Word Limit For Personal Statement Pgce Nottingham

The personal statement is the part of the application form where students can “sell” themselves to admission tutors. Applicants must write up to 4,000 characters, or 47 lines, to convince universities to offer them a place. But finding the right tone is tricky. Boasting is out, modesty is self-defeating and trying to be funny can be dangerous. No wonder that applicants turn to family and teachers for advice. But are they getting the right guidance?

A study by the Sutton Trust found that the academic focus of the personal statement is not always understood by teachers, who tended to praise general passages about subjects. The tutors liked to see more detailed discussion and analysis of particular aspects of the subject that had caught the student’s interest and made them think.

Universities don’t want banalities, cliches or flattery. They want to see concrete, recent, relevant examples that demonstrate the student’s interest and understanding of the chosen discipline. It’s not enough to have wanted to do something all your life or to be fascinated by history or passionate about politics.

Writing about yourself is stressful, but once you get your ideas down on paper, then it’s not so bad, says Adam Mawardi, 20, a second-year law student at Keele University. “I did my first draft and thought: good, job done. Then I read it through and realised it was incoherent in places and lacked structure. It took a lot of revisions to get it right. It’s like a job interview: you have to say why you want it, what you like about it, the qualities you would bring and then, at the end, perhaps something you have done that makes you unique.”

Why have you chosen the course?

A good personal statement focuses on the course and why the applicant wants to do it, says Kelly Boulton, undergraduate admissions manager at the University of Nottingham. “We want to see that you are passionate about your chosen subject and find out what you have done beyond your exam studies that demonstrates that interest.

We want to hear what they do to pursue their interests outside the curriculum

Kelly Boulton, admissions manager, University of Nottingham

“Applicants should explain why they have chosen the course and what in particular interests them about the subject,” she says. “We get a lot of people saying things such as ‘ever since I sprained my knee at the age of five I have wanted to be a doctor’, when something that they have experienced or noticed over the last couple of years would be just as powerful.

“Sometimes applicants go into a lot of detail about what they are studying for A-level, wasting valuable space, because we want to hear what they do to pursue their interests outside the curriculum. It might be further reading for English or visiting ancient sites for history or exploring the relevance of an economic theory to what is going on in the world today.”

Extracurricular pursuits, positions of responsibility and part-time work help to give a rounded picture. But don’t just list them, Boulton says: point out the qualities they have developed that you can bring to the course.

Parents can help by making sure the applicant checks grammar, spelling and punctuation, and does not use colloquialisms or text-speak. But it can be a time to hold back. Personal coach Linda Smith admits her son knew best: “He did his earlier this year. I made it more personal; he reverted to the original. It seems he was right: he got an unconditional offer to read English and drama. There’s definitely a technique to this and he seemed to have acquired it.”

The Ucas process: how it works

  • Ucas Stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the centralised system to match applicants with places.
  • Apply Students apply for up to five university courses through the online system.
  • Track Ucas sends the application forms to the five universities. Unis can offer a firm place, a conditional one on meeting set grades, or a rejection.
  • Choices Applicants can accept two offers: firm and insurance. The insurance choice should be a safety net, offering lower grades.
  • Extra choices Those with no offers can apply for other courses through Track.
  • Results When exam results are published, candidates get confirmed places for either their firm or insurance choice or are put into clearing.
  • Clearing The process that matches unsuccessful applicants with available places. Applicants seek universities themselves through the search tool and apply to each individually.
  • Adjustment Applicants whose exam results meet and exceed their firm offer have a limited period to apply to different universities or courses.

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to The University of Nottingham. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities.

Computer Science Personal Statement
From an early age I’ve always been deeply interested in computing. It was my dad, introducing me to the computer systems at his work place that first sparked this interest. I can always remember the feeling of wanting to know just how computers worked, why they worked and what else they could do...

Mathematics Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated by my mathematical studies and, having a flair for the subject, there was never any doubt that I would choose mathematics as a degree. It is a pivotal subject on which so many others depend (such as physics and chemistry)...

