Admissions tutor, Dr Andrew McKinley gives some advice about how to write your personal statement when you are applying for chemistry courses.

Your personal statement is just that; it is "personal!" It is unique to you and it needs to do a complex job. It tells us a bit about you and your interest in the subject. It also gives us information about you so that, when you come to visit, we are prepared to help you get the most out of your visit.

It can be difficult to start writing it, so we have prepared the following questions to help you start thinking about writing your statement.

  • Tell us why you wish to study Chemistry. We are not looking for you to have had a lifelong interest, simply what first caught your attention and started you thinking about chemical science.
  • What drives your curiosity in Chemistry; has there been any relevant news or current affairs which have made you wish to learn more about chemistry?
  • Are there any topics which you have studied so far in Chemistry which have left you wanting more, or left questions unanswered?
  • How do you expect having a Chemistry degree might help you in your career aspirations? A degree in chemistry is extremely versatile and has wide applications outside “chemistry research”.
  • Do you have any relevant work experience which supports your application? What have you learned from this and how has it motivated you in your career aspirations?
  • Work experience can be wide and varied; you may have volunteered and developed transferable skills which help you in your studies.
  • Outwith your studies, what are your interests and hobbies? Do you play sport, perform in an orchestra, organise gaming evenings etc.? Do not dwell too much on these, however show us what skills you have learned through these extracurricular activities.  For example group work or teamwork, organisational skill; you may even have applied some of your skills from your studies in unusual settings.
  • Make sure you are telling us what you want to tell us about yourself - and not things that you think we want to hear!

Finally, when checking your personal statement, make sure you use your spell-check and ask someone else to proof-read it to ensure you have not made any mistakes in your writing.

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