UCAS

There are annual dates that are the same each year. Internal deadlines may vary and information with regard to the dates will be given to students at the start of the UCAS process.

For Oxbridge, medicine, veterinary medicine/science, dentistry – 15th October
All other applications (except route B Art & Design) – 15th January
Route B Art & Design (suggested deadline 7th March) – 24th March

Writing Personal Statements

Whether you are applying to University, College, going into employment or taking a Gap Year, your personal statement is the best opportunity you will have to explain who you really are. Your tutors will refer to it when writing references for university, a college course or applying for a job. It is particularly important when making any such applications following a Gap Year, and is used along side your final Year 13 report to compile a reference that is an accurate and up to date reflection of you. This is your opportunity to ‘sell yourself’ but your statement must not be exaggerated or inaccurate.

Why you have picked the University, College or training course that you have chosen?

If making a UCAS application and you have chosen two different subjects then ask your tutor for advice on how to word this section. For all courses include in this section what you have gained from doing your AS, A2 and/or AVCE courses and how this will help you in your chosen route into further education.

Why you are applying for a particular job?

This should be straightforward. Explain what you have gained from doing your AS, A2 and/or AVCE courses, how they have prepared you for employment in the job you are applying for and why the talents and skills you have developed would make you a suitable person to employ.

Gap Year

If you are applying for a deferred entry to university then you MUST give details of your plans for your year out. Future employees will also be interested in your experiences, what you have gained from them and how you can put them to good use in the field of employment.

Your College Experience

In this section you should write a paragraph or a few sentences about your relevant educational experiences so far. It should include examples of your experiences and responsibilities held at the College. Remember a position of responsibility when you were 13 years old is not as relevant as your more recent experiences. You should aim to give the impression that you will cope well on a further education course as well as survive in an ‘independent working environment’, so include areas which present you as self motivated, self disciplined, sociable, independent, as well as somebody who will:

a) Balance academic life with all other pursuits which university life offers e.g. sport, societies, acting, writing, and music.
b) Adapt quickly to the world of work as an independent, mature young adult, aspiring to be successful in your chosen field of employment.

Relevant work experience or work shadowing

This will make you a very attractive candidate to both universities and prospective employers, so include it if you have done it and get on with it if you haven’t. Work shadowing, work experience, voluntary work, and employment should all be mentioned. For some courses, e.g. veterinary medicine, medicine and engineering, it is very important that you have done some work experience – find out if this applies to you. Applicants for teacher training courses should also give details of their school based experiences.

Your interests

Sport, Music, Drama etc or any other qualifications or interests you have that may be relevant. Don’t say you play an instrument if the last time you touched it was in primary school. What else are you involved in outside College that would be helpful in telling a university or employer more about you as a prospective student or employee?

Career aspirations and concluding statement

What are you hoping to do with yourself in the future? What job are you hoping to do? Show that you have a general life plan and how the course or job you wish to do is a vital part of that plan – hence your desire to attend the University/Course/employment you have applied to and your determination and commitment to succeed.
Your tutor will check your personal statement with you at your forthcoming interview and give you any help or advice you may need then. REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT. IT WILL NOT BE WRITTEN FOR YOU! Remember to keep a copy of your final draft.

Why not make a list of the out of school activities you are involved in? See what skills you could be using. For example:

Work experience – punctuality, responsibility, team working, initiative
Socialising with friends – conversationalist, ideas person, peacekeeper, self-discipline
Hobbies – commitment, skillful, curious, refreshing, time-consuming
Sport/music/art/drama – dedication, patience, team player, enthusiasm, stamina
Computers – manual dexterity & co-ordination, competitive, technical skills
Reading – concentration, calmness, energy, inquisitive, knowledge
Travel/holidays – planning, budgeting, organisation, cultural sensitivity
Looking after relatives – leadership, patience, responsibility, sense of humour
Prefect – communication, confidence, diplomacy, good listener
Voluntary work – social conscience, reliability, motivation, caring, sharing
Duke of Edinburgh – strength, determination, self-belief, resilient, problem solver
Own business – creative, innovative, gift of the gab, networker, smart image
Languages – intellect, cultural interest, written/spoken ability, interpreter
First Aid/sign language – sensitivity, good communicator, practical, memory, gentle
Driving – considerate, competent, careful, conscientious, safety aware
Youth club/scouts/guides – discipline, loyalty, commitment, group member

Find out more on the web:
www.prospects.ac.uk
www.universityoptions.co.uk
www.ucas.com
www.whatuni.com
www.studentbook.org

Useful Words and Phrases

Independence, Communication, Self-motivation, Public speaking, Empathy, Efficiency, Teamwork, Being organised, Self-expression, Confidence, Sensitivity, Solving problems, Responsible, Trustworthy, Helpful, Approachable, Diplomacy.

“A regular period of voluntary work with… (state nature of voluntary work) provided me with the opportunity to… (state the skills or tasks carried out).”

“Being a member of the cast for… (state nature of drama production) was extremely rewarding. Acting has improved my self-confidence and public speaking skills. I hope to be involved in more amateur dramatic productions at university.”

“Playing… (state musical instrument) at grade… (state grade, if applicable) has been extremely rewarding. I hope to continue my interest in music at university. I look forward to the opportunity to join the university orchestra.”

“Speaking in front of a large audience as part of the Debating Society has been an excellent opportunity to develop my public speaking skills. I have taken part in a number of debates including… (state title of debates). This experience should prove useful on my degree course.”

“As a library assistant my duties included organising the book loan system… (state any other duties that appear to suggest you are responsible, reliable and organised). This experience has shown that I am responsible and capable of dealing with a range of people.”

“I found raising money for… (state charity eg. Oxfam or details of the charity event) was a rewarding opportunity to help others. The event… (write a few words about what took place) and meant that I needed to… (state your qualities eg. be independent, self-motivated, work in a team).”

“Within my college I have undertaken to help run the computer system. This involves… (state your tasks eg. help others use software, report problems, remove unwanted software). I am keen to further my own knowledge of computers whilst at university.”

“My experience with… (state experience) provided me with an excellent opportunity to… (state skills or experience eg. work with people, be independence, self-motivated, learn more about the nature of the degree course)”

“One opportunity I value a great deal is… (state nature of the experience) because it allowed me to… (state what it allowed you to do eg. mention skills and/or the nature of the experience)”

“Taking responsibility for… (state responsibility) has developed skills in… (state skills)”