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Sussex University Personal Statements

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to University of Sussex. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities .

Biomedical Science Personal Statement Example 3 I find that science subjects suit my inquisitive personality; I enjoy experimenting and understanding how the world works. For my Biology independent study module I chose to explore the process of organ transplantation, specifically the medicines that make it possible...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 7 Keeping up to date with world news online, aroused my interest in psychology . I was particularly captivated by the articles about abnormal behaviour such as self-harm; one of the reasons for this being the alarming rise in the number of victims over the years, which made me curious about its causes ...

Anthropology Personal Statement Example 1 Completing my sixth form education at a multicultural boarding school has allowed me to experience a wide social and cultural diversity that I never would have expected in a school environment, in great contrast to the subtle ethnocentrism of my previous schooling...

International Relations Personal Statement Example 2 I'd like to study international relations because I am concerned about the rapid rise of great powers such as the resource-rich Gulf States. I would like to understand how states engage at the national level and how they leverage power...

Psychology Personal Statement Example 11 “If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

Geography Personal Statement Example 4 All through my academic life I have found Geography extremely interesting because of the vast range of topics involved with it and how it relates to every subject in one way or another. I have a particular interest in the physical side of Geography and especially the topics of: climate change, coasts, hazards and the environment...

Physiology and Medical Sciences Personal Statement Example The human body is arguably the most complex life form that has ever existed. Studying how the body works helps us to comprehend the many processes that maintain health and find better treatment for diseases...

English Personal Statement Example 26 Growing up reading Roald Dahl, I saw elements of myself in Matilda, as ever since I can remember, I have loved reading. My passion for English could be seen by those around me, as a child, having taught myself to read and write by the time I was 4 years old, and there was never any doubt that I would go on to pursue a career in English...

Postgraduate Linguistics Personal Statement Example My interest in linguistics was gradually shaped throughout my life by all the different ways in which I have experienced languages: as a learner, translator, and as a teacher. However, it was the times spent living in Russia and later in the UK that made me fully understand that language can be a means of conveying much more than just our thoughts...

Environmental Engineering Personal Statement Example Nowadays, Environmental Engineering plays a vital role in the world as the environment is being put under constantly increasing pressure. As I am fascinated by Science and Mathematics and feel that the environment is incredibly important, I decided to study this course...

Geography Personal Statement Example 16 "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is an ever recurring question asked to me by many individuals, including myself. I have come to the conclusion that I will never come up with a final answer, as I have many ambitions and aspirations...

English Literature & Spanish Personal Statement Example For me, the most captivating part of English literature is the way great writers are able to influence the reader's imagination through the manipulation of language. The A-level topic of World War One literature was especially affecting because it showed me the importance of world events and their effect on contemporary literature that still inspires us today...

English Language/Literature Personal Statement Example 1 It is my belief that the most important part of anybody’s personality is the way that they exhibit it to the world. This idea of self expression is the basis of everything that I most enjoy and feel passionate about in life, which is why I am applying to study English...

Politics and Sociology Personal Statement Example 3 International relations and political science always attracted my attention and I clearly remember how impressed I was after the very first lesson on political science. Our teacher briefly explained us how political science had become an independent science and how it developed from a number of other disciplines: philosophy, history, economics, law...

Law Personal Statement Example 70 Law is ever changing, whether parliament is passing new legislation, existing legislation is being rewritten or the courts are interpreting laws in different ways. In the case of Anthony Bland the distinguishing of earlier precedents was vital...

Biomedical Sciences Personal Statement Example 36 What I love about science is that it has yet to offer the 'best' way for anything. Man will always find ways to do things better than before, quote: "Wherever the knowledge takes us, it will empower us to do more...

Neuroscience Personal Statement Example 2 The application of scientific knowledge to understanding how humans, and the creatures around us, function and react with each other has always been a source of wonder to me. The opportunity to combine a scientific understanding of processes and structure of the nervous system and brain with knowledge of applications relevant to our own behaviour, including those of a clinical kind, makes neuroscience such an attractive prospect to me...

