Writing a UK University Personal Statement - Sian's Journey

In summary, the conversation is about a student applying for university in the UK and seeking help and ideas for writing their personal statement for a degree in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. They express difficulty in getting started and ask for advice on how to make their statement stand out. Two people, Brewnog and rossi, provide tips and insights for writing a successful personal statement that showcases the candidate's academic record, understanding of the field, and accomplishments. They also emphasize the importance of avoiding spelling and grammatical errors and showcasing clear and concise writing skills. The conversation concludes with encouraging words and reassurance that the student should not need luck if they follow these guidelines.
  • #1
rossi46
1
0
its my first post here! :rofl: YAY! :rofl:

im applyin for uni in the UK this yr and hav to write my personal statement. I am applyin for a degree in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering.

im finding it really hard to get started as i don't know what to write. i don't want to begin wit "i've always been fascinated by..."

any help/ ideas would be great :smile:

thanks

sian
 
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  • #2
This looks like something that Brewnog is probably best qualified to answer. For my input, though, I would hope that you're considerably more careful with your typing on the application. :biggrin:
 
  • #3
Ooh, where are you applying rossi?

Try and come up with something vaguely original. Mine had anecdotes about being young and taking toys apart (then not being able to put them back together again), and getting a carburettor for my 6th birthday, things like that. I heard of one guy who wrote a rather amusing statement about how he'd nearly blown his arm off whilst making his own explosive devices. I'm not suggesting you try and be funny, but something which stands out is more likely to keep your application out of the "no" pile.

Ultimately, you need to say why you're interested in engineering (to show the admin tutor that you're passionate about what you've applied for), and also give a bit of background about yourself so that the admin tutor can see that you actually have a life, and have a chance of settling down at university.

Make sure there are NO spelling or grammatical errors in your statement; I know the admin tutor for that very course at one UK university and he instantly blackballs any application with careless errors. Also, type it, don't handwrite it.

Good luck, keep us updated.
 
  • #4
The overriding question that admissions officers ask themselves is: is this candidate likely to successfully complete our degree programme?

So, the first thing I'll look at on your UCAS form is your academic record - good results in maths and physics, some achievement in other areas, especially English.

Then I'll look at your school's assessment of your character, ability and suitability - though many headteachers themselves don't know what engineering is all about.

Only then will I look at your personal statement. I'm not really interested in anecdotes and you don't need to be witty or unduly original - what I want to see is evidence that you fully understand what you're getting into. The study of engineering is intellectually demanding and I'd be happier with someone who had wanted to be a physicist and only recently discovered an interest in engineering than with someone with a lifelong passion for tinkering with machinery. You're not aiming to become a car mechanic.

Finally, I'll look for some accomplishments other than your academic results - but don't overdo it. Better to mention one or two outside interests than ten - you shouldn't have had time for them all at school and you certainly won't have time for them all at Uni.

And, as Brewnog says, get the spelling and grammar right. As an engineer you'll have to write clear, concise reports about complex subjects. Your personal statement is the only immediate evidence I'd have of your ability to do that.

Best wishes. You shouldn't need luck.
 
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1. What is a personal statement for UK university?

A personal statement for UK university is a written essay that forms a part of your application to a UK university. It is your opportunity to showcase your skills, experiences, and motivations to the admissions team and convince them why you are a suitable candidate for the course.

2. How long should a personal statement be?

The recommended length for a personal statement for UK university is around 4000 characters or 500-600 words. However, it is important to check the specific requirements of the university or course you are applying to, as some may have different length restrictions.

3. What should I include in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should include information about your academic achievements, work experience, extracurricular activities, relevant skills and qualities, and your motivations for choosing the course and university. It is important to also highlight how your experiences have prepared you for university and the specific course you are applying for.

4. What should I avoid in my personal statement?

Avoid clichés, generic statements, and exaggerations in your personal statement. It is also important not to copy or plagiarize from other sources, as universities use plagiarism detection software to check personal statements. Be honest and genuine in your writing and avoid using informal language or slang.

5. Can I get help with my personal statement?

Yes, you can seek help and advice from your teachers, careers advisors, and family and friends when writing your personal statement. However, it is important to make sure that the final draft is your own work and reflects your own voice and experiences. You can also seek professional editing or proofreading services to ensure your personal statement is error-free and well-written.

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