An exceptionally valuable way to ensure that your UCAS personal statement is written perfectly is to use a template.
This tool offers you a framework that will give you the structure and the content ideas you really need.
But why is using a personal statement university template helpful?
A personal statement template is an important tool in the writing process. It should identify the six areas of content that must be included in every application and offer suggestions for character counts for each section. An effective personal statement template also offers key content prompts.
Whatever subject you’re planning on studying, and whatever your previous accomplishments and experiences, I’ve developed a free downloadable UCAS personal statement template that you can use to help you complete a brilliantly successful, hassle-free UCAS undergraduate application.
You can find out all about it below…
An Effective Personal Statement Template for Uni
A well-planned personal statement template will help you to include all the key points that admissions teams are looking for in a UCAS undergraduate application, and is structured so that you can write a document compelling enough to get the offers you need.
I have divided this personal statement template into six sections. You might like to think of these as individual paragraphs, but equally, you can easily split a section into a couple of paragraphs, if that works for you. Just make sure you include the relevant content in each paragraph you write.
There’s a link to the free downloadable pdf further down the page, so you can download the template and have all the information in the right place.
The Six Elements of a Successful Personal Statement
To keep things simple, I’ve divided the template into the following sections. Following the links will take you to other pages on this site that you might find useful.
1 Identifying the inspiration, motivation or reason behind your choice of course or subject
- Contextualise your application with a personal connection to the subject or role
- Explain what’s motivating you to study your chosen subject
- What are the inspirational people or events behind choosing this subject?
- Show how much the subject means to you by including an example of your engagement with it
2 Establishing your academic suitability and potential
- Outline your relevant academic achievements within the taught curriculum, including their value to you
- Evidence your detailed and relevant subject knowledge alongside subject specific terminology
- Establish academic suitability with reference to existing subject skills and experience
3 Showing evidence of your relevant wider reading and research
- Illustrate knowledge of contemporary issues and practitioners within your subject
- Offer an informed opinion on academic ideas, issues or theories within your subject
- Evidence independent research and learning skills, and a broad base of study skills suitable for higher education
- Identify books, records, videos, lectures, conferences, trade magazines, websites or podcasts you have used
- Show evidence of wider reading (outside of the formal curriculum) but also draw your own conclusions regarding what you have learned
- Evidence a sense of personal enquiry, engagement and ability
4 Outlining your practical and contextual experience of the subject you intend to study
- Evidence your practical experience with the relevant skills or disciplines central to your subject
- Show personal experience of the industry/sector
- Outline practical contextual experience gained through internships or volunteering placements
- Consider the value these experiences add to your application
- Connect your skills and knowledge to the demands of the course or subject, making a positive link between your experience and the demands of higher education
5 Illustrating your relevant transferable skills
- Demonstrate transferable skills gained through hobbies, activities or other non-academic experiences
- Teamwork and cooperation
- Independent learning and motivation
- Timekeeping and responsibility
- Stamina and resilience
- Organisation and meeting deadlines
6 Linking the course outcomes with your personal and professional ambitions
- Evidence your suitability with a new example
- Link the stated course outcomes with your ambitions upon completion
- Outline your value to the institution
- Reiterate your motivation from the opening section
I’ve made suggestions for the length of each section in the free downloadable personal statement template below, but they’re just intended as a personal statement checker – there’s enough flexibility in the template for some variation.
How do you Write a Perfect Personal Statement?
A perfect personal statement is one that accurately represents your skills, experiences and suitability for the course, contextualises your relevant transferable skills, values and ambitions and consequently compels the reader to make you an achievable offer.
The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that you write with originality and purpose.
Each section of your personal statement should explain to the reader the depth of your knowledge, how that knowledge has changed you, how you’ve applied it as an independent learner and how that knowledge will be both vital for and developed by your completion of the course.
The free personal statement template you can download here will take you through this process and help you to write with flair and depth, but you could also check out my post on powerful personal statement strategies, or read my article on just how original personal statements should be.
What are the Guidelines for UCAS Personal Statements?
Here are a few reminders about UCAS undergraduate personal statements before you dig into the template and submit your application:
- The maximum character count is 4000. That includes spaces, punctuation and line returns as well as letters. Aim for around 3950 for safety.
- UCAS will only allow you to upload to the 4000-character limit before cutting your personal statement off. To be on the safe side, always check that your entire document has been accepted.
- Although your personal statement is divided into sections, you will not be able to upload it in that format, as the line limit is 47. Don’t be afraid to condense your document by removing line breaks – admissions teams are used to reading personal statements with few, if any line breaks.
- Do not include your name, personal details or qualifications, as these are dealt with elsewhere in your application, and will only take up valuable space in your personal statement.
- Try to avoid non-standard characters or special in your personal statement. If this is unavoidable, UCAS will create a second version of your document when you upload it, replacing these special characters with alternatives. This is done so that your statement can be read by all types of software and devices. You will be able to double check what UCAS generates, and it is important that you do this before you submit.
- You must not copy contents of personal statements from other sources or ask someone else to write your personal statement from scratch. UCAS uses sophisticated software to track and penalise plagiarism.
Quick UCAS Personal Statement Questions
If you’ve read the checklist above and still have some questions about UCAS personal statements, then the chances are you’ll find the answers here:
Does UCAS Count Spaces As Characters?
Another question people often ask is ‘Does the UCAS character count include spaces’, and the answer is yes, spaces are counted as characters. This can catch people out, so don’t make a mistake – each space you use is a character in a UCAS personal statement.
What’s The Personal Statement Character Limit?
Applicants often obsess about how many characters they can use, but the overall character limit of a UCAS personal statement is 4000. You won’t be able to upload more than that, and it isn’t negotiable. It’s done that way to make it fair for every applicant and to push you to write concisely. It’s more than enough if you use it wisely!
Do Blank Lines Count In The UCAS Line Count?
Yes, blank lines count as a line in your UCAS personal statement. You have a maximum of 47 lines, so don’t waste space by spacing out your paragraphs with blanks. There’s no need, and you’ll sabotage your chances of achieving an offer if you cut valuable content in favour of formatting.
Can I Edit My UCAS Personal Statement Online?
Yes, you can edit your personal statement within the UCAS platform, but my advice is not to! Instead, use a cloud-based service drive like Gmail, which will allow others to read and give feedback. Alternatively, use software like Microsoft Word or Pages, which let you edit and develop your content. Then, cut and paste your final personal statement draft into your UCAS track.
Good luck with your personal statement, and don’t forget to contact me if you’d like some 1-1 support. You’ve got this! D
Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.