The Personal Statement is an essay that you submit along with your UCAS Application; it will be sent to all the universities you apply to. This is your chance to tell the admissions tutors about your interest in Medicine, along with your achievements and suitability for the course.
Out of all the different parts of your UCAS application, the personal statement gives the university the clearest idea of who you are as a person. For many universities, your personal statement will be one of the most important factors in determining whether you get invited for an interview or not. As a medical applicant, you need to make full use of this opportunity - make it your goal to write a personal statement that will convince the admissions tutor that you are a suitable candidate for medicine.
Universities That Place A Higher Weightage on Personal Statements
University of Bristol (70% weightage)
University College London
University of Oxford
University of Birmingham
University of Norwich
Queen’s University Belfast
University of Edinburgh (15% weightage)
University of Leeds
University of Cambridge
Lancaster University (scored)
University of Nottingham (scored)
King’s College London
University of St Andrews
Hull York University
University of Liverpool
University of Cardiff
Imperial College London*
University of Sheffield*
University of Southampton*
*referred to during interview
PERSONAL STATEMENT GUIDELINES
1. You can only write one personal statement per UCAS application (even if you’re applying for multiple courses at multiple universities).
So, don’t mention any university by name and try your best to keep your personal statement tailored to all four medical schools you apply to. If you are using your fifth university choice to apply to a different (non-medical) course, don’t worry about writing another personal statement – the one you wrote for medicine will be used by the university to consider your application.
2. Your word limit is determined by the number of characters or lines you use.
Personal statements can contain only up to 4,000 characters (including spaces) or 47 lines – whichever comes first. Since you can save your UCAS form and come back to it anytime, we recommend typing your personal statement onto a separate document first. Microsoft Word has a character count on the bottom of each page and most people use this to keep track of the length of their drafts. Try not to worry too much about your character count in your first draft, because it is most important to make sure you include all your important points in your personal statement – paraphrasing/cutting down on your characters can come later.
3. All formatting is removed when you copy & paste your personal statement into the form provided.
So, try not to waste too much time on things like italics, bold text, or even paragraphing! Paragraphing is very useful to help you develop a clear structure to your personal statement; but use it for your own benefit when drafting your personal statement, not just for the sake of using it.
4. Plagiarism is a huge no.
UCAS has an automatic system which checks for plagiarism and it will highlight text that matches other personal statements (even from previous years) or other forms of writing online. They will then send this information to the universities you apply to – it will be up to the university to decide what to do. Needless to say, such applications usually result in rejections.
Here are some resources you may find useful: -
1. Personal Statement Bank from Previous Applicants
2. Personal statement Worksheet Guide by UCAS
3. Comments on an Example Personal Statement by the University of Oxford
4. BeMo Academic Consulting: Example personal statement examples