Crafting Your University Personal Statement To Get Results - Solihull College - 10 June 2013
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Crafting Your University Personal Statement To Get Results - Solihull College - 10 June 2013



It is important to best present the Personal Statement within your UCAS Application to demonstrate your skills, interests and subject knowledge. This talk, delivered by Birmingham City University to ...

It is important to best present the Personal Statement within your UCAS Application to demonstrate your skills, interests and subject knowledge. This talk, delivered by Birmingham City University to Computing and IT students at Solihull College provides advice and examples to help them obtain a valuable place on a university course.



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Crafting Your University Personal Statement To Get Results - Solihull College - 10 June 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. @MyBCU 1Crafting Your UniversityPersonal Statement To GetResultsComputing And IT HE Progression DayDr. Thomas Lancaster & Rehan BhanaSolihull CollegeMonday, 10 June 2013
  • 2. @MyBCU 2A Bit Of Background
  • 3. @MyBCU 3The Purpose Of TheSession…We want to help you to get a university placeOn a course that you will enjoyAnd on a course that will offer you career prospectsBut you have to do the work!
  • 4. @MyBCU 4Who Are We?Dr. Thomas LancasterSenior Lecturer in ComputingProgram Leader BSc ComputerScienceAcademic BackgroundRehan BhanaSenior Lecturer in ComputingProgram Leader BSc Information andCommunications TechnologyIndustrial Background
  • 5. @MyBCU 5The UCAS Rules For PersonalStatements
  • 6. @MyBCU 6You Can SubmitOne single Personal StatementThe Personal Statement is seen by up to 5courses(usually courses at different universities)The Personal Statement has to impress thereviewers for all 5 courses
  • 7. @MyBCU 7Personal StatementLengthMaximum 47 lines (including blank lines)Maximum 94 characters per lineMaximum 4000 characters totalNo formatting (underlines, bolds etc), just plaintext
  • 8. @MyBCU 8How Long?You need to write around 600 words, includingspace for blank lines(In English, there are an average of 4.5 characters perword)
  • 9. @MyBCU 9How Short?600 words does not give you a lot of scope(10 minutes typing at 60 words per minute)Use every word wiselyYou should spend more time editing andimproving your Personal Statement then you didoriginally writing it
  • 10. @MyBCU 10Thinking About Yourself
  • 11. @MyBCU 11What Are YouStudying?IT (Business) BTEC Extended DiplomaIT (Networking and Computing) BTEC ExtendedDiplomaIT (Software Development with Games) BTECExtended DiplomaIT (Software Development) BTEC ExtendedDiploma
  • 12. @MyBCU 12What’s TheContent?IT (Software Development) BTEC ExtendedDiplomaComputer Programming and AnimationEvent Driven Programming (Introduction to Android AppDevelopment)Advanced Use of Databases and SpreadsheetsWebsite Customisation and DevelopmentComputer SystemsComputer NetworkingIT System Analysis and DesignEmployability Skills
  • 13. @MyBCU 13What Skills HaveYou Developed?Can you list the units?Can you talk about what was included in theunits?How did you improve your abilities as a result ofstudying those units?Which units and areas of IT have you enjoyed?
  • 14. @MyBCU 14What Else HaveYou Studied?GCSE Maths and English?Other key GCSE results?Any additional training courses?Any language courses?Any further IT qualifications?
  • 15. @MyBCU 15What Courses AreAvailable For You ToStudy?FdSc InformationCommunicationTechnologyBSc (Hons) InformationCommunicationTechnologyBSc (Hons) BusinessInformation TechnologyBSc (Hons) ComputerScienceBSc (Hons)Computer GamesTechnologyBSc (Hons) ForensicComputingBSc (Hons)Computer NetworksBSc (Hons)Computer Networksand Security
  • 16. @MyBCU 16Do Your AbilitiesMatch The Content?BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • 17. @MyBCU 17What Else HaveYou Accomplished?Work experience?Positions of responsibility?Extra curricular activities?Leadership skills?Communication skills?Teamwork skills?Can you demonstrate and evidence all of these?
  • 18. @MyBCU 18DemonstratingCan you demonstrate why the courses you’vechosen are for you?In writing, on your Personal Statement?Verbally, at a university interview?You have to make the university lecturers wantto have you on their course
  • 19. @MyBCU 19For IT Courses…The further you can relate your interests toComputing, the better position you are in withan applicationWe look for people whose interest in Computingand Technology doesn’t stop when college endsfor the day
  • 20. @MyBCU 20Good Examples?“I always carry the latest phone. In the evening, Ireply to every Facebook Chat message within 30seconds.”“During the weekend I taught myself to jailbreakmy iPhone”
  • 21. @MyBCU 21Writing The PersonalStatement