Law Personal Statement
The subject of law fascinates me extensively. I am intrigued by developments in the law and the way that it adapts to an ever-changing society. I feel I would be suited to a law degree as I am at my best when challenged, relish the opportunity of lateral thinking and enjoy evaluating the microcosm of human relations...

History and Politics Personal Statement
History and politics have had a profound impact on my outlook. From childhood, the tangible history I found in castles, museums and family photographs appealed uniquely to my imagination. As I grew up my interest in the past introduced me to the political traditions and ideas of my community, and the study of politics became equally absorbing...

Business Management Personal Statement
There is a rapid growth in global organisational concepts, crystallised in Japanese business philosophy, to be as effective as possible in the most efficient way. New technology involving networking information and automation influences the behaviour of business and enables significant transformation...

History Personal Statement
I am captivated by the diversity and depth offered by a History degree; attracted by the way it encourages us to be analytical of the values and patterns of past societies. It was in my final year of secondary school that I was awarded the History Attainment Award, although my desire to study History dates back to an earlier age when I visited the site of the allied landings in Normandy at just eleven years old...

Biology Personal Statement
Being born in the shadow of Sellafield, and growing up near the home of Unilever Research & Development, my interest in Science was, in my eyes, inevitable. My fascination with Biology began to develop at a young age...

Archaeology Personal Statement
Society today is fundamentally founded on key events in our history. Archaeology plays a key part in providing us with vital evidence about our past, teaching us more about how our ancestors lived. This intrigues me, discovering the story behind each artefact and how it affected who we are as a society today...

Politics & International Relations Personal Statement
I have always taken a keen interest in public affairs, always wanting to know what was happening in the world so studying politics and international relations is a natural attraction for me. I have been encouraged to pursue concentrated study due to my incredible fascination with the impact that political decision making has on humanity...

Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated by the vast jobs robots are able to perform, and by the way all these cars around us were designed. The problem is, my interest was not satisfied by revolving around the outer appearance of these machines or by how well they achieved their functions, but was constantly demanding to learn more about how they managed to do so, and what inner complexities I was not allowed to meet closely made it capable of attracting my attention...

Politics and International Relations Personal Statement
Politics and International Relations have always captivated me. Being closely connected to Israel, where political stability and good relations with her neighbours are considered luxuries, I have seen the importance of both politics and international relations for providing a safer future...

Animal Science Personal Statement
Holding a one day old kitten with a mangled leg is just one of many times when I felt certain I wanted to devote my life to animals. Through volunteering with animals and studying sciences at A-level, I realised that I am fascinated by scientific research and Bioveterinary Science...

Biomedical Science/Neuroscience Personal Statement
The limitless potential of the life sciences and the opportunity for world-changing breakthroughs are both exciting and compelling to me. Upon hearing about a disease for the first time, I am eager to find out more about the precise ways in which it affects the body, which has led me to spend much time researching the details of various diseases...

Medicine Personal Statement
The complex structure of the human body is a unique beauty. However, when witnessing my uncle deteriorating due to cancer it showed that complexity inescapably meant that problems arise. I realised the effects such illness can have on the patient and their families and appreciate how fulfilling being a doctor would be in such circumstances...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Most users see a computer at the front and use the graphical user interfaces. The first time I used a computer, it intrigued me to know how these interfaces work, the theory behind computers and the methodology of how they work...

Economics & International Relations Personal Statement
Growing up in a deteriorating global economic climate I have come to appreciate the extent to which economics influences the relationships between nations, and the importance of competent macroeconomic management...

Spanish and Economics Personal Statement
My aspiration to study Spanish and Economics has not only been influenced by my curricular education but also from experiences I have had throughout life. I am intrigued in the effects caused by the failing Euro zone, and I consider communication among speakers of different languages essential in progressing forward...

Physics Personal Statement
With philosophy at its foundation, and mathematics as its language, physics is full of profound insights into the workings of the universe, from the tiniest quantum interactions to the forming of the most distant galaxies...

