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Free Guide: UCL Personal Statement Word Limit

Table of Contents

University College London (UCL) is a world-renowned university located in the heart of vibrant and dynamic London. Founded in 1826, UCL has consistently been ranked as one of the top universities in the UK and Europe. 

It offers an extensive range of courses in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, medicine, engineering, law, finance, and business.

With over 40,000 students from around the world studying at its campus, UCL provides a diverse learning environment. Its culture encourages intellectual growth and exploration. 

The university’s research output ranks amongst the highest in the country. It prides itself on being at the cutting edge of innovation and technology. It makes only complete sense as to why many students aspire to study at UCL.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a brief narrative essay that outlines an applicant’s qualifications . It includes work experience, skills, and academic accomplishments. They are a standard requirement for jobs, special programs, and in this case, university applications.

Their wide use is the primary reason behind the necessity for mastering them. Every student and professional must learn to write compelling personal statements to increase their chances of a successful application.

brown and white concrete building under white sky during daytime

The Importance of a Personal Statement

The biggest advantage of a personal statement lies in how it allows applicants to inject a bit of themselves into their words. They serve as a way to help admissions officers understand them better.

The chance to leave a good and lasting impression is one that you should never underestimate. Personal statements allow applicants to showcase the person behind the material and to give valuable information that could help recruiters determine their suitability. 

Of course, these benefits will only apply to well-written personal statements. The question then remains. 

How exactly do you write an effective UCL personal statement?

How to Write a Personal Statement

Emphasize the most relevant qualifications.

Emphasizing your most relevant qualifications is one of the best ways to start your personal statement. It’s what gets readers engaged in your work, and it helps retain their attention throughout your content. Make sure to match your qualifications with the program you’re applying to. Relevance is crucial because it has a significant impact on your suitability for a program. 

Use Strong Descriptors

Vivid imagery is key to delivering a strong and memorable message. Use strong descriptors to represent your ideas. They will help you paint a potent image that complements your experiences. A vivid description is important because it’s what gets readers to see things through your viewpoint.

Stick to the UCL Personal Statement Word Limit

There isn’t an official UCL personal statement word limit. Rather they use a 3,000-character limit. This roughly translates to about 428 to 750 words if you include spaces in the character count.

A new update to the UCL application policy penalizes or disregards materials that do not follow the  UCL personal statement word limit . It’s not only a matter of following instructions but also a way to standardize applications.

Write with Emotion

Writing with passion allows you to strike at the heart of what you want to say, creating a much more influential piece of content. Eliciting an emotional response from your readers is crucial because it helps you stand out. People tend to remember an experience through their emotions rather than specific details.

A personal statement is vital to applications because they allow applicants to show admissions officers and recruiters who they are. They are a way to leave good impressions and to stand out from the applicant pool .

Personal statements are fairly easy to write as long as you follow the rules. Good luck!

Free Guide: UCL Personal Statement Word Limit

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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We create research to improve the education system and equalise opportunities for all.


Should we abolish personal statements from the university application process?

By Blog Editor, on 19 April 2023

By Dominic Kelly and Gill Wyness

The personal statement – a key element of the university admissions process – has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. The main criticism levied at the personal statement concerns fairness:  students from disadvantaged backgrounds may have fewer extra-curricular experiences to highlight in their personal statements and are less likely to have access to high quality advice and guidance when writing their statement.

So, it is welcome news that UCAS recently announced the personal statement is to be reformed, by replacing the free text personal statement into a structured format consisting of six short questions. While these reforms may address some of the fairness issues that many are concerned about, these reforms do not go far enough, and a better solution would be to abolish the personal statement altogether.

What’s the problem with personal statements?

Under the current rules, students applying to university through the UCAS system must submit a personal statement alongside their educational attainment (based on predicted A-level or equivalent grades). The personal statement is a free-text essay, with no specific question, just some loose advice , and a word limit of 4,000 characters. The essay is automatically sent to all the courses an applicant applies to.

There are three key reasons personal statements have been criticised – that they may favour students from more advantaged backgrounds, that they may not be great predictors of ability, and that they may put candidates under unnecessary stress.

Looking first at whether personal statements favour more advantaged students, research examining large samples of personal statements (Jones, 2012 , 2013 , 2015 ) revealed clear differences between the statements of independent/selective school applicants and those from non-selective state schools. Independent/selective school pupils had access to many more work experience opportunities to discuss, which were also broader and more diverse. The extreme differences in the extra-curricular activities that those from higher SES backgrounds have has been recently documented by Park et al (2023) whose study of US college applicants found that White, Asian American, higher SES, and private school students listed more extra-curricular activities, reported more top-level leadership roles, and reported more activities reflecting accomplishments and distinctions. Importantly, among those who listed undertaking an activity, Black and low SES students were just as likely to list having played a leadership role in the activity, suggesting that disadvantaged students are just as likely to have leadership qualities, but simply have less resources available to try different activities.

As well as having a wider range of experiences to draw from, the statements of independent school pupils were also longer, and contained fewer spelling errors and punctuation errors. One reason this may be the case is that independent school pupils may receive more guidance and assistance in writing their statements. There is some evidence for this. A study on 16- to 19-year-olds’ efficacy at ‘selling themselves’ in personal statements suggested that this was directly related to differences in resources and training provided by their educational institutions. It is also likely that those from richer backgrounds would be more able to take advantage of private consultancies to help them craft their statements, as they do with personal tutoring , for example.   A 2009 Guardian article reported evidence of independent school pupils receiving more help with personal statements, with a teacher admitting “of course we help our students with their personal statements, their parents are paying £7,000 a term!”

Turning to the usefulness of personal statements as a way to assess candidates, there are a small number of papers examining this issue. For example a small meta-analysis showed that ratings of personal statements were poor predictors of academic achievement, over and above standardised test scores and prior attainment. Arguments have also been made that rather than functioning as a holistic assessment of university suitability or preparedness, they function solely as assessments of writing skills, again casting doubt on their usefulness in identifying good candidates. There is also evidence that a more structured approach to rating personal statements yielded negligible predictive validity for first year grades and dropout rates.

