Undergraduate Personal Statement Example: Drama and Theatre Studies
Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course.
After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Undergraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, academic skills, ambitions and suitability for the degree field. This undergraduate personal statement example for Drama and Theatre Studies clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Undergraduate degree personal statement examples are sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose , so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement .
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you can download a pdf of the whole document to use as inspiration for your own!
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“Performance holds a mirror up to the world and asks questions that we may be too scared to ask individually. It will always be integral to society, and part of that power comes from the force of the ensemble. Studying drama has made me observe life through a different lens and harness the vital tool of the imagination. My secondary school had a theatre in the round with lighting rigs and the opportunity to create varied set designs with a devoted staff team. It was here that I learnt so much of what I know and where my inspired appreciation for performing arts became something I never wanted to stop doing.”
My Commentary and Analysis
There are lots of different elements present in the first couple of sentences of this undergraduate personal statement example. The writer quite succinctly offers their own definition of drama and links this to an element of the subject inherent in most degree courses.
They go on to give a sense of their personal connection with the subject and then reference some quite generalised experiences. This allows them to sow the seeds of their long-term engagement and reiterate their commitment to the subject.
However, I would suggest that this is a relatively vague opening. There are very few specifics of terminology or experience, and this would have been an excellent opportunity to connect their views with an artist or practitioner they admired. This would have shown a bit more depth of knowledge and engagement.
The term ‘much of what I know’ is also quite vague. The writer could have identified some practical skills or techniques and discussed the value of what they’ve learned.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that Drama and Theatre Studies is largely a practical and experiential subject. Any personal statement should make some reference to the writer’s acting skills, as this is a key indicator of suitability for most courses.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here .
Personal Statement Example: Section 2
“I learnt how to balance a full schedule through participating in extracurricular opportunities. Directing a play at fourteen exposed the complexities of preproduction roles and how an impact is achieved through different mediums. Around the same age, I began duo Vanguard acting lessons, where I was first introduced to the idea of exploring characters and how to portray them. I later progressed onto solo LAMDA examinations, achieving grade 8 with honours. I was beginning to learn the practice of ensemble work, and joining the local theatre youth group allowed me to expand my horizons beyond the curriculum. This bought to light the uniting force of theatre, a safe space for everybody which nurtures growth in creative spirit and confidence.
In year two of BTEC performing arts, with a cast of five, I curated an immersive Oedipus adaptation that propelled the audience into ancient Greece. This was a tumultuous project, where a new challenge seemed to arise after the last was solved. I poured an abundance of energy and care into the process, and it’s my proudest performance. This collaborative process was special to be part of, and I harnessed the skills I learnt for film projects on Art and Design Foundation. Acting in seven student films in spring familiarised me with on-set practices, and I often offered direction or design ideas. Used to working with a variety of people, I quickly improvised and built dynamics with cast members on the day of production. I have since been asked back to act in more recent projects.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The writer has done a good job of summarising their experience within the subject. Showing a range of experiences within directing, acting and studying show a breadth of engagement over time, which is another strong indicator of their suitability.
It would have been even more effective if the writer had outlined the value of these experiences in relation to their ambitions for a degree. They could also have used these elements to outline how suitable they were for a degree course by making links between their skills and typical course demands.
Referring to their BTEC course makes it clear that the candidate has a good range of experience at a higher level. Again, however, there is no real indication of the skills the writer used. Devising, editing, improvisation, directing, design? Which practitioners were used as inspiration? What academic research was carried out in the project, and why is this useful in relation to a degree?
The reader won’t really be very interested in whether it’s the writer’s proudest performance, and in an undergraduate personal statement, which is limited to a low number of characters, this is a bit of a waste of space. They want to know how it has inspired the writer or given them skills that will allow them to be successful in relation to the courses they’re applying for.
A good way for the writer to communicate this is to write about how they overcame the challenges they mentioned.
