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Your personal statement

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When you apply to study with us, you'll be asked to include a personal statement of around 500 words. Following these tips will help you to write a personal statement that demonstrates your knowledge, passion, and aspirations.

You can also find more information on entry requirements and how to apply on the course page of your chosen degree.

Your statement is a great opportunity to let us see your personality and creativity, but it should also be clear, concise, and written in a conventional style. Remember to give particular attention to your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Show, don't tell

It's important that we understand the academic journey that led you to apply to study with us, but make sure that you show this progression instead of just describing it.

You should avoid biographical or extracurricular details unless they directly relate to your studies. Focus instead on your understanding and engagement with your chosen subject area, and use this to demonstrate how you've developed throughout your studies so far.

Make sure your statement goes into detail about why you want to study on your chosen course, and why you want to study at Leeds.

Does a particular module appeal to you, and if so why? Is our School strong in an area of personal interest? Are you attracted by the learning community here, and if so how would you contribute to it?

Ben Li MA English Literature

I had reservations about becoming a postgraduate student and was anxious that it would be a fiercely competitive atmosphere. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the complete opposite: everyone encourages and supports each other and I have formed a lot of strong friendships. The diversity and welcoming attitude of the student community here makes it a pleasure to be a part of.
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Leeds University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to University of Leeds. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities .

Biomedical Science/Neuroscience Personal Statement Example The limitless potential of the life sciences and the opportunity for world-changing breakthroughs are both exciting and compelling to me. Upon hearing about a disease for the first time, I am eager to find out more about the precise ways in which it affects the body, which has led me to spend much time researching the details of various diseases...

Geology Personal Statement Example 1 My interest in the natural world started early in my life. At the age of 4 and at my first school years, my favorite trip was at the Greek Natural History museum where I admired the shinny purple stones, the giraffe, the lions, and most of all, the huge Triceratops skeleton...

International Relations Personal Statement Example Being of Pakistani heritage means I am at the heart of multiculturalism that many would say defines Britain today. Growing up as a British Asian in the last decade has allowed me to experience life embedded in a world of politics, not only from a Western perspective but also that of other cultures...

History Personal Statement Example 5 As the descendant of an Auschwitz survivor, my family history allows me to understand the influences that the Second World War has had on people's families and the victims of the Nazi regime in occupied Poland...

Physics Personal Statement Example 4 The elegance of the scientific subjects, in particular physics is what has established my eagerness for a deeper insight into the subject. What sets physics apart from the other sciences, in my opinion, is that it can be practically applied to all instances of life...

Languages Personal Statement Example 10 At the age of eight, a friend introduced me to Guy Hamilton's 1969 film 'Battle of Britain'. This instilled in me two things: my doomed childhood ambition to be a Spitfire pilot, long since grudgingly abandoned, but also, perhaps ironically, a love for the sound and feel of the German language that has stayed with me all through the intervening decade...

English Literature Personal Statement Example 1 When I saw Gatz, John Collin's eight hour interpretation of The Great Gatsby, I noticed that Fitzgerald changes the colour of Daisy's hair every time he describes it. It is "like a dash of blue paint", "yellowy" like her daughters and then "dark, shining"...

French and Italian Personal Statement Example 1 I see speaking a foreign language as a key to a door opening up a new world of possibilities and opportunities. As a child my mother insisted I learned another language, she told me to grab any possible open window for a life beyond my own imagination...

Physics & Astrophysics Personal Statement Example I have always considered Physics to be a captivating area of study, whether it is a question of how aspects of it work, or indeed why they work. As such, I have found deep fascination in studying Physics, as it is able to provide answers (as well as evidence) to such queries...

Physics Personal Statement Example (International Student) 1 Some people believe there is no universal key to the mysteries of the world, but I am convinced otherwise. Since early childhood when my parents, both physicists by training, patiently answered all my why-questions and encouraged me in my fascination with astronomy, I have been thinking of Physics as the perfect science that can unveil all the secrets that fascinate humanity...

Maths and Economics Personal Statement Example 1 By skimming through a daily broadsheet or examining journals such as ‘The Economist’ it is clear to see that economic issues affect everyone both locally as well as on a global scale. However, I have been interested by Mathematics for many years and have found my enjoyment for it has increased as the depth of my understanding has grown...

English Personal Statement Example 22 What I enjoy above all else in a piece of literature is the feeling that it has brought about change, either in me or in some wider context. Literature which offers the opportunity for an adapted way of living or thinking, however slight, is I think a thing to be kept and treasured in our intellects...

Physiology and Medical Sciences Personal Statement Example The human body is arguably the most complex life form that has ever existed. Studying how the body works helps us to comprehend the many processes that maintain health and find better treatment for diseases...

