it in your personal statement. Make sure that you do not plagiarise other people’s work: UCAS has software to detect any writing that is copied or paraphrased from anywhere else, and some universities will reject you outright if your application is plagiarised.

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7. Keep it brief

Admissions tutors have a lot of personal statements to read, so make sure you get to the point and do not take up more reading time than you need to. Use short paragraphs, straightforward language, and only include information that is relevant. A good idea is to write your opening and closing sentences last, as writing the rest of your statement might help inspire you and help cut down unnecessary words.

How to structure your personal statement

1. explain the reasons for your choice of subject.

Do not just talk about the importance of your chosen subject: the person reading your statement already knows this.

2. Explain why you are suitable for the course

You can use this section to explain how certain aspects of your chosen degree will help you progress and succeed.

3. Discuss your career aspirations

Demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen sector and your ambitions within it.

4. Describe the person behind the application

This can be a relatively short section: a few lines of interesting, relevant information will do.

5. Conclude by linking back to your introduction

Be brief: your conclusion is necessary, but everything above it is more important.

  • Find out how you can apply to the University of West London on our 'How to apply' page .

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They will give you the opportunity to meet our staff and talk to current students.

How to write the best personal statement

A great personal statement will help your university application stand out and get those offers rolling in. We cover everything you need to know about writing your personal statement. 

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A personal statement is meant to show off YOU. You’ll need to think about why you want to study the course you’re applying for, what you’ve done to work towards that already, what transferable skills you have and what you want to do after university. It’s a lot to think about and squish into the strict UCAS character and line limit, but don’t worry, we’ve got all the tips and advice you could want.

Personal statement all finished? Read more about applying to university.

CONTENTS: 

  • When’s the deadline to finish my personal statement?   
  • How to get started on your personal statement  
  • Tailoring your personal statement to your subject choice
  • How to structure your personal statement  
  • What to include in your personal statement

Can you use AI when writing your personal statement?  

Things to avoid in your personal statement  , how long should your personal statement be  .

  • How to edit your personal statement

Are you ready to submit your personal statement?  

Ucas proposed reform  , when’s the deadline to finish my personal statement .

The UCAS deadline for 2024 entry is 31 January 2024 at 6pm UK time. You can submit applications after this, but you won’t be covered by the Equal Consideration Policy and some courses may be full. Any applications received after 6pm on 30 June 2024 will be entered into Clearing.  

It’s best to have your personal statement drafted a couple of weeks before the deadline so you have time to get feedback on it and edit it. 

How to get started on your personal statement 

Before you even think about writing, you’ll have to research the courses you’re applying for. This can give you some inspiration on what to write about, and if you see you’ve already covered some of the first-year material, even better. 

After research comes planning. You’ll want to plan out paragraph by paragraph what you’re going to include to make sure you don’t repeat yourself or miss anything out. 

If you have your research and plan completed, it’s time to start writing!

How to start writing your personal statement.

Tailoring your personal statement to your subject choice   

Admissions tutors want to see why you’d be a good fit for the course you’ve applied for on your personal statement, so you’ll want to make sure the things you’re mentioning link back to the course you’ve applied to. For example, if you’re applying to study psychology, there’s not much point going on about how much you love watching Great British Bake Off. However, if you’re a huge fan of Milton’s Paradise Lost and you’re applying to study English literature, that’s a great thing to mention. 

 Not everything you mention has to be directly linked to your chosen course, but it should either link or demonstrate transferable skills useful to university study such as time management, leadership, balancing responsibilities or independent research.  

Tailoring your university personal statement to your subject  

How to structure your personal statement  

There’s no set way you have to structure your personal statement, but if you read a few examples online, you’ll probably notice a bit of a pattern occurring. The main thing to do is to open your personal statement by introducing yourself and why you want to study the course you’re applying to. You might then want to talk about: 

  • Your academic qualifications 
  • Any work experience or volunteering  
  • Extracurricular activities  
  • Any reading you’ve done around your subject (and what you learned from that reading!). 

 A good way to close your personal statement is to talk about what you’d like to do after university, and how the subject you’re applying for will help you get there.

Ashley Harrison-Barker, Home Admissions Manager at  University of Hertfordshire , says "We want you to give us a summary of you as an individual and your journey up until this point... Think of it as a timeline that explains your journey to-date and how you would use this course as a springboard to achieve your desired career aspirations."

How to structure your personal statement.

What to include in your personal statement  

Your personal statement should be just that – personal! Exactly what you should include depends on what you’ve done. However, some areas that you might want to cover in your personal statement include: 

  • Work experience 
  • Part-time work or volunteering 
  • What you’re studying now 
  • What topics within the subject particularly interest you 
  • Your future career goals 
  • Extracurricular activities or reading you’ve done relevant to your course 

Simone Wilson, Careers Manager at Wirral Grammar School for Boys, says it's important to, "explain what interests you about particular topics and how you have gone above and beyond to learn more about it."

Essential topics to include in your personal statement.

ChatGPT and AI is a hot topic right now, so you might be wondering whether it can help you write your personal statement. In short, you have to be careful if you’re using AI to help you with your personal statement.  

Your personal statement must be original work, which means you can’t copy and paste chunks from an AI. UCAS checks personal statements and can detect AI-written content, so using AI-generated paragraphs could harm your application. As Harrison-Barker says, "AI won’t know all your personal experiences so there is no substitute for the real thing."

However, AI can be helpful for the planning stage as it can generate personal statement examples that you can use for inspiration on what to cover and how to structure your own personal statement. It can also help you to brainstorm topics related to your subject that you could relate to your experience when it comes to writing your personal statement. 

