Writing your UCAS Personal Statement

Your personal statement is an important part of your UCAS application and supports your submission to study at a university or college. It’s your chance to describe your ambitions, skills, and experience to university and college admissions staff and for you to articulate why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you hold that show your passion for your chosen field.

Here are some top tips to follow when writing your UCAS personal statement:

Understand the UCAS personal statement guidelines

There are specific requirements for your personal statement which you can’t ignore. Your personal statement must not exceed 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including blank lines). If you don’t meet the guidelines, universities will not receive your personal statement.

Write about the course

Explain why you want to do your chosen course(s). You can write about anything you’ve read about the course(s) that you find interesting and what you would like to find out more about.

Let your personality shine.

Your personal statement gives you the opportunity to bring a real sense of your personality to your UCAS application form – so don’t be afraid to let it shine! As much as the admissions tutors want to hear about your achievements and experience, they also want to hear about your interests that drive your determination to get onto the course you have applied for.

Work history

Include details of placements, work experience, voluntary work, or jobs, especially if it is relevant to your chosen course(s).

Don’t forget to:

Check your spelling and grammar are correct.

Be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it will help your application.

Don’t leave it until the last minute – it’s a good idea to give yourself time to think about what you write to make sure you don’t forget anything.

UCAS’ personal statement tool


This tool is designed to 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 the 4,000-character limit. But it doesn’t save your work, so it’s important you copy, paste, and save your work regularly into a word processing document.