• Log in
  • Site search

Personal statements for postgraduate applications

A well-crafted Masters personal statement is the key to convincing admissions tutors that you deserve a place on a postgraduate course. Discover the dos and don'ts of writing a personal statement and take a look at some examples for inspiration

What is a personal statement?

'We certainly find the personal statement an essential part of the application process,' says Helen Hayes, assistant registrar (postgraduate and non-standard admissions) at Aberystwyth University.

A Masters personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your postgraduate application . It's your first real chance to sell yourself to the university and to demonstrate to admissions tutors that you're right for the course.

It's likely that you've already written a personal statement for your Bachelors degree , so this should give you some idea of what to expect. However, don't be tempted to use your undergraduate personal statement as a template. You will have progressed academically since then and admissions tutors will want to see evidence of this.

Your postgraduate personal statement should be unique and tailored to the course that you're applying to. Use the opportunity to show off your academic interests and abilities, and to demonstrate that the programme will benefit from your attendance as much as you'll benefit from studying it.

'From an admissions officer perspective, given that we have to read a large number of personal statements, we are always keen to see enthusiasm, interest and passion for the subject emanating off the page,' adds Helen.

How long should a postgraduate personal statement be?

A Masters personal statement should be around 500 words. This equates to one side of A4. However, some universities require more, often two sides. Some institutions also set a character limit instead of a specific word count, so it's important that you check the application guidelines before starting to write your statement.

As they're relatively short in nature, don't waste words on autobiographical information. This isn't necessary in postgraduate personal statements. Instead, focus on why you want to study a particular programme and your potential to successfully complete the course.

What should I include in a Masters personal statement?

You should tailor your personal statement to fit the course you're applying for, so what to include will largely depend on the course requirements. However, in general you should write about:

  • Your reasons for applying for a particular programme and why you deserve a place above other candidates  - discuss your academic interests, career goals and the university and department's reputation, and write about which aspects of the course you find most appealing, such as modules or work experience opportunities. Show that you're ready for the demands of postgraduate life by demonstrating your passion, knowledge and experience.
  • Your preparation  - address how undergraduate study has prepared you for a postgraduate course, mentioning your independent work (e.g. dissertation) and topics that most interested you.
  • Evidence of your skillset  - highlight relevant skills and knowledge that will enable you to make an impact on the department, summarising your abilities in core areas including IT, numeracy, organisation, communication, time management and critical thinking. You can also cover any grades, awards, work placements, extra readings or conferences that you've attended and how these have contributed to your readiness for Masters study.
  • Your goals  - explain your career aspirations and how the course will help you achieve them. 'Describe how studying your chosen course fits in with your long-term ambitions and career path,' advises Helen.

Address any clear weaknesses, such as lower-than-expected module performance in your undergraduate degree or gaps in your education history. The university will want to know about these, so explain them with a positive spin. 'We look for positive reflection in situations like this,' explains Helen. 'Cover how things have been addressed and what will be different in your proposed postgraduate studies.'

How should I structure my personal statement?

Your personal statement should follow a logical, methodical structure, where each paragraph follows on from the one before. Make sure paragraphs are short, succinct, clear and to the point. Remember, you only have 500 words to use.

Capture the reader's attention with an enthusiastic introduction covering why you want to study a particular Masters. Then, engage the reader in your middle paragraphs by summing up your academic and employment background, evidencing your knowledge and skills and demonstrating why the course is right for you.

Your conclusion should be concise, summarising why you're the ideal candidate. Overall, aim for five or six paragraphs. You can use headings to break up the text if you prefer.

The majority of postgraduate applications are submitted online directly to the university. If this is the case, present your personal statement in a standard font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman, text size 11 or 12. If your course application is submitted through UKPASS (UCAS's postgraduate application service) font style won't matter, as personal statements are automatically formatted.

How can I write a good postgraduate personal statement?

  • Give yourself plenty of time and don't rush . Your personal statement can make or break your application so it needs to be perfect. Tutors can tell if you're bluffing, and showing yourself up as uninformed could be costly. Before you start, read the rules and guidelines provided, check the selection criteria and research the course and institution.
  • The best personal statements adopt a positive, enthusiastic and professional tone and are presented in clear, short sentences . Avoid elaborate or overly complicated phrases. Unless otherwise stated, all postgraduate personal statements should be written in English and your spelling, grammar and punctuation must be spot on, as the personal statement acts as a test of your written communication ability.
  • Don't use the same supporting statement for every course . Admissions tutors can spot copy-and-paste jobs. Generic applications demonstrate that you have little understanding of the course. In order to stand out from the crowd, Masters personal statements must be unique and specific to the course and institution.
  • Draft and redraft your statement until you're happy . Then ask a friend, family member or careers adviser to read it. Proofreading is incredibly important to avoid mistakes. Memorise what you've written before any interviews.