Using AI and ChatGPT when writing your personal statement.

It probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t use any inappropriate language such as swear words in your personal statement. You should also avoid slang, or language that comes across as too informal (the admissions tutor is not your ‘mate’).   

Be wary of using cliches or buzzwords if you don’t have the experience and evidence to back them up, and of course you should avoid lying about anything. It’s also wise to avoid discussing anything that you can’t link to either the subject you’re applying to study, or a transferable skill you learned that’ll be useful at university.  

Words you should never use in your university application.  

The limit for your UCAS personal statement is 4,000 characters (not words!) including spaces or 47 lines, whichever comes first. To check the length of your personal statement, copy and paste it into the UCAS application form as character count may vary a little bit between your word processing program and UCAS, and the only way to check your line count is to put it into the application form. 

Read more about the length requirements for personal statements .

How to edit your personal statement 

Once you’ve got a first draft of your personal statement, it’s time to get feedback and redraft. One of the first things you’ll want to do is check how it compares to the UCAS character and line limit. You can’t go over the limit, but you want to get as much in as possible.  

You’ll also want to show it to a few people and get some feedback. You could ask your parents, friends or a teacher at school to read it over for you – the more eyes you can get on it the better. It’s good to show your personal statement to whoever is writing your UCAS reference so they can mention some of the things you’ve put into your personal statement.  

You’ll need to proofread it to make sure it all makes sense and there aren’t any spelling or grammar errors before you send off your final draft. 

How to tell if your university application is good.  

Have you drafted, redrafted and drafted your personal statement again? Have you checked for any spelling and grammar mistakes? Have you got a few people to look it over and give you feedback? If you answered yes to all of these questions and your personal statement fits within the UCAS character and line limit, all that’s left to do is go through our application checklist and send it off… 

University application checklist.  

For 2026 entry onwards, UCAS are changing the way the university application process works. For those applying for entry in 2024 or 2025, the personal statement will not be changing. We’ll bring you more information about the application reform when UCAS release the details of the updated process.

Read more about applying to university.

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Personal Statement FAQs

Our personal statement FAQs will help ease the pain of writing a personal statement for your UCAS form . More advice can also be found on our blog .

What can I find in this article?

   
   
   
   
   
   

1. When should I start writing my personal statement?

It's never too early to start thinking about it! Unfortunately, UCAS deadlines have a tendency to creep up on most students, especially if you are applying to Oxbridge where the deadline is much earlier than other universities ( 15th October ).

However, you probably want a good idea of what course you're going to apply for before you launch in to actually writing the thing .

Check out Choosing A Degree if you're still deciding what subject to take.

On the other hand, don't leave it too late - you'll probably need a few weeks to write it and a week or so to get a reference written.

As a general guide we would say start writing it when you come back to school or college after the summer, though it might be worth jotting down a few ideas during the holidays.

We know some people are extremely organised and get at least their first draft done by the end of the summer!

2. How long can the personal statement be?

There is no actual word limit - instead, you have a maximum of 47 lines or 4000 characters to work with.

This is all the space UCAS give you on their online system, Apply . You can check that your statement will fit in the area provided by using our handy Personal Statement Length Checker .

3. How do I start writing my personal statement?

Most people won't be able to just start writing their personal statement off the top of their head - so it's a good idea to jot down a few notes first.

The main things to think about are:

  • why do you want to study your chosen course?
  • how do your skills, experiences and interests prove you are passionate about and committed to taking this course?

These are the two main things to start with, and if this still doesn't help you can look at a few more detailed starting points .

Many people have trouble writing about themselves and their personal qualities.

So if you're having trouble pop down to a library or bookstore and get a book on writing CVs that will go into this process in much more depth.

4. What are admissions tutors looking for?

Usually the sort of things you've written about for the part above!

Obviously the things admissions tutors are looking for will differ but in general: "Do we want this student on this course?" And "Do we want this student at this university?".

The idea of your personal statement is to show this - so once you've written it, have a read through and see if it answers these questions.

Individual universities and departments often publish information on applying and writing personal statements, so surfing the admissions scetion of their website should turn up more specific information on exactly what they're looking for.

Our blog post, 8 Things Not To Put In Your Personal Statement , will help you avoid making any obvious errors. Then check out What You Should Include In Your Personal Statement to make sure you don't miss anything important.

Read through our Personal Statement Writing Tips and How To Write A Personal Statement Guide for more comprehensive information and advice.

5. What's the most important part of the personal statement?

From our days of GCSE English, we would say either the beginning or the end.

A good first sentence will get the reader interested and ensure they actually read your statement rather than skim it.

A good ending will ensure the reader remembers your personal statement, though it also helps to have a good middle section as well.

The first line is probably the most important thing to work on. Most people put their reasons for studying the subject at the top, and this is generally regarded to be the most crucial part of the statement, as you need to hook the reader and make them want to read more.

However, the rest of your statement should make you shine as a candidate too, so there isn't really a definite answer to this question!

Just try to make your personal statement as interesting and polished as you can.

6. How do I write a statement for two different courses?

There's no easy way to write a personal statement for two totally unrelated courses.

If the courses are similar (i.e. Business Studies and Economics ) you may find you can write a personal statement that is relevant to both subjects without mentioning either subject by name.

If the courses are totally unrelated it may be impossible to write for both subjects without your personal statement sounding vague and unfocused.