Any doubts about the validity of personal statements are likely to translate into inconsistencies in their use. There is little research examining how personal statements are used by university admissions teams – so we have no real understanding of the extent to which they are trusted by admissions departments and used seriously for decision-making. A greater concern for UCAS than what applicants are writing should be how university admissions staff are assessing their writing, as well as the biases that these staff implicitly or explicitly have regarding low socioeconomic and ethnic minority groups.

Finally, examining the issue of stress, a recent report analysed a large number of personal statements from students from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as conducting surveys and interviews of these students. Applicants from under-represented backgrounds were found to experience a number of challenges when writing their essays, with some spending 30-to-40 hours on their essays, with obvious knock-on effects to their studies and free time. Particular challenges arose from the free-form nature of the essay – such as writing the opening paragraph, developing an effective flow / structure arise, and uncertainty from the lack of an explicit question.

What is UCAS’ Proposed Solution?

UCAS current proposals are to replace this free text personal statement with a structured format consisting of 6 open questions:

  • Motivation for Course – Why do you want to study these courses?
  • Preparedness for Course – How has your learning so far helped you to be ready to succeed on these courses?
  • Preparation through other experiences – What else have you done to help you prepare, and why are these experiences useful?
  • Extenuating circumstances – Is there anything that the universities and colleges need to know about, to help them put your achievements and experiences so far into context?
  • Preparedness for study – What have you done to prepare yourself for student life?
  • Preferred Learning Styles – Which learning and assessment styles best suit you – how do your courses choices match that?

This structured format does have some improvements over the existing personal statement. For example, Jones, Fryer and Westlake (2023) argue that shorter, more guided questions are likely to reduce the stress burden on applicants, and are more transparent, making the essay easier to write. However, there is still likely to be a significant effort involved in writing the statement, given the number of questions.

Simply breaking the personal statement down in this way is unlikely to overcome the many other issues discussed above.

First, the issue of unfairness will remain. Pupils from better-off backgrounds will still have more experiences and activities to draw on in answering the questions. In fact, reducing the remit of short-answer questions to more specific topics could further highlight the lack of extra-curricular opportunities some students have to draw upon, especially since students will then be forced to provide an answer for each topic regardless of whether they have anything they feel important to say. Given a lack of ways of verifying applicants’ information, survey research suggests that there is already an established culture of lying or embellishing on personal statements, which could be exacerbated if applicants feel forced to list opportunities. Issues with spelling and grammar and greater sophistication of language will remain, even in this environment. And independent school pupils can still avail themselves of extra help in answering the questions – in fact a structured format could even make it easier for independent schools to assist their pupils in completing the form. A further issue concerns the rise of ChatGPT software, which seems particularly suited to this new style of short question, now potentially posing an existential threat to the personal statement.

Second, the issue of whether shorter questions are likely to alleviate stress is also questionable. There is not an existing literature on the differences in stress between writing long-form personal statements compared to shorter questions; i.e., there is not a hypothetical study where participants experienced two conditions and levels of stress were compared. Assumptions that shorter questions are less stressful are based on inferences from qualitative data about the current UCAS application. Until such a study is conducted – or the results of the natural experiment that UCAS propose by changing the questions are analysed – this remains an assumption. There is a possibility that issues of opening sentences, structure and word limits will apply to each of the 6 proposed short responses, ultimately multiplying the stress compared to one response.

Finally, as has already been criticised elsewhere , any reference to the concept of ‘learning styles’ (the idea that students have inherent differences that require them to be taught the same concepts in different ways for the instruction to be effective) should be omitted. The concept of learning styles has been debunked but persists as a ‘neuromyth’ which is at best pointless and at worst harmful.

Removing the personal statement altogether

In order to move towards a fairer, more equal applications process, we believe the personal statement should be removed from the university application process altogether. This would not be an unusual situation. Many countries, such as the Republic of Ireland, operate a completely blind process where grades are the only admission criteria.

A potential criticism (as pointed out by Jones, Fryer and Westlake ) is that admissions would then be purely based on academic grades (plus an academic reference), meaning inequality could still arise if students’ grades (and teachers’ perception of them) do not accurately reflect their true ability. This is especially likely among more disadvantaged students, who have typically received far less investment in their education than their more advantaged peers. However, retaining the personal statement is unlikely to help with this problem, and may even compound it, if both grades and personal statements favour more advantaged students. A further potential problem is that the personal statement can be used as a means for students to highlight their extenuating circumstances – but this option could be retained without the personal statement.

The removal of the personal statement should be paired with a continuing push towards more contextual admissions. For example, in cases where there are several applicants with similar grades, places should be filled based on a contextual admission strategy (e.g., applicants on Free School Meals, from schools that traditionally send few applicants to university, etc., should be favoured). And beyond simply dealing with ties, students from low SES backgrounds should be given grade discounts. As we outline in a recent blog post, there is a clear economic rationale for the use of contextual admissions, to “level the playing field” at this crucial life stage. Any remaining ties in grades could be filled based on random assignment, which has also been shown to be a fair system of assignment when allocating individuals with the same levels of achievement.

The UK’s university applications system has remained unchanged for many years, and this reform is a unique opportunity to improve the fairness of the system. However, UCAS proposals do not appear to go far enough to achieve this goal.

Filed under CEPEO , Tertiary education

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  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History, Diversity


By skipxtracer December 12, 2010 in Statement of Purpose, Personal History, Diversity

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Has anyone completed an SOP for University College London? Here are their vague instructions re: SOP length:

"Please note that there are 3000 characters (not words) available and the system does not accept non-standard characters. Copying text longer than 3000 characters into this field will truncate it, and the text may be lost entirely. If your personal statement is longer than 3000 characters please enter “See additional document” into this box and upload your personal statement via the document upload page of this application form. "

From their wording, the 3000 character limit sounds like it has more to do with the limitations of their online application system than with a length requirement they expect applicants to follow. Do you think a 1,000-word statement (about 6,000 words) would be excessive? I don't want to seem like I'm burdening them!

