Most UK universities require you to prepare a Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Personal Statement that goes with your university application. Universities in the United Kingdom look beyond the grades you received in school when deciding on student candidates for admissions.

What Is a Statement of Purpose(SOP)?

The Statement of Purpose summarises the purpose of taking a specific course offered by the educational institution. The SOP lists your abilities, goals, and how you plan to apply the knowledge you will receive from the university.

With an SOP, you can stand out from other candidates and impress the Admissions department. Therefore, you need to know how to prepare the perfect SOP for the university in the United Kingdom you want to get admission in.

The Importance of the Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose helps you communicate with the admission authorities and impress them with your skills and experience. Your skills and experiences may not be found in your mark sheets, making the admissions department aware of them can increase your chance to get accepted by the UK university. You need to show your aspirations, skills, ambitions, motivations, and achievements.  The SOP talks about your intentions, study plan, career dream and the reason behind choosing a particular university that can raise your voice about your dream career plan.

The Length of the Statement of Purpose

Some universities in the UK will provide you with specific instructions and guidelines to follow regarding the word limit. We recommend checking any requirements the university may have for writing the Statement of Purpose.

Some universities in the UK require the Statement of Purpose to be a maximum of 4,000 characters. You are strongly advised to keep within the required word limit when drafting your Statement of Purpose.

What if the University Has Not Specified the Word Limit?

In the event the university has not specified the word limit, you can assume the word limit to be around 1,000 to 1,200 words. Again, you are advised to check the university’s guidelines and ask the university or a current or previous student about any Statement of Purpose specifications.

The Statement of Purpose Answers Why You Want to Enrol in a Particular UK University

You are encouraged to write a few lines on why you want to study at this particular university in the United Kingdom. Next, you need to tell the university’s admissions department why you chose this university over other universities in the UK. For the course you wish to apply for, you should speak about the course contents and about the course outcomes. As a student of choosing the particular course, you should also include clear goals about how the individual modules may contribute towards your long term career i.e what would be the learning outcome for your career development.

Additionally, the Statement of Purpose conveys to the admissions department that you have thoroughly thought out the decision to study at their educational institution by learning more about the UK university and the programme you wish to enrol in. Knowing this information helps the admissions department sift through hundreds of applications and select candidates they feel are most suitable.

Write a Proper Conclusion to Conclude the Statement of the Purpose

After you have emphasised your eagerness to study in a UK university and have listed all the relevant qualities, the last thing you need to do is to conclude your Statement of Purpose with a proper conclusion. Your conclusion needs to sound positive and formal.

A well-written conclusion creates a lasting impact and expresses how enrolling in this programme can help you succeed in your chosen career. The conclusion also highlights your determination and motivation to study in the UK university.

The Structure of the Statement of Purpose

The structure of the Statement of Purpose is divided into three parts — Introduction, Body, and Conclusion.

  • The introduction reels in the readers. Makes the first line catchy. Be specific from line one and show your enthusiasm of studying the particular subject. You should talk about recent inspiration for the particular subjects. It is also an opportunity for you to write about yourself explaining your motivation and understanding on the prospective course.
  • The body should mention your goals or future career goals, previous studies, and work experience. It needs to explain your reason for choosing this particular university to pursue the programme and you should also connect your previous study, qualification and relevant experience with the prospective course and clearly demonstrate how the prospective course may develop your deepest understanding, skills and knowledge as a part of your long-term career. You should share your interests and hobbies as well.
  • The conclusion is your closing statement that summarises everything and focuses on your desire and dreams to study at the UK university and tells them why they should accept you. You should connect the conclusion with the introduction and re-emphasise on the key points to take the particular course. Your entire writing should be realistic and connected to the past, present and long term future explaining all the steps that you are planning to cross.

Don’t have much time to read? Please watch this video.

9 Tips to Write the Perfect Statement of Purpose

We suggest reading the Statement of Purpose sample given by the UK university to understand how to write the Statement of Purpose. Apart from this, there are a few tips which are universally acceptable for writing a Statement of Purpose by universities all over the world, including UK universities.

The following tips will help you improve and perfect your Statement of Purpose and increase your chance of studying in the UK university of your dreams:

Some universities in the UK outline specific questions for you to answer through the Statement of Purpose. You need to ensure you have answered these questions clearly.

Tip 1 – Make an Impressive Start

For UK universities, you have to follow the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service’s (UCAS) guidelines. According to UCAS, your statement should not exceed more than 4000 characters, which means that you have room for approximately 700-720 words. You need to lay all emphasis on the opening paragraph of your personal statement to catch your admission tutor’s attention. Keep in mind that your tutor scans through thousands of statements, so you have to make yours extremely intriguing to make it stand out.

One rule of thumb to follow when writing the opening paragraph is to avoid using run-off-the-mill statements and clichés. It sets a poor example and makes you appear immature in front of the reader. Instead, you should use anecdotes or an inspirational story to get the reader hooked and intrigued to find out more about you.