Business/Human Resources Personal Statement Example In a turbulent economic and social climate, business remains of core importance. It is a crucial element of our lives, working as a catalyst for innovation, which is why I wish to study it at undergraduate level...

Media Studies Personal Statement Example 2 When I was nine years old, I would secretly read a Lord of the Rings book after bedtime with a flashlight with all the enthusiasm of, well, a child. Nobody was more excited than I when we went to watch the film adaptation, and, needless to say, I was mesmerized - not only by the effects, but also by the design of its posters, websites and trailers that all did justice to the film...

History Personal Statement Example 43 I have always wanted to be part of an open-minded society and live in a country where originality is rewarded, so the UK came to my mind as being the best country to read my degree. My passion for the English language has developed over years of studying English at school, where I have been successful in every written and oral exam...

English Personal Statement Example 30 English is not simply the study of humanity, or society, or history or the written word; it is all of those together and it is this versatility that makes it so appealing to me. The link between literary criticism and psychoanalysis is a great interest of mine...

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  • Current location: How to fill in an application form

How to fill in an application form

Find out how to answer the questions in a job application form.

We can review your application before you send it to an employer.

Book an appointment with a careers consultant or ask us a question via CareerHub. 

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Find out: 

  • what to do before writing your application
  • the type of questions you may be asked
  • how to write the personal statement
  • who to use as referees
  • how to disclose a disability
  • how to disclose a criminal record
  • when you will hear back about your application .

Where to start

Before you begin writing your application, investigate:

  • the employer
  • the skills and requirements of the position
  • how you need to apply.

Start your research by reading the job advert, job description and person specification. Find out about any competencies that the employer is looking for and visit their website to find out more about the company.

Types of questions

Graduate recruiters particularly use competency-based questions and motivational questions in their recruitment.

Competency-based questions

Typical competencies might include:

  • communication
  • motivation.

It is your job to give examples of how you have demonstrated these competencies in the past.

Typical competency-based questions might include can you:

  • tell us about a time when you worked as part of a team? What was your role and what did you do?
  • give an example of when you showed good communication skills?

Motivational questions

Motivational questions are designed so that the employer can find out more about why you want the role and if you will fit into the organisation.

Typical motivational questions:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What are the major challenges facing our sector currently? Who are our competitors?
  • Where do you see yourself in X years’ time?

How to fill out the personal statement 

Show the employer how you meet the criteria on the job description or person specification. 

To do this, use each point on the person specification as a heading and provide your example underneath. This makes it easier for the people shortlisting to see how you meet the criteria. Using the  STAR model  can help give your examples a clear and concise structure. 

Write your answers and examples in Word first so that you can check your spelling and grammar. Save the job description and person specification for future reference, and a copy of your application.

Matching your experience to the job

Think about all areas of your life that you can draw on to give examples such as your academic studies, extra-curricular activities, part-time work, volunteering, and responsibilities at home. 

In your examples it is also important to show that you understand what the company does and what the job involves, by linking your experience to the role. 

  • Presentations given during your degree to demonstrate communication skills.
  • Skills acquired from being part of a University society or sports team such as interpersonal and teamwork. 
  • Part-time work or volunteering where you may have gained customer service, communication and time-management skills. 

Who to use as referees

You should provide a minimum of two referees with your application. This could be an academic at Sussex. It is also preferable to use a work reference from a previous job.

If you haven’t worked before, think about other people who could provide a reference. This could be a school teacher or a family friend. 

Disclosing a disability

Most application forms will ask you to complete a diversity section that may cover disability. If you decide to tell an employer about a disability, they must make reasonable adjustments to support you during the application process and in the workplace.

Whether to tell an employer about a disability is a personal decision – you can discuss your options with a careers consultant. 

Find out about your disability rights .