What do I need to avoid?

  • follow online examples too closely
  • use your undergraduate UCAS application as a template
  • be negative
  • lie or exaggerate
  • use clichés, gimmicks, humour, over-used words such as 'passion' or Americanisms
  • include inspirational quotes
  • make pleading/begging statements
  • needlessly flatter the organisation
  • include irrelevant course modules, personal facts or extra-curricular activities
  • namedrop key authors without explanation
  • use overly long sentences
  • repeat information found elsewhere in your application
  • leave writing your personal statement to the last minute.

How should I start my Masters personal statement?

Try not to waste too much time coming up with a catchy opening. The more you try, the more contrived you'll sound and the more likely you are to fall into the trap of using clichés.

Avoid using overused phrases, such as:

  • For as long as I can remember…
  • From a young age…
  • I am applying for this course because…
  • Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…
  • I have always been interested in…
  • I have always been passionate about…
  • I have always wanted to pursue a career in…
  • Reflecting on my educational experiences…

Admissions tutors read hundreds of applications per course so the opening paragraph of your personal statement needs to get straight to the point and make a real impact. Avoid overkill statements, gimmicks and popular quotes.

If you're really struggling, come back and tackle the opening once you have written the rest.

How should I end my personal statement?

Conclusions should be short, sharp and memorable, and leave no doubt in an admissions tutor's mind that you deserve a place on a course.

The perfect ending should pull all of your key points together without waffling or repeating yourself.

Like the rest of your Masters personal statement, keep the ending simple. Be succinct and make it clear why you'll be an asset to the university and end on a positive note, with a statement about why the institution would be lucky to have you as a student.

What are admissions tutors are looking for?

  • an explanation of how the course links your past and future
  • an insight into your academic and non-academic abilities, and how they'll fit with the course
  • evidence of your skills, commitment and enthusiasm
  • knowledge of the institution's area of expertise
  • reasons why you want to study at the institution
  • demonstrable interest in the subject, perhaps including some academic references or readings.

Personal statement examples

The style and content of your postgraduate personal statement depends on several variables, such as the type of qualification that you're applying for - such as a  Masters degree , a conversion course or  teacher training . Here are some postgraduate personal statement templates to help you get started:

Law personal statement

You'll apply for an LLM the same way you would for any other Masters, directly to the university. Whether you're undertaking a general LLM or a more specific programme, such as an LLM in human rights or international business law, you'll need to convey why you want to study the law in more depth and how this could potentially aid your career. Discover more about LLM degrees .

Psychology personal statement

Applications for conversion courses such as these are fairly straightforward and made directly to individual institutions. You need to explain why you want to change subjects and how your current subject will help you. Explain what experience you have that will help with your conversion subject, and what you hope to do in the future. Learn more about  psychology conversion courses .

Social work personal statement

If your Bachelors degree was in an unrelated subject but you now have ambitions to work as a social worker you'll need a Masters in social work (MSW) to qualify. Social work Masters have a substantial work placement element so you'll need to cover what you hope to achieve during this time as well as demonstrate other relevant experience. Find out more about social work courses .

PGCE primary personal statement

As well as detailing why you want to work with this particular age group, a PGCE primary personal statement should highlight the ways in which your educational background has inspired you to teach. You'll need to cover relevant skills you have gained and any related work experience, as well as demonstrate your knowledge of the primary national curriculum. Read up on PGCEs .

PGCE secondary personal statement

You'll need to cover why you want to teach at secondary level while also acknowledging the pressures and challenges of working with older pupils. As you'll be teaching a specific subject, you'll need to evidence your knowledge in this area and demonstrate how your first degree was relevant. It's also essential to highlight any related work or voluntary experience. Learn more about teaching personal statements .

Find out more

  • Search postgraduate courses .
  • Find out what else you must consider when  applying for a Masters degree .
  • Completed your application? Discover what  postgraduate interview questions  you may be asked.

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

  • Dislike 1 unhappy-very
  • Like 5 happy-very

Thank you for rating the page

How to write a personal statement for Masters courses

A good personal statement can mean the difference between getting an offer and being rejected. Your personal statement should show us that you are the right person for the course.

Alternatively, you can see our advice for writing a UCAS personal statement .

Learn how to:

  • plan your personal statement
  • structure your personal statement
  • use engaging and convincing content  and language .

Planning your personal statement 

A personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your application. It is a statement of academic interests and should not contain any autobiographical information about your personal life.

Instead, it should show us that you are the right person for Sussex by telling us why you want to study your course , and any extra information about your achievements to date. 

See our Masters courses for more information

When you have finished planning your personal statement, you can use our  postgraduate application system  to start your application. 

