By Jenna Houston
This is such a tricky time, and inevitably one that is causing a lot of anxiety about ‘next steps’ upon completing an undergraduate degree. I personally know that without the many meetings with my tutors at university I’d not have had a clue where to begin when it comes to applying for an MA, particularly when it comes to writing a postgraduate personal statement – so I thought I’d talk about how I went about writing mine for those of you thinking about applying for postgrad study at the end of the academic year.
Firstly, one thing I’d strongly advise you not to do is take a peek at your undergraduate personal statement – the two are very different (plus you’ve had three years of personal and academic growth happen since then!). With a postgraduate personal statement, the best piece of advice that was given to me was ‘sell yourself, make it explicit why the university should accept you and what you can offer them’. In other words, I treated my postgrad personal statement almost like a mini CV. I highlighted all of the personal and academic achievements I’d made during my undergrad and went through the extracurricular activities I was involved with. Because I was applying for an MA in English Literature I also focussed on the kinds of research I had done in my undergraduate dissertation, and future areas of research I was interested in but this would be great to put in a personal statement for any postgraduate course because it really shows enthusiasm. I think the most important thing to get across is your commitment to postgraduate study, enthusiasm for the subject, and a genuine interest in the university itself.
For further tips, I also found the Prospects website super helpful while writing my personal statement: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study