A successful personal statement usually opens with positive intent and demonstrates a clear enthusiasm for the course in question. A common query from students is often on what to include in their personal statement. The answer is a simple one, if it’s relevant to your chosen course then include it and if it’s not then leave it out.
It’s a good idea to write in the first person, this provides evidence of an individual personal statement and helps once again to portray your enthusiasm for the course you’re applying for.
If there’s one key point to remember when writing your personal statement, remember the letters ABC! Activity, Benefit, Course! Universities want to see examples of the transferable skills you have obtained and how you plan to develop these skills at university. So, this is where ABC comes into play:
Maybe you’ve volunteered in your local charity shop or played in a sports team
What are the transferable skills you’ve acquired by doing this activity? For example, leadership, communication or self-motivation skills.
So you’ve done the activity and reaped the benefits, how does this relate to the course you’re applying for?
Good communication skills are vital for many university courses especially during group work. You also need a lot of self-motivation in order to succeed on any undergraduate degree programme.
Equally as important is a strong conclusion. Bear in mind, this is the last couple of lines in which you have to impress the admissions tutor. So make it count! Try to summarise your personal statement in a few lines and finish with a positive outlook on your future.
So remember, when writing your personal statement keep the writing style personal and use ABC where relevant!
Further guidance and tips for writing your personal statement can be found in our new UMASS personal statement activity and podcast]]>
Why do you want to go to university?
What course would you like to study?
Where would you like to live?
If you are still unsure after trying to answer these questions then keep an open mind, and review your options thoroughly.
For those of you who are sure that higher education is the right decision for you then it’s now time for you to do your home work! RESEARCH is increasingly more important in terms of applying to university. Universities can tell which students have done their research and know exactly what they are applying for, and they like to see it as it shows interest in the subject and a passion for your own education. The earlier you start the more knowledgeable on higher education you will become and this will help to create a positive first impression when writing your personal statement.
How should I go about my Research?
It is not unusual for you to feel a little lost at the beginning of your course research, there is a lot of information available to you and it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Think of ‘university course research’ as a highly organised secret agent operation in a blockbuster movie. You (the secret agent) need to gather detailed intel on your chosen targets, using a number of different research approaches. You will need to build up a detailed set of information before you can carry out the purpose of your mission (which is ultimately to be accepted onto your chosen course at University). Planning your research into three different stages will make it easier to keep track of the information you are gathering. So your mission, should you choose to accept it? (…is to start with stage 1).
A great place to start is the UCAS website; this rich information resource provides you with easy to read information regarding entry requirements, course module content and generally how to apply for university. For first-time ‘university course researchers’ entry profiles (marked ‘EP’) are a hot spot of information. Over 66% of entry profiles are created by the admissions tutors themselves, a heavy indicator of just how useful they can be. So why not make USE OF THEM?!
UMASS ‘TOP TIP’
On paper, create a series of columns with the name of the university you are researching written down at the top. Read through each entry profile carefully noting any part of the course information which is of interest to you. By doing this for numerous universities you can compare the courses you have researched and you will naturally start to form an opinion on the universities which interest you.
Ok then, so you have gathered a list of universities with some interesting courses. Now is the time to dig deeper! By visiting university web sites (course information pages) you collect a more wide-ranging bank of information (things like module content, academic reputation, study abroad options, social societies) further enhancing your opinions (good or bad) of the university. At the end of stage 2, you may start to have a few detailed questions of your own which at the moment remain unanswered.
Well…if you find yourself in this predicament then go back to the course information pages, find the telephone number or email address and pick up the phone or send a quick email to the department you are interested in, and you may find that your questions will be answered!
Now that those tricky questions are answered you will be feeling a little more positive about this whole university course research idea. You may also have a list of around five universities which appeal to you. You can now start to think about registering for summer open days! This is a great chance for you to experience what each university has to offer. Current university students will tell you, that attending open days is the most reliable method in making an informed choice in terms of choosing the right place to study for you as an individual.
However…many students across the country fail to utilise open days to their full ‘information packed’ potential. A common mistake is that students only attend general welcoming talks about the university and the courses that they are interested in but fail to grasp what else the university has to offer in terms of accommodation, social societies, learning facilities and the relationship the university has with its surrounding local areas. By the end of the day, some students will be travelling back home with a false impression of what the university (and location) really has to offer them as full time student. It really is important that you use open days wisely and let them enable you to complete your mission!
