Department Advice - Personal Statements

Our academic departments have their say on Personal Statements.

In the menu below, you can see what each of our academic departments look for in the personal statements they receive.

Make a note of what it is they're after, what you'll need to include and start planning, in order to give yourself the best possible opportunity.

Good luck!

 

Art

Welcome to the School of Art. I’m Professor Robert Meyrick, the Head of the School of Art here at Aberystwyth University.

Our School offers you a range of stimulating and creatively challenging courses in Fine Art, Art History and/or Creative Arts. They provide you with the rare opportunity to combine the practical, historical and curatorial study of art through specialised or combined courses in drawing and painting, book illustration, photography, printmaking, multi and new media as well as a vocation-orientated, hands-on education in art history.

As a student at the School of Art, you will be taught and mentored by a team of dedicated artists, art historians and curators. Our lectures, seminars, workshops and practicals create a stimulating environment by providing you with hands-on experiences to develop your skills.

The School is one of only two UK art schools to have achieved government accredited museum status. Our historic listed building houses a rich and comprehensive collection of fine art and material culture, examples of which are on public display in our galleries along with works of art by our students.

Students of Fine Art, Art History and /or the Creative Arts at Aberystwyth University enjoy many facilities, centres and attractions that provide creative stimulation. As a student, you have access to studios, print workshops, darkrooms, Mac Suite and our galleries and museum collections. The School is just a short walk away from the University’s main Penglais campus, student accommodations and the town centre. We are also near the Aberystwyth’s Arts Centre located in the heart of the campus. The Arts Centre is home to contemporary arts and ceramics galleries that stages exhibitions all year round and hosts the renowned biennial International Ceramics Festival. Just a short walk away is the National Library of Wales with its extensive archives and collections of art work.

At the School of Art, our goal is to create opportunities that help you achieve your full potential. Our graduates pursue careers in the creative industries as portrait painters, illustrators of children’s books, graphic designers, educators and curators. Some of our graduates have exhibited their work at the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. In 2017, one of our recent graduates won Sky Arts Landscape Painter of the Year.

Browse through our webpages to discover more about our courses. We also suggest that you book your place on one of our open days to meet with our staff and to experience the School of Art and the university for yourself.

Biology, Environmental & Rural Sciences

Your personal statement is often the first part of an application a university admissions tutor will read, and as such, it is important to spend a good deal of time drafting something that really reflects you, your interests and abilities.

For someone applying to study one of our degrees at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) we look for evidence of enjoyment of the subject, and why you want to study it at university. It’s often interesting to see where your love of the subject began; it might be a book or magazine you read when you were younger, a special place you visited, or an inspirational teacher at school. Engagement with the subject can also take many forms in addition to your formal studies, for example; extracurricular field trips, magazine subscriptions, being a member of a society (e.g. the Royal Society for Biology, the Biochemical Society or the Genetics Society), or taking part in optional courses, summer university or public lectures.

We are also keen on hearing about the other subjects you are currently studying, and what skills these subjects have developed. For example, maths may have enhanced your numeracy skills, or English literature might have developed your writing style. Similarly, you may take part in other extracurricular activities (e.g. sports, societies, volunteering, Duke of Edinburgh Award) that illustrate your wider skillsets. It’s key to emphasize these skills in your personal statement. For example, if you are a member of a sports team or society, tell us why this has been important to you, and what skills you developed from being involved. Furthermore, do you have any other achievements outside of school/college you could mention, or do you have a part-time job that has enabled you to grow as a person? Mentioning hobbies and how you like to relax can also be advantageous; it helps create a sense of you as a person.

Not everyone knows what they want to do as a career, but if you are one of the lucky few that do, state it here, illustrating why a degree from IBERS will help you on your way. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, that’s no bad thing; studying these subjects at university opens so many doors for our graduates.

Finally, proofread your personal statement (I often find it best to read it aloud), and give it to a trusted family member or close friend to check it over for you.