Instead, you will need to concentrate on just one subject and just ignore the other, although you may want to question whether it's a good idea to apply for such different course, and re-think your subject choice .

7. Should I talk about what I want to do after university?

You could, but only if you have a good idea of what you want to do.

If you sound sure about what you want to do after university , it gives the impression that you've thought carefully about your course and what you want to do with it.

It is also a nice way to round off your personal statement , rather than just finishing on less important stuff like extra curricular activities.

If you don't have any future plans then leave it out - you don't want to be asked about them at interviews .

8. How should I structure my personal statement?

Most people write their personal statement in an essay style, usually starting off with the course and why they want to do it, then talking about their relevant work experience and skills, and finishing off with extra curricular activities.

However, you can use any style that you feel works best for you.

As a guide, spend around 50% of the space talking about your course and how you're suited to it and 50% on your work experience and other activities.

Exactly how you write your personal statement depends on your subject - generally people write more about work experience for vocational subjects like Medicine and Law than they would for Maths or English , where work experience is less important.

9. Is it worth doing loads of extra-curricular stuff to make my statement sound good?

There's no point doing extra things just to try and make yourself look good to universities - you won't enjoy it and it probably won't help much either.

From what we've seen, an interest and aptitude for the course is more important to admissions tutors than lots of extra curricular activities.

If you do want to do something to boost your application, read relevant books or do work experience related to the subject instead.

10. Should I talk about my qualifications?

No. There's already a section on the UCAS form for this, so don't waste space talking about them on your personal statement.

If you have something important that doesn't go in the qualifications section, ask your referee to put it down in your reference - it will sound better if it comes from them than from you.

11. Where can I see some example personal statements?

We have loads of free personal statement samples that you can browse through, broken down into subject categories so you can hopefully find what you are looking for quite easily!

Looking at what other students have written and submitted on their application is a useful way of seeing what makes a great personal statement (and what doesn't!).

Just make sure you don't copy sentences or whole chunks of these examples though, as UCAS has plagiarism detection software and your application will be rejected if it's found you've cheated!

12. What should I do after I've written my statement?

Ask for opinions on it!

Show it to your friends, parents, teachers, career advisors, etc and note down their comments.

The most useful comments are likely to come from your teachers in the subject and the people at your school or college who handle UCAS applications.

If you have enough time, leave your personal statement for a couple of weeks or a month and come back to it - if you're not still happy with what you wrote, it's time to start redrafting.

13. Should I post my personal statement online?

It's generally not a good idea to post it on an internet forum or discussion board before you've started university.

Anyone can steal information off a website and pass it off as their own, and with something as important as a personal statement, you don't want that to happen.

You should be OK sending it to people you trust by email - see the next question for a better way of getting people to look at it.

14. Where can I ask for feedback on my personal statement?

To get people to look at your personal statement without the risk of plagiarism visit the personal statement review section.

You can also get your personal statement professionally edited and reviewed here at Studential, through one of our very popular personal statement editing and critique packages.

We offer a range of services covering a variety of prices, so there's bound to be a package suited to you.

15. I'm still stuck with my personal statement - where can I find more in-depth advice?

Some people say writing a personal statement is easy – maybe it is, but it’s difficult to write a personal statement well. As this is such a big topic to cover, we suggest taking a look at our personal statement examples to help give you some inspiration for what to write, and then read through our  personal statement writing guide  when you’re ready to put pen to paper. Browse through the  other information and advice  we have in our personal statements section, and if you still feel you need a little extra help, you can always get your personal statement  professionally edited and reviewed  by one of our editors. We offer a range of UCAS personal statement editing and critique services , so there’s bound to be one suited to your needs. Don’t forget to ask your family, friends, teachers and careers adviser to look through your personal statement drafts, and incorporate any feedback they give you until you are 100% happy with it. Remember - it doesn’t matter how many times you have to redraft your personal statement – the most important thing is you get it right so you give yourself the best possible chance of being offered places by your chosen universities/colleges.

IMPORTANT:  When writing your personal statement, it’s vital you remember  not to copy from anyone else’s personal statement  (not even just a sentence!). Not only is it wrong and unfair, but any plagiarism will be detected by the Copycatch Similarity Detection Software. If UCAS discover you have plagiarised your personal statement, whether you have copied someone else’s entirely or parts of it, they will cancel your application.

You can also try looking through our personal statement guide for extra guidance.

This takes you through how to write a personal statement step-by-step, and goes into far more detail than this FAQ does.

If you feel you need more help, check out our personal statement editing and critique services  where our professional editors will review your statement to make it a success.

16. How do I write a personal statement if I'm a mature student?

Don't worry if you're a mature student applying to university - your qualifications, skills and extra experience will count as an advantage! Universities want to take on students from all walks of life, and this includes mature ones with more life experience.

Focus on what you can bring to the university if they offered you a place on the course, and how your degree fits into your future plans.

Read through some of our Mature Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration.

17. How do I write a personal statement if I'm an international student?

As mentioned previously, universities want students from a range of backgrounds, and this includes those who want to study at their institution from abroad.

Again, try to convey how your experiences in your own country will benefit you on your course, and how they make you a valuable asset to the university.

To give you an idea of what other international students have written in the past, read through some of our International Student Personal Statement Examples for inspiration (but please remember not to copy them, or your application will be penalised!).

A few last tips

What have you done, relevant to your subject, that is unique and no one else is likely to put down?

Many people have the same old boring interests and work experience - you need something to separate you from the crowd, and while it's a gamble to make an individual personal statement, anything individual you do related to your chosen field can only look good.

Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected! Finally, remember it's your personal statement, and you can write whatever you want in it.

If everything in this guide conflicts with what you've got already but you think you still have a killer personal statement, then use that.

A personal statement is about you, and you shouldn't let anyone tell you what to put in it - sticking blindly to the formula mentioned here will just stop your true personality showing through.

Further information

For more tips and advice on writing your personal statement, please see:

  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Top 10 Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • Personal Statement Advice From A Teacher
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline .

Best of luck with your personal statement!

Has lots of valuable

Mon, 19/09/2011 - 05:17

Has lots of valuable information

Thu, 06/10/2011 - 20:30

very good site!! Helped a lot!!!!

Wed, 12/10/2011 - 17:21

Great info, i appreciate it.

Fri, 14/10/2011 - 14:35

i wana apply for a science

Tue, 25/10/2011 - 10:22

i wana apply for a science faculty but what i did in the past were only related to English (eg:joining competitions in sos verse speaking,public speaking;volunteered to teach english;being chairman of english society at school./) and seems almost nth for science.... so should i write those experience also?but how can i link them to the content.... thanks

Wed, 26/10/2011 - 22:56

Excellent website, I have searched high and low for a website like this. Very impressed.

wow this has just simply

Fri, 28/10/2011 - 21:15

wow this has just simply saved my life:)

Sun, 30/10/2011 - 11:11

Thank you for the guidance, its very simple and straight forward

Disabilities

Fri, 04/11/2011 - 06:38

I have Aspergers should I include this in my PS because it has affected my involvement in extra curricular activities

like to point out that it is

Wed, 09/11/2011 - 15:13

like to point out that it is 47 lines and not 37 :) that aside, very helpful - thanks!

The best site I have found to

Fri, 02/12/2011 - 22:29

The best site I have found to help with personal statements, got so much useful infomation and straight to the point, will definately recommend to others in my class who are in the middle of their personal statments!

I have read that you should

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 14:57

I have read that you should write about why you wish to study at university and what inspires you to, and i want to but the real reason i want to study at uni is because of a very personal reason and im not sure wether to mention it as i feel i may come across as an attention seeker? the real reason i want to go is because of a very abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend that made me realise i should make the most of my life and do exactly what i want and never let anyone bring me down... do u think it would be too much if i said this - I was very unsure whether to write about the real reason I want to pursue what I’m passionate about, because its very personal. The truth is that is wasn’t a good experience. A traumatising abusive relationship with an ex boyfriend woke me up and made me see I should make the most out of my life.

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:03

Tue, 06/12/2011 - 15:08

Amazing Stuff

Mon, 13/02/2012 - 13:06

I'm so glad I found this site

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:46

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot.

I'm so glad I found this site. It's helped alot. :)

Thu, 01/03/2012 - 15:47

Lying on your personal statement

Tue, 10/07/2012 - 20:27

I was very disappointed to see this included in your FAQs. Even more to see it answered in the way it was. If someone can lie and "get away with it" does that not suggest we could potentially have a generation of useless, brainless, incompetent potential lawyers, doctors, politicians heading our way? Oh, wait...how long have you been giving this advice out?

do we have to write about our

Tue, 31/07/2012 - 19:13

do we have to write about our interests and hobbies???

if yes what if we dont have enough space and gone over max line limit??

thx a lot for the post..lots

Thu, 13/09/2012 - 23:21

thx a lot for the post..lots of info :)

you get 47 lines not 37 as it

Thu, 20/09/2012 - 11:35

you get 47 lines not 37 as it says

Wed, 17/04/2013 - 11:16

Some of the universities I'm applying to offer different courses to other unis I'm also applying to. Is it possible to send two different personal statements depending on which uni? For Edinburgh and Manchester, I want to apply for English Literature, but for Aberystwyth, East Anglia and Manchester Metropolitian they offer English Lit and Creative Writing.

Any advice would be great, thanks!

Wed, 24/07/2013 - 03:11

Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Awesome.

Wrong information

Thu, 25/07/2013 - 16:15

The maximum on UCAS for personal statements is 47 lines and 4000 characters, not 37 lines as stated on this page.

This is really helpful and

Fri, 27/09/2013 - 14:15

This is really helpful and informative but I'm fairly sure the number of lines allowed is 47, not 37 as written here.

Retaking year 12

Sun, 29/09/2013 - 12:22

I have recently retook year 12 and I am now in the process of writing my personal statement. Having gathered differing opinions on this matter i was wondering for your input on whether or not its worth putting it down on my personal statement.I have changed subjects, left one out for a year and returned to it and retaken a subject. This now leaves me with 5 As levels.

Mon, 30/09/2013 - 20:06

"Have a think - what makes you so special? If you can't think of anything then you can't complain if you get rejected!"

As if we're not under enough stress already!

Previous Work

Tue, 29/10/2013 - 20:33

can I put links in to websites I have professionally made

wow very good much

Fri, 15/11/2013 - 09:25

wow very good much informative

Very informative. I really

Wed, 15/01/2014 - 14:57

Very informative. I really appreciate your site.

Not required

Mon, 30/06/2014 - 14:27

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Writing a UCAS Personal Statement

How to write a ucas personal statement.

A personal statement is part of your application to study at a UK university . In a personal statement, the student writes about what they hope to achieve on a UK university course , what they hope to do after it, and why they are applying to this particular university. It is your first chance to show a demonstrable passion and understanding of your chosen subject away from exam results.

SI-UK will edit your personal statement and ensure the English is clear and grammatically correct. Arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London  to learn more.

