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Ananya

January 11th, 2023

Tips for writing a great statement of academic purpose

0 comments | 21 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Ananya

January 11th, 2023

Tips for writing a great statement of academic purpose

0 comments | 21 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

A well-written Statement of Academic Purpose is a key part of the LSE postgraduate application process. As competition for places is high, sometimes grades that meet the academic requirements are not enough – therefore the academic statement is a great way to show the school how passionate and driven you are about your chosen area of study, and how relevant your skills and experiences are in helping you succeed in the programme. While it might seem a bit daunting to put your motivations into paper, here are a few tips to write a great statement of academic purpose:

  1. Have a clear structure – usually, statements have to fit one (or two) sides of an A4 sheet, which means that applicants need to be able to explain their motivations and experience concisely. Having a good structure not only makes the statement easy to read (since reviewers will have many, many statements to read through), but it also keeps the reader engaged.
  2. Research, research, research! What made you apply to the LSE and this programme in particular? Are there any modules or academics that you are excited to interact with? Which resources and facilities at LSE do you look forward to benefitting from? Answering such questions demonstrates your motivation to be a student at LSE and your suitability for the programme!
  3. Use emotive language – using personal enthusiastic but professional language proves your passion for the programme. Examples include words like eager, excited, compelled, etc. Language is a powerful tool to demonstrate your drive to succeed at the School and the programme.
  4. Sell yourself well What is your academic and professional background? Do you have any specific skills that will help you in this programme? How have you developed your interest in this field of study in the past? Remember to relate all these skills and experiences to the master’s course. For example, I have previously worked in cybersecurity, and I wrote about how my experiences of working in a tech firm made me understand various human processes related to organisational functions, which would help me in the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology programme.
  5. Mention your goals and future plans – one way to prove your interest in a master’s programme is by emphasising why you decided to pursue postgraduate studies and this programme in particular. Do you have any research ideas for your master’s thesis? What are your career plans, and how will studying this programme at LSE help you in your journey?
  6. Emphasise soft skills – if your previous academic and work experience are not directly related to the programme (for instance, if you are planning to switch to a new field of study), focus on the soft skills you might have developed that will help you learn new topics. These could be time management, written and verbal communication, teamwork and leadership, research and analysis.
  7. Give yourself time – it is useful to begin writing the personal statement early. This allows you sufficient time to write and edit your statement, and have it reviewed by other people. Personally, I gave myself about two weeks to write my statement, while working on other aspects of the application in the background.
  8. Don’t be generic – if you’re applying for two different programmes, make sure to keep your supporting statements different for each course. Admissions officers can detect copy-and-paste jobs. Personal statements must be unique and specific to the programme to stand out.
  9. Proofread – one thing I found useful while writing my statement was to have others proofread my work. For this, I had my friends read my statement to see if people with non-specialised knowledge of the field could easily understand my motivations for the programme. Further, to ascertain if my experiences and skills were relevant to the programme, I also had my personal tutor and dissertation supervisor at my undergraduate university review my statement.

With these tips in mind, you can work towards writing a well-researched and articulate statement of academic purpose, giving you the chance to stand out from other applicants!

About the author

Ananya

Hi! I'm Ananya, an MSc student in the Organisational and Social Psychology programme. I'm originally from Delhi and have been living in the UK for the past 4 years. I'm very excited to be studying at LSE and experiencing life in London. In my free time, I like to cook and bake, go on walks in one of the many beautiful parks in London, explore cafés and restaurants, and watch Netflix shows!

Posted In: Applying: Masters

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