A Social Work degree will cover a broad range of areas primarily linked to supporting, empowering, and protecting the more vulnerable members of society.

Your degree will give you the knowledge, skills, insight, and experience to work effectively with service users and lead to a challenging and highly rewarding career.

Courses involve a mixture of both theoretical and practical learning, with a certain percentage of the course spent on a work placement to put your learning into practice.

To be successful when applying for a Social Work course you’ll need to demonstrate your motivation and suitability for the subject and your future career path. The best way to do this is to write the perfect personal statement.

In fact, your personal statement may be the only chance you get to show the admissions team that there is more to you than your academic records.

At some universities you may also be asked to take part in an entrance exam and have an interview, but your personal statement could decide whether you get through to this stage, so it needs to be good.

Here’s more about writing a personal statement to apply for a Social Work degree:

Get the basics right

Although it’s important to let your personality show in your personal statement, it shouldn’t dominate it. Your understanding of social work and your reflections on your skills and experiences should make up the bulk on your personal statement.

Also be sure to discuss the extra reading you’ve done around the subject. Admissions tutors are looking for evidence that you’re capable of doing the large amount of independent learning that a degree course requires.

Discuss your knowledge of social work thoroughly

Be clear about your understanding of what social work is all about and then link it to the knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that you’ll be able to bring to it.

You can link this to the things you’ve learned or been inspired by in magazines, journals, websites, documentaries, books, and issues in the media.

Use personal experiences sparingly

As Social Work is such a vocational course many students are drawn to it after a personal experience(s) in their own life.

You can talk about this in your personal statement, but be prepared that you’ll need to talk about this openly at your interview. If you’d rather keep the details to yourself then it might be best to leave it out of your personal statement.

Don’t be too specialised

Even if there is a particular area of interest you have, or a specialism you have in mind for your future career, don’t focus on this too much in your personal statement.

Particularly in the beginning your course will give you a broad grounding in the entire spectrum of social work and you’ll need to show a willingness to engage in all of this. Don’t give admissions tutors the impression that you’re only interested in one aspect of social work.

Reflect on relevant work and extracurricular experiences

Due to the vocational nature of this course you’ll be expected to have gained experience in social work before applying.

This could be through a paid job, volunteering role, or work experience placement. You’ll need to demonstrate what you learnt from the experience and how it gave you the skills and qualities you’ll need to be successful in the social and welfare sector after graduation.

Give solid examples of your skills

It’s fine to say “I have strong communication skills and work well in a team”, but you also need to give examples of these skills in action.

You need to show you have skills relevant to social work, such as organisation, commitment, and being able to work effectively with others. It’s not good enough just to say you can do that.

Avoid the obvious clichés

A strong personal statement should be original and show the admissions team who you really are. Using bland phrases such as “I’m a people person” or “I have always been a caring individual and wanted to help people” is just going to bore them.

You’re trying to stand out against hundreds, if not thousands, of other applicants so make sure you say something worth reading.