Examples of personal statements are useful resources when applying to a university or college course. After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for Education clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Education
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“I will always be grateful to the passionate and experienced teachers I have encountered. They acted as role models and inspired intellectual growth and mental development at critical stages of my life. One particular teacher recognised my potential and cultivated my talents by allowing me to participate in competitions and take up leadership roles, preparing me for academic success and boosting my confidence. It is my goal to enrol in the teaching profession because I am infused with a similar passion and committed to building learning environments in which students can challenge themselves and share their ideas without fear of failure.”
Commentary and Analysis
This successful, sophisticated introduction combines several relevant themes and ideas. The writer also makes this personal – there’s a strong connection with the inspirational teaching they encountered and their career path – whilst being concise enough that it doesn’t give too much unnecessary information.
The writer clearly states their ambition towards the end of the paragraph, although it would be more effective if they had gone on to make a clear link between this ambition and the value of the course they are applying for. It’s a little disconnected from the course they want to study, and admissions readers generally like to see that level of connection near the start of a personal statement.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Academic Background
“My undergraduate study of Psychology and Language Sciences has equipped me with the skills necessary to achieve this ambition. Gaining knowledge of teaching from a psycholinguistic perspective, I observed that teachers face numerous challenges, from aiding students in learning and conveying complex information clearly, to managing challenging behaviour and motivating students to study. Effective teachers delivered interactive lessons that involved and celebrated student discovery and applied tailored teaching strategies differentiated by design and outcome.
By understanding an individual’s learning mechanisms and social, emotional and cognitive contexts, I believe that students can be engaged and encouraged. Researching the intertwining relationship between the learner’s attention state and conceptual learning, I became strongly influenced by the work of Vygotsky, who proposed that students have infinite potential, which is unlocked by effective teaching. Consequently, I believe that teachers play a crucial role in scaffolding students’ learning; “What a child can do today with assistance, she will be able to do by herself tomorrow.” ~ Vygotsky.
Studying psychology and understanding the development of language and cognition has allowed me to develop high-quality schemes of work, teaching resources and materials suitable for a range of age groups. Although language knowledge is learned implicitly, it is helpful for second language learning if the teacher can explain the underlying rules of the language. The linguistics element of the course provided me with the practical skills to systematically teach grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of English. With an understanding of grammar and the mechanisms underpinning second language acquisition, I believe that I can better identify patterns of errors and respond to the needs of each language learner. I also gained awareness and understanding of mental health and developmental disorders from the perspective of clinical psychology, which will help me identify students who require extra support and counselling in my future role.”
Commentary and Analysis
The first of the above paragraphs goes a long way to endorse the candidate’s suitability. There’s an excellent use of subject-specific terminology, with relevant reference to the value of undergraduate study.
Each point is related to the subject of Education and reinforces the writer’s experience and knowledge in this area. There’s a strong sense here that the writer understands the demands of teaching and is in an excellent position to meet the challenge of a career in this field.
The writer offers critical reflection and opinion on the ethos of teaching and education before referencing a key theorist. They have done this effectively, reinforcing legitimacy and adding academic depth to their point. The rest of this section is effective because it outlines what the writer learned from their experiences. They then build this into an awareness of both skills needed to progress and their professional ambitions.
This excellent section would have added value if the writer had referenced specific courses. Additionally, clear links could have been made between prior experience and education (the past), courses or modules they intend to study (the present) and how this will prepare them for a successful career (the future).
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 1
“Whilst completing the academic preparation needed for a teaching career, I actively sought opportunities to widen my exposure and acquire relevant transferable skills. Under the mentorship of a senior government official, I interned as an administrative officer in the Education Bureau. Working on external and internal communications, I translated papers, drafted minutes, prepared presentation materials for top officials, composed emails and wrote blogs. This expanded my capacity to write complex and concise material with a specific focus, mirroring the techniques inherent in effective lesson planning. Equally, examining the challenges facing the country’s education system, I developed insights into policies related to primary study and had a precious opportunity to meet with the Secretary and Permanent Secretary for Education, where we shared our vision for nurturing the stars of tomorrow.
As a summer intern, I joined Slater University’s research team at the Speech, Language and Reading Laboratory and Child and School Psychology Laboratory in 2019 and 2020 respectively. I participated in research projects to improve reading and learning in children with AD/HD, dyslexia and ASD. These projects integrated psychological theories and research findings into curriculum design. The team introduced parents to dialogic approaches, which actively engaged children in shared reading, boosting children’s language expression. I also designed and produced teaching materials explaining the concepts of mindfulness training to primary students. These experiences encouraged me to teach flexibly and inspired me to research and explore new teaching strategies. Indeed, I intend to integrate what I have learned in my laboratory research in a classroom setting, evaluating and developing my findings in a real-world context.”