English Personal Statement Example 23 My love of literature is rooted in the connection it gives us to centuries of ideas, giving us the ability to converse with ghosts, linking us with the greatest and most eloquent minds in history; as Bovee puts it, “books are embalmed minds”...

Biomedical Engineering Personal Statement Example 2 Thanks to my mother's profession, I have had a front row seat in observing the radical changes made in the medical field with the introduction of new devices. I have also seen the beneficial effects these developments have had on the lives of people living in the less affluent countries in the Middle East; these observations coupled with my interest in mechanics have inspired me to pursue a career in biomedical engineering...

Computer Science Personal Statement Example 45 Advances in computer and information technology over the past few decades have brought about revolution in science, medicine, education, business, and entertainment. I wish to be part of the future revolution and that is why I want to study computer science...

Medicine Personal Statement Example 43 The ever-evolving nature of medical science and the certainty that we will know more about the many different healthcare practices has inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. My dedication to studying medicine has been confirmed by the experience I have gained in different hospitals and practices and I look forward to the academic discipline and challenges that will arise...

English Personal Statement Example 26 Growing up reading Roald Dahl, I saw elements of myself in Matilda, as ever since I can remember, I have loved reading. My passion for English could be seen by those around me, as a child, having taught myself to read and write by the time I was 4 years old, and there was never any doubt that I would go on to pursue a career in English...

Chemical Engineering Personal Statement Example 8 From the very first day of college I’ve been gradually developing a great interest in all aspects of Chemistry and Maths. Having recently read, “Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering” I have discovered what an imperative role chemists and chemical engineers play in industry and how, by working together, they contribute to an improved future...

Geography Personal Statement Example 14 If I said ‘I’ve loved geography since an early age’, I’d be lying. Although I loved our family holidays, which have always been seen as expeditions, I didn’t think it was ‘geography’ until I started using places I’d been to as examples in geography lessons...

Geography Personal Statement Example (Human/Environmental) The possibility of the human race’s days being numbered by our destructive lifestyles, as planted in my mind by Al Gore’s sensationalised and controversial ‘The Inconvenient Truth’, has fuelled my interest in the global warming phenomenon, forcing me to question society’s reluctance to tackle it and realise the worldwide impact of each of our daily lives...

Aeronautical Engineering Personal Statement Example 1 The rapid progress and achievements in aircraft technologies has motivated me to follow a career in aeronautical engineering as it plays a very significant role in today's modern world. It is fascinating to see how engineers apply scientific and mathematical principles to everyday situations like the design, manufacture and operation of efficient structures, machines, processes and systems...

Natural Science/Geology Personal Statement Example The sheer intricacy of our planet is something that has always left me in utter amazement. From the creation of mountains to the way we as humans evolved. Science is a deep rooted love that has grown since I was a young child...

English Literature and Sociology Personal Statement Example Since I have begun to study A Level English Literature, it is the way in which writers use expression within their writing to influence and manipulate the reader's emotions which has most intrigued me...

Physics Personal Statement Example 13 Attending university has been a lifelong dream of mine; ever since my childhood, I have been told that I should, and I have always agreed with the sentiment. If I were asked to pin down an exact reason, however, I would be forced to confess that I do not know - I just enjoy learning new things and exercising my mind...

Mechanical Engineering Personal Statement Example 16 Being born as a son to two former engineers, I was raised in an environment where curiosity is treasured and nurtured. It wasn't surprising that as I became older, my fascination towards science and technology also grew along with me...

History & Politics Personal Statement Example For years I have listened to my family discussing the latest political and historical issues on the news and I have been fascinated and awed by the fact that there was never a wrong or right answer, decision or explanation to a given problem...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement Example 16 Civil engineering is a profession that is growing and evolving at a fast pace. Civil engineers play a major role in the world meeting the high demand for new buildings and improved infrastructure. I am keen to become a Civil Engineer and I believe I have the talents to be successful in this profession...

Dentistry Personal Statement Example 10 My interest in Dentistry initially arose from my own experiences with Dentists. When I was younger, I suffered from cyclic neutropenia which led to many dental problems, and was always grateful to my dentist and dental hygienist for all their help...

English Literature & History Personal Statement Example 1 Throughout my education, I have constantly been captivated and inspired by my History and English studies. I have recognised how the two disciplines entwine and coexist to create an invaluable tool with which to explore the past and future...

Medicine Personal Statement Example 67 Studying the history of medicine made me realise what a huge impact doctors have on people’s lives. I’ve always wanted a career involving people as I’m fascinated by our unique nature and the human body itself...

