Things to Include in Your Personal Statement

Personal Statements

20th June 2024

Speak right now to our live team of English staff

Crafting a compelling personal statement is a crucial step in your university application process. This document is your opportunity to stand out from other applicants by showcasing your unique strengths, experiences, and motivations. Knowing what to include in a personal statement can make a significant difference in presenting a well-rounded and persuasive application. This guide will provide you with a detailed breakdown of what a personal statement should include to enhance its impact.

Understanding the Purpose of a Personal Statement

Before diving into the specifics of what to include in a personal statement, it’s important to understand its purpose. A personal statement allows admissions tutors to see beyond your grades and test scores. It gives them a glimpse of your personality, your passion for the chosen course, and your potential to succeed in a university environment. It’s your chance to make a lasting impression.

What Should a Personal Statement Include? Key Components

1. Introduction

Your introduction should grab the reader’s attention and set the tone for the rest of your statement. It’s important to start strong and provide a clear sense of your enthusiasm for the course you are applying for.

Tips for a Strong Introduction:

  • Begin with a compelling anecdote or a quote that relates to your interest in the subject.
  • Clearly state your motivation for choosing the course.
  • Keep it concise and engaging.

2. Academic Achievements

Discuss your academic journey and highlight significant achievements. This section should demonstrate your capability and readiness for university-level study.

What to Include:

  • Relevant coursework and grades.
  • Any awards or recognitions you have received.
  • Projects or research work that align with the course.

Example: “I have consistently excelled in my studies, particularly in biology and chemistry, which led to my participation in the National Science Olympiad where I won a silver medal.”

3. Relevant Experience

Admissions tutors value practical experience as it shows your application of knowledge and skills in real-world settings. Include internships, work experience, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities that are relevant to the course.

What Should a Personal Statement Include in This Section:

  • Specific roles and responsibilities.
  • Skills gained and how they relate to the course.
  • Reflect on what you learned from these experiences.

Example: “During my internship at a local veterinary clinic, I gained hands-on experience in animal care and developed a deeper understanding of veterinary science, reinforcing my desire to pursue this field.”

4. Skills and Attributes

Highlight the skills and attributes that make you a suitable candidate for the course. Focus on both hard skills (technical knowledge) and soft skills (communication, teamwork, problem-solving).

Good Things to Include in Your Personal Statement:

  • Concrete xamples of when you demonstrated these skills.
  • How will these skills help you succeed in the course and in your future career?

Example: “My role as the captain of the debate team honed my critical thinking and public speaking skills, which will be invaluable in a law degree.”

5. Passion and Motivation for the Subject

Show genuine enthusiasm for the subject you are applying for. Discuss why you are passionate about it and how it aligns with your career aspirations.

What to Include:

  • Personal stories or experiences that sparked your interest.
  • Specific aspects of the course that excite you.

Example: “My fascination with ancient civilisations began during a family trip to Greece, where I was captivated by the ruins and their stories. This led me to pursue a deeper study of history and archaeology.”

6. Career Aspirations

Outline your career goals and how the course will help you achieve them. This shows that you have a clear vision for your future and that the course is a step towards achieving your long-term objectives.

What Should a Personal Statement Include:

  • Short-term and long-term career goals.
  • How the course content aligns with these goals.

Example: “With a degree in environmental science, I aim to work in sustainable development, focusing on creating eco-friendly urban solutions. This course’s emphasis on environmental policy and management is crucial for my career path.”

7. Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies

While academic and relevant professional experiences are crucial, showcasing your extracurricular activities and hobbies helps to present you as a well-rounded individual.

Good Things to Include:

  • Activities that demonstrate transferable skills.
  • Hobbies that reflect your personality and interests.

Example: “As a member of the school orchestra, I have developed discipline and teamwork skills, which are essential in any collaborative environment.”

8. Conclusion

Your conclusion should tie everything together and leave a lasting impression. Summarise your main points and reaffirm your enthusiasm for the course and your future studies.

Tips for a Strong Conclusion:

  • Reflect on your readiness for university.
  • End on a positive and forward-looking note.

Example: “I am excited about the prospect of furthering my studies in psychology at your esteemed university and am confident that my passion, combined with my academic and practical experiences, will enable me to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the academic community.”

Final Tips

1. Start Early: Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm, draft, and revise your personal statement. Starting early reduces stress and allows for thorough editing.

2. Seek Feedback: Have teachers, friends or personal statement writing services review your statement. Constructive criticism can help you improve your essay significantly.

3. Edit and Proofread: Carefully edit and proofread your personal statement to eliminate any grammatical errors or typos. A polished statement reflects your attention to detail and dedication.


Crafting a compelling personal statement is an art that requires careful thought and planning. By understanding the key things to include in your personal statement, you can create a powerful narrative that highlights your strengths, experiences, and aspirations.

Remember, this is your opportunity to stand out and make a memorable impression on admissions tutors. With the right approach and careful attention to detail, your personal statement can be a decisive factor in securing a place at your desired university. Not sure where to start with your UCAS personal statement or Oxbridge application?
Fill out the order form with your specific requirements and let us provide you with personalised guidance and support to ensure your application shines.