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Personal Statements and Applying to The University of Manchester. Overview. Key Dates Application process What are we looking for? Research What should I include? Writing your personal statement Tips Questions. Online Key Dates

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Personal Statements and Applying to

The University of Manchester

  • Key Dates
  • Application process
  • What are we looking for?
  • Research
  • What should I include?
  • Writing your personal statement
  • Tips
  • Questions


  • Key Dates
    • 15 October: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary  Science and Oxford & Cambridge universities
    • 15 January for all other applications
    • 5 choices (4 for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science)
tips for applying
Tips for applying
  • Apply as early as possible
  • Look closely at the entry requirements for courses
  • Universities cannot see the other places you are applying to
what are we looking for
What are we looking for?
  • Students who show that they can complete the course successfully
  • Students with an understanding of what the programme requires
  • Students who can contribute to the University
  • What do we use to decide this?
    • Academic achievements
    • Personal Statement
    • Reference
    • Work experience
    • Interview / Additional testing
entry criteria not just about the grades
Entry Criteria - not just about the grades!
  • Your application needs to provide evidence of how you will complete the course successfully.
  • You can do this through your personal statement
  • Subject specific criteria
  • Generic and transferable skills needed for HE study
  • Where can I find this information?
    • Talking to staff at Open Days
    • Website
    • Prospectuses
    • UCAS Entry profiles
writing your personal statement
Writing your Personal Statement
  • You have 4000 characters
  • You can only write one
  • Important part of the application process – predicted grades not a guarantee of getting an offer
what should it include
What should it include?
  • Reasons for choosing the course
  • Academic and personal abilities needed to succeed
  • Work experience/voluntary work
  • Aspirations (career or academic)
  • Further qualifications
  • Outside interests
  • Deferred entry/positive reasons for

Introduction: Why I want to study this course

Main Part: What academic skills to I have that will enable me to complete the course successfully.

Work experience / voluntary work / Part-time Job

(You may spend more time on this section for courses where work experience is a requirement e.g. health-care related courses)

Extra-curricular activities / other qualifications e.g. first aid


what makes a good one
What makes a good one?
  • Should be original, interesting and enthusiastic
    • If you draw on your own experiences it will be original and interesting
    • Varied sentence structure e.g. don’t start every sentence with ‘I’
    • Quotes and humour – be careful with these!
  • Should all be relevant - relate present to future
    • Academic courses/skills
    • Extra-curricular activities
  • Application is for the course
    • not the career
  • Strong conclusion


and Evidence!

saying what you do is not enough
Saying what you do is not enough!

I undertook work experience in a care home where I talk to residents and prepare meals.

I play for my college football team and this year I have been chosen as captain.

I work part-time in a clothes shop where I serve customers and order stock.

You have shown good communication skills, commitment and a caring nature.

How long was this for?

What did you gain from doing this placement?

This means you are able to manage your time well, have good communication skills and are able to take on levels of responsibility.

This shows commitment, excellent team work and leadership skills.

How do you approach your leadership role?


How do I get started?

  • What you want to study at university and why
    • Specific aspects of the course that interest you /areas of your current course
    • Things you have read related to the subject area
    • Personal experiences
    • Where you hope a degree in this subject will lead
  • Experiences that show you are responsible
    • Part-time job / Community and charity work
    • Helping out at school events
    • Young Enterprise, Duke of Edinburgh award, Debating societies
  • Your interests and skills
    • What you like to do in your free time
    • Languages which you speak
    • Prizes you have won or positions achieved in your interests
  • Remember – don’t leave writing your statement to the last minute – you won’t do your best if you are rushing.

What makes a good one?

  • DO:
    • Give lots of examples and evidence
    • Be concise and relevant
    • Have perfect grammar and spelling
    • Have a strong conclusion
    • Be careful with quotes and humour
  • DON’T:
    • Use lists or bullet points
    • Waffle / use long words to impress
    • Copy from the internet or friends

Your Reference

Communication between you and your referee is crucial

  • Make sure they are aware of what you do outside the classroom e.g. extra-curricular, involvement in school/college activities, work experience
  • Teachers like to be positive, but have a duty to you and your university choices to be realistic
things to think about

Things to think about…

Spend ample time researching your applications

Have clear goals, but also be realistic and listen to

the advice of teachers on your predicted grades

Refine your personal statement as many times as

possible to reflect your interests and personality

Ensure your referee is aware of your academic an

extracurricular interests and activities

Good luck!