Natural Sciences Personal Statement Example 4 Why and How? I believe these are the two most important question words as they express mankind’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and they have lain the foundation of sciences and have helped us find answers and solutions to problems throughout history from the domestication of fire to Darwin’s theory of evolution, to landing on the moon and so on...

Mathematics Personal Statement Example 16 I have always had a passion and a thorough understanding of the subject of Mathematics. This helped me to progress academically because, unlike a lot of people, I have not had to worry about passing my GCSE Maths exams...

Spanish and Chinese Personal Statement Example My passion for Modern Foreign Languages is what drives me to pursue a degree in Chinese and Spanish; my fascination and curiosity to explore the cultures of not only China and East Asia, but also of the Hispanic world, motivate me to learn and discover the languages of these regions...

Law Personal Statement Example 84 The reason I want to study law, is that it has always intrigued me; there’s never been any other option for me it has always been law. I am captivated in the development of the law as it interests me the way the law is changing around the needs of civilisation...

Sociology Personal Statement Example 13 Being able to engage and immerse myself in a thought-provoking subject such as Sociology has allowed me to develop a desire to delve even deeper into it at an advanced level. As unpredictable liberated beings, having a means of examining the connections between humans and social organization through Sociology has enabled me to comprehend human behaviour and social stratification; to question rather than accept; allowing me to appreciate the inquisitiveness nature, which I believe is the essence of this subject...

Geography Personal Statement Example 19 I could say that my love of Geography started in school, but in fact holidays to foreign lands have had a more significant impact on me. From the volcanic badlands of Lanzarote's Timanfaya, to the unique beauty of Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania, Geography and its impact on nature and human development have awed me...

Biological Sciences Personal Statement Example 3 When I was in primary school I would take pens apart to put them back together, so that I could see how every small piece fits together to create a whole working object, and as I furthered my education my focus shifted to the w orld around me...

Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement Example 3 In this day and age virtually every aspect of our lives may be considered political. My passion to study Politics stems from this tenet and a belief that a comprehension of Politics is integral to understanding the current state of humanity...

Chemistry Personal Statement Example 18 Chemistry explores the properties of all matter and energy in our universe, which eventually leads to breakthroughs that benefit mankind, ranging from how to prevent food from decomposing to understanding what chemicals can help or harm you...

Civil Engineering Personal Statement Example 17 My decision to study engineering stems from a desire to contribute to the evolution of society through a process that does not just define our environment but our era. My personal inspiration is the Segovia aqueduct, an 800m long, 30 metre high Roman marvel which still stands today...

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Personal Statement Example 3 Curiosity has always been my nature since I was young and I was never afraid to know more as I really like challenges. This is why I have a keen interest in science ever since I started formal education, it explains the hows and whys in almost anything and everything...

  • University specific personal statements
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Your guide to applying

We welcome and encourage applications from talented students from all backgrounds. This page guides you through the application process.

Step 1: choose your course

Choosing the right course is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so think carefully about what you want from your studies. You'll need to think about:

  • which subjects you enjoy and are interested in
  • how long you want to study for
  • what type of study options you are looking for
  • what grades you might obtain
  • your future career options.

View our courses on Course Search

As well as single honours, we offer an exciting range of courses that offer alternative routes and flexible study options , including:

  • joint honours (two main subjects) 
  • part-time courses
  • extended degrees with a foundation year that offer an alternative route if you don’t have the formal qualifications for immediate entry onto an undergraduate degree
  • integrated Masters, where you undertake a fourth year and convert your undergraduate degree to a postgraduate one.

You could also get a taster of studying with Leeds through our free online courses . They're offered in a range of subjects and could help you decide which course is right for you and provide some subject experience to help boost your application. 

Step 2: check the entry requirements

Uk applicants.

  • Read our  entry requirements page to find out our general requirements and see which qualifications we accept. Many courses accept a range of qualifications, not just A-levels.
  • Use  Course Search to check the specific entry requirements for your course as the minimum grade requirements can vary depending on the course.
  • Check if you're eligible for one of our contextual admissions schemes , if you're a UK student from a background that is less represented at university. These schemes could offer you the chance to study a degree with lower entry requirements than listed on our course pages.

International students

Visit the International entry requirements page for information about the qualifications we accept and our English language requirements.

Mature students

If you’re aged 21 or over when you begin your studies, you’re classed as a mature student. We welcome applications from mature students from all backgrounds onto both full-time and part-time programmes.

Your life and work experience mean there are alternative entry routes available other than formal qualifications, including a foundation course, a validated access course and the Access to Higher Education Diploma.

For specific entry criteria, please search for your course .

You can also find out about study options and support for mature students through the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Declaring a criminal conviction

If you have an unspent criminal conviction, you may need to declare it to us. This is usually required when we make you an offer that you wish to accept. For a small number of our courses, you'll need to declare it when you apply. Having a criminal conviction will only rarely stop you from studying at Leeds. Find out more about declaring a criminal conviction .