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Hi all, Has anyone completed an SOP for University College London? Here are their vague instructions re: SOP length: "Please note that there are 3000 characters (not words) available and the system does not accept non-standard characters. Copying text longer than 3000 characters into this field will truncate it, and the text may be lost entirely. If your personal statement is longer than 3000 characters please enter “See additional document” into this box and upload your personal statement via the document upload page of this application form. " From their wording, the 3000 character limit sounds like it has more to do with the limitations of their online application system than with a length requirement they expect applicants to follow. Do you think a 1,000-word statement (about 6,000 words) would be excessive? I don't want to seem like I'm burdening them! Thank you!


  • 2 months later...

Hi, I also have a personal statement which is longer than 3000 characters. Have you figured how to upload it? I must be missing something really obvious but I can't find any place within the online application where I can upload a file...

Espresso Shot

Since you are not typing it directly into the space given to you, you are supposed to write "Please see attachment" or something like that, and then you upload your SOP at the end, on the last page. On this last page it will give you space to upload specific documents like your transcripts and CV, and then the last option will say something vague like "Other Document" or something like that -- that is the space you use to upload your SOP.

Ok thank you very much !! I had't gone until the checklist yet in case it would validate my application without my PS... but it's done now!

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  • UCL Personalize statement word limit

UCL Personal statement word limit

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 03, 2011 15:33


I'm working on my UCL application get, and they stay a character limit of 3000 for the main textbox for the personal statement. But handful also state that if you exceed that, you can attach that full personality statement as a separate document. I use that to mean that there's no word limiting? Also, does UCL do rolling applications always the application period? The long of your UCL personal statement can vary, but it require generally be nay more than 4,000 characters or 47 lines by text (including ...

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Published Nov 03, 2011 19:18

yes that shall suggest the there is no word limits but it should be consistent. writing a long statement can cause more harm than well.

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 18, 2011 16:35

I was informed via telephone that 1,200 words is still within limits. Not sure how much higher you can go, though.

Set Nov 18, 2011 16:41

I reasoning I submitted mine with about 900 or so. Now's just that waiting!

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 18, 2011 17:01

You should try to write quick and perfectly. Around one-thousand words would be enough.

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Table of Contents

We believe that you are here because you are looking forward to studying at University College London. 

We have a few questions to ask you. 

Are you confident that you have written a perfect UCL personal statement? Are you sure that you have included in it everything that the selection panel is expecting to see? 

We are not trying to panic you. Given how significant your UCL personal statement masters for securing admission, a thorough crosschecking is needed before finalizing your document. 

Through this blog, we intend to help you with

  • UCL personal statement postgraduate writing steps

Masters Personal Statement Example UCL

  • Structure and format of personal statement for UCL

What Is A UCL Personal Statement? Why Do You Need an Outstanding One For Admission?

UCL personal statement is a one-page long essay that you will include in the application for your admission to University College London. The document is your self-manifestation. 

It is mandatory to write an outstanding personal statement that describes your skills, strengths, eligibility, experience, future plans etc. in the context of your application because: 

  • The selection panel takes the final decision on your admission based on the input in your personal statement
  • Your UCL additional personal statement helps the selection panel identify how you differ from other applicants
  • Personal statement turns out to be a realistic example of your written communication skills
  • Your character and personality are measured based on what you write in your personal statement

7 Questions That Selectors Want You to Answer in Your UCL Masters Personal Statement

When the UCL selection panel investigate your personal statement, they will primarily want to see whether you have answered all their personal statement prompts. If you miss out on answering these questions while writing, there is a high chance of rejection. 

  • Why have you chosen this program? 
  • Do you have any specific academic/research interests? 
  • What attracts you to UCL and not any other institutes? 
  • What is your academic background? 
  • Have you gained any professional experiences in this specific or related field? 
  • Have you taken part in any extracurricular activities? How has it benefited you? 
  • What are your plans?

How Long Should My UCL Personal Statement Be?

It is important to keep your personal statement compatible with word count recommendations by UCL as you might have noticed in UCL personal statement examples. Going shorter or longer than the recommended length is not encouraged. 

  • Keep your essay 2500 characters or 500 words long. 
  • In pages, it should be about two pages 
  • Keep the font size to 12 points
  • Choose Arial or Times New Roman as font style.

How to Write Compelling UCL Personal Statement in 6 Simple Steps?

Read the program description.

You can learn more about your desired program from UCL’s official website. It will give you a rough idea about the various modules covered in the course. Find out how each module is executed.

Figure out what skills are expected

By going through program details carefully, you can figure out what sort of skills, strengths, and exposure it demands from an applicant to be successful in the program. See how you can match your profile to that.

Quote examples

When you talk about your skills or strengths, do not list them blindly without referring to any proof. This will put your application under suspicion. Instead, link your experiences to real-life incidents as articulated in the personal statement UCL example.

Focus on your interest in subject

Dedicate approximately three fourth of your personal statement to show how much you are interested in the subject and pursuing it at UCL be of any help. Leave the remaining portion to focus your goals and involvement in activities.

Write in advance

Once you have clarity regarding the subject, program specifications and what points you want to add from your side, sit and write. Write a draft first and then improve it gradually. Make sure that you have your personal statement ready at least a couple of weeks in advance.

Proofread and edit

They say read two or three times. We recommend you proofread your personal statement at least five times and edit it if any changes are needed. Also, it is highly recommended to have someone else also to read your personal statement and give you constructive feedback.

UCL Masters Personal Statement Example

I was just a kid when the Great Recession hit the US in 2008, and the aftershocks rocked the third world nations. Newspaper headlines looked depressive, although I was too young to weigh the crisis. That was more than a decade ago, yet, I ponder why India took so long to recover from the recession, while the US and the UK continued to stride on despite the economic crisis. This justifies my choice to embrace Economics in my undergraduates. Feeding my curiosity in global finances with blogs, journals and magazines, I have embraced the stream that appeals the most to my intellect. Besides, studying economics from one of the topmost institutes in India has strengthened my foundation in this domain significantly. I know I have gained matured concepts of economics, and can comprehend why oil prices fluctuate, or why India could be recording a negative GDP amidst the pandemic. In an effort to further streamline my profile with relevant knowledge, I look forward to pursue the advanced program in Economics from your revered university.