Philosophy Personal Statement
“The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity”. I believe that when the mind is allowed to think outside the pre-defined constraints of society, the different directions in which it can travel are infinite...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement
My perception of the sciences has changed over time as my understanding of them has developed. Subjects that once appeared isolated and independent now merge into one coherent field, each interacting with another...

Pharmacy Personal Statement
I have always had a great interest in Science and Mathematics because of the impacts that both of these have on our daily lives. I have become fascinated by Pharmacy as a career because it brings together Chemistry and Maths and directly effects on the lives of people in the community...

Psychology Personal Statement
“If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

History & Economics Personal Statement
Is one of the useful lessons of the Great Depression that the European periphery cannot restore its competitiveness whilst fixed to an overvalued currency without inducing a debt deflation trap? A study of economics and history can help illuminate such contemporary challenges...

German and English Literature Personal Statement
Email correspondence with a friend in Berlin during the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of the German reunification gave me an insight into the importance and relevance of Germany’s past both within the country itself, and throughout Europe...

Architecture/Planning Personal Statement
Growing up in post-soviet Belarus I wasn't surrounded by the architectural wonders - all the buildings were dull and grey, therefore from early childhood I started drawing and making houses of my dreams...

Philosophy Personal Statement
Although I love my friends dearly, I've come to realise that they don't enjoy having the meaning of their lives, or the essence of the objects around them, subjected to rigorous and logical questioning over a quiet pint in the pub! I'd like to tell you that I've read such and such a book, or met so and so, and it dawned on me that there is more to life than meets the eye...

Politics Personal Statement
My background, living in three major metropolises, Lagos, London and Aberdeen bestowed me a very diverse, open, multicultural way of thinking. The cultural shock of Lagos widened my eyes to vastness of the world and prepped my involvement in the Community Development Committee, allowing me to get in touch with all sectors of Nigerian society; here my interest in sociology, politics and government took flight...

Philosophy Personal Statement
One area of philosophy I find particularly exciting is the philosophy of mind, which I was first introduced to while reading Descartes' 'Meditations'. I was fascinated by the problem regarding how interaction can take place between the mind and body without some sort of supernatural "spirit", which opens up great questions...

Management Personal Statement
My greatest achievement to date was when I was appointed head of the 6th form Management committee. I have turned it from a minor committee to a thriving active part of my school. Whilst maintaining the balance between academic and extra-curricular pursuits I have used my initiative in starting and managing the ‘Cafe’ at my school to raise funds for any 6th form investments...

Philosophy Personal Statement
Philosophy has shaped the foundations of all human life and thought. The importance of philosophic enquiry can be traced from the beginning of civilization to the heart of modern society, and I believe that the ability to ask and attempt to answer philosophical questions is one of the key attributes we associate with being human...

Maths and Economics Personal Statement
By skimming through a daily broadsheet or examining journals such as ‘The Economist’ it is clear to see that economic issues affect everyone both locally as well as on a global scale. However, I have been interested by Mathematics for many years and have found my enjoyment for it has increased as the depth of my understanding has grown...

Architecture Personal Statement
My application for your university stems from my desire to study at one of the best universities in the world and from my internationalist perspective as a world traveller. It also ensues from my deep passion for art, my appreciation of architecture, and my yearning to be amongst those who create the changing skylines that form our cities...

Pharmacology/Neuroscience Personal Statement
I enjoy studying science because it is a subject that encompasses so much of life's issues and practicalities, and a subject that can be applied and made useful to everyday life. Biological science is fascinating but it is even more exciting when studying abnormal function in medical science, from the facts in pathology to the application in pharmacology...

Law Personal Statement
I first became interested in studying law after visiting my local Magistrates' Court in Melbourne, Australia. After witnessing the impact a lawyer could have on the outcome of a case and on a person's life I saw that a career in law offered a career in which my work made an impact in the world around me and a career in which I could directly see the consequences of my work...

English and History Personal Statement
I believe History inspires optimism. With the state being cut and our economy weakening we could easily fall to pessimism. I just have to look within history to see that just over 400 years ago Queen Mary I killed 'rebels' for heresy when they protested, whereas Modern freedoms have allowed me to protest openly in several Unite marches...

