How to Write a Killer UCAS Personal Statement

A young person about to write a UCAS Personal Statement. A laptop is open in front.

The UCAS Personal Statement is an important part of the undergraduate UCAS application. It could be the difference between you getting a place at the University of Stirling, and not. With that in mind, we’ve got you covered with this short and sweet guide to writing your UCAS Personal Statement.

What is a UCAS Personal Statement?

It’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a written statement by you that describes your motivations for applying, your future ambitions (what you want to do), plus any relevant skills and experience. You can write up to 4000 characters of text – roughly a page and a bit of A4 in old speak –to convince us that you’d make a great Stirling student.

What should I write about?

There isn’t a standard format – it’s your statement, so write it in your own words. But you should definitely include sections on:

  • why you’ve chosen your course
  • why you think this course is right for you
  • what would make you a good student at Stirling
  • your long term career plans, and why you’d like to work in your chosen area
  • any relevant work experience, knowledge or skills relevant to your course
  • your hobbies and interests

Have a friend or teacher do a quick sense check and proof read, just to make sure your UCAS Personal Statement’s as good as you can make it.

A young person holding an old film camera.
Tell us about your hobbies – but don’t waffle.

What should I leave out?

Your Personal Statement is all about you and what you’re about – and it’s important to get straight to the point, and cut the waffle. You don’t need to include:

  • clichés and overused quotes
  • mistakes and factual inaccuracies
  • anything copy and pasted from elsewhere
  • negativity – be positive about your future and why you want to study at Stirling
  • anything irrelevant
  • humour – banter won’t get you into Stirling, unfortunately!
  • repetition

You’ve only got 4000 characters to sell yourself to us, so make it count. Be objective and straight to the point.

Student with pen in hand writing at desk
Write a list, get straight to the point

How do I get started?

We’ve all been there. You sit down to start a piece of work and writer’s block kicks in – and then procrastination. Don’t procrastinate.

Start by breaking down your UCAS Personal Statement into sections (make a list) so that you’re taking on smaller chunks of content.

Don’t waste time looking up profound quotes or anecdotes. Cut to the chase and tell us why you’re applying.

A useful acronym we normally reccomend is ‘MACK’. With this approach you want to demonstrate:

M – maturity
A – ability
C – commitment
K – knowledge

Another handy exercise is to create a ‘mind map’ or list of all your experiences or skills you currently have, pick the best ones and try to figure out what you are missing and how you plan to gain those over the next year?

Remember, this is a relatively short piece of writing, therefore everything thing needs to be relevant to really enhance your personal statement.

Bonus Tip: Struggling to pick out your specific skills? Ask parents, teacher or friends as they know you best and will be able to help.

What next?

You can find out more information on the UCAS website on writing a personal statement. Want to chat to someone about your application to the University of Stirling? Use our live chat feature by contacting the support team who are available on live chat on the portal, 10-12 pm (BST) and 2-4 pm (BST), Monday to Friday. They’ll be able to help you! Please click this link to go to the portal.

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