Wishing you the very best of luck with your application!

Business

When writing your personal statement, be honest and use language that you would also use in everyday speech. Demonstrate enthusiasm for the course you are applying for and show that you have looked at the content of the course. Demonstrate an awareness of business, finance or economics by commenting on something you have read or seen in the news and try to draw a connection with your course.

If you have any work experience, reflect on what you have learned and how those lessons may be applied in a future professional career in business. If you don’t have work experience, focus on some other activity in which you have participated in school or college, or beyond. Perhaps you were involved in the running of a club or society; perhaps you took part in an enterprise scheme or competition; or perhaps you participated in an award such as Duke of Edinburgh? Whatever it is, write about something interesting you learned from the experience, which will be relevant to your future studies or your future professional employment. Unsuccessful past activities may be just as worthwhile as successful ones, provided you can demonstrate that you learned something important from the experience.

Here are a few DON’Ts for your Personal Statement:

  • Don’t make exaggerated or unsubstantiated claims of brilliance. Provide evidence in the form of specific examples to support any claims you make about yourself
  • Avoid clichés like ‘Since I was a child, I have always had a thirst for knowledge… or a passion for accountancy’
  • Don’t include irrelevant personal information. The fact that you play football, or enjoy hill-walking, may have no bearing on your suitability for the course. If you include information about hobbies, you also need to demonstrate why it is relevant to your application
  • Don’t make anything up. You could be caught out later
  • Don’t copy anything written by your friends or classmates, and don’t cut-and-paste any text you may be able to find online. Sophisticated plagiarism detection software used by universities might catch you out
  • Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by submitting something that is poorly structured, poorly written, or contains errors in grammar, spelling or punctuation. Get a parent or teacher to check if you are not sure!

Computer Science

In a personal statement, we look for evidence that the person applying has a genuine interest in the subject. This could be some discussion of reading into the area (e.g. AI-related articles for courses involving AI), or involvement in computer science-related clubs, or perhaps a discussion of some of the programs written by the person already. Self-taught programming ability is always good to see, as this shows dedication and motivation.

In other cases where there hasn't been any programming prior to the course, a discussion of the person's keenness to learn and passion for the subject is important. Again, we look for evidence of the things that are said: anyone can say that they have a deep interest in a subject, but this becomes more convincing if there is a concrete example or two to back it up. Extracurricular activities can help with this, for example studying free online courses, attending summer schools, involvement in relevant societies and clubs, etc.

Although we don't expect the student to show evidence of understanding external matters that relate to the subject, it's good to see this. Certainly AI/robotics/security are often in the news and an awareness of these kind of topics shows that the student keeps up-to-date with developments.

The personal statement helps us to gain a better understanding of the student than the reference and subjects/grades alone. If we see that a student is motivated and interested in the subject, then this is a big positive. Particularly for borderline cases, it can make or break the application!

Education & Childhood Studies

In making our decisions, we look for clear expression – students who say what they mean and don’t use jargon or slang. We also look for students who are well-informed and enthusiastic about their chosen subject(s). There needs to be some evidence that they have read about the courses, so they can tell us why they want to study with us.

Hints to help:

  • After you have finished, leave your statement for a day. Then go back to it and check your grammar and spelling
  • Read course descriptions online as part of your preparation
  • Remember that education is about learning as well as teaching, and the study of childhood has lots of different aspects
  • Before you talk to anyone else about your statement, make a list of things that interest you about education or childhood. This will help you to plan your statement so that you cover more than one idea
  • Show an awareness of what is appropriate for the scheme(s) you are applying for. For example, you may have an interest in technology or enjoy a hobby – link this to childhood or education rather than describing it generally
  • If you are applying for a scheme which combines another subject with Education, try to link the two. For example, how do you learn that subject best?
  • You may give your opinion, but always say why you hold that opinion. For example, you may think play is good for young children – give one or two reasons
  • If you are interested in the subject because of your future plans, tell us about it, but give some reasons rather than just stating it
  • Always mention any relevant experience – describe it, but also include something you have learnt from it
  • Keep an eye on the news for current educational issues that interest you. Explore these in more than one place: e.g. online, TV, newspapers, so that you have some different perspectives to write about
  • If you are interested in what is taught in schools, explore the National Curriculum of your country
  • If you are interested in how young children are taught, explore the Early Years Curriculum of your country

