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Strathclyde University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to The University of Strathclyde. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities .

Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example 1 Understanding and discovering how mechanical products work has always been an interest of mine. When I was younger, I would spend hours building complex structures using Lego or K-Nex which is where my passion for engineering began...

Aerospace Engineering Personal Statement Example 14 For as long as I can remember, aircraft have always been a primary interest of mine. Being a typical young boy my early interests and aspirations were to become a fighter pilot or an astronaut. However, as I grew older and my eyes were opened to the wonders of physics, my interests were turned to the engineering behind the machines themselves, from the 11 ton Eurofighter Typhoon to the 2000 ton Space shuttle...

Marketing Personal Statement Example 6 After graduating from a bilingual business school it was clear to me that I would like to study in English. Soon after I started to inform myself about potential places to study I found that the UK is the perfect choice as it is well known for its higher educational system...

Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example 16 Being born as a son to two former engineers, I was raised in an environment where curiosity is treasured and nurtured. It wasn't surprising that as I became older, my fascination towards science and technology also grew along with me...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 73 Every day life involves psychology; the mind has extraordinary abilities. Man is now surrounded by billions of other humans, so curiosity of how we interact can only be human? My curiosity of human interaction first budded from watching my sister begin her life...

Accounting Personal Statement Example 4 At the heart of a successful business is a passion to achieve. A clear mindset and the ability to collaborate well with people is what makes profit; this is vital in the field of accounting. After looking further into the structure of firms, one thing in common to each is that at it's centre is a good accountant who makes clear and well thought out decisions...

Law Personal Statement Example 90 Law is the cornerstone of our society, the piece of the puzzle that makes the world we live in work. It sparked my interest a few years ago, when I decided it was time to take a closer look at potential university courses...

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How to write a UCAS personal statement

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Writing a great personal statement

Read our guide on what it is, what to include, how to start, length and what makes a good personal statement 

Once you've decided which universities and courses to apply for, completing your application is pretty simple – until it comes to how to write your UCAS personal statement.

This guide covers everything you need to know about how to write a personal statement for university. We look at what it is and how you can start your personal statement. We've also got questions to guide you and a suggested personal statement structure you can use so you know what to put in it.

If you'd like even more resources, support and UCAS personal statement examples, you can sign up to access our personal statement hub .

What is the UCAS personal statement?

How universities use your ucas personal statement, how to start a ucas personal statement.

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The personal statement is part of your UCAS application. It's how you show your chosen universities why you'll make a great student and why they should make you an offer.

Your personal statement also helps you think about your choice of course and your reasons for applying, so you know you’ve made the right decision.

Get feedback on your personal statement

Sign up to our personal statement hub to get feedback on your draft. You'll also get access to videos, help sheets and more tips.

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UCAS personal statement word limit

Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. 

This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550–1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper.

You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read.

Applying for multiple courses

Although you can apply for up to 5 courses on your UCAS application, you can only submit 1 personal statement. So it needs to cover all your course choices.

If you really want to show your commitment to applying for different courses, we will accept a second personal statement from you to reflect your application e.g. if you are applying for Law elsewhere, but Criminology and Criminal Justice with us.

Lots of students who apply to university have achieved the basic entry requirements and many more students apply than there are places available. Admissions teams can use your UCAS personal statement to get to know you and decide why you're more suitable than other applicants.

Some universities read every personal statement and score them. Then they use them alongside your qualifications and grades to decide whether to offer you a place or interview. Other universities put less emphasis on the personal statement and use it with students who have borderline entry requirements.

Universities might refer to your personal statement again on results day if you don't get the grades you need. So a good personal statement could clinch you a uni place even if your grades aren't what you hoped for.

Starting your personal statement can seem scary when you're staring at a blank screen. But, things will seem less daunting once you start.

  • Set aside some time in a place where you're comfortable and won't be disturbed. Grab a notepad or computer.
  • Write down anything and everything that's influenced your decision to go to university and study your chosen subject. Jot down your skills and experience too.
  • Use the questions below to guide you. Don't worry about the personal statement length at this point – you can cut things out later.

When to start your UCAS personal statement

Ideally, you want to leave yourself plenty of time – a few weeks or even months – to plan and write your personal statement.

Try not to leave it to the last minute, as tempting as this may seem when you've got so many other things to think about.

Questions to guide you

Your motivation.

  • Why do you want to study at university?
  • Why do you want to study this subject?
  • How did you become interested in this subject?
  • What career do you have in mind after university?