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose , check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here . It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Section 3
“I explored the breadth of my creativity on the foundation but focused on photography, film, and textiles. In film classes, I learned more about production by trying out directing, scriptwriting, and cinematography. I frequently discussed TV and film analysis with an interest in the symbolism of cinematography. The creative environment changed my perception of artistry. I now use art as personal documentation, amongst other things, such as the sketchbook I took interrailing in summer, and beginning to create my own clothes. Another form of self-care I indulge in is yoga, where diligence and consistency in practice are vital.”
It’s always sensible to reference related aspects of your previous courses of study, but only if they are relevant. Here, the courses taken are largely relevant to a Drama and Theatre Studies degree, but the outcomes don’t particularly develop the reader’s understanding of the writer’s suitability for the course.
Many of the elements referenced are valuable components of an actor’s preparation, but I don’t see significant justifications made between these and how they make the writer a suitable candidate.
There is little tangible sense of what’s been learned or its value.
References to self-care are welcomed, and certainly, the yoga practice speaks to the writer’s level of physical fitness and stamina, but it is all quite vague and undeveloped.
This is beginning to drift from a personal statement about Drama to a general description of accomplishments, preferences and experiences. Given the highly competitive field, it’s unlikely that the content so far would result in an offer being made, although the practical audition process is critical in this discipline.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here , and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Section 4
“Now taking a year out, I am a full-time waitress and planning my route for solo travelling around Asia. Taking three essay subjects at A-level developed my critical analysis skills and written voice. In English Language, I thoroughly enjoyed cross-examining articles from different decades for an independent research project. Amongst other topics in Classics, I studied the origins of theatre from religious practice to the earliest examples of tragedy in the late 5 th century. I am an avid reader and have continued to learn through books such as Stanislavksy’s An Actor Prepares , Stephen Fry’s Mythos and Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
There is some reference here to the value of related studies, as mention is made of transferable skills. In that sense, the content has a degree of merit. Gap year plans are only worth including if they have a direct and positive bearing on the courses being applied for.
What the reader really wants to understand about a gap year is how that time will be spent building skills, knowledge or contacts that will increase the applicant’s chances of successfully completing the degree courses (and hopefully adding value to the experiences of their peers).
There’s mention here of undertaking a research project, but no clarity on which skills or techniques were used, which lessens the impact.
Published works are referenced, which is positive, but no arguments are made, and there’s no discussion of the contents. Nothing here is developed, and there’s no evidence that the writer has actually read the books.
If you mention having read books, don’t just write a list. Pick a couple and explain their impact on you, how your thinking has been altered or how valuable you find the knowledge they contain.
The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients.
It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here , or hit the banner for more information.
Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“Through academic learning and practical development, I have built a strong foundation of knowledge about the Performing Arts industry. In this industry, one never stops learning. Every individual you meet or place you go to is an opportunity for a fresh perspective. Immersion in performance studies would help me realise how I can bring my varied skills into what I offer as an artist. The next stepping stone towards my career is a multidisciplinary course allowing me to explore pathways whilst sharpening my academic and performance skills.”
The writer uses some relevant vocabulary here, summarising the importance of the course to their ambitions. This is a sound idea, but quite limited in detail.
What are the writer’s actual ambitions beyond the course? How will the course be ideal for bridging the gap to a creative career? What kind of areas might the writer want to work in, and how might some of the general modules of the courses be of value?
In summary, I feel there needs to be a far stronger focus on the writer’s acting work, the precise skills developed and exactly how these will be of value on the course. For a Drama application, there’s not much actual evidence of engagement or an understanding of the industry or the creative sector as a whole.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here .
Click here or on the banner below to get your free download of this complete personal statement example .
Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Find out about my personal statement support services by clicking here or on the image below.
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I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...
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Drama Personal Statement Examples
- 1 Personal Statement Example Links
- 2 Career Opportunities
- 3 UK Admission Requirements
- 4 UK Earnings Potential For Drama
- 5 Similar Courses in UK
- 6 UK Curriculum
- 7 Alumni Network
Personal Statement Example Links
- Personal Statement Example 1
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Ever been moved by the magic of the theatre and the transformative power of performance? Fascinated by the opportunity to bring characters to life and tell compelling stories through drama?
