Writing a Personal Statement to Apply for a Teaching Degree

As well as looking at your academic achievements universities also use your personal statement to decide whether or not you’re right for their course.

If you want to be successful in applying for a teacher training course that leads you to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) then you’ll need a strong personal statement to help you get there.

When you complete your application on the UCAS website you’ll need to submit your personal statement as part of the application process. You’ll only get the chance to submit one personal statement, even though you’ll probably be applying to up to five courses.

This means that it’s important to keep it generic to the subject you want to study and not mention specific courses or universities. After all, you wouldn’t want Winchester University reading about why you’d love to attend Chichester University when you’re applying to both!

But enough about what you shouldn’t include in your Teaching personal statement – what should you include when you’re writing a personal statement to apply for a Teaching degree?

How long can my Teaching personal statement be?

You only have 4000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces) for your personal statement so it’s vital to write in clear, concise sentences.


  • Write in English (or Welsh if you’re applying to a Welsh university)
  • Avoid italics, bold, or underlining
  • Triple check your spelling and grammar

We also advise that you write your personal statement somewhere else, such as Microsoft Word, and then copy and paste it into your UCAS application.

If you start drafting your personal statement early on in the application process you’ll have plenty of time to redraft it to make sure it’s as good as it can be.

What do I say in my Teaching personal statement?

Your personal statement needs to reflect your passion and ambition for Teaching, as well as any experience you’ve already gained before applying for a Teaching degree.

The majority of universities ask that applicants already have a minimum of two weeks of classroom experience before applying so you should talk about this in your personal statement.

You should also talk about any other voluntary or paid experience you have that is relevant to your future course and career.

Think carefully about what the universities you’re applying to are looking for in a potential student. It might be worth attending an open day at university before you submit your application so you can ask current students what helped them to get a place.

When you’re writing your personal statement it might help you to keep the following things in mind:

  • Your reason(s) for wanting to teach
  • Evidence that you understand the rewards and challenges of teaching
  • Details of your previous education and how you have benefitted from it
  • Any other work with young people, such as helping with a youth club, working at a summer camp or running a sports team
  • The range of relevant abilities and skills you can bring to teaching, for example, practical experience, managing people, working with or leading a team, and communication skills
  • Any reasons why there may be restrictions on your geographical mobility
  • Why you want to study in the UK, if you don’t currently live here
  • Whether you’ve taken part in the School Experience Programme (SEP) organised by the National College of School Leadership

Teaching Degree Personal Statement Advice

Here are some more top tips for your Teaching degree personal statement:

  • Explain why you want to teach
  • Explain why you are interested in your chosen age range and (if appropriate) your specialist subject
  • Say something relevant about your academic studies to demonstrate your own enthusiasm for learning
  • Mention any personal accomplishments, including extra-curricular activities, that make you the person you are
  • Explain what you might be able to contribute to a school community
  • Expand on any relevant skills or qualities you've demonstrated in a part-time job
  • Comment on any current professional issues you’ve read about in (for example, the Times Educational Supplement)
  • Avoid bland clichés such as 'I love children', 'I was born to teach', 'I am passionate about teaching', 'I have wanted to be a teacher from a young age'  –  or the word 'babysitting'.