University of Northampton International College

Guide to writing a personal statement

Guide to writing a personal statement

Writing a personal statement can sound like a difficult and daunting task. As human beings we often do not find it very natural to talk just about ourselves and our strengths but essentially that is what is required. To put it simply, a personal statement is a short testimonial, written by you, which tells us more about your skills and experience and most importantly why you want to study with us. To help you, we have created this handy guide to make the process a little easier.

How long should a personal statement be?

Personal statements should be no less than 500 words and no more than two A4 pages in standard font.

What should I say in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should be unique and personal to you however, there are certain areas that you will need to cover. Below are some questions to help guide you in writing yours. Think of them like separate paragraphs that will flow together and make up your statement.

  • Why do you want to study this course?

    Think about why you have specifically chosen to study at UNIC and the University of Northampton and what interests you about your course choice.

    You should mention why you chose to apply to UNIC and the University of Northampton rather than a different university.

  • What do you plan to do when you graduate?

    You should talk about how you think your course will help you to achieve your future career goals when you return to your home country. Think about these and outline your aspirations to the reader.

  • What did you study before?

    An important part of the statement is mentioning your most recent studies and if you have a break in your studies, what you have been doing since then, for example, any volunteering or work experience. If you do have a study gap how you have been filling that time and why you have acquired the break in your studies are very important.

  • Why are you the right person for this course?

    Your College wants to know about you. What can you bring to UNIC? This is your chance to tell us why you think you will be a good fit for this course. You should include relevant work experience, previous studies and also your personal interests.

  • How will you contribute to this course and student life?

    Being a University student is not just about the studying, it is also about growing as a person and benefiting from all the other experiences that will be open to you on arrival. In this section you should tell us what makes you unique, what you enjoy doing and more about your interests in the wider university life.

Do's and Don’ts Checklist

Do Don't
Keep sentences clear and concise- be specific Use automatic translation software
Research more about your course and university before you begin Exaggerate – we want what you send us to be correct and true
Use spellchecker to check spelling and grammar Copy someone else’s. Make sure this is your own work. All personal statements are checked for plagiarism, if you are found to have copied part or all of this from someone else, your application will be unsuccessful
Write a first draft and ask someone to proof read it Avoid clichés
Be original, let your personality come through Avoid overloading the reader with information. Think quality of what you are writing over quantity.
Be realistic – we want an honest statement not one that you think will impress but isn’t a true reflection of you. Copy and paste large pieces of text from the internet. Paraphrase and retell what you have read in your own words.
Other useful links to have a read of:

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