Your personal statement

Guide to writing your personal statement

If you are applying for a further education course (e.g. NC/NQ, SVQ or up to SCQF Level 5/6) please follow the guidance in the first section. If you are applying for a higher education course (e.g. HNC/D, degree or postgraduate) please follow the guidance in the second section.  

Further Education (e.g. NC/NQ, SVQ or up to SCQF Level 5/6)

Further Education (e.g. NC/NQ, SVQ or up to SCQF Level 5/6)

The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to explain why you want to do the course you have applied for and show why you are suitable. Your Personal Statement is used to help the College and the interviewer understand more about your reasons for applying, your skills and experience. You should try to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, but these are not marked. If you would like assistance or guidance with this aspect, please contact the College. This statement might be used by the interviewer for your course to help them ask questions that are personal to you.

Your choice of course

Think about why you are applying for your chosen course - why does this subject interest you?

Why do you think you're suitable for the course – do your current or previous studies relate to the course that you have chosen or have you taken part in any other activities that demonstrate your interest in the course?

Your interests

Think about what things you enjoy doing and are passionate about:

  • Are you a practical person, do you enjoy making things, cooking or baking, fixing things that aren’t working – give examples?
  • Are you inquisitive? Do you enjoy finding out about things - how they work, enjoy learning about history or politics, reading novels or searching the web?
  • Are you a member of any clubs or sports teams? Are you involved with any projects in your local community?

Your skills

Think about any additional skills you might have that could relate to the course and attributes that make you interesting, special or unique:

  • Are you creative or have a hidden talent - play a musical instrument, take part in sports, enjoy musical theatre, draw or paint, enjoy writing, or take photographs in your spare time?
  • Do you have managerial skills – do you organise or look after any groups, control a budget or look after staff or finances?
  • Are you compassionate – are you a carer for someone? Have you ever raised money for a charity?
  • Are you multi-lingual – if you speak more than one language this should definitely be included!

Achievements

Remember and include any other achievements you’re proud of, positions of responsibility that you hold or have held both in and out of school.

Work experience

Also include details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if it's relevant to your chosen course. Try to link any experience to skills or qualities related to the course.

Your aspirations

And finally, if you know what you’d like to do after completing the course – whether it’s to further study or employment, explain how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain.

Higher Education (e.g. HNC/D, degree or postgraduate)

Higher Education (e.g. HNC/D, degree or postgraduate)

The personal statement is your opportunity to tell us about your suitability for the course that you hope to study. You need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment, and explain your reasons for choosing the subject. You may or may not be interviewed so try to make your application stand out by giving detailed thought to your personal statement.

Tips for writing

  • Explain your interest in the subject, why you want to study that course
  • Be prepared to answer questions on it if you are interviewed
  • Take care over your written work, thoroughly check it for grammatical errors
  • Include relevant hobbies and achievements which are relevant to the course; that is those which demonstrate your skills and personality and link this to the skills and experience required for the course
  • Include any work or life experience that is relevant, i.e. which says something about yourself and your ambitions or goals in life
  • include interesting detail on your experience or activities which demonstrates your suitability for the course, but keep your writing concise
  • Include any future plans or thoughts you may have on how you will use the knowledge and experience gained through the course
  • Do not exaggerate
  • Keep the statement focused, don’t get sidetracked into things which are irrelevant.

Tips for preparation

  • Make sure you understand what the course entails, check the prospectus, website or contact the Information line, or call 01463 279190 if you would like further information or to be put in contact with the course leader
  • Make a list of ideas or items to be included so that you can determine what is relevant to include
  • Expect to produce several drafts before producing a final copy
  • Ask people you trust for feedback
  • But make sure the statement is your own work and accurately conveys your own personality and ideas