You need to:

  • carefully read the information required of you 
  • research the course you are applying for, so that you can explain why you want to study it. If you are applying for more than one course, do not use the same statement for all applications.

The following questions may help you plan your personal statement:  

  • Why do you want to study a Masters and how will it benefit you?
  • How does the course fit your skill set?
  • How do you stand out from the crowd - e.g. work experience?
  • What are you aspiring to be/do in your future career?
  • How can your work contribute to the department/University/society?

If you're applying for a subject that is in a different field to your undergraduate degree, tell us why you have decided to change your direction of study. 

Think about: 

  • how you will bring fresh insight to your course as a result of your undergraduate degree
  • the reasons for deciding to change your field of study
  • how changing your direction of study will help you with your future career.   

Use a tight structure in your personal statement and make sure each paragraph logically follows on from the one before. 

Your personal statement must:  

  • have an eye-catching and interesting introduction, and an engaging middle part and conclusion
  • have an introduction that acts as a framework for the rest of your statement, with the main part of your statement detailing your interests, experience and knowledge
  • be between 250 and 500 words 
  • have short sentences of no more than 25-30 words
  • use headings (if you wish) to break up the content - for example, 'Why this university?' 'Why this subject?' 'Ability', 'Personal experience' and 'Career aspirations'

'My passion for Psychology stems from my interest in how dementia affects the personality of patients suffering with the condition. That's why I spent my gap year working with the Alzheimer's Society, supporting patients and families by visiting them at home and holding surgeries to give sufferers and carers someone to talk to.'

'It was not until my grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and ischaemic dementia that the link between brain functioning and cognition became a passion. Although a most unpleasant experience, the enormity of the precision at which the brain functions to produce our cognitive abilities, socially acceptable behaviours and intricate physiological processes astounded me. I found myself questioning the cognitive functions and human behaviours I had previously just accepted, desperate to understand how the unseen and seemingly small entities within the brain could impact our daily behaviour.'

  • the conclusion should sum up your main points, reflect on your main accomplishments and clearly show your desire to study.

Your personal statement is where you show us your commitment, dedication and motivation for studying the course. It is your chance to show us the course is for you.

Your personal statement should:  

  • give strong reasons as to why you want to study the course at Sussex. This could be for your future career or because of the University's reputation
  • mention relevant study - including projects, dissertations, essays - or work experience 
  • provide evidence of your key skills including, research, critical thinking, communication, organisation, planning and time-management and show how you can contribute to the department
  • show what makes you stand out as a candidate
  • explain who your main influences have been and why
  • draw on your other experiences: for example are you a member of a society, have you written any papers or won any awards, scholarships or prizes?
  • highlight your career aspirations and show how the course will help you achieve them.  

See an example personal statement [PDF 31.95KB]  

Your tone should be positive and enthusiastic. It should show your willingness to learn and persuade us you have what it takes to suceed on one of our courses. 

You should:  

  • use fresh and exciting language to make your application stand out, and use engaging opening paragraphs
  • use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling 
  • use clear language in short sentences and avoid extravagant claims


Don't:  'I was inspired by the University's world-renowned researchers and world-leading facilities.'

Do:  'I was inspired to study Animal Biology because of the groundbreaking work into the behaviour of bees that is being led by Sussex Professor Francis Ratnieks. I follow the work of the University of Sussex Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects and would be proud to study in such a renowned department and contribute to its highly ranked research.'

  •  proofread your statement and ask a friend or relative to read it. 

You might also be interested in:

  • our Masters courses
  • postgraduate application system guide
  • student support
  • how to apply for a Masters course

Writing a personal statement to apply for a master's course

If you apply for a master's, you need to write a personal statement or statement of purpose to show you're ready for the course. find out what we look for..

A student writing on a laptop.

Why you need to write a personal statement

When you apply to study for a master's degree at Bath, you need to write a personal statement as part of your application.

A personal statement is your opportunity to show that a master’s course is right for you and that you have the potential to complete it successfully. You should show us you have a clear understanding of what studying the course will involve. 

Some people call this a 'statement of purpose' or something similar.

Who will read your personal statement

A member of the Admissions team will read your personal statement. We'll use it as part of the process to decide who we can offer a place to.

Planning your personal statement

Read the application criteria.

Make sure you carefully read and follow any instructions on the application form so that you include everything we want to see.

Do some research

Start by researching the course, department, and University thoroughly for each new application. Think about what evidence you can include to show you have the right skills, knowledge, and experience for the course. If you’re naturally modest about your abilities, consider asking a current tutor or mentor what they might include.

If the course entry requirements demand a specific skill, like maths or programming, you should be able to show how you meet this requirement.