Having studied both Mathematics and Statistics in my Intermediates, analyzing economic issues turned out to be rather easy for me during my graduation. Besides, my fascination with numbers and patterns proved handy, as I was able to execute things practically. I believe that success comes to an economist only after scrutinizing the roots of persisting problems. Besides, every economy is governed by its own set of laws. A clear understanding of this aspect has enabled me comprehend how firms within the framework of a country operate under certain regulations. This is how contracts are agreed upon and implemented within the business world. Eyeing a higher degree in Economics, I am bracing up to pursue the advanced program from your esteemed university.

Besides scoring proficiently in my academics, I have been proactive in the extracurricular front. In 2018, I represented India’s Finance Minister in a Mock Parliament, organized in our college. As a part of this event, I got the opportunity to explore various core economic problems of our country, and offer viable solutions. Meanwhile, I am a part of Dramatics, which helped me to get my voice heard, polishing my oratory skills. In the second year of my graduation, I acted in two plays during the annual college fest, ‘Death of a Salesman’ and ‘The Homecoming’. Besides, I was a part of ‘Sparks’, the Annual Drama Competition, where our college emerged as the winner. All these years, I have worked on my leadership and management skills. In the process, I have learnt to handle pressure and execute tasks in an organized wat. In the third year of my graduation, I was a part of the Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Competition, working on behalf of my institution under the Business and Costing section.

India has its own problems like poverty, unequal wealth distribution and diseases. What pains me the most is the indifference of private and progressive organizations to these issues. Right from my high school days, I have been a part of various non-governmental organizations, striving to make a difference in their lives. Realizing the dearth of social initiative to resolve the basic social problems, I formed an organization called ‘Hope Foundation’ along with some of my friends and acquaintances. The motto of this organization is to work towards the protection of children from abuse and empower them with education. Later, we also worked to gather funds to support a cancer hospital in our colony. All these experiences cultivated the desire to work on development economics for my country.

To strengthen my knowledge in economics, I have subscribed to The Time Magazine, The Economics and The Financial Express. This helps me stay abreast with the current financial affairs across the globe. Besides, I frequently visit the UK, and cherish the essence of homeliness. A couple of years back, one of my friends graduated from the UCL and spoke highly of the academic environment there. I would like to be a part of this progressive academic environment in the UK and study in your esteemed university. It would be an exciting and gratifying experience for me to work on developmental economics to contribute to my nation as well as the world in the coming years.

Check out the UCL personal statement masters example PDF we have given here. Try to figure out how the writing tone, structure, and use of correct grammar make this essay outstanding.

Tips for Writing Your Unique UCL Personal Statement

The following personal statement for UCL writing tips have long been used by professional writers. Personal statements written adhering to these tips have higher chances of getting accepted by UCL.

Avoid flowery language:

It is highly recommended to keep your personal statement simple by using simple words and expressions. Don’t use flowery language or vague or bland expressions. 

Stay focused:

Never deviate from the actual purpose of the personal statement. The actual goal is to show how much interest you have in the subject and how your skills and strengths are relevant.

Be positive:

If you keep the tone of your personal statement positive throughout, you can expect the selectors to feel positive about it and take a favourable decision. Similarly, a pessimistic tone in the writeup will create a negative outcome too.

Use standard English:

University College of London is a prestigious institution. Students studying there are expected to have good grasp of English. The selection panel welcome candidates who write their personal statement in standard English.  

Submit before the deadline:

Don’t wait for the deadline to submit your application. Once all your documents are ready, submit them. Once the application is filed, hope for the best. Don’t bother about it until you receive any further update. 

How to Get Into UCL?

Getting enrolled to University College London is a dream of students not only in UK but also all over the world. UCL selects candidates on merit basis. If you meet their criteria, you can also apply and get selected. 

  • Go through UCL program list and select one that suits your profile 
  • Find out the requirements for admission and verify whether you qualify 
  • Get details about the times of the year when the program is offered
  • Decide when you want to study and prepare your application 
  • Get ready with all application requirements – most importantly your UCL postgraduate personal statement
  • File your application

What is UCL Acceptance Rate?

As per the data released by UCAS, UCL acceptance rate stands stood at 15.6% in 2020. Some of the competitive programs have even lower acceptance rate. For instance, if you are applying for programs like Law, medicine, biomedical or management science programs, make sure you have a well refined personal statement for each program. Respectively. 

  • UCL Law Personal Statement
  • UCL Medicine Personal Statement
  • Biomedical Science Personal Statement UCL
  • UCL Management Science Additional Personal Statement

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UCL University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to University College London. 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 .

Linguistics Personal Statement Example 1 My most memorable Christmas came with a parcel of Harry Potter audio books and this was where my quest to understanding language began. The moment Stephen Fry started to narrate chapter one, I fell in love with words and all they could achieve...

History Personal Statement Example 3 Recently, I found out that my grandma was gambled into slavery for seven years. She escaped her prison and made her way back to Hong Kong, 300 miles south. I was amazed at how courageous she was. This personal discovery led me to read Jung Chang's 'Wild Swans' which made me both proud and ashamed of my heritage...

Mathematics and Economics Personal Statement Example 1 As Pythagoras may have said, (Ambitious)2 + (Bold)2 = (Critical thinker)2 makes a perfect student and is what I strive to be. From the simple Pythagorean to the complex Fermat's Last Theorem, mathematics is a never ending branch of study which I enthusiastically enjoy studying and why I wish to pursue it even further at university...

Mathematics and Physics Personal Statement Example 1 Mathematics is a fundamental tool for understanding our world: it can be used to define the symmetry of flowers or to manage global companies. What is so appealing about mathematics is the opportunity of applying it in the physical world...

Maths and Spanish Personal Statement Example For as long as I have recognised words and numbers, I have seen a connection between the two. As I progressed in the AS Mathematics course I realised how drawn I was to the subject, motivating me to spend 2 weeks at school over the summer holidays learning 2 entire AS Further Maths modules, in order to take the full A-level course in one year...

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Personal Statement Example 1 I have always had a creative ability and a fascination with how things work. The challenge of solving practical problems inherent in the field of engineering appeals directly to these traits. I am particularly interested in electrical and electronic engineering (EEE) because it is such a rapidly evolving discipline...