More support

We have partnered with  EmployAbility  to provide students with disabilities and long-term health conditions with individualised advice and support. The EmployAbility team will also advocate for you with an employer to ensure you receive the adjustments you need.

Disclosing a criminal record

Employers are likely to ask if you have had a criminal conviction. If you are unsure of how to answer this section, you can discuss this with a Careers Consultant. Nacro also has information on  disclosing criminal records .

When you will hear back

If you haven’t heard anything for two weeks after the deadline, you can contact the employer to follow up the status of your application. 

If your application isn’t successful, you can ask for the employer for feedback, which will help you when you write future applications.

See more from How to apply for a job

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Online application guide

Follow our guide to help you with your research application. You will find out how to complete each section of the application form, the supporting documents you need, and how to contact us if you need help.

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Getting started

You apply through the University’s  postgraduate application system .

You need to:

  • create an online account using our postgraduate application system
  • click on the URL in the activation email to activate your account
  • log in to your account using the email address and password chosen when you registered
  • select your research degree from the A-Z drop-down menu, or type its title into the keyword search
  • select your point of entry. You should check the entry points your degree offers. For some of our courses you can select to start your degree in September, January or May, while for others entry is in September only
  • select your mode of study, for example, part-time or full-time 
  • click Apply to begin your application. You can apply for up to three courses. 

Completing the application form

Follow our guidance to help you complete each section of the application form:

You must fill in all of your personal details and indicate if you need a visa to study in the UK.  

If you do require a visa to study in the UK, you must:

  • submit your passport (and previous visa if you have studied in the UK). This is so that so we can give you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number for your visa application.

You must: 

  • provide a valid home address. If you want to be contacted at a different address, provide a correspondence address
  • make sure you tell us if you change your address by emailing [email protected] .

Provide details of your:

  • qualifications - give details of any further or higher education qualifications you have completed, or are studying
  • previous university -  select your previous university from the list. If you are an international student, type the name of your university into the text box and select your country from the list
  • subject of study  - the title of the course you have completed or are studying. You must include the title/level of the course/s e.g. BA, MSc 
  • class or grade - your final grade i.e. Pass, 2:1. If you have not yet completed the qualification, provide a date for when you will receive the result
  • extra information -   if you wish to give us more   information about your qualification, such as module descriptions, complete the description box. 

Please state whether English is your first language. If English is not your first language you need to:

  • check our English language requirements
  • tell us the English language qualification you have, and the grades you have achieved, and upload a copy of your certificate 
  • tell us if you will be taking an English language test in the future. 

If you have language qualifications not included in our list of accepted qualifications, provide details and evidence of your qualification, so we can consider it as an alternative.

You can give more information about relevant work experience that you have (paid or voluntary) that may support your application.

You can attach any associated certificates or references. 

You must provide:

  • research proposal/research statement 
  • summary of academic interests (this is optional depending on the subject area you are applying for)
  • degree certificates and transcripts. If the originals are not in English, certified translations must be provided
  • your English language qualification, where applicable
  • two academic references  –  including one from your most recent university. Or you can provide contact details for your referee and we will email them. 

If you are applying for a research degree, you may need to submit a research proposal or research statement. It is important your proposal/statement is in the format your subject area requires. Before submitting your application, see our  guide to writing your research proposal  for subject-specific guidance. Staff from our Schools of study have provided guidance on what a proposal/statement should contain.

Identifying a supervisor/department

You are encouraged to identify which supervisor(s) or department you would like to work with, and you can discuss your research interests with supervisors before applying.  If you ask to be supervised by a particular member of faculty, this will be considered but not all such requests can be accommodated.  Find out how to find a supervisor .

You can keep track of the sections you have completed on your form:

  • each section is marked with a red cross to show that it is not yet complete, or a green tick if the section is finished
  • you cannot submit your application unless all sections are complete
  • once you are happy with your application, click submit.

You will be notified by email that your application has been successfully submitted. You cannot change or add information after your application has been submitted, apart from your contact address.