Academic ability and potential

  • How have your current studies affected your choice?
  • What do you enjoy about your current studies?
  • What skills have you gained from your current studies?
  • How can you demonstrate you have the skills and qualities needed for the course?
  • What qualities and attributes would you bring to the course and university?

Your experience

  • What work experience (including part-time, charity and volunteer work) do you have and what have you learnt from it?
  • What positions of responsibility have you held? (For example, prefect, captain of a team or member of a committee)
  • What relevant hobbies or interests do you have and what skills have they helped you develop?
  • What transferable skills do you have, such as self motivation, team working, public speaking, problem solving and analytical thinking?

Research and reading

  • How do you keep up with current affairs or news in your chosen subject?
  • What journals or publications relevant to your chosen subject do you read?
  • Which people have influenced you, such as artists, authors, philosophers or scientists?

Now it's time to write your personal statement using your notes. It's best to draft it on a computer, and remember to save it regularly.

You can copy and paste it into your UCAS application when you're happy with it.

Personal statement structure

While there's no set template for a personal statement, you may find it useful to follow this personal statement structure when you decide what to put in your statement.

What to include in a personal statement

  • Reasons for choosing this subject(s)
  • Current studies and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Experiences and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Interests and responsibilities and how these relate to your chosen subject(s)
  • Your future after university
  • Summary including why you'll make a great student

Further tips for a good UCAS personal statement

  • Use information on university websites and the UCAS website. This often includes the skills and qualities universities are looking for in applicants
  • Ask friends, family and teachers to remind you of activities you've participated in. They might remember your successes better than you do
  • Don’t include lists in your application, like a list of all your hobbies. Focus on 1 or 2 points and talk about them in depth to show their relevance to your application
  • Explain and evidence everything. It’s easy to say you have a skill, but it's better to demonstrate it with an example of when and how you’ve used it
  • Avoid clichéd lines such as ‘I've always wanted to be a teacher’ as it says nothing about your motivations or experiences
  • If you’re applying for a joint degree or different subjects, give equal time to each area and try to find common aspects that show their similarities
  • Never lie or plagiarise another statement – you'll be caught and it could result in your application being automatically rejected
  • Proofread your personal statement by reading it out loud and ask friends, family or a teacher to check it for you

Sign up to our personal statement hub

Watch videos, get top tips and download our help sheets – that's what our personal statement hub is for. It's for you to write your story, so you can show your strengths, ideas and passion to your chosen universities.

You'll also be able send us your draft, so you can get feedback and feel confident about what you've written.

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Writing the Personal Statement

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The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:

1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:

This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.

2. The response to very specific questions:

Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.

Questions to ask yourself before you write:

  • What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
  • What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
  • When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
  • How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
  • If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
  • Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
  • What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
  • What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

General advice

Answer the questions that are asked

  • If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
  • Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.

Tell a story

  • Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.

Be specific

  • Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.

Find an angle

  • If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.

Concentrate on your opening paragraph

  • The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.

Tell what you know

  • The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.

Don't include some subjects

  • There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).

Do some research, if needed

  • If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.

Write well and correctly

  • Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.

Avoid clichés

  • A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.

For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast .

How to strengthen your personal statement

To strengthen your university application, consider the following advice about writing your personal statement.

Personal statement is the section on your UCAS application that universities use to check that the course you have applied for is right for you.

To help you stand out, our Head of Admissions has shared these 10 personal statement top tips:

  • Interest in a particular course; Explain why you are interested in a particular course and describe what you have done to go beyond just taking an interest in the subject area. Try to support what you say with evidence and avoid sweeping statements such as 'I have always had an interest in physics', without anything to back them up.
  • Experience; Detail any relevant work experience and the skills you have acquired.
  • Extended project work experience ; If you are doing an extended project qualification (EPQ), mention your research and explain how it is helping you prepare for studying at Southampton.
  • Career aspirations ; Show commitment to your chosen subject area by writing about your career aspirations related to the course you want to study.
  • Hobbies and interests ; Include details about your hobbies and interests, especially if you are in a position of responsibility or they relate to your chosen degree course. Don't just give a list, consider choosing two or three interests to talk about in detail. You should also talk briefly about the skills you have gained from these activities.
  • University expectations ; What do you hope to get from university? Mention any societies or activities you plan to become involved in. Include areas you are active in now and any that would be completely new to you.
  • Be truthful ; Never lie in your personal statement. Just be you, let your potential show.
  • Strong conclusion ; Try to finish your personal statement with a strong concluding paragraph. You could sum up the type of person you are.
  • Save your work ; The UCAS apply website times out after an hour, so it may be easier to write your personal statement in a word processer, then cut, and paste it into your application. Remember to 'save' your work regularly.
  • Check and check again ; Take your time to proofread your personal statement and make sure your application is completed and accurate. Get at least one person, or ideally several people, to check your personal statement for spelling and grammar mistakes.

