How to write a personal statement for university

Your personal statement is key to ensuring you stand out from the crowd. We can help.

personal statement for university

Tips for writing a personal statement for university

A personal statement for university

Tips for writing a personal statement for Uni! If you are looking to apply for an undergraduate degree, understanding how to write a personal statement for uni is an essential component of submitting a winning university application. Having supported many students through this process, we can help and guide you, drawing on your experiences and passions, to submit a winning university personal statement.

Below are our key tips for writing a personal statement for university:

Tip 1 – Check the word limit of your personal statement

Think about the length of your personal statement. Check the word limit for the application, within the context of the application system you are applying to.

If you are writing a personal statement for UCAS in the UK undergraduate application system, the limit is 4000 characters, including spaces, and no more than 47 lines of text.

For other applications in Europe, the USA or for postgraduate applications, the word limit and personal statement specifics can be quite different. Please check them and use this as the basis for guiding the length of how to write your personal statement for uni.

Tip 2 – Draft a structure for the word limit of your personal statement

Does the system you are applying to give you any guidance regarding the structure of your personal statement? For UCAS undergraduate applications in the UK system, you should consider;

Stating why you want to do the course! What motivates you for studying your chosen subject?

Tell them about your skills and achievements. Discuss examples that show how you have developed skills whilst at school (working in teams perhaps) or during positions of responsibility as a prefect or mentor at school.

Tell them about any relevant work experience and future career plans. This section can discuss any work experience or voluntary work you have undertaken.

For UCAS applications, we suggest you create a structure with no more than five short paragraphs in, discussing both your academic achievements and your achievements outside of school.

Tip 3 – Read your statement back to yourself, your family and friends

Ask friends and family for tips for writing a personal statement for university. Use their suggestions or ideas to improve your statement.

Tip 4 – Always tell the truth

Make sure your statement gives a holistic view of what you have done. Be completely truthful in what you have done and do not plagiarise any text from the internet.


We can guide you further on how to structure your personal statement. We will review what you produce and we will provide you with feedback to help you improve it to ensure your personal statement stands out for the right reasons. Writing a personal statement is all about giving you a competitive edge when applying for highly competitive degree courses.

Your personal statement is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills, what you can bring as a student to that degree course, and importantly, why you want to study that subject area. There are different ways to structure a personal statement. Most universities want to see a balance of your academic performance and what you have achieved outside school.

We will help you write a personal statement for the subject area you are applying for. We will help you demonstrate how you have developed your study skills from your experiences in school, working in teams, through work experience, positions of responsibility working in your local community, or through voluntary placements you have undertaken.

You can find out more below. Or for a free consultation, contact us now.

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Writing a personal statement for university examples

Below, we have given you examples of the sorts of things to include in your personal statement;

Course motivation examples;

‘My motivation for studying medicine developed when I took a job as a health care assistant, where I enjoyed working in teams’

‘I have enjoyed studying mathematics at high school and this has developed my interest in applying to study mathematics at university’

‘I enjoyed repairing engines at home as my hobby outside school, however, this has also motivated me to apply to study engineering and made me decide what I want to pursue as my career’

‘I enjoy studying geography and English at school and have decided to combine my interests and apply to study both subjects in a combined Honours degree at university’

Skills and achievements – examples;

‘At school I enjoyed taking part in Duke of Edinburgh Gold activities as it really developed my ability to work well in teams and in a leadership capacity’

‘I play both tennis at school and for the regional team. I have been the vice president of the junior tennis club and this role has helped me develop excellent communication skills during fundraising activities I have helped organise’

‘I speak three languages fluently. My work experience in France last summer in a café helped strengthen my overall communication skills and linguistic ability, as well as giving me valuable experience being part of a team’

‘At school I was awarded the ‘high achievers’ trophy for the last three years in my English studies. I enjoy studying English and I am passionate about continuing my education in English literature at university’

Work experience and voluntary work – examples;

‘My voluntary work in the last two years at a homeless shelter has helped feed hundreds of people and given me valuable experience in working as part of a team’

‘Last summer I spent two weeks working in a general medical practice, shadowing a GP. I helped the reception team manage difficult phone calls. This experience has made me see the challenges of being a Doctor and how essential it is to work well in teams. It has also importantly made me realise I have the ability to manage challenging situations well, which is essential in my future role as a doctor’

‘In my spare time I help coach swim students. I have been swimming professionally for five years and intend to continue at university, helping me stay fit and manage the stress of multitasking with my course requirements’

‘My internship at a bank has inspired me to apply to study finance, teaching me the key skills and determination required in the banking sector’

Tips for writing a personal statement for university for a Master degree application are to ensure when writing a personal statement for university, that examples are given from your degree course, linking what you studied to your future Master degree subject and chosen career route. It may well be you are applying for a similar subject at Master’s level or you could be applying for a totally different subject for your Master degree. If it is a different subject choice, explain why you have made your course choice and discuss your future career aspirations. We also recommend that you refer to any internships you have undertaken during your degree course and explain how they inspired your career choice and what skills you learned during your internship.

We do suggest for how to write personal statement for uni for a Master’s application that you follow the guidance given by the university and department/course guidance, as some postgraduate applications ask you specific questions and you need to split your answers up. They often give you specific word limits for each question. Check your word limits and the guidance and follow our tips for writing a personal statement for university!

Research based postgraduate degree programmes often have very detailed requests on how they want a proposal structuring for the MPhil or PhD you are applying for. Our tips for writing a personal statement for university for a MPhil or PhD is to really discuss why you want to develop your research skills and to what you want to do career wise as a researcher. Make sure you use references to any papers you have written, conferences you have attended, or posters you have presented. Discuss you future research ideas and how you feel you can add to the current literature body and research. Make sure you are applying for the right postgraduate funding as grants will be targeted to specific programmes. Uni Direct can help you understand things better if you get in touch.

Planning your UCAS personal statement – specific UCAS requirements

You should plan how to structure your personal statement. A good university personal statement on UCAS comprises a maximum of 47 lines or 4,000 characters including spaces. You need to ensure that you use natural language and clearly defined paragraphs to structure your ideas. It should reflect your personality and passion for your chosen subject.

You can also look at personal statement examples for uni online. However, be careful as this is all about you so our advice is to write your own before looking.

For further support on writing a good personal statement for university, please get in touch with Uni Direct. Our blog article will also give you more tips on producing a winning personal statement.

Helping you in producing a winning personal statement is an integral part of our undergraduate degree university application support service. If you would like to find out more, please contact us to speak to one of our advisers.