You can monitor the progress of your application by logging into your account and clicking on the status button next to your course application. 

You can use your account to:

  • see if we need more information or documents. This is shown in the application's status. We will also email you to notify you
  • see if you have been given an offer
  • see a copy of your offer letter 
  • accept or decline your offer through your account

It is only possible to hold one offer at a time from the University of Sussex. 

You can apply for up to three courses by returning to the application homepage and adding another course.

Some sections of the application will already be completed from your first application. 

Your supporting documents, including your references are used across each application.  

You might also be interested in:

  • student support
  • visas and immigration
  • how to apply for accommodation
  • how to apply for a PhD

How to write a good Personal Statement

How to write a good Personal Statement

It may seem like the term has only just started, but the UCAS deadline isn’t too far away. So if you’re planning on going to university next September, now would be a good time to start your personal statement.

Your personal statement forms a core part of your university application and should explain why you’ve chosen that particular course and why you will be good at it.

Your personal statement should be 4,000 characters or 47 lines (whichever is shortest). To give you an idea of what this looks like, one page of Word is 51 lines. So try and sell yourself in one page and make sure that your writing is to the point.

So to get you started, we thought we’d give you our top tips on how to plan, write, and check a good personal statement.

Plan your content

Start by making a rough plan of what you need to include. Try to remember that universities want you to tell them why you should be accepted onto their course.

So before you start writing, make a few notes about why you want to study there.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to study that subject?
  • Why do you want to study at that university?
  • How will your experiences and skills help you to be a success?
  • What work experience do you have?
  • What relevant clubs or societies are you apart of?
  • What career goals do you have?

If you’re still struggling to make a start, take a look at the UCAS page on Turing and pick up a UCAS Handbook from student services.

Make it manageable

Once you have an idea of the content, try separating it into manageable chunks. This will help you to decide what is essential and what isn’t.

Like with most pieces of writing you’ll need a beginning, middle, and an end; so getting your content into manageable chunks will also help you to decide what should go into each section.

Arguably, the first and last paragraphs are the most important so you can make a good first impression and leave a good lasting impression.

With this in mind, you need to cut to the chase in this first sentence and tell the reader why you want to study this course. Allow yourself 5 lines to do this.

Use the next 25 lines to explain and provide evidence of why you deserve the place, then summarise and recap in the last 15-17 lines.

Think about your experiences, what skills these have given you, and how these will be useful to help you in your studies and future career.

Write a rubbish first draft

So now you have your content and you know what you’re going to include in each section, it’s time to write your rubbish first draft.

We call it a rubbish first draft because we don’t want you to be too precious about this one. Don’t spend too long trying to get it right first time. Just get some words down and give yourself something to build on. Good writing isn’t about the quality of your first draft. It’s about nurturing your ability to spot what’s good in your draft.

Read, refine, and repeat

Now you have something to work with, you can spend some time tightening up your introduction, really selling yourself in the body of your statement, and finishing it off with a memorable ending.

Try to avoid using clichés and over-used phrases such as: For as long as I can remember I have… It has always been my dream to work in… Just write in a clear and simple way.

Make the final paragraph bold and memorable, leaving the reader with no doubts as to why you will be an excellent addition to their university. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in this part either. You want to stand out, not blend in.

While you’re reviewing, keep asking yourself – is this to the point? Am I telling them why I deserve a place on this course? You are not writing an essay. What matters are the facts - get these across clearly and avoid the temptation to embroider your writing with flowery language.

Keep communicating with your tutor and book in time to see them so they can provide you with feedback. Make sure you do this well in advance of your deadline because their time will be booked up quickly.

Before you send it…

Leave your personal statement for a couple of days and come back to it with fresh eyes. That way you’ll be able to sport any glaring errors. Once you’ve read it, ask a friend to read it. Then ask your parents to read it too. This will be useful because they should be able to let you know if it reflects who you are.