Step 3: apply

Full-time courses.

You should apply online through UCAS for full-time courses. International students should apply through the UCAS system in the same way as UK students. Find out about our overseas teams and support you can get with applying in your country .

Get advice about writing your personal statement . 

UCAS provides comprehensive information on the entire application process, from choosing your university and course right through to starting university and settling into student life.

Video transcript: Applying through UCAS — University of Leeds

Part-time courses

If you’re applying for a part-time degree, you should apply directly to the University by  emailing our Lifelong Learning Centre: [email protected] .

Application dates and deadlines

Visit the application dates and deadlines page .

Taking a year out

For many courses, we’re happy to receive applications for deferred entry, which can be submitted during your last year at school. We’d encourage you to use your personal statement to explain your reasons for taking a gap year. Please note that you’ll still need to meet any conditions of your offer in the academic year in which you apply.

However, for some particularly competitive courses we’re not able to consider applications for deferred entry. This is because we receive a high number of applications to these programmes and we need to assess all applications for a given year of entry at the same time to ensure fairness. Check Course Search to find out whether we accept deferred entry for your chosen course .

Transferring from another university

Many of our academic schools will consider requests to transfer onto a course from another university. You usually need to show that you've met the course's standard first-year entry requirements and that you're performing well in your current degree, which must be relevant to the new course. For further information, get in touch with the relevant admissions team using the contact details on the course page .

Extenuating circumstances

We advise that your school includes information about your mitigating circumstances in the reference that they write as part of your UCAS application and, where possible, expect that this should have been taken into consideration by the exam board so that any adjustments could be made during assessment and marking. If you’d like to discuss your situation, please contact the admissions team for your course, using the contact details on the course page . 

Look at our Taught Admissions Policy 2024-25 if you'd like more detailed information about the admissions process.

Once you've submitted your application, visit our After you’ve applied page  to find out what happens next.

Related links

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Admissions guidance

This information applies to the following courses:

  • M100 LLB Law
  • M101 LLB Law (2 year Graduate programme)
  • MR11 LLB Law with French Law
  • MR12 LLB Law with German Law
  • MR13 LLB Law with Hispanic Law
  • MM29 BA Criminal Justice and Criminology

All applications received by 31 January 2024 will receive equal consideration. Applications received between 1 February and 30 June will be considered at our discretion and subject to places remaining available. 

UCAS terms explained

The  UCAS glossary of terms  will help you to understand the application process.

Personal statements

The personal statement of the application form helps us to assess the nature of interest in the academic subject and is an important part of the selection process. It is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their enthusiasm and aptitude for the academic subject.  We wish to hear about: 

Interest in the field 

Any relevant work or other experience 

Details of any particular skills, interests or attributes that will demonstrate aptitude, motivation and interested in the subject area 

Social and cultural awareness 


Career aspirations 

UCAS also gives advice about  writing a personal statement .

Personal statement guidelines 

The personal statement is an important part of your application, which means accurate spelling and grammar are of paramount importance. You must be able to demonstrate your excitement for and suitability to the academic subject, in addition to your potential to contribute more widely to the School. This assessment will form part of the basis on which decisions are made.

Interest in and commitment to the subject   

Social and cultural awareness   

Any work or voluntary activities relevant to the programme   


Non-academic interests and activities    

The School of Law do not use interviews as part of our standard admissions process.

Will I receive an offer?

Courses in the School of Law receive a high volume of applications relative to the places available (typically over 18 applications per place). This means that we cannot extend an offer to all applicants. Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, and contextual information.

Applications may be unsuccessful based on an overall assessment or for specific reasons such as:

  • An incomplete UCAS form
  • Grades achieved from re-sits – typically we expect candidates to have completed their A-level or equivalent qualifications in 3 years total (though not necessarily consecutively)
  • Failure to respond to a request for more information before the given deadline (where information is missing from the application form or additional clarification is needed, an email request for this information will be sent to the email address provided in the UCAS application)
  • Low predicted or achieved grades
  • Poor personal statement (see  personal statement guidance above on what to include). 

Please note that meeting, or being predicted to meet, the academic entry criteria does not automatically result in an offer being made.

Application decisions

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Law. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available and so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we review applications after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision.

This is a normal part of our process for these courses and may mean applicants have to wait longer than usual to hear from us.

Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information.

Qualifications taken early

We recognise that some applicants may have studied a more flexible curriculum, where applicants have been able to progress through their educational development at an appropriate rate according to ability. Where a Level 2 (for example, GCSE) or Level 3 (for example, A Level) qualification has been taken ‘early’ the academic reference should include the reasons for this so that it can be taken into consideration by the admissions team. 

