Firstly, the key thing is to make sure you are applying for a course that you really want to do. That way, you won’t have to fake your enthusiasm on the subject and you can write about different ways that you have researched and gone outside of your learning comfort zone to find out more. If you have read any interesting books around the topic, seen any relevant plays/exhibitions/lectures, anything – you should definitely include them! It shows that you are engaged and keen to find out more.
Secondly, make it clear why you are applying for that course in particular. Is it something you have always wanted to do or have you just found interest in those related subjects from previous years of education? Try and show that you have done your research on the course and what makes it appeal to you.
If you have skills and experiences that you feel will help you be more successful with your course that you have acquired through a part-time job or similar (i.e. time management, team-work), put them in! It will not only show the university that you are confident to start learning, but will also show them that you are knowledgeable and able to engage in a range of different areas.
Trying to organise and plan out the range of different attributes and skills you have that make you suited to the course and separate you from the other piles of personal statements is hard so one technique I found helpful was just to write a list of all of the positive things about myself I could put in and later split them into relevant paragraphs. It will probably be hard trying to write about yourself in a way that you haven’t before but just remember that everyone else is in the same boat and trying to big themselves up too! I strongly advise not exaggerating though, you may get caught out if they invite you for an interview!
By Imogen Byers