Psychology applicants

For some of our Psychology courses, there are specific criteria for what you should include in your personal statement. Read about these on the Psychology course pages .

Writing an effective personal statement

Give yourself plenty of time to write your statement. Don’t leave it to the last minute.

Decide how you will structure the personal statement. While there’s no single structure that’s ideal for every application, focus on presenting your case in a clear, logical way.

State the name of the programme and the University, and write a separate personal statement for each application. Even if the courses you are applying for are very similar, you should write a tailored response for each one.

In most cases, there will be a word limit of 400 to 600 words.  

Write your personal statement in your own words. Don’t copy one from somewhere else.

General writing tips

  • Write in a style that is clear, concise, and not too elaborate or complicated
  • Write in active voice - for example, 'I completed a placement in 2022', not 'A placement was completed in 2022'
  • Structure your statement using short sentences and paragraphs
  • Be as definite as possible in the way you word your statement - for example, instead of saying, “I hope to do this”, say ‘I want to,” or “I intend to do this.”
  • Make sure you only include relevant information - if something you mention isn’t related to your skills or why you want to study the course, then don’t include it 
  • Don’t overstate your achievements; it may strike a boastful tone that’s unlikely to strengthen your application
  • Don’t repeat information that you've already covered elsewhere in the application
  • Avoid using clichéd phrases or quotes as opening lines and instead, go for a succinct summary of your academic and employment background  

You should always proofread your personal statement and remove any grammatical or spelling errors. It can be hard to spot mistakes in your own writing, so ask someone else to review it too.

What to include in your personal statement

Demonstrate motivation and enthusiasm.

When we read your personal statement, we'll be looking for evidence that, after researching your options, you’ve decided that this is the best university and degree for you. We want to see that you’re excited about the opportunity to study here, and the degree fits in with your long-term goals.

Consider including:

  • a specific reason, or reasons, why you want to do the course
  • a specific reason why you want to do the course at Bath
  • an explanation of how the course relates to what you want to do in the future
  • evidence of your commitment and enthusiasm

Saying ‘I am committed and enthusiastic’ is not enough. Demonstrate it through your knowledge of the course, department and its research, for example, or your passion for your field of study.

Highlight your suitability

Your personal statement needs to showcase the skills, knowledge, and experience which make you suitable for the course. We want to see that you have the subject-specific and transferable skills to succeed and thrive on the course.   

Academic achievements

Consider including examples of academic achievements, with an explanation of how they’ve prepared you for the content and demands of the course. You could also give an explanation of how the course links to, and potentially builds on, what you've done in the past. 

Professional achievements

Include any relevant work experience. Use your duties, tasks, and responsibilities during the job or placement to help convey what you gained from the experience.

Relevant hobbies and interests

You can also include your hobbies and volunteering activities. These can highlight positive qualities and experience that add to the picture of you as a suitable candidate.

Other skills

Give evidence of transferable skills. These could include presentation skills, group work, written communication skills, independent learning, perseverance, and time management. They can help to indicate how well you are likely to perform on course assessments and course requirements.

If you've overcome challenges because of a disability or long-term health condition, sharing this can show evidence of achievement, strength of character, and sought-after skills. Talking about personal development you've gained because of a disability can also make you stand out from other applicants.  Read more about how we support disabled students .

Try to use more recent examples of your experience, skills and strengths. You can also include details of any relevant experience you plan to gain before starting your degree.

Mitigating circumstances

If you've experienced any difficult or mitigating circumstances that may have affected previous studies, you are welcome to include this if you wish to do so. Only include this information if it is relevant to the application.

More guidance about applying for a master's course

  • Applying for a taught postgraduate course
  • Accepting your offer of a place on a taught postgraduate course

If you have any questions about your postgraduate application or writing a personal statement, get in touch.

Central Postgraduate Taught Admissions

Home » All Resources » Applying to University » How to Write a Master’s Degree Personal Statement

How to Write a Master’s Degree Personal Statement

Write the perfect personal statement for a master’s degree application .

Getting your application accepted is the first hurdle in gaining a master’s. Some university courses are highly competitive, with far more candidates than places available on any given intake. When the admissions team and programme director are faced with two evenly matched applicants for one place on a course, postgraduate personal statements can be the deciding factor. 

Because of this, spending the time and focus on creating a well-written master’s degree personal statement should not be skipped.

Use this guide to help you create a winning personal statement for your postgraduate application. As we focus on UK online master’s degrees , we discuss including career experience below. If you are moving directly from undergraduate study, you can still use this guide. Just swap those parts for any relevant academic or extracurricular activity.

Why Is A Masters Personal Statement Required? 

As we just mentioned, a personal statement can be the deciding factor in gaining a place on a course. But what are the key points that the admissions tutor will be looking for, and how to make your personal statement stand out in amongst the hundreds of postgraduate applications they see each year? 