The School of Law generally expects that applicants have completed 3 A Levels (or equivalent) in one sitting. We may not be able to confirm a place in the upcoming academic cycle following an improved final grade after re-mark, in such cases applicants may be asked to reapply.

Deferral requests

We are  not currently able to consider applications for deferred entry.

Advanced entry

Entry onto Levels 2 and 3 of courses within the School of Law is not permitted other than through agreed partnership agreements.

Internal transfers 

We will consider applications from those who wish to transfer internally from other programmes at the University of Leeds, providing places are available. Current students enquiring about a potential change of programme will be required to complete this Change of Programme Initial Enquiry Form  in the first instance.  

Applicant assessment

Academic grades normally form only one part of the final decision and the section on personal statements gives examples of how applicants may demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and attributes that we consider will enable them to become successful students on our degree courses.

Admissions policy

Please see the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy .

Contact details

School of Law – email [email protected]

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Transcripts and statements

Transcripts are available to current and former students. Statements are available to former students who require proof of their studies and award (where applicable).


Your transcript details the modules that you studied during your programme, the number of credits associated with each module (for modular programmes of study), and the marks that you achieved. It also provides a record of whether you undertook a year in industry or period of study abroad. Any marks that are still provisional will not appear on your official transcript. Marks are not officially awarded until the end of the academic year 

Current students should apply for a transcript  online.

Former students who have completed their studies or have permanently withdrawn from their programme, should  apply for a former student transcript .

Transcripts are not available for former taught postgraduate students who graduated before July 1992 as marks are not held for these students. Please  apply for a former student statement .

A statement is an official document that confirms your basic personal details, attendance dates, programme of study and, if applicable, the qualification, classification achieved and award date.  

Former students who have completed their studies or have permanently withdrawn from their programme, should  apply for a former student statement .  

You may need a statement as a supporting document to verify your degree in your home country. Please check with your embassy or ministry of education whether this is a requirement. 

Academic verifications  

An Academic Verification is a document which confirms your basic programme and award details where applicable. Academic verifications are not sent to students but to third parties, such as employers and other institutions.  

Third party organisations requiring academic verification for a University of Leeds student now need to register with Prospects Hedd and submit all enquiries at:

Former students who require a document to verify their degree should  apply for a former student statement .

Current students who require proof of their student status should  apply for a Registration Status Certificate  online.

For more information about the services available to you after you have graduated please see our Alumni page .

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What to include in a Personal Statement

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Personal Statement Tips

Nail your uni application with our personal statement examples.

Discover personal statements by subject, from A to Z. Find inspiration for your own application with these successful personal statement examples from real students.

A-Z of Personal Statements

Learn from previous student personal statements here. We have collated over 700 personal statement examples to help you on your university journey and to help you with how to write a personal statement.

These personal statement examples will show you the kind of thing that universities are looking for from their applicants. See how to structure your personal statement, what kind of format your personal statement should be in, what to write in a personal statement and the key areas to touch on in your statement.

A personal statement is a chance to tell your university all about you - a good personal statement is one that showcases your passion for the subject, what inspired you to apply for the course you’re applying for and why you think you would be an asset to the university.

Our collection includes personal statement examples in Mathematics, Anthropology, Accounting, Computer Science, Zoology and more.

Writing a personal statement has never been easier with our vast collection of personal statement examples.

Personal Statement

15 Accounting statements have been submitted.

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2 Aerospace Engineering statements have been submitted.

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1 American Studies statements have been submitted.


2 Anthropology statements have been submitted.


4 Architecture statements have been submitted.


3 Biochemistry statements have been submitted.

26 Biology statements have been submitted.

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7 Biomedical Science statements have been submitted.


1 Biotechnology statements have been submitted.

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6 Business Management statements have been submitted.

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23 Business Studies statements have been submitted.

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14 Computer Science statements have been submitted.


5 Criminology statements have been submitted.

2 Dentistry statements have been submitted.

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3 Drama statements have been submitted.

17 Economics statements have been submitted.


9 Engineering statements have been submitted.

English Language

5 English Language statements have been submitted.

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13 English Literature statements have been submitted.


1 Environment statements have been submitted.

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1 Fashion statements have been submitted.

4 Film statements have been submitted.

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2 Forensic Science statements have been submitted.

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2 International Studies statements have been submitted.

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3 Pharmacy statements have been submitted.

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1 Physical Education statements have been submitted.

3 Physics statements have been submitted.


5 Physiotherapy statements have been submitted.

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23 Psychology statements have been submitted.

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2 Religious Studies statements have been submitted.