If so, a degree in Drama could be your perfect pathway. This vibrant field will immerse you in the art of dramatic storytelling, helping you hone your performance skills and understand the cultural and social significance of theatre.
Drama is an interesting and relevant choice for students because it provides them with the opportunity to explore their creative potential, develop communication skills, and gain insight into the human experience. Through the study of drama, students can learn how to express themselves through movement, dialogue, and character development.
They can also gain an understanding of how theatre works, and how to use it to tell stories and engage audiences. Additionally, drama can help students develop their critical thinking skills, as they analyze and interpret plays, characters, and stories.
Finally, drama can help students better understand the complexities of human relationships, and how to effectively communicate with others. All of these skills are essential for success in any field, making drama an important and relevant choice for students.
👍 When writing a personal statement : Highlight your passion for the course, demonstrating your understanding of it. Use relevant personal experiences, coursework, or work history to showcase how these have fostered your interest and readiness for the course.
A degree in drama can open up a variety of career opportunities. Depending on the individual’s interests, they may pursue a career in the performing arts, such as acting, directing, or producing. They may also find work in the film and television industry, as a scriptwriter, editor, or production assistant.
In addition, a degree in drama can be used to pursue a career in education. Drama teachers are in high demand in both public and private schools, and many universities offer drama courses.
Those with a degree in drama can also pursue a career in the music industry, as a music director, choreographer, or sound engineer.
Finally, those with a degree in drama may find work in the corporate world, as a public speaker, corporate trainer, or event planner. They may also find work in the marketing and advertising industry, as a copywriter or creative director.
UK Admission Requirements
In order to get accepted into the university course drama, applicants must have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English Language and Maths. Additionally, applicants must have a minimum of two A-Levels in related subjects, such as English, Drama, Theatre Studies or Music. Other qualifications, such as BTECs, may also be considered.
The entry criteria for this course is quite similar to other courses in the same field, such as Theatre Studies or Music. The main difference is that applicants for the university course drama must have a minimum of two A-Levels in related subjects, whereas applicants for other courses may only need one A-Level .
UK Earnings Potential For Drama
The average earnings for someone with a degree in Drama can vary greatly depending on the individual’s career path. Those in the performing arts, such as actors, dancers, and singers, typically have lower salaries than those in technical or administrative roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for actors was $20.21 per hour in 2019. The median annual wage for directors and producers was $71,680 in 2019.
In terms of trends, the job market for those with a degree in drama is expected to grow in the coming years. According to the BLS, employment of actors is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, while employment of directors and producers is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029.
Similar Courses in UK
Other related university courses in the UK include Drama and Performance, Theatre and Performance Studies, and Creative Writing.
Drama and Performance focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of theatre and performance, while Theatre and Performance Studies focuses more on the history and analysis of performance. Creative Writing is more focused on the craft of writing, rather than the performance of it.
All three courses involve elements of creative expression, but the main difference between them is the emphasis of the course. Drama and Performance places more emphasis on the practical elements of theatre and performance, while Theatre and Performance Studies focuses more on the academic aspect of the subject. Creative Writing focuses on the craft of writing, rather than the performance of it.
The key topics and modules covered in a university course in drama typically include:
- Theatre History and Theory: Students learn about the history of theatre, from its origins to the present day, and explore the theoretical foundations of theatre and drama.
- Acting: Students learn the fundamentals of acting, such as improvisation, character development, and scene work.
- Directing: Students explore the role of the director in theatre, from casting and staging to blocking and rehearsal.
- Playwriting: Students learn the fundamentals of playwriting, from structure and form to dialogue and character development.
- Design: Students explore the various design elements of theatre, such as lighting, sound, and set design.
- Performance: Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of performance activities, including student-directed plays, improvisation, and scripted readings.
- Research and Analysis: Students learn how to research and analyze plays, as well as how to critically evaluate theatre and drama.
Practical experience is an integral part of any university course in drama. Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of hands-on activities, such as rehearsals, performances, and workshops. These activities allow students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and gain valuable experience in the field.
