How to write a postgraduate personal statement

Feeling overwhelmed about what to include in your postgraduate personal statement? Take a breath.

A meticulously crafted personal statement can significantly impact your postgraduate application. However, it differs from your undergraduate counterpart, requiring careful consideration of content. To guide you through this process, here are essential tips on crafting your postgraduate personal statement:

Understanding the Postgraduate Personal Statement

A postgraduate personal statement accompanies your application and serves as a succinct summary of your skills, academic achievements, and relevant experiences. Its primary function is to effectively market yourself to the university of your choice, setting you apart from other applicants.

Importance of the Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a crucial component of your postgraduate application, providing an opportunity to showcase your personality and credentials. It enables you to highlight your relevant qualifications and tailor them to the specific course you’re applying for, enhancing your chances of acceptance.

Determining Length

Your postgraduate personal statement should ideally be no longer than 500 words, equivalent to half to one page of A4 paper. However, requirements may vary among universities, so it’s prudent to verify each institution’s guidelines before commencing your writing.

Content Essentials

A compelling postgraduate personal statement should address the following key points:

  • Your motivation for pursuing postgraduate study
  • Your readiness to transition from undergraduate to postgraduate level
  • Your reasons for selecting the particular university
  • Your contributions to the university, including academic achievements, skills, experiences, awards, and extracurricular activities
  • Why you are a deserving candidate compared to others

Structuring Your Statement

Organise your personal statement into concise paragraphs, encompassing an introduction, main body, and conclusion. Introduce yourself, elaborate on your suitability for the university and course, and conclude by reinforcing your merit. Keep your writing clear, succinct, and focused, avoiding unnecessary verbosity.

Time Allocation

Given the significance of your personal statement, allocate sufficient time to craft a tailored document for each application. This entails answering the provided questions thoughtfully and substantiating your responses with relevant achievements. Remember, the effort you invest in refining your statement can significantly enhance its impact.

Top Tips for Writing

Keep the following pointers in mind:

  • Customise each application to the specific university and course
  • Maintain professionalism and enthusiasm throughout
  • Demonstrate thorough research on the course and university, highlighting its unique selling points
  • Support your attributes and skills with tangible achievements
  • Ensure meticulous proofreading for spelling and grammar errors

Avoid:

  • Employing negative language
  • Fabricating information
  • Engaging in aimless rambling
  • Submitting identical statements to multiple universities
  • Reiterating information already present in your application
  • Resorting to clichés

By incorporating these guidelines into your postgraduate personal statement writing process, you can effectively present yourself as a strong candidate, increasing your likelihood of securing admission to your desired program.