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1 Social Policy statements have been submitted.

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3 Social Work statements have been submitted.

6 Sociology statements have been submitted.

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1 Sports Science statements have been submitted.

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8 Teacher Training statements have been submitted.

2 Veterinary statements have been submitted.

1 Zoology statements have been submitted.

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Personal Statement Help

What is a personal statement.

A personal statement is an essay written by a student applying to either a college or university. A personal statement is written and then uploaded to UCAS and is then attached to any university applications that the student may then make.

If you need more information check out our personal statement advice articles .

How to write a personal statement

There isn't a clearly defined personal statement template for you to use as each person's statement is different.

When it comes to writing a personal statement for universities, your personal statement should touch on your passions, your interest in the course, why you're applying for the course and why you would be an asset to the university you're applying to.

Talk about the clubs and societies that you belong to, any work experience you may have and any awards you might have won.

If you're still looking for information check out our article on how to write a personal statement .

How to start a personal statement

When it comes to starting your personal statement, the best thing to do is to be succinct and to have enough tantalising information to keep the reader informed and eager for more.

Your introduction should touch on your personal qualities and why you are applying for the subject you're applying for. Keeping things short and sweet means that it also allows you to break your personal statement up, which makes it easier for the reader.

We have plenty of advice for students that are wondering about what to include in a personal statement .

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personal statements

Write  a great personal statement.

It’s likely that writing a personal statement will be the most difficult part of the UCAS university application for your child.

At the end of the day, it’s probably the first time they’ve been asked to write about themselves in this way. Here is some advice on how you can help them to stand out.

A great personal statement will help them stand out from other applicants

1) Remind them to make a head start

The January 31 application deadline will arrive before they know it. If they get started on it now, they will have time to work through a number of drafts with you before they reach the final one.

2) Be the positive critic

As a parent, you want to be positive but stay critical as well. You know your child, so you can help them highlight those positive attributes that make them stand out.

Encourage them to write about what they think makes them interesting and about any skills they have that they can apply to the course.

3) Encourage them to ask for feedback

Teachers and friends spend as much time with your child as you do.

Asking them for feedback and ideas may prove to be a great source of inspiration, particularly as their friends may be in a similar position. It may also be worth them showing a first draft to a teacher

4) Pulling it together

When they first start making notes, they should probably write down a lot – anything that shows why they’re excited about the course they’re applying for and their reasons for choosing it.

They should also list work experience or other activities as supporting evidence to demonstrate why they think they’d make a great student. 

5) Give it structure

A good personal statement consists of four key parts:


Middle section

Final section

Closing paragraph

A punchy opening paragraph which demonstrates that your child is excited about their chosen course and that they have a clear understanding of it as well.

Include evidence to support what makes them interested in their chosen course. They should also explain why they think they’re suitable to study the course.

Details about themselves and their personal interests. They may also include achievements they’re proud of, responsible positions they’ve held, and those positive attributes that make them stand out.

A summarising statement which leaves the reader with a clear understanding of why they are ideal for the course they are applying for.

6) Balance is key

Most universities expect applicants to split their personal statements between their academic achievements and their extra-curricular pursuits. If the extra-curricular pursuits are relevant to their chosen course, even better!

making a statement: q&a

Starting their UCAS application is a big step in the journey to university for your child. But as a parent, you might be wondering how it all works? 

Head of Admissions, Denise Dixon-Smith explains the process.

Think of the application as a whole pie, and the personal statement as just a slice of it. There are nine sections in total.   

It should be 80% about why they’d be a good addition to the course, their future ambitions, academic interests and relevant work or volunteering experience. The rest should tell us about their interests outside of studying. We want to know how they will add to our community

List every qualification they’ve taken and their final or predicted grade. If they’re re-sitting, list the original and predicted grade. If you’re not sure of a qualification’s official name, check! If it’s listed incorrectly, an offer may be revoked later. 

Make sure they include the correct contact details too, as we send a lot of important information in August. 

You create one each year, with up to five choices. These can be used to apply for five different courses at different universities, or different courses at the same place.

Once you’ve heard back from all your choices, you have to make one your ‘firm acceptance’ and one your ‘insurance acceptance’. The rest get declined.

If you change your mind about your choices, you can decline all offers and add an ‘extra’ choice through UCAS Extra, but you only get one at a time. 

Get started in September when they go back to school.

The ‘on time’ application deadline is 31 January. You can apply after this date, but popular courses may be full. 

UCAS sends their application to their referee. We review all applications by hand and UCAS will send your child an email when something has updated.

They’ll need to log into UCAS to find out what has changed.

We get tens of thousands of applications between October and January, so it might take us a week or two to respond.