Commentary and Analysis
The detail used by the writer in this passage immediately clarifies their experience and depth of connection to the subject. The high-profile placement they undertook relates directly to their aspirations, and the skills they have identified are valuable concerning the study of Education. There’s an overall sense that this candidate has a clear view of the impact and importance of educational policy and would bring the value of this informed understanding to their studies.
Their internship is relevant and impactful, adding to their suitability. Their return to the same team indicates they can build positive relationships and work to a high standard. The added skills are considered concisely and connect to the demands of the course, encouraging the reader to make a strong link between the writer’s experience and potential. The writer then outlines what they learned concerning those experiences and their relevance to the course.
There could have been a more explicit link with elements, modules or outcomes of the course they are applying for and a more informed discussion of educational policy development challenges, but this is a strong, compelling section.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 2
“My tutoring experiences have reinforced my desire to study for a PGDE. I volunteered to coach children with SEN and held tutorial sessions for disadvantaged students, and witnessing their intellectual and emotional progress was extremely rewarding. I also provided private tutorial lessons on subjects such as General Studies, English, Putonghua, Biology, History, and Economics to primary and secondary school students. Becoming increasingly familiar with relevant primary and secondary school syllabuses, I was able to create meaningful interactions during teaching sessions. I frequently started lessons with a plenary activity to consolidate previous learning before integrating a wide variety of teaching strategies, including learning through stories, games, virtual field trips, songs and textbooks.
In addition to providing one-to-one teaching, I taught ESL, local classes and foreign language-learning workshops in English and Putonghua, promoting multilingualism. Consequently, I discovered that teaching a large class differs from tutoring an individual. Finding it challenging to keep all my young learners interested, I combined my learning experiences and developed different classroom management strategies. For example, I incorporated teaching with game elements, inter-group competitions, whole-class debates and role-playing activities. As a result, I gained the classroom management skills needed to teach large classes and was presented with the Foreign Language Leadership Award at the end of the programme. I am confident that these achievements will support my graduate studies and subsequent teaching career.”
Commentary and Analysis:
The first paragraph of this section clarifies the writer’s practical experience working with students. It uses some relevant vocabulary but is rather descriptive and limited in details that relate directly to the course criteria.
The writer goes on to outline classroom management techniques and shows high awareness of the demands of classroom teaching. This skillset links clearly with the course requirements, and their acknowledgement of these skills concerning their professional ambitions is evident. The whole section shows a dedication to and high level of engagement with the subject discipline, which is an ideal range of content.
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Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“Passionate about serving the community, I took on responsibilities as the chairperson of the Economics Society, a transition mentor and a careers officer. As a mentor responsible for leading and managing students, I provided academic, mental health and career guidance to freshers at SYU. Some of my most enjoyable achievements involved building supportive relationships with mentees from diverse backgrounds. Equally, working as a Careers Officer has strengthened my leadership and cooperation experience and developed the skills to accurately communicate my student’s progress with colleagues and parents.
I am confident that the acclaimed programme at Marshall will allow me to receive formal teaching training, undertake teaching placements in school settings and realize my passion. Shadowing a mentor teacher in a local school will allow me to observe lessons from a teacher’s perspective and develop a fuller understanding of professional teaching strategies. Ultimately, I am confident that by becoming a lifelong learner and teacher who constantly inspires colleagues, peers and students, I can contribute positively to the education of young people.”
Commentary and Analysis
The co-curricular activities mentioned show responsibility, maturing and relevance to the course applied for, which makes them a valuable inclusion. Monitoring of students, record keeping and reporting are all specialist skills in education and showing that they have experienced these in the real world strengthens this writer’s application. There’s mention of diversity, which should be encouraged, but it lacks some depth of detail.
This conclusion’s final part acknowledges the course’s structure and ethos. There’s also a strong sense of ambition wrapped up in the value that the writer would bring to the faculty. However, there’s little specific detail about career options, goals and connections with alums, which would be sensible to include.
Overall, this is a sound and engaging personal statement, with various valuable examples of the writer’s suitability. More academic references would be helpful, as would greater evidence of research and professional ambitions and a stronger focus on the specific demands of the course. Identifying specific professors or research projects to engage with would also link the application more firmly to the target course or faculty.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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