How to write your personal statement

Undergraduate study

It can be hard to know where to begin when writing your UCAS personal statement. We've put together some top tips and advice to help you make the most of your personal statement.

As part of the UCAS application process, you'll need to complete a personal statement. Your personal statement might be the only chance you have to ‘speak’ directly to an Admissions Tutor so it’s important to get it right. Many people find it difficult to write about themselves. Particularly their own strengths, so don’t worry if you’re struggling for ideas. You can use this guide to help ensure you write a great personal statement. 

Guide to writing your personal statement

Discover how to write a great personal statement with our handy guide. It covers everything you need to know from structuring to tips on what to include.

Download your copy now
Slide 1 of 2

Hear from our students

Writing about yourself in a personal statement can be difficult, I’ve put together some tips that I found useful when writing my own personal statement.
portrait of Annelise
Annelise Ellen Furniss
Screenwriting with Film, Television & Radio, BA (Hons)
Read more

Your personal statement questions answered

Personal statement dos and don'ts

Read it out loud.

This will help you spot sentences which aren’t worded correctly.

Check it’s all there.

UCAS has a limit of 4000 characters or 47 lines of text, including spaces and blank lines.

Do some practice.

You should be prepared to write several drafts- the average is six.

Be well prepared.

Be ready to talk at length about everything written in your personal statement.

Don't be negative.

Focus on what you have done, not what you haven’t.

Don't complicate it.

Keep your statement concise and write in your natural style.

Don't copy or paraphrase.

UCAS use sophisticated software and check every personal statement for plagiarism.

Don't include irrelevant facts.

Apply the ‘so what’ rule. If you can’t explain how a point relates to your course, leave it out.

Get to know us

Book an Open Day to get a feel for our campuses and meet current students and staff. It's the perfect way to get a taste of university life.

Book an Open Day

University application dates

Scroll or swipe on small screens to see all table columns

September - January
  • Complete online UCAS application
  • Submit form to college - reference added
  • Form sent to UCAS
  • 16 October 2023 – Deadline for applications to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary courses and to Oxford and Cambridge
  • 31 January 2024 – Main application deadline (Some Art and Design courses have a March deadline, please check UCAS for details)
  • UCAS send an acknowledgement to the applicant
  • UCAS send a copy of the application to chosen institutions