This article contains an informative guide on how to write personal statement for Masters.
Going for further studies has its own requirements. It goes beyond having an excellent bachelor’s degree result or a transcript.
Apart from the usual university application materials, transcripts, and recommendations, post-graduate programmes, especially those involving Universities abroad, always require you to include a ‘personal statement’ when applying. Not too many people know about this. Reason they get blown off at the sight of this particular requirement.
For the benefit of those who are not familiar with a personal statement, this article will be covering some tips on writing an excellent personal statement for masters, along with some examples.
Without further ado, a personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your admission application. It is a statement of academic interests and therefore should not contain any information about your very deep personal life.
Once you have identified the masters programme of your choice, the next step is to begin the application process. Basically, you will have to write a postgraduate or masters personal statement that highlights your strengths, skills, interests and experiences. This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and to prove to the admissions committee that you’ll thrive at their university and contribute positively to the institution.
Generally, a personal statement shows that you are the right person for your choice of University and this can only be proven based on how well and convincing your personal statement sounds.
First things first, it is assumed you have carefully carried out a thorough research about the course you are applying for, so that you can explain why you want to study it.
Therefore, below are major things that will determine how good your personal statement for masters turns out:
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN WRITING A PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR MASTERS
1. Plan Your Writing Process
The following questions are likely to help you plan your personal statement:
- Why do you want to study a Masters and how will it benefit you?
- How does the course fit your skill set?
- How do you stand out from the crowd
- How will your work contribute to the department/University/society?
- Where you are going for a course in a totally different field from your bachelor’s, you will also include why you decided to change your field of study.
2. Structure of a Master’s Personal Statement
Writing, regardless of the type, always has a structure. Structuring your personal statement is very important. It presents the admissions committee with a logical and easy flow. Hence, using a tight structure in your personal statement only ensures that each paragraph is in logical order.
For a perfect structure, your personal statement must:
- Have an eye-catching and interesting introduction, a highly engaging middle part and conclusion.
- An attention-grabbing introduction that sums up your academic and employment background. Don’t be tempted to use an inspirational quote or cheesy opener; you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons
- An engaging middle section that expands on your interests and provides concrete evidence of your strengths and skills.
On the other hand, your conclusion should be concise, such that it draws together the most important elements of your application that will leave a lasting, positive impression of your motivation for study on this particular Masters programme.
Bear in mind that admissions tutors will be reading a lot of personal statements. Thus, they will appreciate a well-organized, methodical text that captures all the significant parts of your experience and skills.
So, your conclusion should be concise, and summarize why you’re the ideal candidate.
- Use headings to break up the content. For instance, ‘Why this course?’ ‘Personal experience’, etc.
- Present your personal statement in a standard font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and text size 11 or 12.
- When writing masters personal statement, you should aim for a word count of around 500 words, with short sentences.
The relatively short nature of a Masters personal statement means that you should focus on being as succinct and concise as possible, getting straight to the point and avoiding unnecessary details.
3. Language of Writing
The best personal statements are written in a positive and professional tone and are presented in clear, short sentences. Avoid ambiguous words unless it is stated. More so, all postgraduate personal statements should be written in English, having correct spellings
Your tone should be positive, exciting and enthusiastic. It should show your willingness to learn and persuade the readers that you have what it takes to succeed on the chosen course. Use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- Example1: I was greatly inspired by the University’s world-renowned researchers and quality facilities.
- Example 2: Realizing the fact that there is this general fear a lot of people have for bees, I developed interest in these social insects.
I was greatly inspired to study Animal Biology because of the impressive work being carried out into the behavior of the University’s Professor, Anderson Walter. I follow the work of the University of ABC laboratory of Apiculture and would be fulfilled to study in such a renowned department and contribute to its renowned research.
Comparing. Example 1&2, it is seen that 1 lacks the exciting and enthusiastic tone. It may have been concise but will obviously appear generic to the readers.
4. What to Include In a Personal Statement for Masters
A personal statement is different from an application letter as well as a CV. It has its purpose and as a result of this, it has what and what not to include.
Therefore, a personal statement for masters should include; Your Skills, Achievements and Future Goals
Your personal statement should contain concise details about your skills, achievements and career aspirations and how you intend to achieve them.
To further convince the admission committee, you can share some of your skills and experience you developed at university or at work and show how they will be useful in helping you succeed with your Masters degree. These could be; field work, internships public services, volunteering and other extracurricular activities.
If there are any significant gaps in your education or employment, you can also offer a brief explanation of those situations. However, don’t dwell on any unfortunate circumstances that will make you appear like a burden. Always stick to issues that will strike you as a positive, optimistic individual.
Avoid writing things that you feel they want to hear. Just tell them your story and be original about it. This gives them the opportunity to get to know you on a personal level.
AN EXAMPLE OF A PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR MASTERS IN GRAPHIC DESIGN
With the boom and advancement in social media and internet marketing, it has become very pertinent to invest more in the median with catchy visuals.
Prior to this recent boom, I have always developed an interest in creating beautiful designs. In the last few years, I have developed an interest in the processes and ideas behind professional logo designs. A logo not only needs to represent a brand perfectly and timelessly, but it needs to subtly communicate key brand ideals, stair positive emotion and foster easy recognition.
I have therefore chosen to apply for a Masters in Graphic Design to better understand the arts behind effective logo design and continue to develop my skills in internet marketing.
I first entered my undergraduate degree with an interest in many different elements of graphic design. Having taken a wide range of engaging courses, I achieved an overall 1st degree qualification. The variety of modules that I took exposed me to an array of editing processes such as photo manipulation and 3D modelling.
Additionally, I gained skill in working with different brands and continued to build upon my creativity through finding inspiration in different areas of design.
During my undergraduate I completed a summer internship with a large media company. My main role involved working with the package design team where I built upon my skills in teamwork and leadership. I knew logo design would be a perfect fit because I found it very interesting and spent more time creating visual designs.
In the quest to discover where my passion lies as well as learn more from industry experts, I took on freelance work to help nurture my skills and gain more visibility.
The majority of my work involved creating flyers, logos and banners for an advertising firm. Freelancing has also allowed me to develop my skills in communication and learn how to balance the customer’s wants against my personal recommendations and expertise.
While I enjoy my current freelance work, I aspire to break into the larger market and work with international businesses and help create logos that will become recognized around the world. The guidance and teaching that you offer on your Masters course will help me learn to refine my skills in design software and effective visual creation.
A master’s personal statement is just an opportunity for you to write your way into the heart of the admission committee of your choice University for your master’s program.
It is not as difficult as presumed. All that is required is following the right structure in presenting yourself the way you would to a total stranger, but be friendly as well as professional in doing so. You will have to write a short essay with concrete evidence to back up your claims about your experience, skills, motivation and achievements.
In all, it’s more about you and how the university fits into your plans as well as why you’re a good fit for the admission. Always give yourself enough time to write your personal statement to ensure it comes out perfect, enough to get you the admission.
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Leonel has been Teacher at Alliant International University since 2013. He began to write about admission details at Course Discovery.