One notable alumnus from the university course drama is Academy Award-winning actor and director, Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks graduated from the university in 1974, and has since gone on to become one of the most successful and beloved actors in Hollywood. He has starred in numerous iconic films such as Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and Cast Away. He has also directed several films, including That Thing You Do! and Larry Crowne.
The university offers several alumni events and networking opportunities for drama alumni. Alumni can attend the annual Drama Alumni Reunion, which is a social gathering for alumni to reconnect and reminisce about their time in the program. Additionally, the university hosts an annual Alumni Networking Night, where alumni can meet and network with other alumni and faculty in the drama department.
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Creative Drama School Personal Statements to Consider
Table of Contents
Crafting a creative and captivating personal statement for drama school applications doesn’t have to be a difficult task.
It requires thought-provoking language that captures the reader’s attention and conveys your passion for theater. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
By considering examples of previous outstanding submissions, you can draw inspiration from those who’ve come before while also exercising your creativity. We have some helpful tips on using dramatic flair to craft original and engaging personal statements for your drama school application.
In addition, we have drama school personal statement examples for you to read through for inspiration.
Simple Tips for Writing an Effective Drama School Personal Statement
Here are some simple tips that can help anyone to write a great drama school personal statement.
Keep It Concise
Writing a great personal statement for drama school does not require lengthy dissertations. Rather, it requires carefully worded paragraphs that convey your passion for the craft and demonstrate your unique talents. Aim to be succinct to grab the reader’s attention quickly and avoid excessive fluff or unrelated information.
Looking at drama school personal statement examples from past applicants can be helpful. However, remember that you must create a unique statement if you want to stand out. Use creative language to paint a vivid picture of yourself and your capabilities. You should do this while still being true to who you are as a person and an artist.
Showcase Your Best Self
Dramatic flair is important, but don’t use overly-dramatic words or phrases. Stick to showcasing your genuine abilities in a way that will captivate the admissions committee. Highlight any training experiences or awards that you have and emphasize how they have shaped you into the actor you are today.
Your statement should display your enthusiasm for theater and explain why this particular program stands out to you above all others. Explain what drew you toward this specific institution. In addition, express why their classes or professors would help hone your skills in ways other schools couldn’t.
In some cases, sharing stories about moments of difficulty or failure can help bolster your application. These types of stories can demonstrate resilience and growth. Discussing challenges faced in pursuit of success gives insight into the obstacles you have overcome. It allows readers to see the deeper human side of your story.
Proofread and Edit
Don’t be in a hurry to submit the statement. Proofread and edit the statement to make sure there are no errors. Sometimes, you can ask another person to read through and offer suggestions. The ultimate aim is to make sure the statement is as perfect as possible.
Drama School Personal Statement Examples
If you need drama school personal statement examples , you’ll find a couple of them in this section.
I am excited to apply for admission into your prestigious drama school. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the art of performing and playing with a subject that’s always been close to my heart. My enthusiasm for this craft has grown since childhood, leading me on an enriching path filled with unyielding ambition and resilience.
I possess a diverse range of skills in acting, having honed them through countless workshops and courses. From musicals to plays, comedy to tragedy, I am always eager to learn more and expand my repertoire of techniques. Every performance is an opportunity to test myself and refine my strategies.
My appreciation for theater extends beyond the stage, however. In recent years, I have discovered a burgeoning passion for writing and directing. I find immense fulfillment in constructing stories and characters from scratch, manipulating words and movements like pieces of a puzzle until everything fits together. This interdisciplinary approach provides a unique insight into the creative process, which I’m sure will serve me well at your esteemed institution.
I pride myself on being able to collaborate effectively with others, evidenced by my work experience both onstage and off. As such, I am confident that I can make meaningful contributions within any production team or setting. Above all else, I am dedicated to making an impact in the world of dramatic arts. It would be an honor to do so in your drama school!
As I have come to understand over the course of my lifetime, theater is a craft that requires dedication and time for mastery. Through my career experience and natural affinity for this art form, I can say that I have amassed considerable skill in performance and production. During my recent decade-long foray into various theatrical roles, I’ve found myself immersed in various avant-garde performances. My experiences have only furthered my enthusiasm for this multifaceted profession. And now, it is time to hone these honed capabilities by furthering my studies at your esteemed drama school.