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Leeds - History

History – 2013 ( exeter, leeds, nottingham ).

History is an intricate framework of the past, one that not only provides the knowledge responsible for innovation in science and medicine, but also the foundation behind who we are.

Please note UCAS will detect any form of plagiarism. PSE and its contributors do not take any responsibility for the way in which personal statements are used.

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Get personalised feedback on your personal statement.

Thinking of applying to Leeds Trinity University? Get personalised feedback on your UCAS personal statement from our School & College Engagement team. This feedback will be based around your personal statement’s structure, spelling, punctuation & grammar and relevance to the course.

Fill out the form and upload your personal statement below, in a Microsoft Word Document to allow the team to be able to edit it. Please do not submit any other documentation as this cannot be checked. N.B. the team will only be able to provide feedback on one draft of your statement.

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Texts with ‘friendly acquaintance’ not inappropriate, says former Calvin University president

  • Updated: Apr. 17, 2024, 6:18 p.m. |
  • Published: Apr. 17, 2024, 6:12 p.m.

Dr. Wiebe Boer

Dr. Wiebe Boer

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The former Calvin University president accused of sending inappropriate texts to a woman considered her a “friendly acquaintance,” he said in a new statement sent Wednesday.

Wiebe Boer, who stepped down in February amid the accusations, sued the Christian university alongside his wife Joanna on April 12 for breach of contract, discrimination and defamation.

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Cloud seeding probably didn't cause Dubai's floods. The UAE has been trying to control its weather for years, and the US does it too.

  • Cloud seeding involves spraying salts into incoming storm clouds to increase rainfall.
  • Photos show how the UAE, United States, and other countries have been seeding clouds for decades.
  • Historic floods in Dubai didn't come from cloud seeding, but humans' climate impacts are playing a role.

As the desert city of Dubai flooded on Monday, onlookers pointed the finger at the government's "cloud seeding" efforts.

The program sends planes into oncoming storm clouds to inject them with substances that can help make more rain. Could it be the culprit for two years' worth of rain falling on the United Arab Emirates city in just a day?

It's a tantalizing explanation. Trying to control the weather can sound tantamount to playing god. And if thousands of years of media and oral tradition tell us anything — from Prometheus to Frankenstein — playing god has bad consequences.

But the United Arab Emirates has been seeding clouds to encourage rainfall and battle drought for 20 years. Some US states have been doing it for even longer. These programs have found that the practice has a small effect on precipitation, increasing it by about 5 to 15%, though a UAE official told Reuters that it can be as high as 30% for them.

Many other countries, including China and Australia, have experimented with the technique.

Related stories

According to several scientists, cloud seeding isn't the driving force behind Dubai's historic floods .

How cloud seeding works

To "seed" a cloud, you have to spray it with microscopic particles of a salt such as silver iodide, calcium chloride, or potassium chloride.

In the UAE and many US states, planes do the job. In some places, like Utah, machines on the ground shoot the substance into air currents that can carry it into the clouds.

All these particles have a crystalline structure, similar to ice, which gives water droplets something to stick to. As the water converges, it forms an ice crystal and eventually falls as snow or rain.

This mimics the natural rain-making process that happens inside the cloud.

"Cloud seeding can't create clouds from nothing. It encourages water that is already in the sky to condense faster and drop water in certain places. So first, you need moisture. Without it, there'd be no clouds," Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at the Imperial College London, and co-founder of the groundbreaking science collaboration World Weather Attribution , said in a statement to the Science Media Centre (SMC).

The real threat behind Dubai's floods

Many atmospheric scientists have dismissed the idea that cloud seeding was behind Dubai's floods. Experts told the SMC that the rains came from a rare thundercloud system, which was already forecast to bring heavy rainfall, and the effect of any cloud seeding would have been tiny.

"This is a distraction from the real story here — that due to our collective failure to phase out fossil fuels, we must prepare for unprecedented extremes, which will worsen until we reach 'net zero,'" John Marsham, an atmospheric scientist and Met Office Joint Chair at the University of Leeds, told the SMC.

Rising global temperatures are leading to heavier bouts of rainfall across the planet, even in places that are typically dry or even in the middle of a drought. This type of weather whiplash happens because of a fundamental fact of physics: Warmer air holds more water.

"Any possible effect of any cloud seeding in these circumstances would be tiny," Marsham added.

Indeed, the UAE isn't the only desert or drought-stricken region that's been devastated by heavy rainfall in recent years. Death Valley catastrophically and historically flooded in 2022, 2023, and this February.

A series of moisture-laden atmospheric rivers interrupted California's years-long drought last winter, killing at least 22 people, by the Los Angeles Times' count .

