Advice about your UCAS personal statement
What should I put in my personal statement?
The personal statement of the UCAS form helps us to assess the nature of your interest in the academic subject you have to applied to study, and is an important part of our selection process. Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar are of paramount importance. It is essential that you take this opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm and aptitude for the academic subject.
We wish to hear about ...
- demonstrated interest in and commitment to the subject
- social and cultural awareness
- non-academic interests and activities.
Interest in and commitment to the subject
You should demonstrate that you have questioned your reasons for choosing the degree you wish to apply for, and that you understand what the degree entails. Normally, you should have some direct experience of legal practice or the criminal justice system and should be able to illustrate what you learnt from the experience. It would be advantageous if you provided details of the type of work experience or "shadowing" and its duration. If attempts to gain work experience have been unsuccessful, you should refer to this within the academic reference.
Social and cultural awareness
Given the diversity within the University community, it is useful if you have some experience beyond your immediate environment. Many applicants gain this insight through work experience, voluntary work, part-time employment, organised community schemes, and travel. Activities connected to, and independent of school and college, are given equal merit.
All the degree programmes offered by the School of Law lead to professional careers where individual practitioners carry significant responsibility to their clients. You should be able to demonstrate that you have begun to develop this aspect of your character. Demonstration of responsibility through paid employment, within school, and through family or leisure activities is desirable.
Non-academic interests and activities
We believe that people that have developed interests outside their academic studies and who try to lead a balanced life are more likely to contribute to the University community in its broadest sense. Successful applicants will have found time to pursue non-academic interests whilst still meeting the necessary academic requirements. The nature of those interests is a very personal matter, but successful applicants will describe potentially verifiable evidence of such achievements in for example, sports, performing arts or community service.
The UCAS website has more advice about writing your personal statement on your UCAS form under 'How to apply' in 'Starting your Application' in the 'Students' area of their website.