Your personal statement is just that, your opportunity to show the admissions team your personality. If you’re applying for a popular course such as Psychology you’re going to be up against hundreds of other applicants with identical academic records to you. This means you’re going to need a strong personal statement to stand out from the crowd.
Essentially your personal statement needs to be original, give your personal insights into the subject, and show how you’ve developed your interests in psychology outside of the classroom by further reading and research.
Here’s more about writing a personal statement to apply for a Psychology degree:
Above everything else the admissions tutors want to see that you’re interested, enthusiastic, and motivated by Psychology.
Not only that, they want to know why you find Psychology such an appealing subject and what interests you about studying it at degree level.
The easiest and best way to demonstrate your interest is by showing your independent learning skills and discussing the books, journals, and other relevant materials you’ve used to extend your learning outside of what you’ve be taught in the classroom.
If you’re planning on studying something at degree level you should have already done extensive research around the subject, and this doesn’t just mean reading a few obvious books.
You can use podcasts, blog posts, magazines, lectures etc. they’ll all impress the admissions team if you can discuss the impact they had on you clearly and concisely.
You also need to consider any future career plans you have in mind. For example, if you’ve said you want a career in child psychology you need to show you’ve read up on issues in that area.
Don’t say you’re interested in one area and then list a load of research materials that are on a completely different topic.
If you don’t have a set career path in mind then try to show you’ve developed a good general knowledge of Psychology as whole.
We can’t tell you exactly what to write in your personal statement. It really does have to come from you. It’s important not to be tempted to copy examples you’ve seen online.
However, we can tell you what definitely shouldn’t be included:
It’s vital that you really understand what Psychology is and that the scientific aspects are a key component of the course.
It’s not going to impress the admissions team if you don’t know that statistics and experimentation make up a large part of the course.
You need to show a real commitment to the subject and if you don’t manage that, you’ll probably be rejected.
Even though Psychology might not be the only subject you’ve applied for, you need to demonstrate your interest to make the admissions tutor(s) think you’re worthy of a place.
OK, it is called a “personal” statement, but that doesn’t mean you need to give them your life story or all the gory details of important life events.
It’s fine to say that a personal experience influenced your decision to study Psychology, but don’t waste too much space or overplay the issue.
Remember, you only have 4000 characters – that’s 47 lines – so be sparing with your words unless they’re super relevant.
Think carefully not only about what you say, but how you say it. For example, saying “I want to help people” isn’t enough without examples of why and how you intend to help them.
Equally, inappropriate phrases such as “I want to help the more unfortunate members of society” will only get you noticed for the wrong reasons.
Keep your language simple. Sophisticated words and phrases only work if you really understand what you mean. One wrong word is all it takes for you to look pretentious rather than well-read.
Similarly, drop the clichéd quotes from Freud et al. The admissions tutors want to hear what you think, not what Freud said decades ago.