Since 2008 I’ve written a couple of books and more than fifty articles on the topic of UCAS personal statements.
More recently I adapted and republished three of the most popular articles on my blog as a free resource and together they have had almost 5,000 views. Hence, with the 2023 UCAS application cycle about to get into full gear, I thought it might be a good time to give them another airing.
I certainly don’t want to claim that my advice on this subject is authoritative, especially as the original articles were first written a few years ago. I would therefore urge applicants to seek guidance from a range of sources and especially from universities themselves.
Having said that, I continue to hear students saying that they find the process daunting, or they don’t know where to start, or they’ve been told things like ‘you must include a quotation’ or ‘you must mention all of your subjects’, or they’re anxious because they haven’t had any work experience or got any hobbies. So I do want to try and counter some of those perceptions, ease young people’s anxieties and offer some practical suggestions and inspiration, whilst also highlighting what to try and avoid.
Here are the three articles. The first two are generic, whilst the third is aimed specifically at students who are thinking of applying for a mixture of different courses:
The lighthouse in my featured image is at Portland Bill. I took the photo after speaking at a Careers conference at the National Sailing Academy in 2018.
© Alan Bullock, 4/9/2022