I am an experienced veteran in the arena of theater, yet never content with complacency. As such, I embrace a journey of perpetual learning while cultivating an atmosphere of creativity and good faith among cast mates and peers. In addition to demonstrating strong organizational skills, I bring leadership abilities to projects in need. Whether writing scripts or hosting workshops, I seek out ways to propel those around me toward success.
No challenge has been too daunting for me. I thrive on moving forward within complex situations, even if it involves extensive travel plans and the establishment of new networks. With my passion for collaboration, I have been able to accomplish many feats during my time as an actor thus far. Yet, I know there is still so much more to learn.
The prospect of studying in a distinguished program like yours puts a sparkle of joy in my eye. A place where excellence and innovation intersects is what I hope to find in the pursuit of knowledge and advancement of my career goals. The theater is ever-evolving, and I feel strongly that investing in my education will give me the tools needed to stay competitive.
I have a long-standing passion for the performing arts and have had the opportunity to explore many facets of this field. My experience has taught me that theater is an amalgamation of ideas, music, movement, and, most importantly, emotion. It is a way of connecting with others through creative expression. I am eager to pursue a degree in drama at the university to improve my understanding of the craft while broadening my theatrical knowledge.
This desire has been further stoked by my involvement in various community-based organizations that focus on creating art out of everyday experiences. I have come to think of these activities as channels for self-discovery. They have allowed me to identify and explore novel ways of interpreting life’s tribulations. Through this exposure, I have learned how to project feelings and convey emotions more effectively.
I am confident that acquiring a formal education will enable me to hone my skills and become well-versed in all elements of theater. For instance, I plan to take classes in costume design, musical performance, scriptwriting, improvisation techniques and stage direction. Each of these could help shape my thinking around the nuances involved in becoming a professional performer. In turn, I believe such courses would empower me with the confidence needed to think critically about any artistic challenge that comes my way.
My ultimate ambition is to demonstrate my growth as an individual while making meaningful contributions to the theater community. With this goal in mind, I’m certain that furthering my studies at your esteemed institution would help me reach new heights in my career.
A personal statement is an essential statement of intent and is, thus, something that must be written with care. No matter what school you are applying to, students must write strong, bold, and catchy applications if they want to stand out. If you can follow the tips in this article, you can easily write a personal statement that stands out.
For those that want to write their personal statements faster, you should consider using the new Hey INK tool . This tool can write different types of content for you in a split second. You only need to enter your instructions or prompts for the tool to create amazing outputs like the examples above.
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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Writing the Personal Statement
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This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.
The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:
1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:
This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.
2. The response to very specific questions:
Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.
Questions to ask yourself before you write:
- What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
- What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
- When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
- How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
- If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
- What are your career goals?
- Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
- Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
- What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
- What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
- Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
- What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?
Answer the questions that are asked
- If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
- Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.
Tell a story
- Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.
- Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.
Find an angle
- If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.
Concentrate on your opening paragraph
- The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.
Tell what you know
- The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.
Don't include some subjects
- There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).
Do some research, if needed
- If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.
Write well and correctly
- Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.
- A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.
For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast .
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Personal statement example drama.
Submitted by Millie
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Drama and Theatre is a subject that through my studies over the years has taught me confidence, good communication, and an objective and analytical way of viewing not only theatre, but also any literature, media, or even political issue. What fascinates me about Drama is that it affects and is affected by so many other topics like religion or social issues, whether that is gender or race. I wish to be able to continue to develop the skills I have gained and learn more as I move onto university through a Drama and Community Theatre degree.
Over these past three years, I have developed a love of theatre. Some of my favourite plays include Fiddler on the Roof with its clever use of humour and music to deal with serious issues whilst staying true to Jewish culture, The Tin Drum by Kneehigh with its emotive and thrilling soundtrack and ideas around fighting fascism, and Doctor Faustus because of the clever use of language and the use of dark humour to make comments on religion and morality. I have also expanded my knowledge of theatre by reading a breadth of plays from authors such as Christopher Marlowe, John Godber, Steven Berkoff, and Arthur Miller. I feel this is important as it helps me to grow personally while also making me more culturally aware as I experience writing from different times in history and from different viewpoints.