What do I include in my Personal Statement?

  • Your career aspirations
  • How did you become interested in studying the subject
  • What, if any, relevant work experience you have undertaken that is related to the course or subject
  • What aspects of your previous education you have found the most interesting
  • What attracted you to the particular university
  • Other relevant academic interests and passions which display positive character and personality

Genuine experiences of extracurricular clubs, work experience, or knowledge around a subject are much more likely to make your personal statement stand out. Admissions officers are also looking for positive evidence of your character, which will make you a productive member of the university.

How long should my Personal Statement be?

The length of a personal statement varies depending on the university, but generally, the average length for an undergraduate application is between 400-600 words, around one side of A4 paper or a maximum of 47 lines. Certain  postgraduate programmes may require a 1000-word personal statement, but this will be specified.

Try not to exceed the given character limit, as admissions officers have many personal statements to review, and a clearly written and concise personal statement is more likely to stand out.

What are common Personal Statement errors?

  • The personal statement is too short/long
  • The personal statement does not include important information/includes negative information
  • The personal statement has a confusing structure

It is also important not to lie about any aspect of your personal life and education history or even exaggerate. Admissions officers will question you about almost all aspects of your application and will be able to see through any lies.

Tips for writing a Personal Statement

  • Express a passion for your subject
  • Start the statement strongly to grab attention
  • Link outside interests and passions to your course
  • Be honest, but don’t include negative information
  • Don’t attempt to sound too clever
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute; prepare ahead of the deadline
  • Have friends and family proofread it
  • Don’t duplicate material from your  CV/resume

In terms of presentation, attempt to create five clear paragraphs of text in a clear font such as Arial or Times New Roman, with a maximum size of 12.

Personal Statement Editing with SI-UK

Once you have completed your personal statement, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London. We can edit your personal statement and ensure the English is clear and grammatically correct. Once this process is complete, we will return your personal statement within 1-3 working days.

Contact SI-UK about your application

Personal Statement FAQ

What should you avoid in a ucas personal statement.

Applicants should avoid misspellings and grammar errors and discuss topics unrelated to their application and character.

Do universities read personal statements?

Yes, universities read UCAS personal statements, and they play a major factor when shortlisting candidates.

What happens if you lie in your personal statement?

If you lie on your UCAS personal statement, your application will be rejected, and any offers will be revoked.

What happens if UCAS detects similarities in your personal statement?

If UCAS detects similarities in your personal statement, it will be flagged for review, and your university choices will be notified while it is under review.

Does UCAS tell you if you've been rejected?

UCAS will notify you if your UCAS application has been rejected. You may also receive an email from the university stating why your application has been rejected.

What happens if you make a mistake on your UCAS application?

Once your UCAS application has been submitted, it cannot be changed. So, before submitting, make sure you proofread your application or get it proofread by someone else to make it error-free.

Personal Statement Example

Please see below for an example of a personal statement to a Development Studies course.

International Student Example of a Personal Statement

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Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS: The 10 Big Mistakes Students Should Avoid

how long should my personal statement be ucas

James is senior content marketing manager at BridgeU. He writes and directs content for BridgeU's university partners and our community of international schools

  • Writing a UCAS Personal Statement for a subject that isn’t the right fit
  • Spelling & grammar mistakes
  • Avoid pointless cliches
  • Endlessly listing extracurriculars
  • Over-using quotes or taking them out of context
  • Telling the reader something they already know 
  • Ignoring word limits
  • Unnecessary origin stories
  • Making things up
  • Controversy

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Writing a UCAS Personal Statement requires a student to convey a lot of information in a short space of time. Mistakes are easy to make. Read our run down of the most common ones and how to avoid them

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS is, in many ways, like asking a student to tell the story of their life in 4,000 characters or less. 

And if that sounds hard, it’s because it is. 

The UCAS Personal Statement is the  cornerstone of a UK university application . Students need to write a genuine, authoritative and compelling account of who they are and what they want from a UK university degree. They need to quickly grab the attention of the university admissions officer reading their Personal Statement, and they need to make sure they stand out from the hundreds of other applications that will be crossing that admission officer’s desk. 

In order to do this, the Personal Statement will require a student to master form, structure and content in such a way that makes their writing stand out. 

Understandably, students might feel an inordinate amount of pressure to get their Personal Statement right first time. 

Indeed, more often than not, it’s not a case of students being lazy when writing their UCAS Personal Statements. The problem is often that students will have a lot to say and will have put a lot of thought into their Statement, but may make some simple stylistic mistakes that could cost them when they finally submit their application. 

But if these mistakes are easy to make, they’re also easy to avoid. 

So we’re going to take you through the 10 most common (and potentially costly) mistakes that a student might make in their UCAS Personal Statement, and give you some tips on how to help your students avoid them. 

Bonus Resource –  To help your students avoid any major mistakes before they begin, our Personal Statement worksheet helps them to plan and write a truly compelling account of themselves.  Click here to download

1. Writing a UCAS Personal Statement for a subject that isn’t the right fit 

If students have done their research carefully and considerately, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Ideally, in the year leading up to the submission of the Personal Statement, your students will have shortlisted their university and course preferences to the point where they’re applying for a subject area they’re truly passionate about. 

But this first, major mistake is the natural conclusion of a student being pressured into a subject or career path by family, parents or even school peers. Hopefully this won’t happen – but if a student is writing their UCAS Personal Statement for a subject they’re not truly passionate about, then this should set off alarm bells. It will ultimately affect the quality of the Personal Statement. 