  • 22. @MyBCU 22Standard Approach1. Why you’ve chosen to apply for Computing2. Your overall academic experience andinterests within the Computing field3. Details of your work experience4. Your wider interests, focusing onresponsibilities and achievements5. Memorable close relating to your career andstudying Computing at university
  • 23. @MyBCU 23EVIDENCE!Successful Personal Statements depend on youbeing able to give evidence“I have good team working skills.”“Within the Web Development unit I improved my skillsof working in a team. We worked together toproduce a website now used by a local independentopticians. The website obtained a mark of 81%, thehighest in the class.”
  • 24. @MyBCU 24Key TechniquesThe key areas to concentrate on are the startand end of the Personal StatementTry and avoid repeating the sameinformation, or giving too much details which isincluded elsewhere on your UCAS applicationDon’t lie (Computing Lecturers know how tolook you up on the Internet)
  • 25. @MyBCU 25Be FormulaicPlease don’t try to befunny, creative, entertaining, controversial…Don’t get a physical description of yourselfDon’t include quotationsBe varied and don’t start every sentence with “I”Universities are looking for reasons to accept you, not toreject youThey just need to know why you are suitable for the courseyou’re asking to take
  • 26. @MyBCU 26However…“A guy applied to Oxford, wrote his entire personalstatement in binary code and the tutors had totranslate it to read it. It was for computer science orsimilar (not sure what oxford offer) he did it perfectlythough and apparently got an offer. Guy at my college.”
  • 27. @MyBCU 27Write Using MSWord!Avoid any spelling/grammar mistakes within thePersonal StatementMake sure that you use UK EnglishNo txtspk!Read through this again to make sure that youconvey yourself in a positive lightGet someone else to check the PersonalStatement and offer advice
  • 28. @MyBCU 28Getting IdeasThere are lots of model Personal Statements on theInternetUse these for inspiration and details of the style youshould followHowever, note that there are also many unsuitablePersonal Statements onlineThey may be tailored for other courses, or they mayjust not be very good
  • 29. @MyBCU 29Examples
  • 30. @MyBCU 30“Have I Read ThatBefore?”5 Most Used UCAS Personal Statement Opening Lines1. I am currently studying a BTEC National Diploma in ... (used464 times)2. From a young age I have always been interested in ... (used309 times)3. From an early age I have always been interested in ... (used292 times)4. Nursing is a very challenging and demanding career ... (used275 times)5. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with ...(used 196 times)
  • 31. @MyBCU 31OriginalityEvery Personal Statement submitted throughUCAS is automatically checked for plagiarismChecked against a vast database from previous yearsUniversities are notified when a student hassubmitted a Personal Statement that is notoriginalThis is likely to lead to you being rejected
  • 32. @MyBCU 32Submitting TheUCAS ApplicationEdit and check your Personal Statement beforesubmittingCheck your mobile numberCheck your email addressMake sure that the email address is sensibleKeep a copy of your Personal Statement andreview it before interviews
  • 33. @MyBCU 33Open Days And Interviews
  • 34. @MyBCU 34Your OpportunityUse this as a two-way evaluation processDo you think this university is right for you?Can you convince this university that you are right forthem?
  • 35. @MyBCU 35InterviewsUniversity tutors are looking to drill downbeyond your UCAS Personal StatementSome universities will ask specific technical andmathematical questionsOthers will look to establish your interests in ITand why you’re applying for the course
  • 36. @MyBCU 36Typical QuestionsWhat was the last book you read?Why have you chosen this university andcourse?Which unit you’ve studied did you enjoy themost?What do you like to do outside university?
  • 37. @MyBCU 37And Finally…“Is there anything that you’d like to ask us?”
  • 38. @MyBCU 38University Should BeSeriously Considered…
  • 39. @MyBCU 39Consider ApplyingTo BCUOne of the top 30 universities in the UK forplacing students in graduate-level jobsSunday Times University Guide 2012“Close and sustained” partnership betweenUniversity and studentsQuality Assurance Agency report 2011
  • 40. @MyBCU 40National StudentSurveyStudents on our undergraduate Computer Sciencecourses are among the most satisfied in the country.Figures released by the 2012 National Student Survey(NSS) reveal that Computer Science students put BCU 6thin the national table of over 117 universities and furthereducation colleges in terms of student satisfaction.
  • 41. @MyBCU 41Guardian LeagueTable 2014Computer Sciences and IT1 – Birmingham10 – Warwick51 – Birmingham City53 – Aston62 – Coventry65 – Staffordshire79 – Keele95 - Worcester
  • 42. @MyBCU 42IndustrialPartnerships
  • 43. @MyBCU 43For More Information
  • 44. @MyBCU 44ContactsBCU Courses: Contact Director for School of Computing, Telecommunications Available At:
  • 45. @MyBCU 45