Economics and Politics Personal Statement Example 1 "I killed the bank": the last words of Andrew Jackson, former president of the US, after he had vetoed to renew the charter and withdraw all federal deposits from banks causing them to bust. Real money was backed with gold shortly after, causing the greatest economic boom in history for the US where no income tax was implemented...

Spanish and Economics Personal Statement Example My aspiration to study Spanish and Economics has not only been influenced by my curricular education but also from experiences I have had throughout life. I am intrigued in the effects caused by the failing Euro zone, and I consider communication among speakers of different languages essential in progressing forward...

Economics Personal Statement Example 5 Choosing an undergraduate degree in economics is a result of my deep seated curiosity to know why economies are they way they are; why oil prices in my country, Pakistan, rapidly fluctuate whereas economies like USA and China continue to strengthen despite recessions...

Anthropology Personal Statement Example 2 My fascination with human behaviour and the motivations behind human actions has existed for most of my adult life, to determine a cause however I would accredit this to the voluntary work I participated in with Crisis Single Persons Homeless charity...

Geography Personal Statement Example 2 In a dynamic world, the study of geography is increasingly important. The diversity of the subject and the interaction between the physical environment and human population is becoming even more evident with climate change and globalisation influencing our everyday lives...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 11 “If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

Architecture Personal Statement Example 3 Growing up in post-soviet Belarus I wasn't surrounded by the architectural wonders - all the buildings were dull and grey, therefore from early childhood I started drawing and making houses of my dreams...

Mathematics and Economics Personal Statement Example 2 Every day we make decisions and interact with others; the laws of economics help us make rational choices and consider the irrationality of others, as well as understand the world better. Maths and statistics are the necessary tools for me to understand the modern economics...

Anthropology and Archaeology Personal Statement Example My interest in culture first started when I began to attend my local Hindu Temple with my friend in primary school. I was highly interested in how her surroundings differed from my own and enjoyed immersing myself in her way of life...

English and History Personal Statement Example 1 I believe history inspires optimism. With the state being cut and our economy weakening we could easily fall to pessimism. I just have to look within history to see that just over 400 years ago Queen Mary I killed 'rebels' for heresy when they protested, whereas Modern freedoms have allowed me to protest openly in several Unite marches...

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”...

Pharmacology and Human Sciences Personal Statement Example From the race to find a vaccine for the H1N1 virus to the almost daily reports of breakthroughs in the field of cancer research, science has always fascinated me.On a more personal note, my interest has largely stemmed from school, work experiences, and science in the news...

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...

Maths & Actuarial Science Personal Statement Example 1 "It has become a very strange and perhaps frightening subject from the ordinary point of view,but anyone who penetrates into it will find a veritable fairyland"( Kasner E and Newman J).This saying is perhaps the most fitted to describe my enthusiasm for Maths...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 48 Since embarking on the A level course 16 months ago I have decided to devote my life to working in psychology. I am struck by the way Psychological research has impacted all areas of life, but also how much there is yet to understand...

Economics Personal Statement Example 23 It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of a far greater progress still. John Maynard Keynes From childhood I was bred to learn and the passion to understand has become a trait of my character...

Anthropology Personal Statement Example 5 I realised that I wanted to study Anthropology in 2005 after picking up a book called ''Mapping Human History'' by Steve Olson. I read the book cover to cover a number of times, and knew that I had discovered a subject that I was not only interested in learning but wanted to investigate for myself...

Postgraduate Linguistics Personal Statement Example My interest in linguistics was gradually shaped throughout my life by all the different ways in which I have experienced languages: as a learner, translator, and as a teacher. However, it was the times spent living in Russia and later in the UK that made me fully understand that language can be a means of conveying much more than just our thoughts...

European Social & Political Studies Personal Statement Example In my opinion, the problems societies face today deserve an in-depth analysis which draws on different disciplines of thought for its relevance; furthermore the implementations of strategies to combat problems must take into account more than one academic approach if they are going to be positively effective...

Human Sciences Personal Statement Example Perhaps what makes me different from other University applicants is that I have ambition to understand multidimensional human life. It is not the appeal of a top qualification or the zesty student lifestyle that attracts me to this course; but it is the long-term knowledge and answers to interdisciplinary human problems, and the enigmas that I will commit a lifetime investigating with perhaps no solution, that inspires me to apply...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 51 There is a reason behind everything we do, a purpose to our actions. The cognition behind any decision that we make is one of the many aspects of psychology that I am fascinated by. The following five words, as said by the Prophet Muhammad, I believe explain such a suggestion: "Actions are but by intentions"...

Archaeology and Anthropology Personal Statement Example 2 As an immigrant living in Spain, I am constantly reminded of the importance social and cultural factors have on my daily life, the language I speak, and the difference between the relationships I maintain with people from my own country and those I encounter here on a daily basis...

Mathematics Personal Statement Example 12 Mathematics is at the root of many academic subjects, such as mechanics in Physics, organic Chemistry and even Music and this is why I find it so fascinating. The process of starting from a simple set of formulae and deriving nearly all mathematical truth from these is what makes Mathematics a leading academic subject...

Creative Writing Personal Statement Example 2 To me, fiction is like the magic carpet of Aladdin. It takes me to travel through time and space and explore the slices of human experience. In the wonderful trips, I am guided by the author and accompanied by the characters...

Economics and Management Personal Statement Example 2 My interest in Economics goes beyond an appreciation of statistics and profit margins. In my mind, economics represents the relationship between people and their money – a relationship that dates back to the history of mankind...

Medicine Personal Statement Example 61 While the idea to care for others is appealing to me, the applications of medicine for finding remedies to the complexities of the human body fascinates me even more. Studying medicine opens several career options from general practice to clinical research! Having the interest and aptitude for scientific knowledge and the awareness to promote health safety, it encourages me to choose this highly rewarding and satisfying course...

Chemical Engineering Personal Statement Example 10 Chemical engineering is a most fascinating field of all the branches of science and engineering. To me it truly reflects human endeavour and spirit through means such as the exploration of unknown substances, and making something of worth and value out of mere raw materials...