During the application process, course the director wants to understand a candidate’s experience, expertise and potential on and after the programme. In addition, they want students who bring energy, insight and motivation to the assignments and discussions. They also want to see evidence the applicant understands what is involved in the course, that they are at the right level academically, and how the course will contribute to their personal or career goals. 

What Exactly Is A Personal Statement For A Master’s Degree? 

If you are applying for a master’s degree, you will probably have written an undergraduate personal statement.

A personal statement for a master’s degree is a piece of freewriting which is your opportunity to promote yourself in your own words to the admissions team and course director.

Your personal statement should be unique to the course you are applying for, highlighting your suitability for the programme. It is a chance to demonstrate how you will develop from taking the course and how the programme would benefit from you studying it. 

In short, your personal statement should show that you have done your research and understand what is involved in the course and how it will directly impact your professional or personal development. It should also prove your interest, passion and enthusiasm for the subject area. 

What You Should Avoid In A Masters Personal Statement. 

Quotes, cliches, humour and waffle have no place in a personal statement. If you include these in your statement, you are not telling the person reading it anything about yourself and why you would make a good candidate for the course.

University admissions teams read hundreds of personal statements each year, and including any of these could actually harm your application.

We have compiled a checklist for everything you should avoid in a personal statement. 

  • Waffle- long, vague sentences 
  • Exaggeration
  • Following online examples too closely
  • Begging or pleading for admission or funding 
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Irrelevant life history, personal information, hobbies and interests

If you are reading this, you will have probably already read a few other similar articles with similar advice. A lot of the guides online include personal statement examples. We don’t. Admissions tutors are familiar with the online examples and view applications negatively when they see similar statements with minor changes.

We think the best way to create a unique, compelling personal statement is to plan, write, review and rewrite your personal statement without reading too many examples. Further down this page, we have a seven-step process that we recommend.

How Many Words Should You Write In A Postgraduate Personal Statement? 

Unless the university you are applying to sets for a specific length or word count, aim for one page of A4. One page of typed A4 is only around 500 words. 

This limited number of words means that you need to keep your statement concise and make each sentence work for you. You need to plan what you want to say and how you want to say it. This process will take time. Even though 500 words is a relatively small amount of text, you should give yourself a week or more of time for this process. 

Postgraduate Course Application Guidelines

The application pack will often have guidelines for the personal statement specific to that university or the individual course. Make sure you follow all the guidelines, for example, a specific word count, and note any deadlines.

It’s important to double-check your application before submitting it to ensure all the information across the different documents is consistent, and the dates match up. 

Think About How You Write In Your Personal Statement

A good personal statement should be clear, professional, positive and enthusiastic. You need to articulate your message so that the reader is in no doubt about your message. Aim for the tone you would use if you had to introduce yourself in a work situation. 

Think about the points you want to cover and lay them out logically. You broadly want to have three main parts- a statement and explanation, and a closing. It’s an obvious one, but make sure you use the correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. The personal statement is also an example of your writing skills.

The Best Information To Include In A Postgraduate Personal Statement. 

Use the list below as a starting point. These points are not exhaustive, and there is no rule that you need to include all of them. 

  • The reason you want to take the course
  • Specific reason/s you like this particular programme
  • Future career aspirations
  • Academic and employment background
  • Current academic interests
  • Specific examples of relevant skills and experience

The application pack will often have guidelines for the personal statement specific to that university or the individual course. Make sure you follow any instructions you get with the application pack and do what they ask and not what you think they want. 

What’s The Best Structure For A Masters Personal Statement 

Considering you only have one page of A4 and the person reading your statement will already have read multiple statements that day. Therefore, you want to keep your personal statement structure tight and concise. 

  • Start with an engaging introduction to get your reader’s attention.
  • Use clear language
  • Use short sentences- aim for no more than 30 words. 
  • Where you make a statement, back it up with evidence.
  • Aim for around 5 to 7 paragraphs. 
  • Follow a logical structure- each paragraph leads to the next. 
  • Your last paragraph should summarise your main points and re-emphasise your desire to study and that you are the right person for the course.

Seven-Step Plan To Write A Winning Personal Statement. 

Some of the best personal statements we have seen used clear language to show why the applicant meets the entry requirements and how that particular programme would benefit their career aspirations or personal goals.

Use this plan to help you write a personal statement. By splitting the process of writing your personal statement into manageable steps, you can feel confident that you will have put your best case forward for joining your preferred postgraduate course. 

Step 1- Get your main points down on paper.

In this first step, just start writing. Open a new document, copy and paste the questions below and write down everything that comes to mind.