English & Creative Writing

In the Department of English & Creative Writing, we read every personal statement and we look for the ones that make us think "we want to teach this student". It is these personal statements that demonstrate how they are engaging with their subject around their course at school or college.

Many applicants state their desire and love for the subject, however they fail to convey any evidence that supports that statement. We are seeking enthusiasm for the subject and the best way to convey that to us is by demonstrating what you have read and done beyond your school and college course syllabus.

In the subject area of English & Creative Writing, you could discuss literature that you have read outside of your course's syllabus, or about writing that you've created again outside of your course.

Geography & Earth Sciences

Your personal statement is often the first part of an application a university admissions tutor will read, and as such, it is important to spend a good deal of time drafting something that really reflects you, your interests and abilities.

For someone applying to study Geography, Earth or Environmental Science, we look for evidence of enjoyment of the subject, and why you want to study it at university. It’s often interesting to see where your love of the subject began; it might be a book or magazine you read when you were younger, a special place you visited, or an inspirational teacher at school. Engagement with the subject can also take many forms in addition to your formal studies, for example; extracurricular field trips, magazine subscriptions, being a member of a society (e.g. Royal Geographical Society) or taking part in optional courses or public lectures.

We're also keen on hearing about the other subjects you are currently studying, and what skills these subjects have developed. For example, maths may have enhanced your numeracy skills, or English literature might have developed your writing style. Similarly, you may take part in other extracurricular activities (e.g. sports, societies, volunteering, Duke of Edinburgh Award) that illustrate your wider skillsets. It’s key to emphasize these skills in your personal statement. For example, if you are a member of a sports team or society, tell us why this has been important to you, and what skills you developed from being involved. Furthermore, do you have any other achievements outside of school/college you could mention, or do you have a part-time job that has enabled you to grow as a person? Mentioning hobbies and how you like to relax can also be advantageous; it helps create a sense of you as a person.

Not everyone knows what they want to do as a career, but if you are one of the lucky few that do, state it here, illustrating why a degree in Geography, Earth or Environmental Science will help you on your way. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, that’s no bad thing; studying these subjects at university open so many doors to our graduates.

Finally, proofread your personal statement (we often find it's best to read it aloud), and give it to a family member or friend to check.

All the very best of luck with your application!

History & Welsh History

1. When reading a personal statement we aim to identify the reasons why you would like to study for degree in history. More than anything, passion for the subject stands out in personal statements. You can talk about the types of history you are interested in and/or what you would like to study at university. If you have visited any sites of historical interest share your experiences and the ways they have shaped your understanding of the past. We need to be able to appreciate what sets you apart from other applicants and why you are particularly suited to a degree in history. A strong personal statement will provide insight to your character, extracurricular activities, and academic ability. There are many varied reasons why someone would want to study history, so be true to yourself!

2. With regard to reading materials, often, the best preparation you can have is to keep up with the latest research. If you are interested in the history of the Crusades, the Tudors or any other historical period or event keep on top of the latest interpretations by reading books or journal articles. This is not a compulsory part of the statement but demonstrating your knowledge of the field is a great way to communicate your enthusiasm.

3. For the purposes of your personal statement, it is beneficial for us if you can display an understanding of matters relating to the subject area, but this is not completely necessary. You may have studied a topic at School/College, or seen something on the news, or even read a novel or seen a film which has sparked your interest in history. Reflecting upon a topic of relevance is another way of demonstrating your level of passion for your chosen field of study.

4. Personal statements provide an opportunity for you to persuade us that you are well suited to our course(s), and that we should offer you a place to study with us. It is a useful way for us to learn about any positions of responsibility you have held; any sporting, musical, or artistic talents that you might possess; any prizes or awards that you have won; any relevant skills such as communication, time-management, group work that you have developed; and your reasons for applying to study history. Personal statements provide a chance for us to get to know you, and enable us to evaluate your potential future contribution to our departmental activities and studies, and help inform our decision.

International Politics

1. When reading a personal statement we aim to identify the reasons why you have been drawn to the course(s) you are hoping to study. We are looking to learn about your hobbies, achievements, experiences and motivations; and why you're particularly suited to your chosen course. A strong personal statement will provide insight to your character, extracurricular activities, and academic ability. There are many different reasons why someone would want to study international politics, and we want to know what yours are.

2. With regard to reading materials, often, the best preparation is to keep up with current affairs in the media, and to draw connections with your chosen field of study. Ask yourself how Politics/International Politics is involved when you read a news story, or what the political significance of an event might be. There may also be books that you've read because you are particularly interested in a subject – tell us what these are and what you enjoyed about them; this will help to convey your passion for the subject. We don't expect you to read any academic texts in order to write your personal statement; you'll receive a recommended reading list and guidance once you have started your course.

3. For the purposes of your personal statement, it is useful if you can demonstrate an understanding of issues relating to the subject area, but this is not completely necessary. Alternatively, you may have completed relevant work experience and have therefore gained first-hand experience of a particular topic. Or it might be that you have studied a topic at School/College, seen something on the news, or even read a novel or seen a film which ties into your chosen field of study, and which has sparked your interest. Perhaps something or someone in your life has inspired you to study Politics or International Politics. Reflecting on why you are interested in a topic is one way of demonstrating your passion for your chosen field of study.

4. Personal statements provide an opportunity for you to persuade us that you are well suited to our course(s), and that we should offer you a place to study with us. It is a useful way for us to learn about any positions of responsibility you have held; any sporting, musical, or artistic talents that you might possess; any prizes or awards that you have won; any relevant skills such as communication, time-management, group work that you have developed; and your reasons for applying to study in the Department of International Politics. Personal statements provide a chance for us to get to know you and enable us to evaluate your potential future contribution to our departmental activities and studies.

Law & Criminology

1. When reading a personal statement we aim to identify the reasons why you have been drawn to the course(s) you are hoping to study. We are looking to learn about your hobbies, achievements, experiences and motivations. We need to be able to appreciate what sets you apart from other applicants and why you are particularly suited to your chosen course. A strong personal statement will provide insight to your character, extracurricular activities, and academic ability. There are many varied reasons why someone would want to study law and/or criminology, so be true to yourself!

2. With regard to reading materials, often, the best preparation you can have is to keep up with current affairs in the media, and to draw connections with your chosen field of study. Ask yourself how the law is involved when you read a news story, or what the criminological significance of an event might be. You will receive a recommended reading list and guidance once you have started your course. 

3. For the purposes of your personal statement, it is beneficial for us if you can display an understanding of matters relating to the subject area, but this is not completely necessary. It might be that you have completed relevant work experience and have therefore gained first-hand experience of a particular topic, or it might be that you have studied a topic at School/College, or seen something on the news, or even read a novel or seen a film, which ties into your chosen field of study, which has sparked your interest. Perhaps something in your life has inspired you, or perhaps someone has inspired to you study law and/or criminology. Reflecting upon a topic of relevance is one way of demonstrating your level of passion for your chosen field of study.

4. Personal statements provide an opportunity for you to persuade us that you are well suited to our course(s), and that we should offer you a place to study with us. It is a useful way for us to learn about any positions of responsibility you have held; any sporting, musical, or artistic talents that you might possess; any prizes or awards that you have won; any relevant skills such as communication, time-management, group work that you have developed; and your reasons for applying to study law and/or criminology. Personal statements provide a chance for us to get to know you, and enable us to evaluate your potential future contribution to our departmental activities and studies, and help inform our decision.