I am currently studying A levels in Drama and Theatre Studies, Fine Art, and English Language; each of these subjects has taught me invaluable skills. Drama has taught me research skills as I delve into the context of my studied plays; Fine Art has developed and encouraged me to expand my imagination and creativity; English Language has taught me a higher understanding of language and how to incorporate this to write essays of a greater standard.
Other areas I have developed transferable skills would be during my work experience in St John’s Fisher Primary School as a teaching assistant where I proved to be responsible and also developed my organisation and time management skills as I was in charge of helping children with their work and looking after them during break times. Moreover, I took part in the NCS programme, which over 4 weeks, taught me communication, teamwork and allowed me to raise money for a mental health charity called Sane through different fundraising events that me and others in my group organised.
In my experience in acting so far, I have developed and refined my skills as an actor through experiences such as the National Theatre Connections Festival, where a group of students from my college put on a production of a newly written play by Kellie Smith called The Monstrum. We performed in our own college theatre as well as in the Lowry theatre in Manchester. This was an invigorating experience that taught me a lot about putting a production together and the dedication required when putting on a performance. As we were always on-stage, I learned about the importance of proxemics within a piece and how members of the ensemble work together to create a constantly interesting visual image for the audience. I am also currently taking part in a half hour abridged version of Macbeth, where I will be playing the role of one of the three Witches in a comedic physical theatre style performance.
In my spare time, I enjoy hobbies such as reading, with my favourite books being The Prince of Mist by Carloz Ruiz Zafón and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I also enjoy writing my own stories as it allows me to engage with a narrative of my own creatively.
Aspects of the course which particularly interest me include ideas around contemporary theatre and modernism, learning how theatre affects an audience, the exploration between theory and practice and how culture is explored within theatre.
Overall, I am excited to develop my skills through both practise and theory, allowing me to further my abilities in a well-rounded manner.
Submitted by Francesca
Drama and English
For me, the excitement of Drama lies in its great depth and range. Dramatic works span time periods reflec...
Submitted by Sophie
BA (Hons) Drama and Dance
I want to study Dance at university I have always wanted to do dance and I have found that it is something...
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- How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples
How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples
Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 3, 2023.
A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.
To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:
- Your personality: what are your interests, values, and motivations?
- Your talents: what can you bring to the program?
- Your goals: what do you hope the program will do for you?
This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.
Urban Planning Psychology History
Table of contents
Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, other interesting articles.
Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.
For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.
There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.
The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.
Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene
An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:
- A personal experience that changed your perspective
- A story from your family’s history
- A memorable teacher or learning experience
- An unusual or unexpected encounter
To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.
Strategy 2: Open with your motivations
To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.
Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:
- Is it a longstanding passion or a recent discovery?
- Does it come naturally or have you had to work hard at it?
- How does it fit into the rest of your life?
- What do you think it contributes to society?
Tips for the introduction
- Don’t start on a cliche: avoid phrases like “Ever since I was a child…” or “For as long as I can remember…”
- Do save the introduction for last. If you’re struggling to come up with a strong opening, leave it aside, and note down any interesting ideas that occur to you as you write the rest of the personal statement.
Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.
To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.
Strategy 1: Describe your development over time
One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.
- What first sparked your interest in the field?
- Which classes, assignments, classmates, internships, or other activities helped you develop your knowledge and skills?
- Where do you want to go next? How does this program fit into your future plans?
Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.
My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.
Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles
If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.
- Is your social, cultural or economic background underrepresented in the field? Show how your experiences will contribute a unique perspective.
- Do you have gaps in your resume or lower-than-ideal grades? Explain the challenges you faced and how you dealt with them.
Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.
Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.
Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field
Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.
- Reflect on the topics or themes that you’ve focused on in your studies. What draws you to them?
- Discuss any academic achievements, influential teachers, or other highlights of your education.