For even more tips and information about writing your personal statement, why not try:



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Please note UCAS will detect any form of plagiarism. PSE and its contributors do not take any responsibility for the way in which personal statements are used.

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Personal statements

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Do I need a personal statement?

Your personal statement should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study.

For UK applicants, you don't need to provide a personal statement with your application unless you are applying for:

  • a Pre-Registration Masters course
  • our MA Social Work
  • a Masters course within our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
  • the Essex MBA

Please check our  course pages  for specific entry requirements for all of our Masters courses.

How to write your personal statement

This is your chance to personalise your application. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your suitability and passion for your subject. Your goal should be to convince our postgraduate admissions tutors that you are capable and motivated. Your personal statement needs to show why you want to study at the University of Essex. Clear connections between your most recent study and experience with your chosen Masters courses are essential and you should provide a commentary on reasons for your choice. You should also demonstrate how postgraduate study will build on your current level of learning.

Getting started

Why do you want to do your course .

You should express your enthusiasm and motivation to study the course. Don’t just try to write what you think our postgraduate admissions tutors want to hear, talk about your own reasons. Write about any projects, dissertations or extended essays that are relevant or demonstrate relevant skills. Mention any prizes you've won, as well as any travel, time studying abroad and relevant employment you think may make you a good candidate for your course.  

Why your subject?

Be clear about your subject choice. When did you become interested in this subject and what have you learned about it so far? What insights have you gained? How have you learned about this subject, for example through classes, seminars, work, or even conversations with academic staff? 

How is your first degree relevant now? 

Highlight any assignments or projects which are relevant or where you’ve done well. Include relevant skills you've gained, for example computing, knowledge of data analysis software, or relevant scientific techniques etc. Explain any circumstances that may have affected your academic results, that you think should be considered. 

Why Essex? 

Give reasons why you have chosen to study at Essex and prove that you are familiar with who we are and what we stand for. Explain what you feel Essex has to offer, why that appeals to you, and how you will be able to contribute. 

Are there specific academic staff members you want to work with? 

You may want to research who you will be working with so that you can explain why you would like to work with them and what you will learn from them. Focus on what academic publications they've written and what their research is on, then explain why this interests you.

How are you going to step up to the advanced level of postgraduate study? 

Our postgraduate admissions selectors want to be convinced that you are going to cope well with this a level of study. 

What personal skills can you offer? 

Demonstrate that you’ve done your homework about the course you're applying for and that you’ve seriously considered your strengths and weaknesses for postgraduate study. If you have worked during vacations, what skills have you gained? These might include team working, communication or working under pressure. Have you had to overcome any obstacles or hardships in your life? This may show evidence of determination. 

What are your career aims? 

You may not have clear focus on what you want to do after you graduate from Essex, but you should have some ideas. A clear direction will strengthen your commitment to do well in your studies and selectors will know this. Your desire to become a lawyer or lecturer, for example, should be a logical result of specific experience in your statement.

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7 fun places to watch the solar eclipse in N.J.

  • Updated: Apr. 08, 2024, 2:59 p.m. |
  • Published: Apr. 08, 2024, 7:01 a.m.

  • Rob Jennings | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The solar eclipse will darken the sky for a few unforgettable minutes Monday and much of New Jersey is eagerly awaiting a glimpse.

For those who want to experience the eclipse with a group , special viewing events are being held throughout the state — sort of like the astronomy version of Super Bowl watch parties. (See a list of seven unique events below.)

About 90% of the sun will be blocked by the moon for a brief period in the late afternoon in New Jersey.

“Maximum obscuration will occur between 3:23 p.m. and 3:26 p.m. depending on location in New Jersey,” according to state Department of Environmental Protection officials.

The moon will begin to cross over the sun in the sky around 2:09 p.m., with the blockage ending around 4:35 p.m. At the maximum coverage, the sun is expected to look like a thin crescent moon shining in the afternoon sky.