Mathematics

Primarily, we look for evidence demonstrating your interest in mathematics and your enthusiasm for learning more about the subject. This can take the form of you identifying the parts of your mathematics course you have enjoyed so far or mentioning any mathematical activities outside of your course you have decided to do (e.g. further voluntary study, mathematics workshops/master classes, attendance at mathematics lectures, participation in mathematics competitions, use of mathematics in work experience or daily life).

Secondarily, any other reasons for your choice of course(s), e.g. relating to your career plans. This will help reassure us that you have chosen an appropriate course and that there is a high probability you will dedicate the next 3 or 4 years to studying the subject to the best of your abilities. You may also include any exceptional circumstances that you think we should consider that are not covered elsewhere on your application form.

There is no obligation to read from secondary sources, however, additional reading of appropriate literature or an awarensess of any trends/industry news or developments will strengthen your knowledge base.

We find that a personal statement is particularly useful when considering applicants with unusual academic backgrounds, or with academic track records that do not adequately reflect the applicant's potential, possibly due to some exceptional circumstances. We are looking for students with enthusiasm for learning mathematics and the determination to make the most of the support and opportunities we can provide to fulfil their potential.

Modern Languages

The UCAS personal statement is your chance to sell yourself and to make yourself stand out from the crowd. It is a chance for you to show admissions tutors your interests, talents and accomplishments.

Admissions tutors will read your personal statement carefully and thoroughly: they will rely on the information you provide within it when making their decision. Remember that you are competing against many other applicants, and admissions tutors will be reading a great many applications. It is therefore important to take care in considering what you want to say and how you want to say it. This is your chance to shine. Make the most of it.

Admissions tutors are looking for motivation and potential. We want to give offers to applicants who show great enthusiasm for the language(s) they have chosen to study, and for the culture(s) of the country/countries in which that language is spoken. If you have an interest in Spanish cinema/French cooking/German detective fiction – we want to hear about it!

We are also looking to see evidence of a keen interest in the course for which you have applied. Before you start to write your personal statement, re-read prospectuses and information about the course. Your UCAS personal statement will not be well written if you are not sure yourself about what you want to do and why. You need to be clear on this if you are going to convince others of it. Look over the course details and familiarise yourself with what studying the subject is likely to involve. Remember, you can always attend Open Days (during which you will get the chance to speak to university tutors) to gain more information in this respect.

Provide evidence that you are organised enough to cope with university level study. In other words, show that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Most languages degrees are 4 years long and involve courses in multiple aspects of a language and the cultures surrounding it. You will not only have dedicated language, grammar and speaking classes, you will also study everything from literature and film to translation, history and socio-political current events. You will get the opportunity to spend a year abroad. This is all a lot to take on. Be prepared for the workload to be managed somewhat differently to that at A-Level. Show an awareness of this as well as an eagerness to engage with all aspects of the degree.

You will also want to show that you are well-rounded, that you have interests and hobbies beyond your subject area. Do you play an instrument? Have you taken part in Duke of Edinburgh? Do you like hill walking/the ballet/gaming/website development? A good personal statement will not just make it clear that you have been involved in extra-curricular activities but that you also know how the skills that you have developed during those activities will help you in the course of your studies.

It may be that you have developed a sense of independence or confidence, an ability to deepen your knowledge in a wide range of areas, an ability to relate to others, communication skills, presentation skills, the ability to work as a team, a love for travel/discovery, an inquisitive nature – all of these are transferrable skills which will be extremely useful throughout a Modern Languages degree. So, don’t hesitate to link your non-scholarly interests to your future Modern Languages goals.

In the same vein, include information about any relevant jobs, work placements or voluntary experiences you have had. These will also have helped you develop skills that you would not normally get through school or college. Mention if you have attended any summer schools or related lectures: this shows evidence of an interested, motivated, organised, and pro-active student.

