Your Guide to Writing a Personal Statement

The personal statement is a key part of your UCAS application. You have a limited space to tell universities who you are, what you want to do, and why they should accept you. If you give it your best and tackle it step by step it need not be a daunting task.

Before you begin

The personal statement is one of the final sections of your UCAS application. However, you shouldn’t leave it until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to write.

  • Your personal statement must be at least 1,000 characters long, including spaces.
  • The maximum length is 4,000 characters or 47 lines, whichever comes first.
  • It’s a good idea to write your statement in a separate document, make all the edits you want, and then copy and paste it into your application.
  • Plan out your structure and key points before you start writing, just like an essay. You can use this page to decide what to include. 

Top tips for writing your statement

Watch the video for a summary of the key advice on how to write your personal statement.

Or use the bullet points below as a checklist when you're writing.

Remember the UCAS Deadline is 31 January 2024.

We look forward to receiving your application, good luck!

1. Introduce yourself first

You don't need to start your introduction with “My name is...”, but it’s vital to tell whoever’s reading your application who you are. Start by answering these questions:

  • Why are you interested in studying your subject?
  • What is it about university that appeals to you?
  • Where do you hope a degree will take you?

Include any relevant anecdotes and details about yourself that will make your application stand out. Has someone inspired you to study your chosen subject? Have you always dreamed of a particular career?

2. Tell us about your skills and achievements

You should demonstrate the things you’re good at and provide examples to back it up. Include things like:

  • Any awards you’ve received.
  • Hobbies or activities that build skills.
  • Work experience and what that taught you.
  • Volunteering or projects like Duke of Edinburgh, Step Together, or Young Enterprise.
It’s a good idea to take a look at the course(s) you’re applying for. You should be able to pick out the qualities universities are looking for in students of that subject.

3. Do some final checks

There are a few dos and don’ts to make sure your personal statement is the best it can possibly be.

  • Do proofread everything. A spellchecker might not pick up on every mistake so make sure your writing makes sense.
  • Don’t mention the names of any specific universities if you’re applying to more than one. They all see the same application.
  • Do have someone else read your statement before you submit it. A teacher or family member could have suggestions.
  • Don’t be tempted to copy someone else’s writing. Your statement should be unique to you and similarities will be caught out.
  • Do bring your best self! If you take the time to really think about your statement, plan it out, and write to the best of your ability, then it’s a job well done.


Feeling Confident?

Head back to our main 'How to Apply' page and remember to send your application before 31 January 2024.