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Personal statement guide for postgraduates

Make a great first impression in your personal statement. This is part of the application process and we’ve some expert tips to get you started.

Keep it unique to you and the course you are applying for. Your enthusiasm and personality should shine through from the start. Follow-up with related skills, academic ability and experience. Think in terms of what you’d bring to the course.

How long? 

It should be 300 to 500 words.  

What should be in it? 

  • Tell us your reasons for applying - what are your interests, ambitions and why you are choosing the course at Staffordshire University? Show that you have knowledge of the course and University.  

  • Demonstrate that you're ready for postgraduate study – with relevant experience. Have you got an undergraduate degree? Have you undertaken related independent work such as a dissertation? What topics are you interested in? 

  • Show your core skills – including IT, numeracy, organisation, communication, time management and critical thinking. You can also cover grades, awards, placements, reading material or conferences you've attended. 

  • Why you deserve a place - tell us what you'd bring to the course. 

What not to do 

  • Be negative.

  • Lie or exaggerate.

  • Include anything unrelated to the course.

  • Repeat information found in your application.

  • Use long sentences.

  • Use an online template or another person's statement.

  • Use the same statement for each application.

  • Submit it without checking for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Tips on writing a good personal statement 

You've got the basics. You know what to put in your statement and what to leave out. Here's how to make it work. 

  • Time  – Allow plenty of time to complete your statement and check it. 

  • Research – Research the course and University and demonstrate your knowledge. It shows you're committed. 

  • Structure – Create a clear introduction, main body and conclusion. 

  • Draft, edit, repeat  – When you're happy, ask someone to read it. 

  • Check it  – Spelling and grammar are important. You can use free online tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor to check for mistakes.