"Where a student is ‘borderline’ in terms of predicted grades or past academic performance the personal statement can make a difference between an offer and a rejection. The personal statement is also crucial during confirmation and clearing. If I have five places for ten students with similar grades the personal statement will be used to decide who gets an offer."
- Dr Patrick White, (Sociology)
"There are cases where I am surprised to find that students make no reference to the subject of the course for which they are applying, or seem to misunderstand the nature of the course. In such instances, a personal statement can have an effect."
- Dr Guy Barefoot, Film Studies
"Don't just tell us that you find a subject interesting: pick an example (a scene from a novel, perhaps, or a production of a play you've seen) and write a bit about how it works, and what interests you about it. Some of the best personal statements I've read have been quite straightforward in their language, but show genuine commitment towards reading as a worthwhile, stimulating and intellectually challenging activity."
- Dr Mary Ann Lund, English
"What makes a good personal statement? Enthusiasm for the subject to be studied and demonstration of engagement with some aspect of that subject. Also, it should be well-written."
- Mr Nick Everett, American Studies
"Evidence is the key. If a student can provide evidence this makes their statement very much stronger. For example, things like volunteering work in schools, relevant work experience, perhaps science or astronomy clubs, or work with the Institute of Physics would all be impressive evidence of passion and motivation for Physics. We’re also interested in interests and achievements outside of the curriculum - so things like Duke of Edinburgh awards, membership of sports clubs, or involvement in plays, bands etc. tend to read well."
- Dr Mervyn Roy, Physics