How do I write a good personal statement?

An important part of the application process for our online master’s programmes is to write a short personal statement about your interest and experience in the subject you are applying for, your reasons for choosing the programme, and how you feel your studies will help you in the future. 

Many applicants find writing a personal statement challenging. Writing about ourselves is not something we do very often. It’s also rare these days to write an essay on any topic, without being a student! 

A postgraduate degree is a big investment in yourself. Your personal statement is your opportunity to reflect on why you want to make the investment and to share this with our admissions team and programme leaders.  

What to think about before starting? 

At the University of Liverpool, we have divided the personal statement in our application form into three sections where we ask you to write between 100 and 200 words per section. We ask you to write in full sentences and in English, which is the language we teach our online programmes in.   

Every student is on a different journey and your personal statement will be unique to your situation and aspirations. Before you begin, you should know which programme you would like to study and have an idea of how you might use your new qualification, knowledge and skills in the future.  

You might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions when considering what to write for each section of the personal statement. 

Interest and experience in the subject

  • What has stimulated my interest in the subject and motivated me to apply? 
  • What would I like to learn more about within the subject? 
  • What experience of the subject have I obtained so far? 
  • Where and how did I gain my experience – personally, professionally or academically?  

Reasons for choosing the course 

  • What attracts me to the University of Liverpool?  
  • What makes me want to study online and part-time? 
  • What are the things I am hoping to get from the course?  
  • How do I think the course will help me to develop myself? 

Your future plans and how the course connects 

  • What are my plans whilst I’m studying the course? 
  • What are my plans when I’ve completed my studies? 
  • What goals am I setting myself for the future? 
  • How will the course help me to achieve my goals? 

Tips and what to focus on 

Your passion for the subject should shine through in your writing and show that you’ve done your research and that you are aware of the commitment of studying for a postgraduate degree. Highlighting your background, employment, experiences and achievements will help us to understand your fit for the programme.  

Some postgraduate courses, such as our conversion programmes, may not require you to have a first degree in the subject area but we would still like to know what you have done to build up any experience to-date.  

We love to see your personality come through in your personal statement but try to make sure that everything you include is relevant as this is not a biography or CV. Everything should relate to the programme you would like to study and your potential as a student.  

Please don’t copy and paste from a template as your statement will be checked for plagiarism and this could hurt your application. We would recommend using a spelling check to avoid mistakes and it doesn’t hurt to ask a friend or colleague to proofread things too.  

Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and tell us in your own words why you would like a place on the programme. Even if you don’t have a lot of prior experience, really highlight why you would like to learn something new. 

Ready to write your personal statement? You can find our online form here. Good luck with your application!   

Share this post: