How to Write a Personal Statement for Masters Programmes

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Universities may ask you for a personal statement that details your qualifications for a degree programme. Writing a compelling personal statement is an excellent way to highlight your skills and goals to an employer or university. A well-written personal statement can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates and help you secure placement in a master's programme. In this article, we explain what a personal statement for a master's programme is and share the answers to frequently asked questions about these documents, including how to write one and what to include in your statement.

What is a personal statement for masters programmes?

A personal statement for masters programmes is an account of your achievements, talents, interests and goals, which is often required to be submitted in applications for these programmes. These personal statements are usually longer and more detailed than the ones included in resumes. This document allows you to introduce yourself to admissions officers, give your application a personal touch and can help persuade a programme's admissions team to accept your application.

Related: How to Write Personal Statement for a CV (With Tips and Examples)

Components of a personal statement

When writing your personal statement, it's helpful to include the following components:

Reasons for applying

Explain why you chose the specific programme for your studies. This can show your dedication to the programme and give you an opportunity to complement the college's reputation. Consider the personal advantages of attending the programme, such as how the programme aligns with your career path.

Interests

Sharing the topics that interest you can display your preparation for a master's programme. This can include your current job, if relevant to your field, or specific courses you completed in your bachelor's programme. You can also share details about why you enjoy the field. For example, if you're applying for master's in creative writing, you can discuss how you developed a passion for writing at a young age after reading certain books.

Credentials

Briefly mention your main skill set and achievements. This can establish your eligibility for the programme. Admissions officers may review your credentials to decide if you're able to succeed in the programme. Usually, candidates include their qualifications in others part of an application, such as your transcripts, so consider only highlighting your most relevant credentials.

Goals

Discuss your goals to help explain why you're applying for a master's programme, such as career or academic aspirations. This allows you to share your personality, which can make your statement feel more personalised. Having a personalised, yet professional statement may help your application appeal to its readers, increasing the chances of you being accepted into the programme.

Related: How to Write SMART Goals For Your Career (With Examples)

What to avoid in a personal statement

When writing and reviewing your personal statement, consider leaving out the following elements:

  • Generalisation: Try to avoid generalisations and cliches. Provide specific details about yourself and your aspirations to leave a strong impression on the reader.

  • Flattery: Try not to include excessive flattery and focus on your own achievements instead. It's helpful to include a few compliments to the institution that can help explain your interest in a programme.

  • Exaggeration: Be honest about your achievements and interest in a programme. Many admissions processes include interviews where they may ask candidates to elaborate on any information they've provided.

How to write a personal statement

To write your own personal statement, consider the following steps:

1. Introduce yourself

Write an introduction that reflects you and your personality. Explain why you're interested in the programme and include any job or education experience. Starting a personal statement by highlighting who you are can help encourage admissions officers to read further. Discuss what parts of a programme or school align with your interests. Consider writing a full paragraph for your introduction.

Related: Learn About Personal Statement Format (And How to Write One)

2. Share your skill set and interests

The body of your personal statement lets you share more about your relevant skills, interests and experiences. Write about personal details that relate to the programme you're applying for. Consider writing at least one or two paragraphs for the body of your statement to discuss the professional experience and skills you've developed in your chosen field. It's also important to use this section to show that you're capable of succeeding in the programme.

3. Write a conclusion

Craft a conclusion that leaves a strong and lasting impression on an admissions officer. Clearly and concisely restate why you applied and what you hope to achieve. It's also helpful to persuade the reader to take action by referring them to other application documents or encouraging them to contact you. While you can summarise some of your main points to remind the reader of your background, try to avoid being repetitive. Find new ways to present information about yourself and new details to connect your conclusion to your introduction.

4. Proofread and seek feedback

Review your work to check for any grammar mistakes. You may also want to revise your statement to ensure that you've used clear and concise language. It's often beneficial to have friends and family proofread your work so they can offer you a different perspective. It may be challenging to write about yourself, so other people may notice any achievements, experiences or qualities that you've overlooked.

FAQs about personal statements

Here are answers to some FAQs about personal statements:

How long are personal statements?

Personal statements for master's programmes can vary in length depending on each institution's specific requirements. Ensure to review any instructions and prompts from the college's admission office to understand the word count requirements. Personal statement essays are usually a full page in length and consist of three to four paragraphs.

What are some tips for writing personal statements?

The best personal statements have a personal yet professional tone providing relevant and direct information. Keep the following tips in mind when writing your own personal statements:

  • Write in your own voice: Use your own words to describe your qualifications to make your statement feel more personal.

  • Keep it simple: Short sentences and simple language can ensure your personal statement is clear and easy to read.

  • Use active voice: Active voice means using strong verbs that engage a reader and directly identify your accomplishments, which can better engage a reader.

  • Be unique: It's important to highlight what makes you different from other candidates by including specific details and brief examples of your experiences.

What tone do you use in personal statements?

Write your personal statement essay in a positive and professional tone. Use language that demonstrates your enthusiasm for the opportunity and gratitude for the reader's consideration. While it's important to remain professional in your language, try to include personal anecdotes that showcase your personality. Remember to use concise language that's also respectful, so it's easier to read.

Related: Why Writing Skills Are Important and How to Improve Them

Example personal statement

Here's an example of a personal statement you can reference when writing your own:

I'm applying for a position in your Master of Business Administration programme because I'm passionate about advancing my marketing career and am interested in learning more about management strategies. I first became interested in marketing while earning my Bachelor of Science in Business at Kowloon College. The way marketers can use images and text to persuade consumers to purchase products and the range of different modern marketing tools, including social media and virtual reality, fascinated me.

After graduating, I began working as a marketing coordinator with Digital Eye. My eagerness to learn and try new methods saw me quickly progress through the company. As I moved from performing simple research and administrative tasks to coordinating marketing events and assisting with the creative process, my passion for marketing grew.

I feel I'm ready to take the next step in my career as a marketing manager. Studying for a Master of Business Administration at the North Point School of Business can help me develop the right skills and knowledge base to transition into my desired role. I feel the coursework in leadership, production management and operation management can help me succeed in strategic decision-making roles. I also appreciate that your school offers online classes and part-time study. These options can help me devote my time to excel academically without compromising my performance at Digital Eye.

I respect your school's reputation for excellence and commitment to career development. I believe it would be a stimulating learning environment and a place where I can connect with several like-minded peers. My passion for learning and exceptional academic and professional record can make me an asset to your school. I fondly recall my time at Kowloon College and hope I can make more special memories while studying at the North Point School of Business.

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