And, most importantly, admissions staff will easily spot a Personal Statement where the student’s heart isn’t in it. 

Top tip:  We at BridgeU are big fans of students finding their best-fit universities and courses (after all, it’s why we built our platform!). Students need to put a lot of time into making sure the UK course they are applying for is right for them. Starting a Personal Statement without having thoroughly researched university and course options is one of the most fundamental mistakes a student could make. 

2. Spelling & Grammar Mistakes 

This may seem like a rather obvious mistake, and one your students hopefully shouldn’t be making. 

But the tight time frames associated with a UCAS Personal Statement will make spelling and grammar mistakes more likely, especially if your students aren’t taking the time to proof-read their personal statement before submitting it. 

Spelling and grammar mistakes can really count against students, and can make their writing appear sloppy or poorly thought through. It’s an especially bad look if your students are applying for humanities or social sciences courses, or indeed any degree that requires a lot of extended writing! 

Top tip:  Encourage your students to print out their Personal Statement. Whilst we know that a lot of students do more things digitally these days (and BridgeU is an online platform after all!), reading a UCAS Personal Statement back as a living, printed document can really help students hone their eye for detail! 

3. Avoid exuberant language and pointless cliches 

“My love of Physics began when I used to look up at the night sky as a child, and found it simultaneously breath-taking and awe-inspiring.” 

“I’ve been passionate about the works of William Shakespeare since seeing my first production on stage. I’m fascinated by how Shakespeare remains relevant for today.” 

Can you see what’s wrong with these two examples? 

Whilst they are very positive and well-worded statements about why a student might want to study astrophysics, or Shakespearian literature, both these Personal Statement examples tip very quickly into cliche and generalisation. 

We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t encourage your students to use positive language when writing a UCAS Personal Statement, but this positive language needs to be backed up with clear, specific examples and rigorous analysis. 

Remember – the key to an excellent Personal Statement is showing, not telling. 

So why is Shakespeare still relevant to today? What specific examples could a student writing about a 16th century author use to demonstrate their relevance to the 21st century? 

Likewise, proclaiming a love for the wonders of the night sky is all well and good, but why did it make our example student want to study Physics? 

Top tip:  Encourage students to set a limit on the number of adjectives or descriptive phrases they use in their writing. It’s important to remember a Personal Statement has to accomplish a lot in a relatively short number of words. If students over-use words like ‘passionate’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘awe-inspiring’ they’re just going to end up repeating themselves. 

4. Endlessly listing extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities are a vital part of any Personal Statement. If used in the right way, they can help a student to stand out, and seem like a more well-rounded person. Extracurriculars can also help to showcase valuable soft skills that universities value in their students. 

But there’s no point using extracurriculars like a grocery list. Students endlessly describing their extracurriculars will mean nothing if they don’t link them back to the overall narrative of the Personal Statement. 

Again, it’s about showing, not telling. Saying ‘I have captained my school football team for three years’ means nothing if the writer doesn’t explain this activity within the context of the Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  When planning their Personal Statement, students need to think about the extracurricular activities that can demonstrate soft skills. What did they learn from doing this particular extracurricular activity? Do they think it will set them apart in their overall application? If the answer is no, then it’s best not putting it in. 

5. Over-using quotes or taking them out of context

Remember what we said about exuberant language and cliches? 

It’s the same with the use of quotes. 

Quotes can be a powerful tool to back up any argument, be it in a UCAS Personal Statement or any other kind of essay. 

But quotes used clumsily can often have the opposite effect, and make the writer of a Personal Statement seem pretentious or just quoting for the sake of it. 

Many students may feel tempted to open their Personal Statement with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King. A student who is submitting an application for psychology may feel it necessary to begin their Personal Statement with a quote from Sigmund Freud. 

The trouble is that many UK university admissions tutors have probably seen the same quotes again and again. Again, if quotes aren’t used in context, or don’t serve the overall narrative of the Personal Statement, then it may be worth not putting them in. 

It’s also important to remember that universities want to hear from the student, not Sigmund Freud! If in doubt, a student writing a Personal Statement should use their own thoughts and insights, not someone else’s. 

Top tip:  Encourage students to use less well-known quotes in their Personal Statement. Quotes from less well-known, specialist thinkers within a subject discipline are more likely to show that a student is widely read and has a deep and rich knowledge of the subject they’re applying for. 

6. Telling the reader something they already know 

Demonstrating subject knowledge and background reading is vital for a UCAS Personal Statement. But this must fit in with the student’s overall story of  why  they want to study that particular degree. 

What students shouldn’t do is explain academic or scientific theories at length, or regurgitate existing arguments that have already been made by other writers in their chosen field of study. 

Students writing a UCAS Personal Statement need to operate from the assumption that the person reading it is probably an expert in their field. It’s only worth students talking about their wider reading, or their take on another piece of academic writing, if they can demonstrate its relevance to them. 

Top tip:  Students should avoid going into depth about other academic or scientific theories unless they have a bearing on the student’s own worldview, and can tell the reader something about why they want to study for that particular course. 

Video: Tips from UCAS on starting a Personal Statement

7. not paying attention to word/character limits .

It’s pretty hard to literally ignore the word/character limit for the UCAS Personal Statement, as there will come a point where students will simply run out of space. 

But some students can fail to pay attention to word/character limits to the extent that they don’t plan the form and structure of their UCAS Personal Statement properly. 