Pure Mathematics Personal Statement
Mathematics is beautiful to me because of the deep and meaningful ideas touched upon by it, the vastness of these ideas, the clearness and elegance of their representation. Mathematics gives me the ability to apply knowledge by approaching things logically, and thinking clearly...

Law Personal Statement
My desire to study law at university is firmly rooted in my interest in world events and also with helping others. Law effects our everyday lives almost without us noticing. If we look at the news, there is always an aspect of law up for debate...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement
Modern life is almost wholly dependent on engineering. It is everywhere and it is always changing, and it is this in particular which attracts me to civil engineering. I hope that in this field I can combine my knowledge and skills in physics and maths, two subjects which particularly interest me, and also work in an area which is both diverse and exciting...

Natural/Biological Sciences Personal Statement
Experiencing first-hand life as a human in the natural world, I have the authority to confirm that regardless of previous knowledge, unexplained phenomena still exist. As a scientist, I adore observing the unknown, analysing the known and making decisions accordingly...

English Personal Statement
What I enjoy above all else in a piece of literature is the feeling that it has brought about change, either in me or in some wider context. Literature which offers the opportunity for an adapted way of living or thinking, however slight, is I think a thing to be kept and treasured in our intellects...

English and Philosophy Personal Statement
English has always been at the forefront of my mind, whether it be writing storybooks as a child, play-writing as a teen, or analysing literature at A Level. I enjoy the thrill of writing creatively but equally enjoy composing non-literary pieces where I can put across my views, inform or debate...

Politics Personal Statement
The unpredictability of politics is what makes it such a fascinating subject for me. A particular topic that sparked my interest is the extremely volatile relationship between one established superpower and one rising giant: the USA and India...

International Physics Personal Statement
Since infancy, I have been intrigued as to how anything I came into contact with worked; however, the explanations I received were always either too vague or beyond my knowledge at the time, I have came to realize that the keyword for all my questions was physics, where the most complex phenomena of the universe can be explained by fitting small pieces of the puzzle into a structured theory...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement
Civil engineering is a discipline which is essential in the modern world: roads, bridges, airports, railways, sewage works and power stations all provide the fabric of today's society, and without them the world would be a very different place...

Biomedical Engineering Personal Statement
Thanks to my mother's profession, I have had a front row seat in observing the radical changes made in the medical field with the introduction of new devices. I have also seen the beneficial effects these developments have had on the lives of people living in the less affluent countries in the Middle East; these observations coupled with my interest in mechanics have inspired me to pursue a career in biomedical engineering...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Advances in Computer and Information Technology over the past few decades have brought about revolution in science, medicine, education, business, and entertainment. I wish to be part of the future revolution and that is why I want to study Computer Science...

Economics Personal Statement
After Brazil, Nepal has the largest potential for the generation of hydro electricity. It is estimated that the perennial rivers of Nepal can generate up to a massive 83,000 Mega Watts of electricity. If utilized efficiently, Nepal has the potential of becoming one of the largest exporters of electricity in the world...

English Literature & Creative Writing Personal Statement
From Austen to Wilde, I am particularly interested in 19th century literature. This literary period fascinates me with its peculiar combination of beauty and cruelty. I realised the true power of this composite after rereading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the first time in three years in 2011...

History and Archaeology personal statement
The fine line that separates the present and past shows how significant each and every historical event is in shaping our future. Although I have been interested in many subjects during my education, history has always been at the forefront as it excites and motivates me the most...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement
Engineering, the result of the equation : Scientific knowledge + Mathematics, with the purpose of creating processes from which all Earth's inventions develop. It is a concept which dates back from the early beginning...

Hispanic Studies Personal Statement
Despite all the framed photos, I have only one distinct memory of my visit to Madrid as a ten year old: the language barrier. I recall gawking at children my age playing soccer in a side street. Baffled by their freedom to frolic in roads, I was even more mesmerized by the soundsthey produced...

Politics and International Studies Personal Statement
"In our age there is no such thing as keeping out of politics, all issues are political issues." Politics for me is the power to effect change, to make a difference whether that is to the detriment or advantage to society as a whole...