"If humans continue to burn oil, gas, and coal, the climate will continue to warm, rainfall will continue to get heavier, and people will continue to lose their lives in floods," Otto said.

Watch: What parts of California look like after a bomb cyclone and severe floods

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Stephanie Ly: Personal Development Through the Certificate in ESG Strategy

Stephanie Ly

Stephanie Ly is a strategic operator and social entrepreneur with a focus on cleantech. Seeking to broaden her knowledge in the ever-changing ESG (environmental, social, and governance) space, Ly has enrolled in the Certificate in ESG Strategy  program with CESR for the spring 2024 semester. She received a scholarship from B:CIVIC , a Denver-based organization of ESG and CSR (corporate social responsibility) professionals that has been a partner in developing and promoting this certificate since it began in 2016. In a recent interview with Ly, she shared her motivations behind joining the ESG program, her work experiences, and the importance of ESG in a business setting.  

CESR: What is your current role?

Stephanie Ly: I’m currently on the path to changing my career. I was formerly Head of Impact for a clean-tech startup but my career has spanned the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors. Climate technology, specifically, has been the main focus of my career and I’ve been proud to help companies apply their innovative technologies for environmental and social good.

At the moment, I am actively transitioning into venture capital (VC). My hope is to be a driving force for portfolio growth and success as a platform lead. I see myself leveraging my experiences across Operations, Impact & ESG to category-defining companies during their growth journey, ensuring that the operational, strategic, and developmental needs of startups are met, beyond capital. I’m looking forward to taking my experience in the startup space and applying it to the founder space.

CESR: What was your motivation to take this course now?

Stephanie Ly: First – I have a personal excitement to develop my expertise in the ESG landscape. It’s been awhile since I’ve been a student and I was looking forward to coming back to learning in a dynamic, but low-pressure environment that works for my working schedule. Second – winter in Colorado is an ideal time to invest in learning and development. Naturally, more time is spent indoors during the winter months so I’ve enjoyed dedicating this season to learning.

CESR: What were some of your deciding factors to enroll in this program?

Stephanie Ly: I met instructor Jennifer Forman at a UN sustainability event who first introduced me to the program. In addition, I have a colleague in the impact space who was an alumnus of the program and loved it. It has been on my radar for at least a year. This certificate is relevant to my career and it’s well-aligned with my learning preference as a remote-based program.

CESR: What are you hoping to get out of the ESG Certificate program?

Stephanie Ly: For me, it’s the practical knowledge and skillsets around an evolving and often political landscape that is ESG. We need leaders and businesses to continue to pioneer the path forward in ESG. I want to be able to navigate headwinds in the industry and stay resilient, and an important part of it is to understand this complicated topic and speak intelligently on it.

Thought leadership is also an important aspect. I have been so impressed with the depth of inquiry from my classmates, their leadership in their respective industries, and the contagious optimism they bring to this space. They bring incredible expertise and passion to the class. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with my peers outside of structured class times through coffee chats in-person and virtually, and that’s been a tremendously important value-add from the course.

CESR: What does ESG mean to you and why do you think it’s important?

Stephanie Ly: I will always be an advocate for businesses to be a force multiplier for good. It’s not only the right thing to do, but ESG makes good business sense. It’s a powerful and useful framework to drive transparency, financial performance, reputation, branding, and so much more. It’s in everyone’s best interest to holistically care about business impact and ESG outcomes.

CESR: You received a scholarship from B:CIVIC to help with attendance for this program. What comments do you have regarding the importance of scholarships?

Stephanie Ly: I graduated with degrees in Environmental Science and Geography from UCLA on a full-ride scholarship, so I feel exceptionally grateful and privileged to have had my education funded. I have been fortunate and empowered to pursue academic and career opportunities because of the financial benefits of education funded by scholarships. The impact of scholarships are never lost on me, and I firmly believe that scholarships are a powerful vehicle to fuel systemic change for individuals and their communities, particularly for underrepresented groups.

CESR: Would you recommend this ESG Certificate Program? Why or why not?

Stephanie Ly: Yes! It’s not for everyone, but it is for anyone looking for holistic and engaging experiences built on practical knowledge. The format of the course is ideal for working professionals. The content is relevant, and the materials are fun and engaging to learn. My favorite part of this course is that each week features a guest speaker who is leading the way in the specific topic, whether that’s Social Impact, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEIB), B Corps, or Financial Reporting.

Another element of the class that I enjoy are the hands-on practical breakout activities. These mini business case studies have been an interactive way to engage with our peers and practice what we learn.

CESR provides a platform for those involved in sustainability or any professional to build upon previous experiences and education with programs such as the Certificate in ESG Strategy . Ly’s involvement in this course demonstrates the value of continued education, especially for working professionals.

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