How Long Should My Ucas Personal Statement Be

The personal statement is an important part of the UCAS application. It's your chance to describe your ambitions, skills, and experience.

Our personal statement tool

You can write up to 4,000 characters of text that show you’d make a great student – so it might take a few redrafts until you’re happy with it.

This tool will help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to structure it. It also counts how many characters you’ve used, so it’s easy to see when you’re close to that 4,000 character limit.

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  • Course descriptions mention the qualities, skills and experience it’s useful to have for each subject – take note of these to help you decide what to write about.
  • Remember it’s the same personal statement for all the courses you apply to, so avoid mentioning unis and colleges by name. Most students choose similar subjects, but if you’ve chosen a variety, just write about common themes – like problem solving or creativity.
  • If you've got a question about writing your personal statement, don't worry you're not alone. Check out our blogs:

What to write about

  1. Why you are applying – your ambitions and what interests you about the subject, course providers and higher education.
  2. What makes you suitable – any relevant skills, experience or achievements gained from education, work or other activities.
  • Extracurricular activities

    These are great ways to prepare for higher education.

    If you do or have done any of these before, they could be ideal things to mention in your personal statement. Or you might be able to organise or start a new activity before you send your application.

  • International and EU students

    As an international student there are a few extra things you should mention.

    1. Why you want to study in the UK
    2. Your English language skills and any English courses or tests you’ve taken
    3. Why you want to be an international student rather than study in your own country
  • Mature students

    Here’s where you can mention any alternative entry requirements you’ve used – like an Access course or APL – demonstrating the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through your previous experiences.


How to write it

Feel free to use our personal statement mind map and personal statement worksheet for planning your personal statement.

There’s no definite formula to follow – just take your time and follow these guidelines.

  • Structure your info to reflect the skills and qualities the universities and colleges value most.
  • Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
  • Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
  • Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers, and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

We recommend you write your personal statement first, and then copy and paste it into your online application when you’re done.

Check the 4,000 character and 47 line limits though – some word processors get different values if they don’t count tabs and paragraph spacing as individual characters.

When you do add it to your application, save it regularly as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.

Applying for Teacher Education in Scotland?

If you're applying to study Teacher Education in Scotland, you'll need to make your application through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme. Read dedicated personal statement advice from Scottish training providers about what to include in your personal statement.


  • European characters and other languages

    You can use some ​European characters in your personal details, personal statement, employment and referee details. Some of these will be substituted with UK equivalent characters. Check our Extended character sets substitutions​ for more details.

    It’s not possible to apply in an alternative language, unless you’re applying to Welsh course providers and you’d like to make your application entirely in Welsh.

    1. To register in Welsh, when you go to the application service ‘Apply’, you can select ‘Cymraeg’.
    2. When you’re logged in to your application you can change the language to English or Welsh on the ‘Options’ page.
    3. The help text in Apply is available in Welsh too.
    4. In Apply you can choose to receive correspondence from course providers and from us in Welsh.

    Sut i ymgeisio

  • What happens to personal statements that have been copied?

    We screen all personal statements across Copycatch our Similarity Detection system – so make sure your personal statement is all your own work. Don’t copy from anyone else or from the internet and don't share your personal statement with other applicants.

    If we find any similarity in your personal statement, your application will be flagged. Then we’ll email an alert to you and your university or college choices and this could have serious consequences for your application.

  • Want to say more?

    You can only submit one personal statement – the same one for all the courses you apply to – and you can’t change it after your application has been submitted.

    If you want to send any more information you can ask your university and college choices if they’ll accept further details.

    • If they agree, you should send it to them, rather than us.
    • After we receive your application, we’ll send you a welcome email that includes your Personal ID – quote your Personal ID along with the further information you send to the unis and colleges, so they can link it to your UCAS application.

 


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UCAS Personal Statement

How to write a UCAS personal statement

A personal statement is part of your application to study at a UK university. In a personal statement, the student writes about what they hope to achieve on a UK university course, what they hope to do after the course and why they are applying to this particular university. It is your first chance to show a demonstrable passion and understanding of your chosen subject away from exam results.

Personal Statement Editing

We will edit your personal statement and ensure the English is clear and grammatically correct. Arrange a free consultation today to learn more.

What to include in your personal statement

  • Your career aspirations
  • How you became interested in studying the subject
  • What, if any, relevant work experience you have undertaken that is related to the course or subject
  • What aspects of your previous education you have found the most interesting
  • What attracted you to the particular university
  • Other relevant academic interests and passions which display positive character and personality

Genuine experiences of extra-curricular clubs, work experience or knowledge around a subject are much more likely to make your personal statement stand out, while admissions officers are also for looking for positive evidence of your character which will make you a productive member of the university

How long should my personal statement be?

The length of a personal statement varies depending on the university, but generally the average length for an undergraduate application is between 400-600 words, around one side of A4 paper or a maximum of 47 lines. Certain postgraduate programmes may require a 1000 word personal statement, but this will be clearly specified.

Try not to go over the given character limit as admissions officers have many personal statements to go through, and a clearly written and concise personal statement is more likely to stand out.

Common personal statement errors

  • The personal statement is too short/long
  • The personal statement does not include important information/includes negative information
  • The personal statement has a confusing structure

It is also important to not lie about any aspect of your personal life and education history, or even exaggerate. Admissions officers will question you about almost all aspects of your application and are more than adept at getting to the bottom of any non-truths.

UCAS personal statement tips

  • Express a passion for your subject
  • Start the statement strongly to grab an admission officers attention
  • Link outside interests and passions to your course
  • Be honest, but don’t include negative information
  • Don’t attempt to sound too clever
  • Don’t leave it the last minute, prepare ahead of the deadline
  • Have friends and family proof read it
  • Don’t duplicate material from your CV/resume

In terms of presentation, attempt to create five clear paragraphs of text in a clear font such as Arial or Times New  Roman, with a maximum size of 12.

How we can help

Once you have completed your personal statement, visit SI-UK in London or Manchester for a free consultation. We can edit your personal statement and ensure the English is clear and grammatically correct. Once this process is complete, we will return your personal statement within 1-3 working days.

Example personal statement

Please see below for an example of a personal statement to a Development Studies course.

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