Writing a personal statement is one of the key tasks when applying for psychology at uni. Psychology and different psychological disciplines are quite competitive, so having a great personal statement can make all the difference. But sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s we’ve put together a guide on how to write a psychology personal statement, from how to structure it and what to write.

How to get inspiration for your personal statement?

How to write a psychology personal statement?
Source: Unsplash

1. Get inspiration from course catalogues

More often than not, your university will have a course catalogue which will detail what your course is about and how it’s structured. Quite often they’ll have a list of topics, from this you can begin to list what you’ll want to include in your personal statement. For example, if your course specifically focuses on social psychology or neuroscience, then make sure to mention your experience with these things in your personal statement.

2. Research articles related to psychology modules

Researching articles about psychology modules can make you stand out from the crowd and make you sound like you know exactly what you’re talking about. Furthermore, it shows that you have the right attitude to research and a passion for your subject. The admissions team often look at skills shown within your personal statement and this is one way that you can do this.

3. Think about your future in psychology

What do you want to achieve by doing a psychology degree? What job or career do you aspire to? Whilst you may not know exactly what this might be, it’s always good to think about. Include details in your personal statement such as your career ideas, and what you’d like to achieve. Unsure of your job prospects after your degree, here is our article on what you can do with a psychology degree.

4. Your knowledge of psychology

Do you have a specific field of psychology that you know a lot about? A huge reason universities use personal statements is to gather an understanding of what your course expectations are. So showing your passion for psychology is also showing how you expect to flourish at their university. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Why do I like neuroscience?
  • What about behavioural psychology interests you so much?
  • Which field are you hoping to specialise in and why?

How to structure your personal statement

How to write a psychology personal statement?
Source: Unsplash

1. Read any supplied information before you begin planning or writing

UCAS has specific guidelines on how to write your personal statement. They only allow 4,000 characters or roughly 500-750 words. Keep this in mind whilst writing as it’s not a lot of words so use them wisely. If you’re not applying through UCAS, then make sure that you read about how the university wants the personal statement to be formatted, including the font/size details.

2. Outline your general points

Once you have your thoughts inspired, create a brief outline for your personal statement. In your outline include a brief introduction about yourself, why you want to study that course, your experiences, and past knowledge. This will help you with your structure.

3. How to write a hooking introduction

Take your time and show why you’re the best suited for this course. Tell them what is unique about your skill set, knowledge and experiences. Whilst it needs to be concise and informative, also make it authentic or you’ll sound monotone and lacking passion.

4. Discuss your experiences, skills, and interests in psychology

The personal statement isn’t just a reflection of you. It’s there to show why you are suited for a psychology degree. Tell them why you are passionate about psychology but also why your skills are suited to it. Also, back up your points with real-life examples as it gives your personal statement integrity. Examples can include personal experiences, second-hand experiences or what you’ve read that motivated you to do psychology.

5. Conclude with a good summary

In your conclusion, cover all your previously mentioned points in a concise manner. Avoid long fluffy sentences and aim to stick to the point. Make your reader feel motivated for you to go to university, by leaving them on a positive note. A good example would be to talk about why you are so excited to go to university.

6. Check, double check and triple check

No matter how good your points are if you’re personal statement is littered with grammatical and spelling errors it’ll leave the reader with a terrible impression of you. I would recommend installing software such as Grammarly (check it out here) so that you know where the errors are. Keep checking your statement as sometimes the semantics may be wrong or there is a better punctuation mark to use.

Tips for writing your psychology personal statement

How to write a psychology personal statement?

Make your writing engaging from the beginning

Your first few sentences should be really engaging as a way to keep your reader captivated. Try using short punchy sentences but make sure they’re relevant. This will create a nice flow for your personal statement, which can help make you stand out, amongst the rest.

Keep a professional tone

Whilst you need to give your personal statement a bit of personality, make sure you use an appropriate tone. Avoid making jokes, fluffy content or informal phrasing. Use a professional and formal writing style.

Make sure your experiences represent the truth

This is a common mistake students make. Quite often they’ll glorify the truth or even outright lie, this is not a good way to write your personal statement. Not only can it jeopardise your university application, or ruin interviews if you have one. But most admission teams can tell when you’re lying, so it’s wise just to be honest.

Now that you can write your psychology personal statement, which uni will you apply to? Here is our list of the top universities for psychology in the UK.

 

Author