How to write a personal statement for postgraduate course applications

A good personal statement can make the difference between getting an offer, and your application being unsuccessful.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is a standard part of the application process for postgraduate courses. It is your opportunity to demonstrate that a Masters course is right for you and that you have the potential to complete it successfully. It is also your opportunity to tell us about your academic and personal achievements.

When you are preparing your personal statement, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is it about this course that interests you?
  • Are there any aspects of this course that particularly attract you and why?
  • How has your undergraduate study influenced your decision to apply? Has anything else sparked your interest?
  • Have you got any relevant work or experience you can bring?
  • What are your personal achievements?
  • Why do you want to study at the University of Stirling?
  • What are your future career goals and ambitions, and how will this course help you achieve them?


Top 5 tips for a good personal statement

  1. Don’t use the same personal statement for each course you are applying for. Be specific about why you are applying for that particular course.
  2. This should be your own work, and you shouldn’t copy from elsewhere or plagiarise from someone else.
  3. Give details of any relevant work experience, and the skills this has helped you gain, for example presentation skills, group work or time management.
  4. Follow a logical structure, and use clear language.
  5. Always make sure you check, and double-check your spelling and grammar.

Using AI tools to write your personal statement

Generating (and then copying, pasting and submitting) all or a large part of your personal statement from an AI tool such as ChatGPT, and presenting it in your own words, could mean that your statement doesn’t appear genuine. While AI tools can be useful if used in the correct way, they can’t replicate your personal thoughts and feelings and convey your own skills and experiences. Your personal statement should be your own work, and AI tools can make it appear bland and generic and could affect your chances of being offered a place.

If you are an international student and require a student visa, the UKVI may refer to your personal statement during an interview.

Postgraduate admissions

If you have any questions about postgraduate study please contact us.