All views expressed are those of the author.
As someone who applied to many different courses such as; Law with European Legal Studies, straight Law, and Law and Anthropology., finding a way to encompass all my experience and fascination without neglecting any of the courses that I wished to apply to can be very tricky. Below are tips that may be helpful to take into account when formulating your personal statement (both general and specific).
A lot of people worry about the ratio when it comes to applying to varying degrees or joint honours degrees. As the majority of the courses I had chosen included Law I made sure to have more law. The Anthropology was about 30% (roughly a paragraph and a couple sentences incorporated throughout).
This does not have to be anything fancy, it can just simply be anything that proves your passion in the course you would like to do. I managed to link a Psychology taster course I had taken in the summer to Anthropology. The key is to use whatever experience you have to demonstrate your dedication to this course outside of your studies.
It is always nice to emphasise your interest by proving you’ve read around the subject. You could do this by going on to the University’s website and looking at the preliminary/background readings for the course. Research can span from reading books, articles, journals or even Youtube videos. [For reference for Anthropology I read ‘Small places, Large Issues- Thomas Hylland’].
It’s important to make sure the structure of your personal statement flows and reflects you and one way I did this was by making connections. When speaking about Anthropology I found ways to portray my knowledge/experience doing A-level French also plays a part in solidifying my Anthropological knowledge. It can be simple as connecting your subjects to the course you want to study or you can make it personal to the University e.g. perhaps you enjoyed a particular reading which happened to be written by a Professor at LSE.
From my first ever draft to the multiple that followed, one thing I was repeatedly told by teachers/mentors at the time was to “use the most simple language”. As an English Literature student at the time, I wrote extremely long sentences and was never direct in what I wanted to get across. I recommend you have someone read over it and see what areas you can simplify but still have your point remain clear.
I must also mention that it is okay not to have the most perfect draft in a month, it took about 2 months and about 15 drafts for me to formulate a suitable one.
I hope these tips were useful in guiding you when writing your personal statement. Feel free to leave your comments below.
Find advice on writing personal statements for your UCAS application on LSE’s website.