It’s five hundred words that could change your life – that’s the reality when it comes to writing your personal statement as part of your university application.
If that feels like a lot of pressure – then the University of Hull’s tips on how to get yourself noticed and easy-to-follow steps on how to get started can help.
The University is offering application support sessions and a personal statement clinic at its next open days on Saturday 2 November and Saturday 23 November. Book your place now.
Anja Hazebroek, Director of Student Recruitment and Marketing at the University of Hull, said: “We encourage everyone to come along – whether you have already submitted your first draft for feedback from your school or whether you need inspiration to get started.
“We know that it can feel overwhelming at this time of year at school or college. Coursework and essays deadlines are getting closer, you are still trying to work out your university choices for your UCAS application – and added to that you are faced with writing the 500 words that could change your life!”
At the University’s open days, a personal statement clinic – when you can ask for a friendly review of your statement or ask admissions staff any questions you may have – will run from 9am to 3pm. Two hour-long application support sessions, which include a presentation on what to include, how to sell yourself in every sentence, as well as guidance on what to do/avoid in an effective personal statement, will take place at 11am and 1.30pm.
Here is just a taster of some of the tips on offer at the personal statement clinic and admissions support sessions:
- Don't waste time trying to think of a catchy opening; it's often a complete turn-off
- Your interest in the course is the biggest thing. Start with why you chose it
- The best personal statements get to the point quickly
- Start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you’re interested in studying the area you’re applying for and that communicates your enthusiasm for it.
Personal statements are used to help make a variety of decisions about your application. These include whether to make an offer or to invite an applicant to an interview, or later in the year whether to accept an applicant who has narrowly missed the conditions of their offer.
“Investing time into making sure your personal statement is as good as it can possibly be is time well spent,” said Anja. “Here at Hull, we consider the whole person, not just your grades. It’s also about energy and ambition, as well as your personal achievements outside of school or college. Your personal statement really helps us to develop a sense of who you are and your ambitions for the future.”
Following the success of last Open Day when more than 100 students and their guests from across the country were able to spend the weekend in Hull by taking advantage of a campus accommodation offer, the University will continue to offer this support for travel* and accommodation for both November open days.
This support means that prospective students living in places such as Goole, Driffield, Bridlington, Scunthorpe and Grimsby are eligible for financial assistance for travel costs.
For details of this support, to download the programme and book on to our Open Day, please visit www.hull.ac.uk.
At our November open days, prospective students will be able to meet University lecturers and professors who will be on-hand to offer subject and course information. Visitors will also be able to take a tour of campus and the city, find out more from current students about university life in Hull and hear about other unique activities available here, including unrivalled opportunities from our Team GB partnership.
The exclusive partnership covers a six-year period and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
It includes opportunities that will benefit the University of Hull’s students, staff and communities, as well as presenting opportunities for joint research and enterprise projects, delivered by the University in support of Team GB.
This will include hosting and participating in Team GB events and CV-boosting opportunities such as work experience and volunteering.
During the Open Day, prospective students will also be able to find out about finance, including bursaries and scholarships open to them such as the Merit scholarship** that offers £2,000 for students who achieve 120 UCAS tariff points (from three A levels or equivalent – not including General Studies). The Attainment Scholarship** offers £1,200 for students who achieve 112 UCAS points (from three A levels or equivalent – not including General Studies).
Business and Marketing student, Emily Brown, who has just completed a year’s work placement with Jaguar Land Rover as part of her degree, said: “As soon as I visited the University campus on my first open day, I fell in love and couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I felt truly welcomed by everyone I spoke to, from the friendly ambassadors who directed me around campus to the passionate lecturers telling me what to expect and all the opportunities I could undertake as a student.”
*For those travelling more than 20 miles
**Students are automatically checked for eligibility when they apply. (International students, and those living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are ineligible for these scholarships).
Book your place on an Open Day
See our personal statement top tips