History Personal Statement
With such a range of different interpretations for any given era, what fascinates me most about History is the opportunity for debate and analysis. Studying the American Civil Rights Movement, it has been interesting to analyse the motives behind the efforts of Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy to improve the lives of African Americans...

Psychology Personal Statement
In early 2011 I worked as a fundraiser, required to approach and convince pedestrians to become a member of a German aid organisation. While working in this position I saw thousands of people and talked to hundreds...

Economics and Management Personal Statement
The theoretical aspects of economics and business management have for the past years been one of my greatest interests and developing as an entrepreneur has been my goal. I am fascinated by strategies in management and the behaviour of companies in the theory of the firm...

Management Studies Personal Statement
As a witness to the global financial crises, I was struck by the importance and relevance of organisational management. I first applied bookkeeping and devised marketing plans for my mother’s business at the age of twelve...

Politics and International Relations Personal Statement
My great grandfather volunteered in the 1948 War of Independence and became the first Inspector General of the Israeli Navy, ensuring I was brought up in a strongly political family. However I am broad minded, as I attend a conservative school yet am part of a liberal youth movement so I have been exposed to many diverse opinions, encouraging me to be an informed decision-maker...

Computer Science Personal Statement
During the past 20 years, computing has changed dramatically which has always been a major interest of mine. The first computer I ever remember using were the old Acorn computers that were used in my primary school...

Physics Personal Statement
The mystery of physics has always enthralled me. Whether it is the complex physical phenomena or simple ideas intertwining to form elegant complex theories capable of explaining near all questions of the universe...

History and English Personal Statement
Studying History and English concurrently has appealed to me ever since I recognised the inseparability of the two disciplines closest to my heart. Personally, I believe that the literary style of a piece of writing is as important as scholarly research and I try to make my essays as lively as possible whilst still grounded in solid historical or literary method, dulce et utile, following the example of writers such as Richard J Evans...

Neuroscience Personal Statement
The application of scientific knowledge to understanding how humans, and the creatures around us, function and react with each other has always been a source of wonder to me. The opportunity to combine a scientific understanding of processes and structure of the nervous system and brain with knowledge of applications relevant to our own behaviour, including those of a clinical kind, makes neuroscience such an attractive prospect to me...

American Studies Personal Statement
Barack Obama once said, “I’m so overexposed, I make Paris Hilton look like a recluse.” This epitomises my whole fascination with North America, and why I wish to study it in depth at University. The main aspect of the U...

English Personal Statement
Recently, I was reading an interview with Francoise Sagan, author of Bonjour Tristesse, when I came across a quote that defined my love for literature. In the passage, the French writer claimed that while “Life is amorphous, literature is formal”...

Physics Personal Statement
Attending university has been a lifelong dream of mine; ever since my childhood, I have been told that I should, and I have always agreed with the sentiment. If I were asked to pin down an exact reason, however, I would be forced to confess that I do not know - I just enjoy learning new things and exercising my mind...

Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement
Being born as a son to two former engineers, I was raised in an environment where curiosity is treasured and nurtured. It wasn't surprising that as I became older, my fascination towards science and technology also grew along with me...

Veterinary Medicine Personal Statement
From the age of three when I got my first pet, I have always held a strong passion for animals and their wellbeing. Whether I was helping to take care of my cats or visiting the local stables, I have been surrounded by animals from birth...

Biology Personal Statement
Biology is a subject which fills me with wonder and awe but it was not until I started college to continue my studies that I was introduced to the vast complexity of our world. Realising intricate mechanisms are involved in what I had thought to be simple parts of life amazed me, inspiring me to want to learn as much as I could...

Biotechnology Personal Statement
The possibilities of biotechnology first intrigued me when I watched Jurassic park. I ran around my house asking if it was possible to bring back dinosaurs, and spent the rest of my childhood imagining that it was...

Business Management Personal Statement
The role of a leader can be tough. Motivating people, supporting people, making decisions and learning from your mistakes are only just a few things you can expect from managing a team. However if you, your team members and your business prosper and succeed, it gives you a sense of achievement like no other...