- Talk about the questions you’d like to explore in your research and why you think they’re important.
The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.
In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.
Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions
Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.
- If your career is just getting started, show how your character is suited to the field, and explain how graduate school will help you develop your talents.
- If you have already worked in the profession, show what you’ve achieved so far, and explain how the program will allow you to take the next step.
- If you are planning a career change, explain what has driven this decision and how your existing experience will help you succeed.
Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.
One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.
Tips for the main body
- Don’t rehash your resume by trying to summarize everything you’ve done so far; the personal statement isn’t about listing your academic or professional experience, but about reflecting, evaluating, and relating it to broader themes.
- Do make your statements into stories: Instead of saying you’re hard-working and self-motivated, write about your internship where you took the initiative to start a new project. Instead of saying you’ve always loved reading, reflect on a novel or poem that changed your perspective.
Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.
Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.
Strategy 1: What do you want to know?
If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?
If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.
Strategy 2: What do you want to do?
If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?
Tips for the conclusion
- Don’t summarize what you’ve already said. You have limited space in a personal statement, so use it wisely!
- Do think bigger than yourself: try to express how your individual aspirations relate to your local community, your academic field, or society more broadly. It’s not just about what you’ll get out of graduate school, but about what you’ll be able to give back.
You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.
Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.
Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.
Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.
A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.
A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.
However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.
The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.
Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.
If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.
Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.
If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.
If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.
If you want to know more about college essays , academic writing , and AI tools , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
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Postgraduate Drama Therapy Personal Statement Example
I have sat in audiences at the theatre and felt a sense of freedom. At times of stress I played my flute until day turned to night.
Painting offers me a window into my imagination and opens a door to escapism. Knowing the catharsis that emotional expression through the arts has offered me, I wonder, can I help others to attain well-being in the same way?
I have always been drawn to the creative arts and involved myself in some way throughout my life; from playing in school orchestras, acting in school plays, singing in bands for charity and completing murals and art displays.
Throughout my working life I have carved out an informal niche role as the ‘creative go-to’ person. Realising my talent and passion for the creative arts, I have been striving to find a role where I can marry my love of artistic expression with psychological explorations.
It is my view that the MA in Dramatherapy might offer me this balance. Whilst I am committed to every job role, I have always felt that something was missing.
When I learned about this course, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders as it seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine my creative and therapeutic skills.
I hope to be able to fuse my musical and artistic abilities to form a complimentary approach which could inform future Dramatherapy practice.
In 2001, I completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Criminology at Roehampton University, achieving a 2:1. The course requirements led to two dissertations being compiled and submitted and during this time I was focused on a career in forensic psychology.
I started on my path to gain the experience needed to become a forensic psychologist, all the while gaining priceless life experience and an assortment of transferable strengths and skills. Throughout my academic experiences, there were times when personal circumstances were not ideal, however, I felt I worked well under the pressure, always remaining focused and driven.
I am aware that a requirement of this course is to undertake personal therapy. This is something I have experience of and would welcome further exploration into, in order to learn more about myself, my journey and my emerging identity as a therapist.
I value researching and learning about working environments, often by undertaking voluntary or seconded positions before committing to full-time contracts. This prevents me from jumping into situations unaware and unprepared. From 2006 - 2009, on a relief basis, I worked at HMP Wandsworth, a category B prison for males. My position was as a ‘link worker and the experience was invaluable.
My role led me to interactions with inmates whose offences covered a broad spectrum. I encountered many individuals who had been diagnosed with a mental illness and others with more than one presenting diagnosis; this allowed me to explore and deepen my psychological understanding in a practical sense, rather than just the knowledge I had gained from my degree.
My role allowed me to deal with sensitive issues, such as someone expressing suicidal ideation or presenting with self harm. Although art painted by inmates was presented on the high walls, I always felt the prison could have done more to enhance and encourage creative expression.
From 2007 – 2010, on a full time basis, I started working at a residential unit for adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties. This allowed me to work intensely with individuals over a long period of time, gaining a wealth of experience. Whilst at the residential unit, I took on the additional role of Activity Co-ordinator.