Keep in mind that “viewing of the solar eclipse should only be done while using specialized eclipse viewing glasses,” state officials warned.

Here are some spots in New Jersey to view the eclipse:

High Point State Park

One obvious viewing choice is High Point State Park in Sussex County, which offers New Jersey’s highest elevation at 1,803 feet.

High Point, with an anticipated 93.09% obscuration of the sun during the eclipse, is among more than two dozen state parks where you can view the eclipse out in nature, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

High Point State Park is expecting a large number of visitors to view the eclipse, the park’s website said. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and public restrooms are limited this time of year.

The High Point Monument on top of the mountain’s summit is closed for the season.

Visitors are asked to only park in designated areas and not pull off on the grass, which are saturated due to recent heavy rains, park officials said.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry , which crosses the Delaware Bay, is touting two, regularly-scheduled rides on Monday as Solar Eclipse Sailings .

“Get ready for an extraordinary experience! On April 8th, 2024, you have the opportunity to witness the Solar Eclipse from a unique perspective,” the ferry company says on its website.

“During our regularly scheduled 2:30 pm crossing from Cape May to Lewes (Delaware), or our 2:45 pm crossing from Lewes to Cape May, a partial eclipse will be visible from our upper decks, weather permitting,” the ferry says.

Reserved seating is not being offered.

Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center in Jersey City is hosting what it describes as “New Jersey’s Largest Astronomy Party” on Monday.

“On that day, the sun will be 91.2% covered in a near-total eclipse. You won’t see anything like this again until 2044,” it says.

The Great Eclipse celebration will begin at 1 p.m., three hours after the science center opens for the day.

Free solar viewing glasses will be provided with every admission ticket. There will be, weather permitting, from eight to 10 telescopes on the back lawn, with the planetarium team offering guidance.

Starting at 1:30 p.m, the science center will offer a webcast from NASA, and those from other science sites, enabling viewers to watch the eclipse from various locations across its path.

Rutgers University

In a unique twist, two Rutgers University English professors will be reading “Paradise Lost,” by famed 17th Century poet John Milton, from 9:30 a.m. until approximately 6 p.m. on the New Brunswick campus.

“Paradise Lost” features allusions to eclipses, along with imagery of light and darkness, Rutgers officials said.

Students, faculty, other employees and members of the public are invited to join professors Ann Baynes Coiro and Brad Evans in the reading, which will take place in front of Murray Hall, near George Street in New Brunswick.

“You can drop by to listen,” Evans said. “And anyone can get in the queue to read a verse paragraph.”

Jenny Jump State Forest

The United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey , which has an observatory at Jenny Jump State Forest in Warren County, is hosting a Total Solar Eclipse Event , from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. Admission is free, but registration is requested due to limited parking.

“We are pleased to provide access to solar viewing equipment for all attendees. Solar glasses will also be available for purchase at the observatory for your convenience,” the organization says on its website.

Organizers have a backup plan if the weather does not cooperate.

“In the event of adverse weather conditions, we will provide a live stream from a location with clear skies so that you can still witness this celestial wonder from the comfort of our observatory,” the group said.

Jenny Jump State Forest is located at 333 State Park Road in Hope.

Gateway National Recreation Area

The U.S. National Park Service is touting a Sandy Hook Partial Solar Eclipse Watch Party , free of charge, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday in Sandy Hook at Parking Lot E.

“Although Sandy Hook is not in the path of totality, we do expect to experience a partial eclipse. The rangers will have eclipse safety glasses and Junior Ranger Eclipse Explorer books and badges available for visitors. Remember to bring beach chairs and sunscreen,” organizers said.

Belleplain State Forest

Belleplain State Forest in Cape May County is touting a hike organized by employees to the park’s athletic field for eclipse viewing, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Hikers will meet at the Belleplain office at 2 p.m. The state forest is located at 1 Henkinsifkin Road in Woodbine.

Rob Jennings

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