Are you applying for Medicine and Dentistry this year? You will need to do the UKCAT exam in order to gain admission to these courses. Come to this session in order to find out more about how the test works and get some key hints and tips.
Tuesday July 29th, 11am-12pm
Sign up here]]>
These are interactive workshops to help you make the most of your personal statement. We’ll be sharing top tips about what you should be including in your personal statement as well as offering advice on content and structure as well as getting started! This workshop is suitable for anybody writing their personal statement no matter what stage they are at!
We have 4 sessions running over 2 weeks. All sessions will be taking place at The University of Manchester, and will be run by a member of staff with current students to offer advice. These are designed to be small workshops and so places will fill up quick!
To book your place now, please click on one of the links below:
I hope you’ve received a warm welcome from the summer season. I bet you can’t wait to take those last few steps out of the school gate on the final day. My term, as you know, ended with my last exam. That’s a perk of university life; you’re likely to start your holidays by the beginning of June!
I had a few pleasant weeks off, but that’s about it. Because I’m currently on a 12 months placement for my degree that has already commenced. So I may only get a lie-in two days out of the week but that doesn’t hurt too badly when you’re getting paid to get up early. So that is what I’ll be up to until next summer. Then I can use some of that hard-earned cash to treat myself to a sunny holiday.
When I return to university next September I will be on my final year. I wonder if it will feel strange sitting in a lecture again after a year’s gap. But I also know that I will be putting my newly gained industry skills to use, making the work easier.
This is why I believe gaining experience is an integral part of university (and life in general) and why I encourage all of you to try the same. Getting a taste of the professional world before graduation will boost my employment prospects and give me a head start in the job hunt. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and employers value experience more than ever these days. So I highly recommend you apply for summer internships, and if you’re doing a degree that offers a year in industry, take that up too! Even jobs in retail and administration provide you with transferable skills so don’t shy away from those either. Every little helps. Experience will mould you into a well-rounded professional and give you the confidence to convince your prospective employers why you are the perfect person for the job!
Here’s wishing you all a beautiful summer full of sunshine and as few raindrops as possible. Make the most of your time. All the best for the future! It’s been a pleasure sharing my thoughts and experiences with you all.
My second year of studying English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Manchester has finally finished! The holidays that university students get differ dramatically from those that you are used to. Instead of being off school or college from July to the beginning of September, higher education grants four whole months off from studies!
Although it’s good to dedicate some well earned time to yourself after exams and coursework submission is over, the University of Manchester actively encourages its students to work over the summer in order to gain invaluable hands-on experience in their desired career sector. It is never too early to start looking for opportunities to improve your future employability, and to further advance your skill set. Many undergraduates seek work placements through internship programmes that allow them to apply the academic, theoretical knowledge that their degree has taught them to real life, practical situations.
The majority of big businesses, from the finance sector (e.g. Lloyds Banking Group; Barclays; Grant Thornton) to the tourist and leisure industry (e.g. Walt Disney World Resort; Alton Towers) offer positions that undergraduates can apply for. Some internships permit students to undertake independent research projects for their chosen company, whilst others focus exclusively on immersing the intern in team-based roles that are traditional within larger organisations. Best of all, many internship programmes within the UK are paid, providing a valuable source of income and petty cash for over the summer months as your skills improve!
A larger proportion of students opt to travel the world in their break. Although the benefits aren’t as immediately obvious as an internship, globetrotting provides individuals with knowledge of unfamiliar cultures and ways of life, whilst providing a opportunities for students to break out of their shell and become more independent. Also, the medium of travel can sometimes allow individuals to network with companies all around the work, which can prove useful when job seeking after one’s degree has been completed.
Over the summer holidays, I hope to obtain an internship within journalism and social media in order to strengthen my CV applications to job positions next year. I also plan on completing a bulk of research for one of my longer pieces of assessment that is due at the end of my degree; the dreaded third year dissertation! Although I expect my final year at Manchester to be time-consuming and a lot of hard work, I can’t wait to push myself to my intellectual limits and test the skills I have developed over the past two years.]]>