  • Why do you want to take the course?
  • Why is this specific course the one for you?
  • What future career goals do you want to achieve?
  • What experience do you have that makes you suitable for this course?
  • How exactly do you meet the entry requirement?
  • What skills do you have that are relevant to the course?
  • What academic qualifications do you have that are relevant to the course, undergraduate degree, and any other certificates?
  • How will you fit the course in with your work/ family commitments?

Step 2- Double-check the application pack.

Review the application pack. Note the guidelines for the application process and personal statement—for example, character limit, specific points to include format and deadlines.

Next, review all the information you have about your chosen course. Then, make notes on what parts of the course interest you the most.

Step 3 – Build the structure of your personal statement.

In this step, you create the flow of your postgraduate personal statement. Start with a 5 paragraph structure. Using bullet points write down what you want to cover in each paragraph. For example,

  • Why I am interested in the subject area.
  • My future goals
  • Why I am interested in this course
  • My undergraduate degree, career experience/extracurricular activities and skills,
  • How taking this course now fits in with where I am at in my career/life.

Step 4- Write your first draft.

Start writing your opening paragraph. Don’t worry about having a catchy opening sentence at this stage. Follow the structure you created in step three for the middle paragraphs. The critical part here is getting words down on paper using your answers to the questions in step one.

Step 5 – Sleep on it.

Once you have a complete draft that you are happy with, save it, and then forget all about your application for at least a day or two. Having a break from your application is essential. When you are ready to finalise your master’s degree personal statement, you want to look at it with fresh eyes.

Step 6 – Revise and amend.

Now you need to revise, polish and tidy up your postgraduate personal statement. You can do this multiple times until you are happy. There is now a wide range of online tools that can help you at this stage. Grammarly and the Hemmingway app are two great examples.

Consider the following points when you are revising your text.

  • You should be thinking about the person reading it.
  • Does the information you are giving flow
  • Does the reader know X before you move on to Y?
  • Have you backed up statements with evidence?
  • Look at each sentence and make sure it is concise- avoid overly long sentences.
  • Does the closing paragraph summarise your main points?

Once you are happy, read your statement out loud. Doing this will help you with the flow and pick up any last changes you need to make. If possible, get a friend or family member to read through what you have written for feedback.

Step 7- Final checks.

The last step is to check it for grammar and spelling. Once done, you will have completed your application with a well-written master’s personal statement that makes it clear that you have done your research and be a good choice for a university admissions tutor to accept.

University Rankings

Use these links to view the full rankings (Opens in a new window)

THE World University Rankings

QS World University Ranking

ARTU Ranking (Out of 45 UK universities included in their table) 

QS World University Rankings- QS Quacquarelli Symonds rankings data – (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

  • Applying to Uni
  • Apprenticeships
  • Health & Relationships
  • Money & Finance

Personal Statements

  • Postgraduate
  • U.S Universities

University Interviews

  • Vocational Qualifications
  • Accommodation
  • ​​​​​​​Budgeting, Money & Finance
  • ​​​​​​​Health & Relationships
  • ​​​​​​​Jobs & Careers
  • ​​​​​​​Socialising

Studying Abroad

  • ​​​​​​​Studying & Revision
  • ​​​​​​​Technology
  • ​​​​​​​University & College Admissions

Guide to GCSE Results Day

Finding a job after school or college

Retaking GCSEs

In this section

Choosing GCSE Subjects

Post-GCSE Options

GCSE Work Experience

GCSE Revision Tips

Why take an Apprenticeship?

Applying for an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships Interviews

Apprenticeship Wage

Engineering Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

Choosing an Apprenticeship

Real Life Apprentices

Degree Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

A Level Results Day 2023

AS Levels 2023

Clearing Guide 2023

Applying to University

SQA Results Day Guide 2023

BTEC Results Day Guide

Vocational Qualifications Guide

Sixth Form or College

International Baccalaureate

Post 18 options

Finding a Job

Should I take a Gap Year?

Travel Planning


Gap Year Guide

Gap Year Blogs

Applying to Oxbridge

Applying to US Universities

Choosing a Degree

Choosing a University or College

Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Guide to Freshers' Week

Student Guides

Student Cooking

Student Blogs

  • Top Rated Personal Statements

Personal Statements By Subject

Writing Your Personal Statement

  • Postgraduate Personal Statements
  • International Student Personal Statements
  • Gap Year Personal Statements

Personal Statement Length Checker

  • Personal Statements By University
  • Personal Statement Changes 2024
  • Personal Statement Template

Job Interviews

Types of Postgraduate Course

Writing a Postgraduate Personal Statement

Postgraduate Funding

Postgraduate Study


Choosing A College

Ivy League Universities

Common App Essay Examples

Universal College Application Guide

How To Write A College Admissions Essay

College Rankings

Admissions Tests

Fees & Funding


Budgeting For College

Online Degree

Platinum Express Editing and Review Service

Gold Editing and Review Service

Silver Express Editing and Review Service

UCAS Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Oxbridge Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

Postgraduate Personal Statement Editing and Review Service

You are here

  • Mature Student Personal Statements
  • Personal Statement Editing Service
  • Personal Statement Writing Guide
  • Submit Your Personal Statement

Postgraduate Personal Statement Examples

Our postgraduate personal statement examples for Masters and PhD courses will inspire you to write your own unique statement, and help you understand how students have successfully applied for this type of course in the past.