This role involved making a series of programmes for activities that were diverse, taking into account, healthy living, physical and educational pursuits.
The programmes were engaging and promoted positive interactions between young people and staff. Compiling these programmes allowed me to flap my creative wings.
We held art sessions and encouraged the use of the on site music studio and organised trips to the theatre. The young people would engage with the arts as an escape from the turbulent and sometimes frightening environment of the residential unit.
Many of these children commented rarely feeling a sense of achievement, however creative activities often gave them the feeling of self-worth that the education system was unable to provide for them.
Since April 2010, I have been employed at Broadmoor Hospital, a high secure psychiatric hospital for mentally ill and personality disordered males. My role was as a ‘Therapy Assistant’. I fully involved myself in day to day ward life and again enjoyed the more creative activities such as singing with the patients in the music room and completing artistic projects.
A number of patients reflected that the informal creative groups were more beneficial than the formal talking therapies. With this in mind, I began to be interested in exploring the significance, importance and impact of non-verbal approaches to well-being.
In November 2010, still at Broadmoor Hospital, I began my secondment in an area known as Newbury Therapy Unit. My role is as a ‘Nurse Therapist Assistant’.
It was here that I surrendered to my creative voice and unearthed my passion for Dramatherapy. I was aware that this department worked closely with the Arts Therapies Department to enhance the experience of therapy delivered to the patients.
The innovative and progressive ideas and concepts were a breath of fresh air. I started co-facilitating a cognitive skills group, which lasted for three months.
During this time, the process gave me a lot of confidence and built skills in facilitating groupwork. I was disappointed to learn that a psychodynamic group for Art and Drama was no longer running.
As part of my post, I have been assigned a clinical supervisor who is a Dramatherapist. The only feeling I can describe following a supervision session is one of enlightenment. After much thought and discussion with family and peers, I decided to start researching Drama therapy trainings.
I am excited to be able to enter into a relatively unknown field where my interest only spurs my curiosity and passion. A passion I hope you will give me a chance to express on the course.
In terms of hobbies, I have always been a keen theatre goer and enjoy musicals the most. I sit envious in the stalls inspired by the people on the stage. I also enjoy singing, and was part of a small band that sang to raise over £2500 for various charities.
As a shy person when I was younger, I threw myself into experiences that would demand me to step out of the shadows and this has helped me become more confidant and able to present in front of others.
I often go on holiday with my watercolours or at the very least a pencil and pad, so I can sketch.
Travel is a big part of my life, and I hope to visit every continent at some point. I also enjoy varied socialising activities; cinema, photography, laughing with friends and family.
In my spare time I find monologues on the internet and read them trying to embody the feelings of the characters. I also enjoy festivals, gigs and fancy dress.
I am a highly motivated and self-driven person with the ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment.
I have a positive outlook on life and I am willing to invest time and effort into pursuing my long term goals. I always strive to encounter any problem with an open mind and seek to achieve well-being.
I embrace training, reflective practice and supervision, as I see them as avenues for personal growth that will enhance my strengths and skills.
I take direction well, but also use my initiative to complete a task. I will take on constructive criticism in the view that it will only be offered to better my abilities. I am not afraid to ask questions and I do tend to pick things up quickly.
Due to my life and work experience, tenacity and abilities to work with others, I believe I would be a benefit to the future cohort of trainees.
Undertaking the MA in Dramatherapy will, I hope, enable me to develop the knowledge and skills to fulfil my innate purpose - helping others to attain well-being through the arts.
This personal statement was written by Bernie-Fox for application in 2011.
I window into my heart and soul!
Related Personal Statements
Fri, 25/01/2013 - 01:24
This is the closest sample PS I can find for a Art Psychotherapy course i'm applying to at Roehampton University and others. You definately covered all basis when it comes to talking about your experiences and the many various qualities you have; which are suited to this course. Overall very well written, Puts me of a bit cos now I have to write one just as good. Did you get in to the course you applied to? I can see it was written in 2011 so you may be settled at your placement or even finished. I would like to have more info so I know what's to come.