Personal Statements

In many cases it is not necessary to submit a full research proposal with your application - in these cases you should instead provide a short personal statement.

Your personal statement should tell us why you are applying for a research degree and about any relevant research experience you might have.

Structure

How you structure your personal statement is up to you - but you may find it helpful to follow the advice below:

  1. Identify the area you would like to work in - programme description will tell you whether you need to:
    1. identify the research group/section/theme that you want work in, and/or
    2. identify members of staff whose research interests are compatible with the area you want to work in
  2. Briefly explain why you would like to undertake research in this field 
  3. Give a short description of any research projects that you have undertaken - for example, as part of a previous degree
  4. List any academic work you have published or which is currently in press awaiting publication

Your application form will tell us about your academic background and employment history - so there is no need to repeat this in your personal statement. However, you may wish to include relevant information not covered elsewhere in your application - for example, any research skills training that you have undertaken. 

We can only offer research degree supervision in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff - before completing your application you must first check the staff research interests listed in the programme description to make sure we offer supervision in the area you want to work in.

Length

Your personal statement should be quite brief - we would suggest that 1,000 words is sufficent.

Your personal statement forms a very important part of your application and applicants are encouraged to draft this separately before completing the application form itself. 

What's next?

Once have drafted your personal statement you can begin to prepare the supporting documents you will need to provide with your application.

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