Related resources

How to write a masters statement.

writing a masters personal statement

Find out more

Masters Personal Statement Tips

writing a masters personal statement

Should I Do A Masters?

writing a masters personal statement

Types Of Postgraduate Degree

writing a masters personal statement

Research Vs Taught Masters

writing a masters personal statement

Choosing A Postgrad University

writing a masters personal statement

Postgraduate Entry Requirements

writing a masters personal statement

7 Ways To Fail A Graduate Interview

writing a masters personal statement

Uni Open Day Tips

writing a masters personal statement

What is a postgraduate personal statement?

A postgraduate personal statement is a piece of creative writing that should tell the universities you are applying to all about your strengths and where you see yourself in the future.

It should give admissions tutors a good idea of who you are and why you would make a valuable candidate for their course.

Remember that a postgraduate course is a higher level of study than an undergraduate degree, so be prepared to share your knowledge and expertise in your chosen subject.

How do I write a postgraduate personal statement?

We always recommend starting your postgraduate personal statement by brainstorming ideas. Your notes should cover the following:

  • achievements
  • academic results
  • part-time or Saturday jobs
  • volunteering
  • wider reading
  • extracurricular activities

as well as anything else you can think of that is relevant to the course you are applying for.

Take a look through our collection of postgraduate personal statement examples above to give yourself an idea of what a successful statement looks like.

Once you have put together an initial draft, it's a good idea to ask for feedback from family, friends and tutors. They will be able to look at your statement objectively and suggest ways it could be improved.

Incorporate their comments, and ask for further feedback. Don't worry if you have to do this three or four times - it's important you get your statement as perfect as possible before sending it off on your UCAS form.

What should I include in my postgraduate personal statement?

  • Look at the content of the course and make sure your statement addresses the specific apect(s) you are interested in.
  • Talk about your motivations for wanting to study the course and mention any projects you've completed, awards you've received or other achievements.
  • Demonstrate important skillls that are required for a postgraduate course, e.g. problem-solving, teamwork, analytical, communication etc. Talk about how you have developed these, either at school/college, at your job or during hobbies or other activities.
  • Most applicants spend the opening of their statement talking about why they want to study a postgraduate course in their subject, e.g. to improve their career prospects, or as a stepping stone to a PhD.
  • Don’t include any over-used phrases or quotes in your statement that university admissions tutors will have seen and heard before.
  • Now is also not the time for jokes or humour - it often doesn't work well and admissions tutors might not be impressed!
  • Pay attention to detail and use good vocabulary and grammar throughout.
  • Try to keep the tone positive and enthusiastic - tutors want to see passionate students that will be a valuable asset to their department.
  • Start writing your personal statement as soon as you know which course you want to apply for and which universities you want to approach.

For more help and advice on what to write in your postgraduate personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement FAQs
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

How long is a postgraduate personal statement?

A postgraduate personal statement is normally around 500 words long, which is roughly one side of A4. Some universities may require more, such as up two sides. Other institutions also set a character limit instead of a specific word count, so check the guidelines before you start writing.

Postgraduate personal statements shouldn't include personal information that is already elsewhere on your UCAS form. Instead, focus on why you want to study a particular postgraduate course and your potential to successfully complete your studies.

How do I structure my postgraduate personal statement?

Your Masters personal statement should have a clear, logical structure, where the paragraphs flow coherently from one to the next.

For the opening paragraph, you should try to grab the admission tutor's attention with an positive and passionate introduction that tells admission tutors why you want to study this course.

Your middle paragraphs should tell the reader all about your knowledge and skills and demonstrate why this course is the next step for you.

Around half of the main body should focus on you and your interests, and the other half about the course content and where you hope it will take you in the future.

Your conclusion should round off your statement by explaining why you are a great candidate. Most students aim to write between four and six paragraphs in total, although remember not to waffle - every word needs to count!

It's a good idea to mention any potential red flags, such as a gap in your education history, or low grades at school or college, and explain the reasons why as positively as possible.

For example, talk about how you plan to increase your wider reading to make up for your lower than expected exam results, or how you spent a year out from education volunteering at a local animal centre.