Maths Personal Statement Example 12 Mathematics dictates our understanding of the universe; the sciences that the world depends on today are founded and dependant on maths. Scientists and mathematicians spend their lives making remarkable discoveries contributing to the development of humanity, the findings we have been making in fields like quantum mechanics would be completely impossible without maths...

Medicine Personal Statement Example 66 White coats, stethoscopes hung around necks and the sense of playing hero were popular amongst childhood dreams. However, unlike others around me, this dream was not lost when I realised reality paved a much tougher road- instead, it grew to become a fierce ambition...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 64 Psychology is ubiquitous in society. Because of the mercurial nature of humans, there is always something different to study and analyse. I find this exciting. Part of what draws me to psychology is how the dynamics of it affect daily life and behaviour...

Economics Personal Statement Example 30 The ever-changing nature of the human science intrigues me. Newton’s laws of motion will never change, from wherever ‘the ball is dropped’. However, different strategies and policies have to be framed and implemented for each economic problem...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 67 I first became interested in psychology whilst discussing the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and non-conformity with my father. The nature-nurture debate gave me a huge desire to increase my knowledge and understanding of the human condition...

Physics Personal Statement Example 15 I have always been intrigued by the world of physics. From everyday experiences to the most extreme boundaries of today's knowledge, I have always voraciously searched for answers to my questions. As I grew up, the elegance of mathematical demonstrations and of physical theorems fascinated me, and I have often dreamt of making contributions to the unification theory and of improving and simplifying the Navier-Stokes equations...

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...

Electrical Engineering Personal Statement Example 2 The defining wonder of today’s age is electricity. In just two centuries, we have come from Faraday’s crude but prophetic experiments to devices just a square inch that can calculate in seconds what the most gifted of human minds might take days...

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...

Linguistics Personal Statement Example 3 Have you ever heard the Tuvan throat singing technique? Beautiful and intriguing at the same time. The question that's bound to accompany a throat singing performance is how the human voice could possibly produce such a sound...

Anthropology Personal Statement Example 7 Coming from a mixed religious background, the comparison between cultural practices has touched me deeply, personally and profoundly. I have been able to observe the influence of culture on people's perspectives and world views...

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...

PPE/Economics Personal Statement Example Humanity today stands at the intersection of the most significant questions facing the world today: if democracy leads to political infighting, should it be sacrificed in the interest of economic well-being? Does religious fundamentalism provide a way for countries in the developing world to assert their identity in the face of Western hegemony? Does the entry of Western consumer goods threaten a country’s economic self-sufficiency? The answers of these questions will determine what the nature of our world is in the twenty-first century...

History Personal Statement Example (Oxbridge) 2 Whether considering the real world applications of Bentham's utilitarianism in Religious Studies, analysing the context of a changing Victorian society in English Literature, or debating the evolving ideology of the Labour Party in Politics, there is one common thread connecting what I enjoy most about my studies: history...

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Ucl personal statement word limit.

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 03, 2011 15:33


I'm working on my UCL application now, and they state a character limit of 3000 for the main textbox for the personal statement. But they also state that if you exceed that, you can attach the full personal statement as a separate document. I take that to mean that there's no word limit? Also, does UCL do rolling applications throughout the application period?

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 03, 2011 19:18

yes that shall imply that there is no word limit but it should be concise. writing a long statement can cause more harm than good.

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 18, 2011 16:35

I was informed via telephone that 1,200 words is still within limits. Not sure how much higher you can go, though.

Posted Nov 18, 2011 16:41

I think I submitted mine with about 900 or so. Now's just the waiting!

ucl masters personal statement word limit

Posted Nov 18, 2011 17:01

You should try to write short and perfectly. Around one-thousand words would be enough.

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Writing a personal statement

Here is our advice on how best to show us what you have to offer and give us a sense of who you are as an individual. 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for excellent writing and a statement that is personal and unique to you. We want to understand:

  • Your passion for your subject
  • How you are a good fit for your chosen programme
  • What you will bring to the university community

Before you start

Read the programme description and the modules offered.

Think about what skills, qualities, and experiences might be needed for a programme like this. 

Think about examples from your life that demonstrate these skills, qualities and experiences.

  • Academic studies
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Personal interests
  • Achievements
  • Exhibitions visited
  • Competitions
  • Work experience
  • Taster days 
  • Field trips
  • Volunteering experience
  • Were you inspired by the experience? What was inspiring about it?
  • Did it make you want to learn more about something? 
  • What did you learn through this experience about the subject? 
  • Did you learn anything about yourself through this experience?
  • Did you gain transferable skills through this experience? For example, teamwork, communication, or leadership skills? 

Your main focus should be on demonstrating your interest in, and describing your engagement with, the subject itself. The majority of your statement, around 75-85%, should focus on this subject, with the remaining 15-25% on extra-curricular activities or career aspirations. 

First draft

From all of your examples, and bearing in mind the structure, choose a few that are most relevant, and write about them in a detailed, specific, and reflective way. Relate these back to the skills, qualities, and experiences that you have identified are relevant to your chosen programme. 

Don’t forget: 

  • Allow your passion for the subject to shine
  • Show why are a good fit for your chosen programme
  • Show what you will bring to our UCL community

Before you submit

Ask a teacher, advisor, friend or family member to read your statement and support you to think of other examples that you might have missed. Ask them to do a final spelling and grammar check.

Read your statement aloud to check that it flows well.

Make sure it is truthful and honest; some courses have an interview element so the admissions selector may ask you to expand further on something you wrote in your statement. 

Make sure it is applicable to all five of your UCAS choices; remember you can only submit one personal statement with your UCAS form.

Proofread for a final time. 

Our top tips

  • 75%-85% of the statement must be about the subject
  • Select only your best examples
  • Reflect on your experiences
  • Stay focused and relevant
  • Let your passion for your subject shine
  • Avoid clichés and bland, vague statements
  • Proofread before submitting

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UCAS Personal Statement Length Checker

Please note: The line count may differ than the number of lines in the textbox above but when copy and pasted will match the line count on the UCAS application.

