Wondering how to write a postgraduate personal statement and what to put in it? Take a look at these example statements for inspiration.
Accounting & Finance Personal Statement
Currently, I am a final-year student, studying International Economics and Trade at xxx University. I would like to increase my professional potential in Finance related field by pursuing Master studies at your University...
Postgraduate Medicine Personal Statement
Quite simply it is my curious nature which has always underpinned my desire to study medicine; the sheer complexity of both the human body and its healing processes have always fascinated me and, during my time in 6th form and subsequently while studying for my BSc...
Accounting & Finance Personal Statement
As a senior student at the Management School in Jinan University, one of the oldest key national universities in China, I will graduate in 2010 with a diploma. However, I believe that will not be the end of my academic life...
Postgraduate Pharmacy Personal Statement
I am interested in the Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm) Programme because I am interested in the modules on which it is based. I want to do the MPharm programme so as to extend my knowledge in Medicines. I would like to get a deeper understanding of how to formulate and administer drugs safely...
Medicine Personal Statement Graduate/Undergraduate
Although I have always wanted to be a doctor, at the age of 17 I felt too immature and lacked the confidence required to fully commit to a lifelong career. I therefore chose to study a subject that I believed would be invaluable in my future career, human anatomy...
Psychology Personal Statement (Masters)
My enthusiasm to study psychology began as a child due to living with an alcoholic. Through observing and being around someone with such a social problem I was gaining first hand experience of what it was like to live with someone with an addiction...
Medicine Personal Statement (Graduate Entry)
My conviction for Medicine has aptly followed a certain period of introspection. A recent family visit to South Africa encouraged thoughtful consideration of my reasons for applying to Medical school, and also granted the opportunity to explore healthcare practice in my home country...
PhD Personal Statement
I would like to pursue a Doctoral Degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia. I am currently obtaining a masters degree in Gerontology at Miami University of Ohio and I believe that looking at the older population in a family context gives a detailed insight into individuals’ lives and that of their families...
International Marketing Personal Statement (MSc)
Businesses are woven into every part of our lives and marketing plays a key role in influencing our decisions. By understanding and developing relationships with consumers, businesses can be less obtrusive and more enriching to our lives; this in turn will grow more sustainable businesses...
MSc Applied Sports Nutrition Personal Statement
Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Health, I have never been more interested in the role of nutrition and how it can be applied from the recreational active people to elite athletes...
International Relations Personal Statement (Postgraduate)
The study of conflicts, international relations and politics could essentially be seen as understanding the way different actors relate to each other. It therefore holds the potential to polarise but also to include and encourage co-operation, which summarises my ideas, thoughts and hopes as to why I wish to pursue this interest...
International Security Personal Statement (Postgraduate)
Super-hero, fireman, princess, vet? None of these were ever my dream job when I was a child. I wanted to be an airline pilot, then an astronaut, and I still want to work in this field. I am currently a student at IEP Bordeaux, and I am excited to apply to the PSIA Master in International Security in order to go into work in the aeronautical or aerospatial field...
Msc in Clinical Psychology Personal Statement
My initial decision to major in psychology was rationalised with the idea that I could use my degree to help people. Everyone struggles at one point in their lives and being able to help someone is a great opportunity...
How to write a personal statement for Masters courses
A good personal statement can mean the difference between getting an offer and being rejected. Your personal statement should show us that you are the right person for the course.
Learn how to:
Planning your personal statement
A personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your application. It is a statement of academic interests and should not contain any autobiographical information about your personal life.
Instead, it should show us that you are the right person for Sussex by telling us why you want to study your course, and any extra information about your achievements to date.
See our Masters courses for more information
When you have finished planning your personal statement, you can use our postgraduate application system to start your application.
You need to:
- carefully read the information required of you
- research the course you are applying for, so that you can explain why you want to study it. If you are applying for more than one course, do not use the same statement for all applications.
The following questions may help you plan your personal statement:
- Why do you want to study a Masters and how will it benefit you?
- How does the course fit your skill set?
- How do you stand out from the crowd - e.g. work experience?
- What are you aspiring to be/do in your future career?
- How can your work contribute to the department/University/society?
If you're applying for a subject that is in a different field to your undergraduate degree, tell us why you have decided to change your direction of study.
- how you will bring fresh insight to your course as a result of your undergraduate degree
- the reasons for deciding to change your field of study
- how changing your direction of study will help you with your future career.
Use a tight structure in your personal statement and make sure each paragraph logically follows on from the one before.
Your personal statement must:
- have an eye-catching and interesting introduction, and an engaging middle part and conclusion
- have an introduction that acts as a framework for the rest of your statement, with the main part of your statement detailing your interests, experience and knowledge
- be between 250 and 500 words
- have short sentences of no more than 25-30 words
- use headings (if you wish) to break up the content - for example, 'Why this university?' 'Why this subject?' 'Ability', 'Personal experience' and 'Career aspirations'
- use a sentence structure where you: make a claim and back this claim up with evidence. This can be achieved by talking about your work experience and academic interests.
'My passion for Psychology stems from my interest in how dementia affects the personality of patients suffering with the condition. That's why I spent my gap year working with the Alzheimer's Society, supporting patients and families by visiting them at home and holding surgeries to give sufferers and carers someone to talk to.'
- don't start with cliched and overused sentences: 'I have always wanted to study' or 'I feel I have always had a passion for this subject.' Instead tell us what has influenced you to study this course.
'It was not until my grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and ischaemic dementia that the link between brain functioning and cognition became a passion.
Although a most unpleasant experience, the enormity of the precision at which the brain functions to produce our cognitive abilities, socially acceptable behaviours and intricate physiological processes astounded me.
I found myself questioning the cognitive functions and human behaviours I had previously just accepted, desperate to understand how the unseen and seemingly small entities within the brain could impact our daily behaviour.'
- the conclusion should sum up your main points, reflect on your main accomplishments and clearly show your desire to study.
Your personal statement is where you show us your commitment, dedication and motivation for studying the course. It is your chance to show us the course is for you.
Your personal statement should:
- give strong reasons as to why you want to study the course at Sussex. This could be for your future career or because of the University's reputation
- mention relevant study - including projects, dissertations, essays - or work experience
- provide evidence of your key skills including, research, critical thinking, communication, organisation, planning and time-management and show how you can contribute to the department
- show what makes you stand out as a candidate
- explain who your main influences have been and why
- draw on your other experiences: for example are you a member of a society, have you written any papers or won any awards, scholarships or prizes?
- highlight your career aspirations and show how the course will help you achieve them.
See an example personal statement [PDF 31.95KB]
Your tone should be positive and enthusiastic. It should show your willngness to learn and persuade us you have what it takes to suceed on one of our courses.
- use fresh and exciting language to make your application stand out, and use engaging opening paragraphs
- use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling
- use clear language in short sentences and avoid extravagant claims
- avoid using generic terms and talk specifically about the course.
Don't: 'I was inspired by the University's world-renowned researchers and world-leading facilities.'
Do: 'I was inspired to study Animal Biology because of the groundbreaking work into the behaviour of bees that is being led by Sussex Professor Francis Ratnieks. I follow the work of the University of Sussex Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects and would be proud to study in such a renowned department and contribute to its highly ranked research.'
- proofread your statement and ask a friend or relative to read it.
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