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Personal statements for postgraduate applications

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A well crafted Masters personal statement is the key to persuading admissions tutors that you should have a place on a postgraduate program. Learn the dos and don’ts of creating your own statement and have a look at some examples for inspiration
What’s an individual statement?
‘We certainly find the particular statement an essential part of the application process,’ says Helen Hayes, assistant registrar (non-standard and postgraduate admissions) at Aberystwyth Faculty.

A Masters personal statement is a portion of writing you publish as part of your postgraduate application. It’s the first real chance of yours to promote yourself with the university and to demonstrate to admissions tutors that you’re right for the course.

It’s very likely that you have already written a personal statement for the Bachelors degree of yours, so this should give you some idea of what you should expect. Nevertheless, don’t be tempted to use your undergraduate personal statement as a template. You will have progressed academically since then and admissions tutors should see proof of this.

Your postgraduate personal statement needs to be special and tailored to the course that you’re applying to. Use the opportunity to exhibit your academic capabilities and interests, as well as to demonstrate that the programme will reap some benefits from your attendance pretty much as you’ll gain from learning it.
‘From an admissions officer perspective, given we’ve to read a large number of individualized statements, we’re always keen to see commitment, curiosity and passion for the subject emanating off the webpage,’ offers Helen.
How many years should a postgraduate individual statement be?

A Masters private statement really should be around 500 words. This equates to one side of A4. But, several universities require more, often 2 sides. Some institutions also established a character limit rather than a certain word count, hence it’s important that you look at the application guidelines before choosing to create your statement.

As they are relatively light in nature, do not waste words on autobiographical info. This isn’t needed in postgraduate personal statements. Instead, focus on why you wish to study a certain programme and your potential to successfully complete the book.
What should I have in a Masters very own statement?

You need to tailor your personal statement to install the course you’re applying for, so what to include will mainly depend on the course requirements. However, in general you should write about:

Your reasons for requesting a specific programme and also precisely why you should have a place above other candidates – discuss your academic interests, the university and career goals and department’s track record, and write about which elements of the course you find very attractive, such as modules or maybe work experience opportunities. Show that you’re all set for the demands of postgraduate life by demonstrating your passion, experience and knowledge.
The planning of yours – address how undergraduate study has equipped you for a postgraduate course, talking your independent work (e.g. dissertation) as well as topics that most interested you.
Evidence of your skillset – highlight related knowledge and skills that should enable you to make an impact on the department, summarising your skills in core areas including IT, numeracy, organisation, communication, time management and critical thinking. You are able to also cover some grades, awards, work placements, additional readings or conferences that you’ve attended and how these have contributed to your readiness for Masters study.
The goals of yours – explain your career aspirations and how the program will allow you to gain them.’ Describe how studying the chosen course of yours fits in together with your long-lasting ambitions and career path,’ advises Helen.

Address any obvious weaknesses, like lower-than-expected module performance in your undergraduate degree or perhaps spaces in your education history. The university will want to find out about these, so explain them with a good spin.’ We look for positive reflection in cases like this,’ describes Helen.’ Cover exactly how things are already dealt with and what will be different in your proposed postgraduate studies.’
How should I design my personal statement?

Your personal statement should follow a logical, methodical structure, where each section follows on from the 1 before. Check paragraphs are to, clear, succinct, and short the point. Remember, you just have 500 words to use.

Capture the reader’s focus with an enthusiastic launch covering the reason why you want to learn a specific Masters. Then, engage the viewer inside your middle paragraphs by summing up your academic and employment history, evidencing your expertise and knowledge and demonstrating why the study course is ideal for you.

The conclusion of yours must be concise, summarising why you’re the best candidate. General, aim for 5 or six paragraphs. You are able to use headings for breaking up the content if you choose.

The majority of postgraduate programs are published online directly to the faculty. If this is the case, present the own statement of yours in a standard font like Arial, Calibri or perhaps Times New Roman, text specifications 11 or twelve. If your course application is submitted through UKPASS (UCAS’s postgraduate program service) font style will not matter, as individual statements are automatically formatted.
Just how can I create an excellent postgraduate personal statement?

Give yourself lots of time and do not rush. The personal statement of yours can make or break your application so it has to be perfect. Tutors are able to tell whether you’re bluffing, as well as proving to yourself up as uninformed could be pricey. Before you begin, read through the rules and guidelines provided, check the choice criteria as well as research the course as well as institution.
The top individual statements adopt a positive, professional and enthusiastic tone and are presented in clear, brief sentences. Stay away from elaborate or overly complicated phrases. Unless otherwise stated, all postgraduate private claims must be written in English and your spelling, punctuation and grammar must be area on, as the personal statement functions as a test of your written communication skill.
Do not make use of the same supporting statement for each book. Admissions tutors are able to spot copy-and-paste jobs. Generic applications demonstrate you have minimal understanding of the course. In order to stick out from the masses, the Masters personal statement should be unique and specific to the course and also institution.
Draft and redraft your statement until you are pleased. Then question a friend, family member or maybe careers adviser to read it. Proofreading is incredibly crucial that you avoid mistakes. Memorise what you’ve written before any interview.

What do I need to stay away from?

Don’t:

follow web based examples too closely
use your undergraduate UCAS program as a template
be negative
lie or even exaggerate
use cliches, humour, gimmicks, over used words such as’ passion’ or even Americanisms
include inspiring quotes
make pleading/begging statements
needlessly flatter the organisation
include irrelevant program modules, extra curricular activities or personal facts
namedrop crucial authors without explanation
use extremely long sentences
repeat information found elsewhere in your application
waffle leave writing your personal statement to the last second.

How can I begin my Masters personal statement?

Never use an excessive amount of time coming up with a catchy opening. The more you try, the more contrived you’ll sound and also the more likely you are falling into the trap of employing cliches.

Stay away from using overused phrases, such as:

For as long as I can remember…
From a new age…
I am applying for this course because…
Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…
I have always been curious in…
I have always been passionate about…
I have always wanted to go after a career in…
Reflecting on my academic experiences…

Admissions tutors read a huge selection of uses per study course so the opening part of the personal statement of yours must get straight to the level and make a great effect. Avoid overkill statements, gimmicks and popular quotes.

If you are really struggling, come back and tackle the opening when you’ve written the rest.
Just how should I conclude my personal statement?

Conclusions should be short, sharp and memorable, and leave little doubt in an admissions tutor’s thought process that you should have a place on a course.

The perfect ending should pull all of your tips together without waffling or perhaps repeating yourself.

Like the majority of your Masters personal statement, maintain the ending simple. Be succinct and ensure it is clear why you’ll be an asset for the faculty and also end on a positive note, with a declaration about why the institution would be lucky to have you as a student.
What are admissions tutors are searching for?

an explanation of how the course links the past of yours and future
an insight into your non-academic and academic abilities, and just how they’ll fit with the course
evidence of your skills, commitment and enthusiasm
knowledge of the institution’s region of expertise
explanations why you wish to research at the institution demonstrable interest in the topic, perhaps including some academic readings or perhaps references.