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Personal Statement Word Limit

By kmeredithc November 12, 2015 in Psychology Forum

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Decaf

Does anyone have any advice on how many words over it is acceptable to go on a personal statement? For example, one of the schools I'm applying to states that the personal statement should be an essay of "about 1000 words." I am currently at about 1300 words and can not get it any shorter for the life of me. Any thoughts?? Thanks!

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Gvh

For me personally, I tried to follow the guidelines as much as possible, just as I would for any academic assignment. I also had a school state "about 1000 words" and I think that statement is around 1100 words. Another school explicitly states "must not exceed 750 characters with spaces", and I did not exceed it. I wouldn't push it either way, but if you're in doubt, email the admin assistant.

Upvote

I would definitely email/call the admissions office just in case. You wouldn't want them to cut off the last 300 words from your SOP!

Thank you both for your advice! I assume this applies to the number of pages too, in addition to the number of words.

HermoineG

I would not go over the word limit ever. They may think I choose to ignore their requirements or worse - didn't read their website!

lewin

1300 is too much for "about a thousand"; it's almost an extra single-space page! But I sympathize about the pain of letting go of words. I've probably had more practice, but just now I applied for a small grant and described the purpose, methods, and implications of two experiments in 800 words. So, a thousand should be plenty--you can do it.

Ask somebody objective to edit; second readers are better at seeing what's extra. 

Writing with brevity is something they're assessing with the statement, and a critical skill to develop for grad school because you'll always have word limits. Consider reading  The Elements of Style , which is a classic, and has lots of advice on this. Famous line: "Make every word tell."

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strathclyde personal statement word limit

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, word limit on common app personal statement.

Hey folks, I'm about to start working on my personal statement for the Common App. Can someone let me know what the word limit is for the statement? I just don't wanna go over the limit and then realize I need to cut it down. Thanks in advance!

Hey there! The word limit for the Common App personal statement is 650 words. You're right to be mindful of the limit beforehand, as it'll save you the hassle of having to cut down your essay later on. While you're working on your statement, I recommend keeping an eye on the word count to ensure that you stay within the limit while still effectively conveying your message. Good luck with your personal statement!

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IMAGES

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  2. Personal statement word limits are not the enemy

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  3. (PDF) Personal Statements written by Chinese and English-speaking applicants: a Study on Move

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COMMENTS

  1. Personal statements

    Many job applications will require a personal statement or ask an open ended question such as: "Please give any other information in support of your application". ... Length - most will have a strict limit in either words or characters. Use this as a guide for how long to make it, but do not go over as some platforms will cut you off at ...

  2. Cover letters & personal statements

    Personal statements. Use these resources: see our advice on personal statements; jobs.ac.uk How to create a CV: Personal Statement . Individual advice: Get your cover letter or personal statement checked by your Faculty Careers Consultant . ... The University of Strathclyde is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, number SC015263. ...

  3. Strathclyde University Personal Statement Word Limit

    3 years ago. University of Strathclyde. Official Rep. 14. Original post by jonnystudent21. I have a 500 word personal statement I have been using to apply for my postgraduate courses. But Strathclyde University appears to have a limit of 160 words! No idea how I can even say what I want to say with so few sentences.

  4. Academic policies & procedures

    Academic policies & procedures. This page provides a list of the Academic Policies, Procedures and Guidance. The policies, procedures and guidance are organised by the topics listed below. Further information can be obtained by emailing educationenhancement-quality @strath.ac.uk.

  5. Personal statement secrets

    Make the word count count. Your personal statement has a strict limit of 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines of 95 characters (including spaces); whichever is shorter. Exceed this and Ucas Hub will immediately cut you off and could leave your personal statement dangling in the middle of an unfinished sentence.

  6. How Long Should Your Personal Statement Be?

    How Long Should a Personal Statement Be? The simple answer is, for the Common App main statement, 650 words max; for the Coalition App, 500-650; for the UC PIQ s, 350 max. The better answer is … a little more complex. Hence the quotes around "right" in the intro. For each of the above, you don't have to use every single available word.

  7. Strathclyde University Personal Statements

    These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to The University of Strathclyde. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place. You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities.

  8. Does Strathclyde allow you to submit a second personal statement?

    Strathclyde University Personal Statement Word Limit; Personal Statement Advice for LSE/UCL; University of Strathclyde 2023 Applicants Thread; Changing degree before university; Education and psychology Strathclyde; Paragraphs in UCAS PS; UCAS applications; Official University of Strathclyde Applicant Thread for 2024; PGDE - Scotland 2023 ...