Most postgraduate applications are submitted online via the UCAS Postgraduate service or directly through the university's website. If you are doing the latter, make sure it is formatted correctly before submitting it.

How do I begin my postgraduate personal statement?

The first rule here is not to include any typically over-used phrases such as "since a young age" or "I have always wanted to be a...".

Remember that admission tutors read hundreds of statements every week, so you need to cut to the chase and grab their attention straight away.

Looking through some of our postgraduate personal staetment examples will inspire you, and help give you an idea of what makes a good opening sentence.

How do I conclude my postgraduate personal statement?

Your conclusion is just as important as your opening, so it's worth spending as much time as you can rounding your statement off with something memorable.

Talk about your ambitions and how you hope your postgraduate course will allow you to achive your career ambitions.

The end of your statement should also include a concise summary of why you are a good fit for the course.

Keep it succinct and on point, and think about why you will be a valuable asset to the university. After all, you are up against many other candidates, so why should the tutors offer you a place over them?

Once you've completed an initial draft, including an opening, middle and end, make sure you pass it on to family, friends or anyone else that can provide feedback.

You can then incorporate any suggestions or comments to try and improve it.

Be aware that it will probably take at least three or four rounds of revisions before you have a final, polished draft.

If you follow these tips your personal statement should leave a lasting impression.

Where can I find more information about postgraduate personal statements and applying for a course?

There are lots of great resources out there with tips and advice on postgraduate university personal statements and UCAS applications, including:

  • Should I apply for a postgraduate course?
  • Types of postgraduate course
  • Writing a postgraduate personal statement
  • Benefits of postgraduate study
  • Postgraduate entry requirements
  • Research vs Taught Masters
  • Taught Masters
  • Research Masters
  • UCAS Postgraduate Applications
  • FindAMasters


  1. 💐 Masters personal statement format. Writing Personal Statements for

    writing a masters personal statement

  2. Can a Statement of Purpose for Masters Sample Help You? http://www

    writing a masters personal statement

  3. Writing A Personal Statement For Masters In Public Health

    writing a masters personal statement

  4. ⛔ Masters personal statement example. Personal Statement For Masters

    writing a masters personal statement

  5. Masters Personal Statement Writing Service. Personal Statement Samples

    writing a masters personal statement

  6. Personal Statement For Masters Degree In Finance

    writing a masters personal statement


  1. How Do I Write a Rebuttal Statement?

    The best way to write a rebuttal statement is to start with a strong thesis statement that will present the person’s argument and defend the position on a statement or an accusation made against him.

  2. Mastering the Basics of Writing a Proposal

    Writing a proposal is an important skill for any professional. Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or employee, knowing how to write a persuasive proposal can help you land more clients and projects. Here are some tips for masterin...

  3. How to Master Sample Letter Writing Format in 5 Simple Steps

    Writing a formal letter can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to it. But with the right guidance and a few simple steps, you can easily master the art of letter writing. Here’s how:

  4. Personal statements for postgraduate applications

    A Masters personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your postgraduate application. It's your first real chance to sell yourself to

  5. How to write a personal statement for Masters courses

    Planning your personal statement · Why do you want to study a Masters and how will it benefit you? · How does the course fit your skill set? · How do you stand out

  6. How To Write Your Postgraduate Personal Statement

    Be specific. Remember that a postgraduate personal statement needs you to talk specifically about the university you've chosen.

  7. Writing the Perfect Personal Statement for Your Master's or PhD

    Personal statements required for graduate school admissions are short. Their length should bearound 700 words, meaning 1-2 pages. However, you

  8. Writing a personal statement to apply for a master's course

    General writing tips · Write in a style that is clear, concise, and not too elaborate or complicated · Write in active voice - for example, 'I completed a

  9. 7-Step Guide to Writing a Master's Degree Personal Statement

    What's The Best Structure For A Masters Personal Statement · Start with an engaging introduction to get your reader's attention. · Use clear language · Use short

  10. Example of a Personal Statement for a Masters

    Example of a Personal Statement for a Masters. Describe your reasons for wanting to study this particular course and what you believe you will gain from it.

  11. Postgraduate Personal Statement Examples

    I believe I have the intellectual ability to complete a Masters Degree and I have illustrated my drive, ambition and dedication to do this is many ways. I am

  12. Writing Personal Statements

    When applying to postgraduate study you will often need to fill in a personal statement. These statements are to support.

  13. How to Write a Personal Statement for Masters Programmes

    Write your personal statement essay in a positive and professional tone. Use language that demonstrates your enthusiasm for the opportunity and

  14. Postgraduate Personal Statements

    When writing a postgraduate personal statement, you should aim for a word count of around 500 words (one A4 side of text). Some universities