Tip 2 – Showcase Your Passion and Skills

Apart from catching the reader’s interest, another important objective of your personal statement is to reflect your commitment and skills. You need to prove to the reader that you are extremely passionate about the degree programme you selected and possess the right skills to take it further ahead.
To make things easier for you, you can follow the ABC rule explained below. According to the ABC rule, A stands for Action, B for Benefit and C for Course.

Action: Talk about your experiences and the things that inspired you to choose the selected programme and take more interest in it.

Benefit: Look at the brighter side and talk about your learnings and key takeouts. Give personal examples to make it more convincing.

Course: This is all about relevancy. Keep in mind that the information you share in your personal statement should link back to your selected course. Do not add any irrelevant examples that have nothing in common with your programme.

Tip 3 – Keep the 80/20 rule in mind

Your personal statement needs to be a mix of academic and non-academic achievements. 80% of the content should focus on academic- and the rest on non-academic experiences. The latter will comprise extracurricular activities, including music, sports, travelling, etc. You can highlight multiple personality traits through these examples like leadership, teamwork, etc.

Tip 4 – Be Clear and Concise

There is no use in beating around the bush when it comes to writing your personal statement. Your admissions tutor will not be interested in reading content that does not reflect a clear-cut intention.

Try to keep your paragraphs short, concise. and to the point. Each paragraph should focus on a specific point and be relevant to it. For example, if you are talking course selection, explain clearly what made you opt for it and how it will benefit you in the future.

Tip 5 – Stay Humble

It is highly essential to maintain a humble personality throughout the personal statement. As your statement primarily revolves around highlighting your success and achievements, getting carried away while tooting your own horn is quite easy.

However, you would not want to oversell yourself or come across as arrogant in front of your tutor. Moreover, strictly refrain from adding any false information in the statement. Admission tutors have years of experience in identifying facts from fiction.

Tip 6 – Keep It Formal and Professional

It’s a common misconception that a personal statement can be informal or candid. Yes, you have the liberty to talk about personal life experiences and include examples. However, the tone of voice needs to be formal throughout. Avoid adding unnecessary information that would not add any value to your personal statement. Avoid using contractions or any slang words.

How to Write a Personal Statement for UK Universities

Tip 7 – Proofread Multiple Times

As mentioned earlier, your academic tutors are expert professionals with years of experience. If your personal statement is copied from someone else, it will take them a few minutes to figure it out. As a result, your personal statement will land straight in the rejected pile.

Make sure that you triple-check your work for any grammatical or spelling errors. You should also perform a thorough plagiarism check for the safe side.

Tip 8 – Make A Mental Mind-Map

To put things into a clearer perspective, write everything down on a piece of paper. This should include all the pointers that come to your mind, including your skills, achievements, memorable experiences, and other examples.

Now you can match these with your selected course programme and filter out irrelevant ideas. Moreover, you can colour coordinate two relevant items to make it easier for you to write about them.

Tip 9 – Make a Lasting Impact

The last paragraph is your last opportunity to make a lasting impression; use it wisely. Try to end your personal statement with a valuable and memorable piece of information.

One way to approach this is by mentioning how your selected course will help carve the way for your future. Another approach involves discussing your determination, steadfastness and how you deserve to get selected for the desired course programme.

How to write a personal statement

Important Things to Include in the Statement of Purpose

You can impress the university’s admissions department with your Statement of Purpose by including all relevant details about yourself. Most students forget that the Statement of Purpose is not a resume, which means the most important objective is to highlight your eagerness to enrol in the programme at the UK university and describe your related goals.

When you sit down to write your Statement of Purpose, keep the following in mind:

  • Your motivation for the programme, including the reason that made you interested in pursuing a career in your chosen field.
  • Mention your career, long-term, and short-term goals.
  • You need to include your academic profile and any subjects you have studied, the projects you have done, and the workshops or seminars you have participated in.
  • You need to mention any work experience that you have obtained in the field of study or any other skills you have obtained through various certifications.
  • You need to tell the admissions department about other interests apart from academics that you have, such as cultural activities, sports, and/or volunteering. These types of activities give them an insight into your personality.
  • You need to mention any professional and academic achievements that you have obtained.
  • You need to tell the Admissions department how the programme will help you achieve your goals.

Final Thoughts

We hoped that the tips shared above would help resolve all your queries and concerns regarding writing a Personal Statement for UK Universities.

Just keep in mind that your personal statement should reflect your skills, achievements, and personality in a captivating manner. Please share your draft with your friends, teachers, and mentors and make improvements based on their feedback.

Are you still struggling with writing your personal statement for a UK university programme? Reach out to our team of expert professionals, and they will guide you throughout the application process.

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September Intake UK 2021