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UCAS Applications

Year 13

Your Personal Statement

Only a small number of universities and courses interview, so an offer is granted on the basis of your UCAS application. The personal statement is sometimes the thing that can differentiate you from others and could be the difference between getting an offer or not. It is your big opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm, potential and suitability.  The more competitive the course is, the more likely your personal statement could be the deciding factor, especially when it comes down to two candidates with similar academic achievements.

So spend a bit of time on it. Here is a short video, which explains what you need to cover and what admissions tutors want to see. It also explains things to steer clear of. It gives you a very simple structure to follow.


UCAS applications open on the 1st September and close on the 15th January.

The 15th October is the deadline for all medical, dentistry and veterinary applications as well as applications for Oxbridge.

What do you need to do?

  • Complete personal details, qualifications and course choices
  • Write a personal statement
  • Provide a reference – normally your tutor or teacher

For more detailed information, download our e-booklet on writing your personal statement HERE

Top Tips

  • Your interest, enthusiasm and suitability for the course you are applying should form 80% of your UCAS personal statement
  • Research the course well so you understand what they are looking for
  • Gather evidence from your studies, interests, work, achievements and experiences to demonstrate that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about studying the subject and have the right skills to do so.
  • Think about the person reading your form – who is a course tutor – and you need to convince them that they want to teach you.

Choosing your courses

You get 5 choices apart from medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine which only get 4. Use all your choices. It does not matter which order you put them in.

Mixing courses?

It is a lot easier to write a personal statement if you have chosen similar courses. If you mix the courses then it becomes complicated, as you will have to express your interest and knowledge for more than one course. The admission tutors do not see who else you have applied to, so it’s confusing for them and also not very convincing. You may end up appealing to none of them as they could deem you not committed enough to their subject.

If you are applying for a combined degree or joint honours like economics and French then you need to discuss both subjects in your personal statement and explain why you are interested & suited to both.


If you are unsure what you want to study and would be interested in employability and salaries related to different subject areas, click HERE

Which university?

You should make a balanced selection of universities combining your favourites with other ‘back up’ options who stipulate lower offers. If you miss your grades then at least you will still have a university place.

Also think carefully about applying to the same university twice – if they reject you for one course they will probably reject you for another so you may be wasting one of your options.

Having decided which subject you wish to study, do look in detail at the course structure from the varying universities – they all differ. Take a look at:

  • How much course work there is as opposed to exams. Which are you better at?
  • How much flexibility there is in your choice of modules and how many and which ones are mandatory. Does this suit you?
  • Take a look at the subject areas that are taught to check that these are the areas that interest you within the course you have chosen.
  • Also check how technical the course is as opposed to others. Which is better?

If you want to look at the universities targeted by the largest number of employers click HERE

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