Planning the overall structure and flow of the Personal Statement before writing it is absolutely essential if students are to make the most of the space that UCAS allocates. Half finished thoughts and hastily written conclusions will do more harm than good when someone reads the Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  Run one class/workshop with students where they brainstorm and plan the overall structure of their UCAS Personal Statement. Break the components of a good personal statement down into chunks, and get students thinking about the optimal structure for making their Personal Statements as good as they can be! 

8. Unnecessary origin stories 

Everyone loves an origin story (why else would film studios keep remaking Spiderman?). But origin stories in UCAS Personal Statements can sometimes be a waste of time (this is in sharp contrast to an application like the Common App in the USA), where they love to hear a student’s origin story)

Remember our physics student from Tip no.3 who loved to gaze at the night sky? Childhood anecdotes are great, and can certainly add character to a student’s application. But they’re not always necessary to showcase a student’s devotion to their chosen subject. 

In fact, it’s fair to say that admissions tutors at UK universities are more interested in an applicant’s more recent contributions or achievements in their chosen field of study than snippets of their biography. 

Yet it remains the case that students sometimes feel the need to profess their lifelong devotion to a subject they’re hoping to study at university. It’s really not necessary. 

In fact UCAS themselves once published a list of the  most commonly used opening lines in a Personal Statement . Three of the most frequent openings were 

“I have always been interested in…” (used 927 times)

“For as long as I can remember I have…” (used 1,451 times) 

“From a young age I have always been interested in/fascinated by…” (used 1,779 times) 

Not only does drawing on childhood memories risk losing sight of more relevant information, it’s also something that lots of universities have seen before. 

9. Making things up 

We hope that none of your students would ever lie in their Personal Statement. But if someone feels the pressure to stand out from the crowd and really impress a university, then it could happen. 

Even small, believable exaggerations could come back to haunt a student if they were hypothetically invited to an interview further down the road. It could be as small as pretending to have read a particular book, or quoting/discussing a piece of research in their chosen subject field and not having fully engaged with it. 

Top tip:  When it comes to putting anything untruthful in a Personal Statement, we can only offer you one piece of advice to give to your students. 

Don’t do it! It’s not worth it, students will probably get found out and there’s likely plenty of achievements and skills that students can talk about in their Personal Statement. They just need to think long and hard about what it is! 

10. Being controversial or contrarian for the sake of it 

Being controversial or argumentative can seem like a good way to sit up and get the reader’s attention – but it’s not worth a student doing it unless they’ve really got the evidence and the argument to back it up. 

For example, arguing against a famous essay or piece of research in a student’s chosen subject might seem like a good way to score some brownie points. But why does a student take issue with this particular piece of research? And is it really wise to try and tackle it in the space of a 4,000 character Personal Statement. 

Top tip:  Students should definitely be independent and analytical when discussing their degree subject in their Personal Statement – after all, it’s the most surefire way to stand out. But taking a contrarian position, or trying to make an explosive new contribution to academic discourse in the course of one Personal Statement probably isn’t a good idea. 

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS – final tips to avoid mistakes

What do these mistakes all have in common? 

The answer is they are the natural consequence of students forgetting some of the core principles of UCAS Personal Statement writing. 

  • Students need to ensure their Personal Statements are well-structured and well-planned – so as to avoid spelling mistakes and/or falling foul of the character limit. 
  • Students need to keep their Personal Statements as unique to them as possible – this means staying truthful to their own ambitions and worldview, and avoiding generalisations or cliches. 
  • A good Personal Statement needs to be rooted in strong analysis and writing that makes good use of evidence and specific examples to back up an argument. 
  • A standout Personal Statement needs to be compelling account of a student’s suitability for a course with a good story at the heart of it – it needs to show, not tell. 

Our Personal Statement template is a great resource if you want to help your students plan and write a truly individual Personal Statement, and avoid some of the mistakes we’ve listed here. Download it below! 

Bonus Resource!

How to write a Personal Statement Worksheet & Template

how long should my personal statement be ucas

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how long should my personal statement be ucas

UCAS Discovery Aberystwyth 2024

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  • Agenda (active tab)

Wednesday 26 June 2024

10:20 - 10:35, the big q&a: what’s on and what to ask, 10:40 - 10:55, your options explained: how to figure out what’s right for you, 11:00 - 11:15, how to stand out: ucas application and personal statement tips, 11:40 - 11:45, 11:50 - 12:05, 12:30 - 12:45, the advantages of using your welsh at university, 12:50 - 13:05, 13:10 - 13:15, 13:20 - 13:35, 13:40 - 13:55, sponsored articles ucas media service, apprenticeships – the facts, top tips on funding and scholarships, degrees focusing on your employability.

COMMENTS

  1. How To Write Your Undergraduate Personal Statement

    Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve. Avoid cliches! Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you. Keep it relevant and simple.

  2. Personal statement dos and don'ts

    Don'ts. Don't be modest or shy. You want your passions to come across. Don't exaggerate - if you do, you may get caught out in an interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement. Don't use quotes from someone else, or cliches. Don't leave it to the last minute - your statement will seem rushed and important ...

  3. Writing your personal statement

    Writing your personal statement: carers, estranged students, refugees or asylum seekers. Everyone is individual, but certain life circumstances provide an opportunity to showcase the unique qualities and experiences you can bring to university life. Here you'll find everything you need to know about writing your personal statement.

  4. How to write a UCAS personal statement

    UCAS personal statement word limit. Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550-1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

  5. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict - up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it's also important that they don't feel the need to fill the available space needlessly. Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential.

