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Personal Statements & References. Lee Hennessy University of Bath. What an offer is based on:. Academic achievement Academic potential Personal Statement Reference Admissions test? Interview?. How important is the Personal Statement?. Extremely important for

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Personal Statements & References

Lee Hennessy

University of Bath

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What an offer is based on:

  • Academic achievement

  • Academic potential

  • Personal Statement

  • Reference

  • Admissions test?

  • Interview?

Personal Statements and References

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How important is the Personal Statement?

Extremely important for

  • Selective, competitive programmes

  • Many arts/humanities programmes

  • Vocational programmes which require work experience

  • May form basis of interview

Personal Statements and References

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How do you support students with their Personal Statements

  • Be wary of providing complete examples. (Similarity Detection Service)

  • Suggest the use of action words to convey a sense of participation, involvement and accomplishment

  • Instigated, invented, wrote, designed, created, analysed

  • Accomplishment versus information

Personal Statements and References

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I have always had a great interest in Science because of the impacts that it has on our daily lives. I studied dentistry so that I could apply scientific knowledge to positively affect lives. I was advised that my manual dexterity was not of the required standard. I have become fascinated by Pharmacy as a career because it also directly effects on the lives of people in the community. Pharmacists are now more actively involved with patients and have become more accessible to the community. These developments are very exciting I am looking forward to the challenge of career that is evolving. I have learnt valuable skills during my school and university studies which will be beneficial to a career in Pharmacy.

During my science degree, I have learnt an important skill in producing written and illustrated results from experiments. From this I am able to evaluate and modify these results. I enjoy the application of logical scientific thinking to analyse and solve problems. The practical side of Science involving laboratory work was my main interest and I would like to continue this work in helping others.

I have pursued many activities that have given me experience in this field of study. I have encountered independent voluntary work for my XXXXX Pharmacy branch located in XXXXX. From this, I have learnt the insight of being a Community Pharmacist and dealing with prescriptions, which will prove valuable in the future.

I have advanced in my communication skills with regards to patient care from my time as a dental student. This has given me the opportunity to use my initiative and enabled me to interact with various kinds of situations with different people such as dealing with the patients's complaints. This has helped me gain responsibility, which I know will be required in the career of Pharmacy.

Studies aside, I have a passion for golf and football. My favourite pastimes involves playing golf and listening to music of all genres. My ongoing hobbies include playing piano, snooker, gym and travelling when and wherever possible. I enjoy going to the gym which help improves my self-esteem and motivates me in doing my work. Believing in yourself can help to establish your thoughts in a confident way.

At University in Britain, I would like to contribute to university life, as this will be a new experience and I will look forward to meeting new people. I am a reliable, determined and enthusiastic person who will relish the opportunity to study pharmacy if I am given the opportunity.

Personal Statements and References

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Borderline applicant but…….. impacts that

In year 10 at G.C.S.E I was first introduced to the subject of Media and as an avid film 'buff'I felt this was a subject in which I could easily attain a good grade but what I gained was much more. I learnt about the messages and codes used by the media to attract and create audiences for certain media texts. I found how each type of media has different structures and how media as a whole is so diverse. My course focused on American media from sitcoms like 'I love Lucy' to dramatic films like 'Rebel Without A Cause'. This fuelled my love for American culture and it is that and my A2 courses, which have led me to choose to further my media and film knowledge by applying for a Media/Film course at University. Media and Film at A2 Level have taught me how to analyse and understand different media texts. It has also shown me the concepts and ideologies that can be applied to a variety of different forms of media. I have also learnt the technical elements of media production and how these also convey messages. In creating the opening of a thriller film at AS I learnt how to apply genre codes and conventions through types of shot and style of editing. What I enjoyed most in my film and media courses was the theory work, especially analysing films and looking at how the filmmakers use the characters, setting, camera, lighting and so on, to convey different messages and ideas.




But very relevant to our Film Studies

Personal Statements and References

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Writing a Personal Statement impacts that Section 10 of the UCAS form

  • …a format is laid out by UCAS and this should be followed

  • ….avoid conformity

  • … can use bullet points

  • ….don’t use bullet points

  • ….write in continuous prose not in note form

  • …..include work experience, employment, etc

  • …..only include what is relevant

  • …..decisions are made strictly on academic performance

  • ….personal statement is an important addition to the limited information available on the UCAS form

Personal Statements and References

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What Matters impacts that

  • You need to be articulate

  • It doesn’t matter whether you use paragraphs, headings, note form or bullet points – choose a style which suits you

Personal Statements and References

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What can we agree on impacts that

  • Why you want to study this particular course

  • What you can offer

  • What you hope to do with your degree


    Free of grammar and spelling mistakes


    Convey motivation and enthusiasm

    70-80% directly relevant

    Be checked by tutor or subject teacher

Personal Statements and References

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Work Experience impacts that

Essential for certain programmes but not all

  • Should describe what they have gained from the experience

  • How they will apply the knowledge and skills gained to their future studies

Personal Statements and References

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Remember: ….. impacts that

  • One form (currently) completed for ‘5’ choices

  • Need to make a good initial impact

  • May be competing with many other applicants

  • predicted good grades

  • Always remember who will be reading the form

  • and what they will be looking for

  • A good reference and personal statement can make all the difference

Personal Statements and References

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The UCAS Reference impacts that

  • Cannot underestimate its importance

  • You know your students – we don’t

  • Will be read

  • May be scored

Personal Statements and References

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What we need: impacts that

  • Honesty (fairness): the system depends on it

  • predicted grades

  • profile of academic skills

  • individual relevant personal circumstances

  • participation in special programmes

  • relevant (but brief) information about the

  • School/College context

  • relevant information about qualifications

Personal Statements and References

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Introduction: context of college impacts that

Our School offers A level and BTEC programmes to students from the local areas. Over 30% of our students receive EMA payments and 25% are from Widening participation backgrounds

Our standard pattern is 3 A levels and one AS. All students take a critical thinking module as part of the non-examined General Studies programme

Personal Statements and References

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Academic performance impacts that

  • Subject by subject report

  • Details from subject teachers

  • Best or most relevant subject first

  • Predicted grades (be careful about split grades)

  • If predicted grades well above AS grade, explain why?

  • Include all qualifications: key skills, Critical Thinking, General Studies

Personal Statements and References

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Personal qualities and difficulties impacts that

  • Want to consider applicant holistically

    motivation to learn, self-discipline

    teamworking, attendance

  • Any special needs

    how has this affected their studies?

  • Individual circumstances that are relevant

Personal Statements and References

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Conclusion: impacts that

The reference should end with a final summary and recommendation for suitability to HE.

This application is the result of much careful thought and thorough research. ….is an intelligent and modest young man whose intellectual ability, study skills and interest make it clear that he is highly successful on a …….. Degree course and I would recommend him to you most strongly for H.E.

Personal Statements and References