UCAS Personal Statement Requirements

  • No longer than 4000 characters.
  • No longer than 47 lines.
  • Each line can be no longer than 94 characters. (Our character counter above already has a max line length of 94 characters unless otherwise noted.)
  • Characters include spaces, carriage returns, and punctuation.

To see additional features including word count, paragraph count, space count and more use the character counter on our home page.

How to write your UCAS personal statement

The UCAS personal statement scares most high school students. Writing a perfect personal statement is a strenuous and unavoidable process. With roughly about 6 million university applications each year, officials need a method for filtering stronger applicants from everyone else.

As challenging as this task may appear, it is also your only chance to share your personality and eligibility for the degree program you have chosen. Follow our practices given, and you can absolutely make your personal statement up to the mark.

Start with a plan

Each year thousands of applications are received for the best degrees in the world and are best focused on the goal of making their application stand out from the rest.

Thus, planning out what you want to say prior to writing your UCAS statement makes it easy to write a convincing personal statement. Start off by making a rough draft, answering some questions like

  • What subjects do you want to study?
  • Why have you particularly chosen this path for yourself?
  • What makes you think that you are best suited to study this degree program at the college?

Some of these points will form the backbone of your personal statement, so write them in a manner that makes sense to you.

Sometimes you want to create simple bullet points or use mind maps. No matter what you decide; your goal is the same. You want to clarify why the university should provide you with a spot.

Bigger Picture of the Degree

Talk about the course that you have applied to. How did you learn about it in the first place? What means did you use to deepen your interest and knowledge in this area?

It would be a huge plus to list the books you read and the meetings you have attended regarding the subject.

Please elaborate on your academic attitude towards the degree. What are your goals after graduating? What role will it play in helping you achieve your greatest ambitions? What sort of vocation plans do you have after graduation?

Write about your work experience and achievements

Your previous achievements are an essential part of your personal statement. Think about all the accolades you have received and the contests you have participated in. These can be in-school, national or international. Both academic and sports awards can greatly help emphasize your commitment.

Write about the important skills and experiences acquired elsewhere (such as hobbies) that can be chained to the degree of your choice.

Remember, you are searching for experience that shows why you need to study the subject that you have chosen. You are not just writing an essay about what you are doing in your high school syllabus.

Extracurricular Activities

Your extracurriculars ought to likewise be included in the personal statement. Whether it be a MUN or a cross country race, they pass on the message that you love participating in different events.

Likewise, it is really smart to discuss any expertise you have acquired through extracurriculars.

Discuss any leadership roles you could have held, as they improve your capacity to appreciate people on a profound level and put you across as a pioneer.

Community service is a plus in the UCAS statement as it shows a promise to a reason bigger than oneself.

You can link all these activities to your selected course in the best case. Be careful not to elaborate too much on extracurricular activities.

UCAS Character Count

There are some specific instructions for your personal statement that you can never ignore.

First, it must not exceed 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including blank lines), whichever comes first. If you do exceed this, the university will not get your entire statement.

So make sure your personal statement has a solid and decisive ending. It will look bad if you cut it off in the middle of a sentence after realizing that you have exceeded the text limit.

Instead, give each section proper attention, time, and character to plan your essay thoroughly.

However, while you are getting everything rolling, you ought to overlook these restrictions.

Tips for reducing the character count

From the get-go, you simply need to jot down all that you feel is significant. You will probably wind up with something very lengthy, but that is okay.

This is where you get to do some polishing and trimming. Maintain the focal point of your piece on the course you are applying for, why you want to do it and for what reason you are impeccably fit for it.

Glance through what you have composed until now - do you have the right balance? Cut off whatever continues a little to far, as you want to keep each point crisp and concise.

It is a difficult process to try to keep as much content as possible while keeping the character count low, so here are some simple ways to make it easier for you.

Avoid quotes

Read your personal statement and eliminate platitudes if there are any - for instance, 'I've wanted to study psychology since I was young'…The same goes for the quotations: except if they increase the value of your statement (which they don't most of the time!), it is really the best practice to remove them.

Make sure everything is concise

For each sentence in your piece, use the "so what?" rule. Does this sentence appear to be more reasonable for the course? If not, cutting it is best. This frequently happens when individuals write too much about their extracurriculars in a frantic endeavour to fit everything in.

Colleges, notwithstanding, need to see a reflection and what you have extracted from your encounters; this implies it is normally better to simply discuss a few extracurriculars than to list many things that the reader is likely to skim.

Also, note that you don't have to use hospital or volunteer location names. This further allows you to remove the last few characters from the count.

Use colour coding

An easy way to see where you are losing most of your characters is to highlight the sections of your statement with different colours.

Check your language

We frequently invest a great deal of energy looking up big words with the expectation that it will make our work impressive. However, this isn't generally the best practice. It is, in many cases, best to cut these words for fundamental and engaging sentences.

I hope the process will now be transparent, and it will be more exciting for you as you embark on your writing.

How to use our UCAS personal statement checker

To use our tool simply copy and paste your personal statement into the text-box above.

At the top, you will see two metrics displayed. The first metric on the left is the total characters you've typed out of the limit of 4,000 characters.

The second metric on the right is the number of lines your text contains out of the max of 47 lines. The UCAS allows a maximum of 94 characters per line, which our line count feature already takes into consideration.

To make it easier you can click the green "copy text" button to copy the text in the text box. You can also click the red "clear text" button to delete all the text in the text-box.

Why use an online UCAS personal statement checker?

Reason number one: The character count feature in Microsoft Word will not give you an accurate reading. The reason is that Word does not count the carriage return (also known as the enter key) as a character while UCAS does count it as a character.

The problem is that this will cause Word to underestimate the character count. This could cause your essay not to be able to submit when you try to upload it. If anything it would be better to overestimate the word count on Word that way it will fit.

Our personal statement checker however will give you the same character count as UCAS unlike the Microsoft Word character count.

It can be helpful to see the character count in real-time as you are typing your personal statement. This way you are constantly reminded of how long your essay is.

If you are not paying attention it can be easy to lose track of how long your essay is and go over the limit.

Our tool makes it easier to be aware of the length and easy to cut back if necessary.