  6. How to write an excellent personal statement in 10 steps

    Use your closing couple of lines to summarise the most important points in your statement. 9. Check your writing thoroughly and get someone else to check it, too. 10. Give your brain a rest by forgetting about your personal statement for a while before going back to review it one last time with fresh eyes.

  7. How to write your UCAS Personal Statement

    A personal statement is an important part of your UCAS application, here's our advice on how to write your UCAS Personal Statement. ... How long should a personal statement be? Your personal statement can be around 47 lines (there is no word limit but there is a character limit of 4,000 characters, which is roughly 1 side of A4). ...

  8. Ultimate Guides

    how to decide your next steps. writing a personal statement. picking your degree. degree apprenticeships vs traditional degrees. interviews. making smart financial decisions. taking a gap year. choosing what to study after gcses. finding work experience. going to a ucas discovery exhibition. life after your ucas discovery exhibition

  9. How Long Should Your UCAS Personal Statement Be?

    How Long Should Your UCAS Personal Statement Be? "The ideal length for a UCAS personal statement is dependent on the quality and relevance of the information included, rather than the number of words." UCAS recommends a maximum of 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text. Writing a UCAS personal statement can be a daunting task.

  10. How to write your personal statement

    A personal statement is a short written account used to support your university application. It is your opportunity to 'sell' yourself to universities. And to show how and why you are a good candidate for your chosen course. A well-written application may convince a university to make you an offer or invite you to an interview.

  11. Personal Statement Writing Guide

    How long should my personal statement be? The 'word' limit is 47 lines of text, or 4000 characters. This equates to (roughly) 600 words. UCAS recommends that you write out your personal statement in a word processor before copying and pasting it into their online application form. To help you with this, use our personal statement length checker ...

  12. 7 tips for writing a great UCAS personal statement

    Discuss your career aspirations. Demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen sector and your ambitions within it. 4. Describe the person behind the application. This can be a relatively short section: a few lines of interesting, relevant information will do. 5. Conclude by linking back to your introduction.

  13. Introducing the personal statement builder

    The personal statement builder in the UCAS Hub is designed to help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to lay it all out. It also counts how many characters you've used, so it's easy to see when you're close to the 4,000 character limit. All you have to do is sign up for the UCAS Hub and then you'll be ...

  14. How long should your personal statement be?

    UCAS requirements state that your personal statement can be a maximum of 4,000 characters or up to 47 lines in length - whichever comes first. The character count includes spaces and the line count includes blank lines, so keep this in mind when it comes to how you format your paragraphs. This might sound like a lot, but bear in mind that ...

  15. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

    How long should your personal statement be? Your personal statement must be between 1,000 and 4,000 characters long. It is best to use as many of the 4,000 characters (approximately 47 lines) as possible in order to showcase all of your best qualities and experience. ... Your UCAS personal statement should be clearly targeted to the subject you ...

  16. How to write the best personal statement

    How long should your personal statement be? The limit for your UCAS personal statement is 4,000 characters (not words!) including spaces or 47 lines, whichever comes first. To check the length of your personal statement, copy and paste it into the UCAS application form as character count may vary a little bit between your word processing ...

  17. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement

    There are specific requirements for your personal statement which you absolutely cannot ignore. You cannot exceed 4,000 characters, or 47 lines of text (including blank lines) - whichever is reached first. If you do, universities won't receive your entire statement. Because of this, make sure your personal statement has a strong, definitive ...

  18. Personal Statement FAQs

    1. When should I start writing my personal statement? It's never too early to start thinking about it! Unfortunately, UCAS deadlines have a tendency to creep up on most students, especially if you are applying to Oxbridge where the deadline is much earlier than other universities (15th October). However, you probably want a good idea of what course you're going to apply for before you launch ...

  19. What to include in a personal statement

    Kate McBurnie, First Year student in French, Italian and Theatre. "I think it's really important to not only include why you'd like to study the course you're applying for, but also the things that set you apart from other applicants, i.e., your hobbies, interests, skills, volunteering etc.".

  20. How To Write A UCAS Personal Statement

    How long should my Personal Statement be? The length of a personal statement varies depending on the university, but generally, the average length for an undergraduate application is between 400-600 words, around one side of A4 paper or a maximum of 47 lines.

  21. Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS: The 10 Big Mistakes ...

    Writing a UCAS Personal Statement requires a student to convey a lot of information in a short space of time. Mistakes are easy to make. ... "For as long as I can remember I have…" (used 1,451 times) "From a young age I have always been interested in/fascinated by…" (used 1,779 times)

  22. UCAS' top tips on how to write a powerful personal statement

    Use evidence. Show that you'd be a great student by linking relevant skills and experiences from your studies and other activities to the course. Be honest. Don't be tempted to exaggerate; for your application honesty is definitely the best policy. Admissions tutors will often refer to personal statements during interviews too.

  23. How To Write Your Postgraduate Personal Statement

    Just start by showing your enthusiasm for the subject, showcasing your knowledge and understanding, and sharing your ambitions of what you want to achieve. Avoid cliches . Remember, this opening part is simply about introducing yourself, so let the admissions tutor reading your personal statement get to know you. Keep it relevant and simple.

  24. UCAS Discovery Aberystwyth 2024

    What should I do? Explore all your options and start planning your next steps. Create your UCAS Hub. Discover. ... How long does it take? Who are they for? Rights and responsibilities; Where. England; ... UCAS application and personal statement tips; 11:40 - 11:45. Big Q&A The Big Q&A: What's on and what to ask; 11:50 - 12:05.