It is not necessary to go overboard with secondary reading in the field in which you wish to study. If you are looking to study French, for instance, you do not need to have read every famous piece of French literature ever written and seen every French film ever produced. Rather, we are looking for an indication of interest and motivation. Show that you have tried to engage with the material you have already come across. This might perhaps include the texts you have studied at school: did you find them stimulating/unusual/engaging? Why? In what way? Or perhaps you have a favourite French music artist that you like to listen to on a regular basis. If so, tell us about it. Often the best way of discovering and demonstrating a passion for languages is to show how you engage in it through something you already love. Maybe you like to read science fiction – if so, read some in your chosen language and tell us about it. Perhaps you like cooking or baking. Buy a recipe book in your chosen language and try out some traditional dishes by following the instructions in the target language. Tell us about it. This is the kind of thing that really shows us you are passionate and that you like to engage in language work outside of the compulsory study time.

Provide evidence that you have an intelligent interest in the world and what goes on in it. Mention any positions of responsibility and evidence of being pro-active. Perhaps you might like to talk about any hurdles you have overcome and use these to demonstrate your character and your strengths. If you are planning to take a gap year, explain why.

If you can show an awareness of the culture(s) related to your chosen target language, then this will also go a very long way. This does not mean that you need to have followed every news/lifestyle/social article written in the country of the target language for months beforehand. It simply means that you need to show an eagerness to engage. Perhaps you have been to Spain/Germany/France/Italy/etc. on holiday and enjoy a museum/cultural event/festival. Perhaps you have read something in the news recently that has attracted your attention to a aspect of Spanish/German/etc. life that you weren’t aware of before. Basically, show a willingness to engage. We are not testing your knowledge with the personal statement, we are interested in hearing about your enthusiasm, your eagerness to learn, your passions, and the skills you have developed while discovering these things.

Remember that if you are applying for different subjects on the same form, you will need to explain your decisions clearly or institutions will feel that you haven’t made up your mind.

Use plain English. Your personal statement does not need to be written in flowery language. However, you do need to make sure that it is clearly written, carefully structured and in formal register. Admissions tutors do not want to see verbal "waffle", slang, inappropriate vocabulary, informal register or ‘chatty’ language. It is fine to use humour occasionally to attract attention to a particular sentence. However, don’t overuse it or it becomes very ineffective.

Your reason for wanting to study your chosen course is the first thing tutors will look for. So, this will usually form the opening of your statement. HOWEVER, don’t start with “I’ve always wanted to study…” – nearly every personal statement starts this way! Try to grab your reader’s attention.

You will need a coherent structure. You will also need to be succinct. Avoid waffle and rambling. Make sure you approach things point by point – don’t jump back and forth.

Provide:

  • A precise and clear explanation of why you wish to study your chosen course – and why you are well-qualified to do so
  • A detailed overview of your abilities, interests and achievements
  • Stylish, carefully-written prose, with faultless spelling, grammar and formatting

Finally, get one of your teachers/careers advisors to proofread it. They will have more experience with seeing and writing personal statements, and they will be able to advise you on whether you have sold yourself well and whether your structure is coherent.

Physics

1. When reading a Personal Statement (PS) we are looking to learn about your physics- and mathematics-related achievements, experiences, hobbies and motivations. Relevant A-level, or equivalent, grades are also essential for the PS assessment. We aim to identify the reasons why you have been drawn to the course(s) you are hoping to study. We need to be able to appreciate what sets you apart from other applicants and why you are particularly suited to your chosen course.

2. Although there is no requirement of additional reading, often the best preparation you can have is to keep up with current advances in Physics, and to draw connections with your chosen field of study.

3. For the purposes of your personal statement, it is beneficial for us if you can display an understanding of matters relating to the subject area. It might be that you have completed relevant work experience and have therefore gained first-hand experience of a particular topic, or it might be that you have studied a topic at School/College, or seen something on the news, or even read a paper or seen a documentary, which ties into your chosen field of study, which has sparked your interest. Perhaps something in your life has inspired you, or perhaps someone has inspired to you study Physics. Reflecting upon a topic of relevance is one way of demonstrating your level of passion for your chosen field of study.

