There is no doubt that writing a personal statement is a challenging and daunting task. With no specific formula to follow, and no 'correct answer', its difficult to know how to begin. All because this written piece is solely dedicated to you, and it may seem an impossible task to cram all the complexities and nuances that make you your own person into one single sheet of paper.

There is a straightforward response to these challenges. Rather than construct a personal statement which tries to do too much, keep your direction and focus simple.

There are two focal areas upon which you might build the body of a successful personal statement:

1. What are your motivations?

Your motivation for choosing the particular course is key. Think about why you picked this course, and where you want to get to. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are your aspirations?
  • Why are you passionate about your chosen subject?
  • What is it that drives you? What are your interests?
  • Are you looking for a change in career?
  • Would this course help you to achieve your goals?

Remember, the more personal to you, the better.

2. What is your relevant previous experience?

Your previous experience is relevant, whether it is in your chosen field or not. Consider what it is that equips you to be a suitable candidate. What are your current skills, and how can your they be adapted and extended to suit the demands of an online masters in your chosen field? Make sure you include your prior experiences of higher education. It is valuable to ground your personal statement with more information about your qualifications – what was your experience in gaining these? Rather than simply repeating the information from your CV think about how this makes you an ideal candidate.

The bottom-line is – as long as you demonstrate the reasons for your passion in this course (your motivation), alongside the factors which make you a good candidate (your experience), you are well placed to write a successful personal statement.

Here are our top tips to consider

International students, think about your use of English Language

It is important to include evidence of your day-to-day use of English language if English is not your first language. Perhaps you could situate this evidence alongside details of your current role, or other jobs and previous experience which may have required or involved the use of English. This way, you tick two things off the list, and prove that you are a suitable candidate to study your course of choice.

Why online?

Remember to state your reasons for your motivation to specifically study online. Will this course support your ongoing career? Do you wish to continue with personal projects or commitments whilst completing your degree? Perhaps your learnings from the course can be immediately put into action through your current role or situation. Or maybe studying on-campus at the University of Bath is not viable due to location. Whatever your grounds for deciding to study online, this information helps to establish why you would be a credit to the University of Bath’s online alumni community.

Why the University of Bath?

Another crucial aspect of your personal statement are your reasons for choosing the University of Bath. What is it that first attracted you to Bath? Amongst other factors, the quality of teaching and the leading research are all incentives to study at an institution with a world-class reputation. The global recognition that Bath receives from employers in a range of different sectors may have played a role. Even though these seem like obvious points, it is important to include the reasons behind your choice.

Think about the curriculum

Take this opportunity to explain your interest in specific units from the course and why you would be suited to study them. Some of the most successful personal statements go into depth about a niche subject which is of interest (and which relates to the chosen course). The more particular to you, the better. This is a chance to share an idea of what form your research may take, what pathway particularly excites you, and what you are passionate about.

Just remember, the personal statement is part of an overall effort to display your motivation for studying a course, and your experience which substantiates your interest, and identifies you as a successful candidate.

To conclude, here are three questions which you can use to construct your personal statement if you are struggling to make a start:

  • What drives you, and will ensure your engagement throughout the length of the course?
  • What experience informs your knowledge of the field and/or equips you with solid foundations upon which to develop research or skills during the masters?
  • What do you hope to achieve from the masters – i.e. what goals will this course enable you to fulfil?

Simply summarise your passion for learning, express your reasons for choosing the University of Bath’s online course, and display your suitability. In turn, you will be set to succeed.

If you would like to discuss your personal statement further, a member of our admissions team would be happy to discuss this. Contact the team by completing the form below.

Authored on 11.09.19


The information in this article is correct at the time of publishing. Course elements, rankings, and other data may change. Please refer to the online courses page for the most up-to-date details.

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