How many characters in a personal statement?

UCAS requires 4,000 characters in their personal statement. Use our personal statement checker above to see if your essay meets the requirements.

How many words in a UCAS personal statement

UCAS has a character limit of 4,000 characters. This equates to about 615 to 800 words.

How many words is 4000 characters?

4,000 characters is about 615 to 800 words. For more Characters to Words conversions, check out our Characters To Words Converter .

Does the personal statement character limit include spaces?

Yes, it does include spaces as well as carriage returns. Check your statement with our personal statement checker above.

Thanks for using our UCAS personal statement checker!

We appreciate you taking the time to check your personal statement using our webpage. As you know, this is a very important college application essay to get into British universities. UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and is what the UK uses for the college application process. Good luck on your personal statement!

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Postgraduate study

Submit supporting documents.

Required documents

Whichever programme you apply for, there are documents that you will need to provide with your application. Please refer to the postgraduate admissions statement for each programme to see individual requirements.

The documents that may be required include:

  • two academic references (see further information on references below);
  • If you are currently studying : university degree transcripts to date (transcripts are documents showing your grades for individual units or essays and exams throughout your degree);
  • If you have completed your degree(s), provide colour scans of university degree certificate(s) and final transcripts confirming completion. In exceptional circumstances, an official letter from your university confirming completion of your award and final grade may be accepted in place of a certificate;
  • personal statements, which should describe your skills, experience and academic achievements and interest in studying a programme. Your personal statement should be around 1000 words. It should highlight your motivation for applying for the programme and any relevant experience/skills. Please refer to your chosen programme's admissions statement for specific guidance;
  • English language certificate, if your first language is not English, to show that you meet the  English language requirements  for your chosen programme;
  • some programmes require additional documents; research applications may need a research proposal.
  • some programmes will require an application fee. Please refer the  application fee policy  for further guidance.

International applicants should submit scans of original documentation in the language of the country it was received in. They must include a certified translation of all documents to English. Translations must be signed or stamped by an official translation service or education provider.

How to submit additional documentation

If you have already submitted your application, you can attach additional supporting documents to be considered for your application in the applicant portal .

Help is available on our ' how to apply ' pages.

We are unable to receive documents for your application via email.

In exceptional circumstances, we may accept documents posted to the postgraduate admissions team for the appropriate faculty or school. However, please make every effort to upload your documents online, as sending documents separately by post may cause a delay in your application being assessed. If you need to post documents to us, you must include the following details:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your applicant ID number
  • the name of the programme you are applying for.

Use the applicable school or faculty address for delivery.

Application checks

Information submitted as part of an application will be scrutinised and we may request additional information to verify specific details including verification of results with third parties such as other universities, test providers, schools and other external parties assisting with admissions. Please see our  Fraudulent Applications Policy  for further details.

You should check the postgraduate admissions statement for your programme to find out whether any other supporting documents are required. For example, PhD applications may need a research proposal. 

Certified copies of documents

We accept certified copies of documents  for interim degree documentation only. For completed degrees, you should submit a colour scan of the original official documentation.

If you are an international student and are required to post your documentation to the University, you may keep your original documents to be used for a visa application and submit certified copies to us.

A certified copy has been approved as a true copy by a relevant authority. You can ask your university, your local British Council, a solicitor or another professional person to certify documents for you.

Missing degree certificate or transcripts

We need your degree certificate(s) and transcripts in order to make a decision on your application. If you do not have these documents, you must ask your university to provide another copy. They may charge you for this service. In exceptional circumstances, you may be allowed to ask your university for a letter confirming your award and final grade instead of a degree certificate.

Providing documents if you haven’t graduated

If you’re waiting to graduate and can’t provide a degree certificate, please apply as usual. Include your transcripts to date (e.g. if you are a third-year student, please include transcripts from your first and second years). Please ensure your transcript shows details for every year of your programme.

If an offer of study is made, it may be conditional on obtaining the required final grade in your degree. You will then be asked to provide evidence that you have met the condition.

For most programmes you will be required to submit at least two references for us to consider your application. You should refer to the postgraduate admissions statement for your chosen programme for details of what is required. Applications received without references will not be processed. It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive your letters of reference.

References should be submitted electronically by the referee, using the online reference form. Alternatively, scanned copies of the original reference can be uploaded by the applicant. 

References must be written, signed and dated on official headed paper from the referee's organisation. They must include the referee’s full contact details, i.e. postal address, telephone number and organisation email address. A   reference template   is available to show the required format. References supplied with a personal email address can only be accepted under exceptional circumstances, which must be explained within the reference. All references should be dated within the last two years.   

If you graduated more than two years ago, or if professional experience is relevant to the application, professional references will be accepted in lieu of one academic reference. At least one referee should be familiar with the applicant's academic work.

Additional references

Applicants are welcome to upload additional references to support their application further. Professional references from work experience in a related field and/or industrial placements can help an application.

In exceptional circumstances, we may accept documents posted to the postgraduate admissions team in the faculty or school. However, please make every effort to include your references online, as sending documents separately may cause a delay in your application being assessed. Please read the guidance below on submitting a reference. We are unable to accept references via email.

Submitting a reference

There are several ways you can provide references:

Submitting references online

You can ask a referee to provide a reference online, as long as they have an organisational email address (e.g., connected to their place of work).

  • Your referee will be emailed with an access link and instructions explaining what they should do next. The link will expire after 90 days or when a decision has been made regarding your application, whichever occurs first.
  • You can provide the referee’s information in the Referees section of your application form. The referee will be contacted as soon as you submit your application.
  • Once your referee submits their reference it will automatically be matched to your application.
  • After you apply , you will be able to view the status of your online references, correct referee information, add a new referee, or send a reminder to your referee on your applicant portal.

For most postgraduate programmes, we will not assess your application until references have been submitted.

Uploading a reference you already have

  • On application, you can upload your reference as a document in the Referees section of your application form.
  • If you have already submitted your application, you can upload your reference as a document through the Upload documents tile in your applicant portal .
  • Please note: you cannot view the reference you have uploaded or any references provided by your referee(s) within the applicant portal.


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