Writing a truly personal statement

12 Dec 2016

Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started,” and when it comes to personal statement writing, this expression couldn’t be truer. For many students, writing a personal statement can be the most difficult part of the application process. To help you get started, we’ve produced a short guide on what our Admissions team like to see.

Tell us why you are applying

It is essential that you explain why you want to study a creative media degree. Is it a passion you’ve just discovered or something you’ve been doing your whole life? Will it lead to your dream career? If so, what about that career appeals to you?

Write about what qualities you’ll bring

Your statement should include skills you’ve developed outside academia. Extracurricular pursuits, work experience or part time work opportunities are all great ways of showing us what’s unique about you.

Be clear, concise and avoid stock phrases  

In his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language, George Orwell provides six golden rules of good writing. We believe your personal statement should be readily understandable, so think about what you say and then say it simply using Orwell’s sound advice (see below).

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Get it checked​

Remember, you can only write one personal statement so proofread aloud and get it checked. Ask a teacher, parent or guardian to look over it and eliminate any grammar, spelling or punctuation crimes. You must also make sure it does not exceed the 4, 000 character or 47 line limit (that’s around 500 words).

UCAS applications are due on the 15th of January. We can’t wait to hear why you want to study a creative degree.

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