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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement for Physics

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SALLY HAS WORKED WITH:

HERE’S THE PROBLEM

You want to know how to write the perfect UCAS personal statement for physics and you haven’t got a clue where to start.

You’ve probably heard the following advice:

  • Just write about yourself
  • It shouldn’t take long
  • Its only 4000 characters

Don’t panic!

I’ve come up with a simple, step-by-step process that will help you write YOUR perfect UCAS personal statement for Physics.

Let’s go through this process below….

Thank You! Thank You for your help with my personal statement!! You are one talented lady!

Qualities of a Physicist

Physicists are responsible for some of the greatest inventions and technology the world depends on. Everything from space shuttles to air conditioning systems to bridges requires the work of a Physicist.

To be successful in Physics, you really should have some of the qualities that a physicist has.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Understand how Maths and Physics interlink
  • Know what problems scientists are expected to solve and some examples of how this has been done in the past
  • Understand the professional and ethical responsibilities of an scientist
  • Understanding of the impact of scientific advancements on society
  • Awareness of relevant contemporary issues.

Practical Skills

  • Use a wide range of tools, techniques, and equipment (including software) appropriate to their specific discipline
  • Use laboratory and workshop equipment to generate valuable data
  • Develop, promote and apply safe systems of work.

Problem Solving

  • The ability to solve Maths problems and Physics problems.
  • The ability to look at an unfamiliar diagram and explain what is happening using existing skills. (e.g. look at the diagram of an nuclear power station and explain how it works OR look at a unfamiliar graph and explain what function exist within the graph)
  • The ability to apply calculus to physical situations. e.g. the rate of change of velocity with respect to time.
  • The ability to analyse and interpret data and, when necessary, design experiments to gain new data.

General Transferable Skills

  • Communicate effectively, using both written and oral methods
  • Use Information Technology effectively.
  • Manage resources and time
  • Work in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Undertake lifelong learning for continuing professional development

Personal Qualities

  • The ability to start, sustain and finish a project that takes longer than a couple of months
  • Self-motivated, independent of mind, with intellectual integrity, particularly in respect of ethical issues
  • Enthusiastic, in the application of their knowledge, understanding and skills in pursuit of the practice of Physics

Do You Have What it Takes?

Look at the list above.

Read the qualities that a Physicist must have and think about areas in your life where you recognise these qualities.

Choose some of the qualities and give a real-life example of where you have demonstrated it. See below:

Once you’ve addressed a few of the qualities above, you now need to write your personal statement.

This should include:

Write about the Course

Tell the university admissions tutor why Physics interests you. Include evidence that you understand what’s required to study it.

Include why you’re suitable for the course: tell the universities the skills and experience you have that will help you to succeed on the course. Use the information above

  • How your current or previous studies relate to the course(s) that you have chosen
  • Any activities that prove your interest in the course(s)
  • Why you want to go to university or college.

Skills and Achievements

It’s REALLY important for physicists that you engage in practical work. A Headstart Course or a university open day is relevant here. These offer a hands-on experience of potential university courses and careers.

Include non-accredited skills and achievement which you have gained through activities such as:

  • CREST awards
  • Villiers Park courses
  • Extended Essay
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • University Courses
  • Royal Society Lectures
  • Young Enterprise

Include any other achievements that you are proud of e.g.

  • reaching grade 3 piano or being selected for the county cricket team.
  • positions of responsibility that you hold/have held both in and out of school, eg form prefect or representative for a local charity.
  • attributes that make you interesting, special or unique.

Work experience

Include details of jobs, placements, work experience or voluntary work, particularly if it’s relevant to your chosen course(s). Try to link any experience to skills or qualities mentioned in the Entry Profiles.

For example, rather than just saying

I spent two weeks working at a department store. I enjoyed speaking to customers and helping them with their enquiries

You could say

I spent two weeks managing customer enquiries at a department store. I learnt how to interact with customers and handle complaints. The experience highlighted the importance of positive communication between a business and its customers, and taught me how to manage difficult enquiries effectively. I would like to develop this skill further by studying a degree in public relations.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do create a list of your ideas before attempting to write the real thing
  • Do expect to produce several drafts before being totally happy.
  • Do ask people you trust for their feedback.
  • Do use your best English and don’t let spelling and grammatical errors spoil your statement.
  • Do be enthusiastic – if you show your interest in the course, it may help you get a place.
  • Don’t say too much about things that are not relevant
  • Don’t feel that you need to use elaborate language.
  • Don’t lie – if you exaggerate you may get caught out at interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement
  • Don’t rely on a spellchecker as it will not pick up everything – proof read as many times as possible.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute – your statement will seem rushed and important information could be left out.
  • Don’t expect to be able to write your personal statement whilst watching TV or surfing the internet – this is your future, so make the most of the opportunity to succeed.

The Rules

  1. You can enter up to 4,000 characters (this includes spaces) or 47 lines of text (this includes blank lines), whichever comes first.
  2. You do not have to use all the space provided. When you save text, the system will tell you how many characters are still available or if you have used too many characters.
  3. You can preview your statement after you have saved it.
  4. Please note that you cannot use italics, bold, underlining or foreign characters (such as á, ë, õ) in your personal statement – the system will automatically remove these when saved. This will not disadvantage your application. If you are an international student, we know that you may want to give correct titles of some things in your own language but universities and colleges are aware that accents and certain characters will not appear as they should.
  5. Whether you are typing your statement directly into the box, or amending a statement that you pasted in, you should click ‘save’ regularly because Apply will time-out after 35 minutes of inactivity.
  6. The countdown on the screen displays how much time you have left before it times out.

Here’s the Easiest and Quickest Way

Turn off your phone and give yourself 1 hour. I swear you’ll get it done quickly.

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