Applying to University – Shanen, Year 12

By 9th January 2019Students Say

Thinking of applying to university? As the deadline for applications gets closer this could be the ideal time to start thinking about the route you want to go down when preparing to leave school. No matter the university or course you are looking at it is important to understand the application process and how you can demonstrate yourself as the ideal student.

Whilst the process may seem daunting to some, UCAS have released many useful guides and tips that help when filling out your application form. To put it into perspective here are the top things admissions teams look for when reviewing your application form;

  • Qualifications
  • Content of written personal statement
  • Quality and content of reference
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the subject discipline
  • Good attitude to learning and personal development
  • Ability to articulate yourself fluently and accurately in writing

At the Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire, we work closely with our students to ensure that they have all the industry knowledge, qualifications, business acumen, technical skills and employability skills required by employers to fulfil future ambitions. We also work closely with industry partner University of Hull, to provide further detail regarding life on campus, studies and career progression.

So whilst we have you covered for gaining all those experiences and qualifications required to fill your applications form, how do you effectively translate all of this into a personal statement?

A personal statement is a vital part of your UCAS application, the supporting piece, which gives you an opportunity to showcase your ambitions, skills and passion for the chosen field on just one page. It is the ultimate way to sell yourself to the admissions team.

Whilst some of our students are in the process of finalising their applications for the deadline, we have taken the time to note down tips from Year 12 student Shanen, on how she successfully completed her personal statement.

1 – Map out a simple structure for your content

Don’t make this structure too complicated. Simple is key as you can throw in extra detail later on once you have the bulk of your content in place. By following a concise plan it allows you room to edit later on without forgetting your place.

Shanen was able to do this by following a simple yet effective structure that allowed her to present a confident image of herself to the admissions team;

  • Introduction
  • Interests that relate to the course and how it inspires her
  • Studies and qualifications so far and how it is relevant for future progress
  • Skills and qualities
  • Conclusion, reminding the university why she is suitable for the course

2 – Don’t start with “I wish to apply for this course” or “I want to do this course because…”

The first paragraph of your personal statement should be short, catchy and with the ability to express yourself as an individual. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your interest and how this results in your chosen subject.

From the outset, Shanen makes it clear that her passion lies within the physics field by stating “What sets physics apart from the other sciences, in my opinion, is that it can be practically applied to all instances in life.” This will spark an interest in the reader to want to find out more about you as a person.

3 – Why should they choose you over the other applicants?

Be modest but always make sure that you sell yourself. Indulge the reader in information that can make you stand out compared to other applicants. Shanen, as part of her application, provided information relating to her deep interest in space and astronomy; “Books such as The Martian and Endurance have inspired me to pursue further studies in astronomy and the corresponding physics.” It helps to show that your interest in the course runs far beyond the class timetable.

4 – Your studies and qualifications so far

Although this information will be provided in further detail within your application form, it is essential to highlight your successes within the personal statement too. Shanen uses her time at the ENL UTC to showcase her ability to learn by stating, “I am currently working towards a Level 3 Engineering qualification, a Quantitative Reasoning qualification and an Extended Project Qualification at the Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire.” Whilst also taking the time to highlight additional certificates and achievements that she has gained prior to her most recent studies.

5 – Any desirable skills and traits?

Treat a personal statement like a CV cover letter by highlighting your key qualities and skills that can be applied throughout your studies. This will show the reader that you have a strong business acumen and can perform to a high standard. Shanen visits previous work experience to expand on the skills she learnt by stating, “I have over 350 hours of paid work experience within the customer service sector showing that I can adapt to different situations, perform well under a deadline and can work efficiently to a specific schedule.”

Not only does this highlight to the reader that Shanen has strong communication skills but also that she has the ability to complete work to a deadline.

6 – What are you future plans?

Try and think beyond education and how you can use your qualifications and experiences for the future. It is inspiring for people to hear how their work can help lead you towards your dream career.

Shanen, uses the above to close her personal statement with, “I would like my degree to lead to a career in Cosmological Research, as it would keep me abreast of new discoveries in the physics sector.”

7 – Tailor your content to fit a variety of university applications

You may find that when you start looking into universities you have several options in mind that you want to apply for. Whilst every kind of university has a recommended set up for your personal statement as they each look for different qualities, it is important to remember the above points so that your content will fit all of them to an extent.

Always keep in mind that your content should be tailored around your chosen course so that it is easily translated to all course supervisors for them to see your suitability and interest.

For any further information on how the Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire can help prepare you for your dream STEM-based career, you can contact our team via or call 01724 8787100.

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