  9. How to write a UCAS personal statement

    UCAS personal statement word limit. Your personal statement length can be up to 4,000 characters long. This may sound a lot, but it's a word limit of around 550-1000 words with spaces and only about 1 side of typed A4 paper. You need to keep it concise and make sure it's clear and easy to read. Applying for multiple courses

  10. Is it a big no-no to be 15-20 words over the limit for a personal

    4. Reply. [deleted] • 2 yr. ago. If you're going to have to enter it into a textbox on the application portal (which is the case sometimes), then it won't accept anything more than 1000 words. If you're having to upload a file, which is more common, around 15 words over is generally speaking, fine. 10.

  11. Personal Statements

    The personal statement, an integral component of most graduate or professional school applications, gives you an opportunity to tell your story to the admissions committee. A well-written, reflective personal statement can greatly enhance an application. It will not only demonstrate your writing skills but also explain why you are a qualified ...

  12. Scholarships: hints & tips

    make sure you also check any word or character limits for statements. There's no point in submitting a 2,000-word essay if the application asks for a 500-word statement. Completing a personal statement ... an email came through from Strathclyde's Student Finance Advice Department, advising me on how to access the Bursary Funding.

  13. The Personal Statement

    1. The general, comprehensive personal statement: This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms. 2. The response to very specific questions: Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement ...

  14. PDF Careers and Employability Service How to write a Personal Statement

    Adhere to the stated word limits - personal statements are often limited to 250-500 words, or one typed page, so write concisely while still providing enough detail Tailor your personal statement to the job or course you are applying for - do not use exactly the same one for different opportunities

  15. How to Write an Amazing Common App Essay (2024-2025)

    What is the Common App Essay word limit? The Common App Essay word limit is 650 words. We strongly recommend using all 650 words, though you are not required to do so. If you're well below that limit, it's worth asking yourself why your personal statement is so short. Check it against the outlines we've worked through in this post.

  16. How to strengthen your personal statement

    Be truthful; Never lie in your personal statement. Just be you, let your potential show. Strong conclusion; Try to finish your personal statement with a strong concluding paragraph. You could sum up the type of person you are. Save your work; The UCAS apply website times out after an hour, so it may be easier to write your personal statement in ...

  17. Personal Statement Word Limit

    For example, one of the schools I'm applying to states that the personal statement should be an essay of "about 1000 words." I am currently at about 1300 words and can not get it any shorter for the... Jump to content ... Personal Statement Word Limit Personal Statement Word Limit. By kmeredithc November 12, 2015 in Psychology Forum. Share ...

  18. CVs and cover letters

    Cover letters. You should always include a cover letter with your CV. A cover letter demonstrates your motivation for applying. It also introduces your CV. And you can relate it to the specific opportunity you are applying to. You should use it as an opportunity to persuade the employer that you are a suitable candidate for the job.

  19. Went significantly over word limit of personal statement

    Hi folks! I'm applying to a Microbiology and Immunology PhD program at a less selective US school. The application deadline is December 15, and I just realized today that I went about a page over the word limit of their personal statement, which is approximately 500 words and for some reason I ignored entirely while filling out my application.

  20. Common App personal statement word limit?

    The Common App personal statement has a word limit of 650 words. It's important to adhere to this limit, as the Common App system will not allow you to submit an essay that exceeds it. When you paste your essay into the text box, the system will automatically truncate any text beyond the 650-word mark, which could lead to an unfinished or confusing essay.

  21. Personal Circumstances Procedure

    The self-certificate facility on Pegasus should be used to record all personal circumstances, including medical reasons, that will affect your attendance and/or studies. To record a self-certificate: You should advise your academic department if you will be absent or your studies will be affected. If official supporting evidence is available it ...

  22. Word limit on Common App personal statement?

    The word limit for the Common App personal statement is 650 words. You're right to be mindful of the limit beforehand, as it'll save you the hassle of having to cut down your essay later on. While you're working on your statement, I recommend keeping an eye on the word count to ensure that you stay within the limit while still effectively ...

  23. Microsoft Office365 Pro Plus

    Office365 ProPlus is a service available to registered students with an Office365 email account enabling them to use the latest full version of Microsoft Office. This license includes. Office 365 ProPlus for PC (Office 2019 ProPlus base applications) Office 365 ProPlus for Mac (Office 2019 for Mac base applications) Office Mobile for iPhone ...