We know how important your personal statement is to your UCAS application. It can be tricky to get it right. Always check the official UCAS website for official information! Information is for 2013 entry. Always check information directly with official sources

The Personal Statement is part of the UCAS form, and gives you 4000 characters (this includes spaces) with which to express exactly how committed you are to medicine, how able you are at extracurricular activities as well as academically, how caring you are and more. There is no particular format or nothing in particular which you can write about that will guarantee you get a place or are called for interview. However using the information in this guide will assist you in writing the best personal statement you can!

Remember the limits

You may find yourself writing plenty, but remember you are limited 4000 characters maximum including spaces and a maximum of 47 lines of text. Every word counts and if it can be done without delete it. You may be able to leave a line free between paragraphs, but if you need more room do not be afraid to use every single line. 

Keep it clear and concise

Writing isn’t that hard, but writing a personal statement can be. This is due to the fact that the personal statement is particular type of prose – it should have a very clear and direct purpose – that of showcasing the aspects of you, and the things you have done, which you feel best represent you when applying to medicine. It may be appropriate to talk about that great thing you did when you were 12 – but is it too long ago to be relevant? Are you sure you haven’t done anything of note since then? 

Spelling and grammar

It stands to reason that spelling and grammar mistakes will probably reduce the effectiveness of your personal statement. Use a word processor with spell checker (remember there are spelling differences between American and UK English) and correct errors whilst also critically assessing them – sometimes the spelling and grammar corrections are not correct when considered within the context of the sentence.

In addition to having the spell checker software check your personal statement, ask as many people as you can to give it a quick read – ask them about spelling, grammar and flow. Flow means the ease with which your personal statement reads and can mean the difference between a well written piece of work and something which is a chore to read. Ask them what they thought generally of the personal statement and what it conveyed to them – and if they know you well enough ask them if there is anything else they think would be relevant to include. We can also check it for you if you send it to us using the form on the next page. 

Things to include

There is no secret structure that will guarantee your personal statement stands out from all the rest, but there are a few things we personally would include and a certain order we personally followed.

An introduction – a little about you, why you want to do medicine – don’t be afraid to be personal (it is a personal statement after all) and to talk about personal reasons for applying to medicine if this is the case. Do reference any particularly excellent academic prizes or awards that you haven’t already noted in the exam results section of the UCAS form – you may reference your grades if you wish but the Universities you are applying to will already have this data from the other parts of the UCAS form so only include what you think is necessary given the space provided.

Work experience – proving that you have researched the area and proof that you have not made the decision lightly. It is important here to not just describe what you did but express what you have learnt – this is called reflective learning – and make sure to explain that what you learnt has now influenced you further and describe how it has influenced you. You may reference that you are open to feedback, and the feedback received from your experiences has had an impact on the decision you are making. 

Have a read of our work experience guide for help with arranging work experience.

Volunteer work – again, not just what you did but what you have learned.  Any notable cases or events that happened or that had a particularly strong effect on you should be mentioned – if it involves real people remember confidentiality is paramount so do not reveal any information that would identify the person e.g. name, address, etc. 

Other interests hobbies – you have done well so far and ticked many boxes but has this come at the 

expense of a life outside work and school? Use some words/lines to express how well rounded an individual 

you are and how able you are to achieve a work-life balance in everything you do. Medical students and of

course Doctors, live extremely busy lives and not always to the normal 9-5 regimen of most other  jobs, yet

still manage to do most of the things other people do. It is important to show that you have something other

than academics and medicine in your life – and you will probably be able to better relate to patients if this is

the case.

A short conclusion -  a couple of sentences or so  depending on what you have left bringing a nice summary and conclusion to what you have said already. Conclusions are important- how many potentially great books or films have been ruined by a terrible or unduly sharp ending? Leave the reader with something good to think about. 

Copyright 2012 Get Into Medicine. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2012 Get Into Medicine 


 Copyright 2012 Get Into Medicine