4. Relevant grades and qualifications are an essential part of your PS. It is also a useful way for us to get to know you, and enable us to evaluate your potential future contribution to our departmental activities and studies, and help inform our decision. These could include positions of responsibility you have held; any sporting, musical, or artistic talents that you might possess; any prizes or awards that you have won; any relevant skills such as communication, time-management, group work that you have developed; and your reasons for applying to study Physics.

Psychology

Your personal statement is a place you can really shine. It is the one place you get to talk all about you, so may sure you use the opportunity.

There are a number of times your statement may get read, on your application initially - when you visit us and meet to talk with staff or perhaps if things in your exams don’t go exactly to plan and we have to take another look at your application.

For psychology do your best to make sure that the statement is full of key words that really relate to the subject. Tell us why you became interested, what has really interested you if you are already studying it and what your ambitions might be. Most important is to make sure that you make everything count, and to shape it to psychology if at all possible. For instance, just telling us that you were captain of the hockey team is a statement of achievement but is largely irrelevant until you make it count. Being captain may have taught you the importance of team work, of ways of motivating others, of encouraging positive behaviour change and performance - all things that find a home on a psychology degree. Things that may not immediately seem relevant could well be very useful.

If you have a part time job for interest - working in retail perhaps show how psychology can be seen there - in the advertising, signage, special offer marketing and in the way your workplace encourages you to deal with customers. There are so many ways to show that your experiences have contributed to your understanding of psychology.  What we are looking for is someone who can really see psychology around them, in the home, in the wider world and in their future. To do this you may talk about your own experience, of how you have noticed the way the media reports issues that you can see are relevant to psychology.

You may be able to show that you have looked further, beyond the classroom - and read wider. Tell us why you like a certain author or book - how you like to relax and use your spare time - and how this relates to psychology. Show that you know what psychology really is, and what a degree will provide you with. Make everything count and everything relevant - if you can do that we'll most certainly like to welcome you to study with us here in Aberystwyth.

Welsh & Celtic Studies

Personal statements are hugely important for admissions tutors. We use them to find out about your interests and the things that have led you to decide to study in Aberystwyth. Yes, we like to know facts about you, but don't be afraid to let us know something about your personality and 'what makes you tick'. Maybe you have a favourite quotation, a book that has inspired you, someone (famous or otherwise) whom you admire, a hobby, an event in your life that has shaped how you think about the world. Maybe you have an ambition to do something. Your personal statement is the ideal place to say.

Before you write your statement, find out about what Aberystwyth does. A good way to start is to Google our name and 'prospectus' and follow the links. You will find that we do more than teach. Do we offer any facilities that you will want to use? Are there societies you may want to join? Are you sporty? Are you interested in politics? Do you like the outdoors? It would be useful for us, too, if you say how you heard about us, and what made you apply. Find out what other people have to say, too. Search 'Aberystwyth' on Twitter and you will find out something you never knew. Guaranteed. And when you've found it, share it with us.

Your choice of subject is important too, of course - and an excellent way to introduce yourself. If you intend to study something for the first time, what has led you to choose it? There is bound to be a story. If you did the subject at A level, what makes you want to continue?  Lots of candidates mention a text they have read or an activity they have taken part in that has appealed to them. That's fine, but it is always refreshing to hear about parts of the subject that you may not have studied in class. Don't think that you only have to be positive. If there's something you can't stand, tell us why.

Above all, be honest. If you think you have a talent, share it. If anything concerns you, share it just the same. We read every word of every statement because they make our job easier. You would be surprised how useful they are, especially if you come to an Open Day later on. It really breaks the ice if we remember that you are the candidate who races pigeons or lives on a houseboat. You never know, we might have a lot in common!