The personal statements is where you should describe the ambitions, skills, and experience that will make you suitable for the course.
Where to start
Firstly, leave plenty of time to write it. You’ll have up to 4,000 characters of text to show why you’d make a great student – so it might take a few redrafts until you’re happy.
- Course descriptions mention the qualities, skills and experience the conservatoire would like you to have – take note of these to help you decide what to write about.
- Remember it’s the same personal statement for all the courses and conservatoires you apply to. They’ll be able to see where else you’ve applied, so explain why you’ve chosen those courses.
- Have a look at our personal statement mind map for more ideas, or use our personal statement worksheet to write down answers to these questions and more.
What to write about
- Why you are applying – your ambitions and what interests you about the subject, conservatoires and higher education.
- Your reasons for choosing the courses you have listed. Remember that each conservatoire will be able to see the other conservatoires and courses you've applied to.
- What interests you about your chosen study area (playing an instrument, acting, singing, conducting, stage design or another specialist area).
- Your experience within your chosen specialist area and in any other activity related to the course(s) for which you have applied.
- What makes you suitable – membership of national/international orchestras, choirs or chamber groups (such as NYO, EUYO or National Youth Theatre) and any other relevant skills and achievements gained from education, work or other activities.
These are great ways to prepare for higher education. If you do or have done any of these before, they could be ideal things to mention in your personal statement. You might be able to organise or start a new activity before you send your application.
International and EU students
As an international student there are a few extra things you should mention.
- Why you want to study in the UK.
- Your English language skills and any English courses or tests you’ve taken.
- Why you want to be an international student rather than study in your own country.
Here’s where you can mention any alternative entry requirements you’ve used – like an Access course or APL – demonstrating the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through your previous experiences.
How to write it
- Structure your info to reflect the skills and experience the conservatoires value most.
- Write in an enthusiastic, concise and natural style – nothing too complex.
- Try to stand out, but be careful with humour, quotes or anything unusual – just in case the admissions tutor doesn’t have the same sense of humour as you.
- Proofread aloud and get your teachers, advisers and family to check – then redraft until you’re happy with it and the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct.
We recommend you write your personal statement in a word processor first, and then copy and paste it into your online application when you’re done. Check the 4,000 character and 47 line limits though – some word processors get different values if they don’t count tabs and paragraph spacing as individual characters.
When you do add it to your application, make sure you save it regularly, as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.
International and EU students
It’s not possible to apply in an alternative language, but you can use some European characters in your personal details, personal statement, employment and referee details.
What happens to personal statements that have been copied?
We screen all personal statements across Copycatch our Similarity Detection system – so make sure your personal statement is all your own work. Don’t copy from anyone else or from the internet and don't share your personal statement with other applicants.
If we find any similarity in your personal statement, your application will be flagged. Then we’ll email an alert to you and your conservatoire choices and this could have serious consequences for your application.
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Help with writing your UCAS Progress personal statement – what to include about yourself, and some dos and don’ts on how to write it.
Writing about the course
Why are you applying for your chosen course(s)?
Explain why you want to do your chosen course(s). For example, someone who wanted to work with animals might write 'I would like to study a BTEC in animal care as I am passionate about looking after animals. I already look after two dogs and it will help me in my future career plans.'
Why does this course interest you?
You can write about anything you've read about the course(s) that you find interesting and would like to find out more about.
Why do you think you are suitable for the course(s)?
In this section, you can write about any experiences you have had that are related to the course(s), or any skills you've learnt that might help you. For example, if you have done any related volunteering or work experience, or if you have a part-time job such as babysitting, which shows more general strengths such as responsibility or commitment.
Do your current studies (e.g., GCSEs) relate to the course(s) you have chosen? If so, how?
You can let the provider know how much you enjoy a subject by writing about a course you have already studied that you found really interesting or you were good at.
Skills and achievements
Write about anything you have done that might help with your application.
- Write about anything you are proud of passing, for example, grade 2 in piano, or being selected for a sports team.
- Include any awards you have done, such as Duke of Edinburgh, or through ASDAN, for example.
- You can add any positions of responsibility you have held, for example, being a prefect or helping with young students at school.
Hobbies and interests
Make a list of your hobbies, interests, and anything you do socially.
- Think about how they show your skills and ability.
- Try to link them to skills and experience you might need on your chosen course(s).
Include details of placements, work experience, voluntary work, or jobs, especially if it is relevant to your chosen course(s).
- Try to show how this experience gave you new skills or made you think about your future plans, for example, things you really enjoyed or were good at.
- Also include any part-time work you are still doing, like a Saturday job or babysitting.
Use this section to tell the provider what you might like to do in the future as a career after completing the course. Explain how you would like to use the course(s) you have applied for to help you reach your goal.
Dos and don’ts when writing a personal statement
- Do use your best English and check your spelling and grammar are correct.
- Do be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it will help your application.
- Do ask people that you trust, like your teacher/adviser or parent/carer to read through what you have written and give you feedback.
- Don’t exaggerate – you might be asked about what you have written if you attend an interview with the course provider.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute – it's a good idea to give yourself time to think about what you write to make sure you don’t forget anything.
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