Writing about the course

Two of the most important things to include are:

why you're applying for the course you've chosen: this is particularly important when you're applying for a subject that you have not studied before. Tell the university the reasons why that subject interests you, and include evidence that you understand what's required to study the course, eg if applying for psychology courses, show that you know how scientific the subject is.

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.

Also think about:

how your current or previous studies relate to the course(s) that you have chosen

any activities that demonstrate your interest in the course(s)

why you want to go to university or college.

We looked at some of the reasons why applications were unsuccessful and here's a few that were sent to applicants in 2010:

Your personal statement does not strongly support your desire to study your chosen degree.

Your personal statement did not show sufficient understanding, relevance or knowledge about the course you are applying for.

You failed to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and interest in the subject in your personal statement.

There is a lot of competition for places on this course and your personal statement and experience was not as strong as other applicants this year.

Application form (including personal statement, reference and predicted grades) does not evidence accurate understanding of or motivation for subject.

Unsuccessful as you have not expressed a strong enough interest in the subject area in your personal statement.

This should give you an idea of how important it is to show why you want to study the course and what you can bring to it - especially because it...