How to write a Personal Statement that will stand out from the crowd

03 Oct 2019

We’ve put together this article for those of you who are struggling to know where to start when it comes to writing your all important personal statement. 

There is already a pretty succinct guide on the UCAS website which provides some useful pointers. In terms of tailoring your application to maximise your chances of being made an offer by SAE, the most important place to start is by doing research to see what we have to offer you. Look at our course pages and think about the modules that align with your current interests. 

You need to think of your personal statement as a sales pitch. It needs to be a succinct summary that describes why you would be a fantastic fit at SAE - without actually mentioning SAE by name, as your personal statement is sent to up to four other institutions when you apply via UCAS. 

Show us that you’re a team player 

Our hands-on practical learning experience means students frequently collaborate with others on creative projects. This means it’s important to us that you are excited to work with other students from all over the world and from all walks of life.

Working in a team doesn’t mean clamouring to get your ideas across. A large part of working with others is being an active listener and making sure everyone has an opportunity to get involved. 

Tell us about any teamwork you’ve been involved in - whether that’s as an extracurricular activity, a lunchtime club or society, or part of a lesson. 

Give us an example of a time where you’ve thrived independently 

Whilst your ability to work as part of a team is important to us, we’d also like to see evidence that you can work independently when required. 

Being creative means sometimes being left alone with your imaginative instincts, and although self-study can be challenging at times we require students to have the drive and motivation to put their heads down when it’s needed. 

As well as giving us an example of an occasion where you’ve worked well as a team, it is useful to counter this with an example of an occasion where you’ve worked well independently. You’ll need to do both of these in equal measure to succeed in the creative industries. 

Demonstrate intellectual curiosity 

We’re not looking for students who are experts already. We want students who are passionate about creative media and who want to know more about it. 

No matter how many YouTube videos you may have watched, it’s impossible for you to know everything just yet. Our industry-leading lecturers are professionals who are well equipped to teach you everything you need to know about your chosen discipline. 

Rather than pretending to know more about a subject than you actually do, be honest with us in your personal statement and tell us what it is that’s captured your interest. Tell us if you’ve read any interesting academic books or papers on your chosen subject, or saw a documentary that inspired you to become a filmmaker.  

Talk about any relevant experience 

Once you’ve found a course that interests you, think about any experience you’ve had using the amazing equipment that we have at our state-of-the-art facilities. Perhaps you visited SAE to do a workshop, or maybe you’ve attended one of our SAE Extra events before. Have you ever done any work experience at a company where you were working with technology similar to ours? If you have - tell us! 

Being tech savvy is an important attribute for SAE students who are given the opportunity to work in our multi-million pound recording studios and use our cameras and recording equipment. 

If you haven’t got any prior experience using equipment don’t worry, though. Having sheer enthusiasm and a creative spark is enough to convince us you deserve a place at SAE.  

Prove you’ve got what it takes 

Our degree programmes are unique as they condense the material into two years, so you can get out into the creative world and start working on projects sooner. This saves you money and time, but we still need you to be dedicated and focused throughout the course to make the most of your learning experience. 

Show us, don’t just tell us that you are hard-working. Have you won any awards at school? Have you been dedicated to a particular hobby for a long time? Great - we’d love to hear all about it. 

Prompt questions

  • When did you first discover your love of music? 
  • When did you first pick up your own camera? 
  • When did you play your first video game and think, I want to make my own one of these? 
  • What is the first movie that made you think ‘woaah’, I want to shoot my own film someday?
  • Who are your role models? 

Remember

After your personal statement has been sent in to UCAS it cannot be changed in any way, so make sure your advisor has read over it and proofread it for any mistakes beforehand to give you a flying start.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: be original. UCAS use software to scan all personal statements so beware of doubling up with your best mate’s application, as they will both be flagged and every institution you’ve applied to will be notified. Copying someone else’s work isn’t creative at all so the SAE admissions will definitely not be impressed.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, check out our Personal Statement page and our FAQ page.