Economics Personal Statement
The ever-changing nature of the human science intrigues me. Newton’s laws of motion will never change, from wherever ‘the ball is dropped’. However, different strategies and policies have to be framed and implemented for each economic problem...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Since my first years of school, my life has gravitated around the questions starting with “Why” and “How”. In the 7th grade I was introduced to physics, which answered some of my questions but also generated more...

Mathematics Personal Statement
Mathematics is a language of science which portrays just merely anything in this world better than any other way we distinguish.The more we discover nature,the more mathematical association revealed by doing so...

Medicine Personal Statement
Studying the history of medicine made me realise what a huge impact Doctor’s have on people’s lives. I’ve always wanted a career involving people as I’m fascinated by our unique nature and the human body itself...

Mathematics and Computer Science Personal Statement
I have found Mathematics a fascinating subject since my early years. I enjoy it as it is challenging and logical. I am particularly interested in Decision Mathematics as it is a field that is directly related to real-life applications of Mathematics and can be used to solve problems, such as finding the optimal solution for transporting materials from one place to another while minimizing the cost...

Physics Personal Statement
Physics is fascinating. It’s exciting, it’s thrilling, it’s relevant, it’s really interesting, and that’s just the start. I’ve always asked lots of questions and tried to figure out how and why everything works as it does...

Dietetics Personal Statement
“Can I have the sirloin steak served with the oven dried tomatoes and pizzaiola sauce? This was the order of a girl between the ages of 10-14yrs. This choice of dish made me evaluate people’s reasons behind the food they eat and whether these choices are influenced by the people around them or their own individual decision...

Archaeology Personal Statement
I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and civilisations, reflected in my enduring love of history, and more recently, archaeology. Compared to modern history, archaeology carries a sense of enigma which makes it much more stimulating for an imaginative and inquisitive mind...

Maths & Management Personal Statement
There is no doubt that Mathematics is the most important element supporting science and business. Without the equation 'E=mc2', Einstein's 'Mass-energy equivalence' can only be a concept, but not a theory...

Chemical Engineering Personal Statement
Whilst at a local canal festival, I saw a hydrogen powered barge which intrigued me. I thought that this was my first experience of chemical engineering, until I researched what this field encompassed...

Mathematics Personal Statement
I have always had a passion and a thorough understanding of the subject of Mathematics. This helped me to progress academically because, unlike a lot of people, I have not had to worry about passing my GCSE Maths exams...

Spanish and Chinese Personal Statement
My passion for Modern Foreign Languages is what drives me to pursue a degree in Chinese and Spanish; my fascination and curiosity to explore the cultures of not only China and East Asia, but also of the Hispanic world, motivate me to learn and discover the languages of these regions...

Political Science Personal Statement
From Darwin's Theory of Evolution to the French ideologies during the revolution of 1789 to Karl Marx's theory on communism to Hitler's Nazi ideology, all are famous historical ideologies that have contributed to today's world...

Politics Personal Statement
My drive to study politics is my desire to understand the dynamics of power: how the relationships between states and people form as the foundations of society, and ultimately how these connections shape the world we live in...

Ancient and Modern History Personal Statement
What makes history engaging and interesting to me is its interdisciplinary nature and its ability to take you on a journey to the discovery of humanity's past. History has been a constant source of captivation for me, from studying the mythology of Ancient Greece in primary school through to the study of the Russian Revolution at A Level...

Creative Writing Personal Statement
Writing gives me a degree of control over fate and emotions that no one could ever have in reality, with the exception of a manipulative sociopath. You cannot escape the fact that writing for an audience is an imposition of certain thoughts, ideas, and feelings on the reader...

Philosophy Personal Statement.
The way philosophy can challenge our assumptions will never cease to astound me. I particularly remember my first lesson on Descartes, where I was asked to prove that I knew the room around me was real...

Computer Science Personal Statement
I could tell you why am interested in Computer Science until the cows come home, but to give you the fundamentals I would so passionately tell you that this course is one of the few disciplines which truly embodies the days of tomorrow...

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