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How To Write A Personal Statement For Ucas Art

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Below are examples of professionally written personal statement, YOU ARE ADVISED NOT TO COPY THEM WORD FOR WORD BUT INSTEAD TO USE THEM AS GUIDES.

Art personal statement example 1

"I hope that through this personal statement I will be able to demonstrate to you my desire and convince you of my ability and potential to be a ideal student for your course.

Although education is currently the top priority in my life, of equal importance is being able to learn in an environment where I can gain the experiences and social skills that will help me to develop as a individual. It is for this reason that I have decided to apply to your institution as I feel it has the right mixture of academic professionalism, welcoming atmosphere and vibrant social scene that can help me to grow professionally and emotionally. I have also been attracted to your institution by its well known reputation for producing highly employable arts graduates. This together with you stated commitment to providing students with the best academic tutoring and equipping them with the required work related skills has convinced me that enrolling with you is what I need to prepare me for my first job.

As a thoughtful person I have a clear idea of where I want to go in my career. This clarity of vision has made me eager to take my first steps towards achieving my employment goals by starting a degree course that will set me on the road to a financially secure future. As a artistic individual with a passion for design and expression I am keen to learn more about the world of art, in particular its history, how it works and what it can offer the world. I want to understand how contemporary and creative art can inspire people to experience feelings and emotions that they would not otherwise have.

I already possess extensive knowledge and practical experience of various related fields such as photography, painting, animation and visual communication. I would greatly like to expand my understanding of these disciplines and it is for these reasons that I am submitting my application to your university.

On a more personal level I am a social person who enjoys spending time with friends and family. Although a private individual I also like to be part of my local community and be involved in what is happening around me. I regularly get involved in helping out as a unpaid volunteer at local events and activities, particularly if there is a artistic element involved in it.

If you feel there is a mutual interest, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about your university and to discuss in greater detail why I feel I would be a good fit on your course."

Art personal statement example 2

"Image for a moment a world without art, if such a place ever existed it would be an environment without beauty, creativity and expression. Devoid of all forms of feelings and ideas it would be a bland existence indeed. Fortunately such a place does not exist, at least not in the UK and at least not yet.

To me art is like language, an expression, interpretation and response to the world around us. It allows us to see ourselves and the world differently and for many people can help to break the monotony of every day life by lifting them out of their daily struggle. It is a subject that has interested me for a long time and has become such an ingrained part of my life that I find it difficult to contemplate an existence without it. 

It was at secondary school that I first realised that I had an artistic flair for drawing, painting and designing when a growing number of classmates insisted that I do pencil sketches of them.  Word of mouth had spread the message around the school that I drew well and I soon had a long list of people ‘to do’. One of the art teachers subsequently heard about me and encouraged me in other areas, namely stitching and creating art from fabrics, threads and recycled objects. After a while I had such a large ‘portfolio’ that at the age of fourteen I held my own art exhibition at a local community centre. Today I feel that it was a combination of these experiences that made me realise how certain pieces of artwork can hold a tremendous amount of sentimental value to many individuals. It was also at about this time that my close family recognised my talents and realised how much I enjoyed what I was doing, from then on they encouraged me to develop my skills through academic study. Something I have been striving to do ever since through school, college and now hopefully at your university.

At the core of my artistic philosophy is a desire to be natural and express myself in my own unique way. In practical terms this means that when trying to capture a particular moment or feeling I try to rely on my instincts to express the essence of the subject.

I have experience of various fields including oil painting, photography, graphic design and visual communication just to name a few. I also posses the determination to work and rework a sketch until I feel I have done as much as I can to transform a picture, photo or idea into a living, breathing work of art.

Right now my ambition is to become a formally trained artist and to this end I have chosen your highly regarded university to achieve my goal. I would be very grateful indeed if you would consider my application to enrol on your degree level Art Course. I feel that I have the required ambition, personal commitment, knowledge and experience to make a successful student at your institution."


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Copyright information - Please read
© These art personal statements are the copyright of Dayjob Ltd August 2011. Students may use these example for their own personal use to help them create their personal statements. You are most welcome to link to this page or any other page on our site.  However these examples must not be distributed or made available on other websites without our prior permission. For any questions relating to the use of these art personal statements please email: info@dayjob.com.


People sometimes think that there is a trick to writing a personal statement for Oxford, or that we are looking for some special secret formula, but this is not the case. Writing a personal statement for Oxford is no different from writing a personal statement for any other university. In fact it’s important to remember that the same wording will be seen by all the universities you apply to and should therefore focus on the course you want to study, not the universities themselves. Please read this helpful advice from UCAS about writing your personal statement.

How important is the personal statement?

Universities build a picture of you as a student from all the different information you provide, to help decide whether or not to offer you a place. The picture is made up of several different pieces: your personal statement, academic record, predicted A-level grades (or equivalent), and your teacher's reference. For most courses at Oxford you will also need to take an admissions test or submit written work as well (check the details for your course). If your application is shortlisted, your interview will also be taken in to account. This means that your personal statement is important but it’s not everything: it’s just one part of the overall picture.

What are Oxford tutors looking for?

Tutors at Oxford are only interested in your academic ability and potential. They want to see that you are truly committed to the subject or subjects you want to study at university but it’s not enough just to say that you have a passion for something: you need to show tutors how you have engaged with your subject, above and beyond whatever you have studied at school or college. This can include any relevant extracurricular activities.

Try to avoid writing your personal statement as though you are ticking things off a list. There is no checklist of required achievements, and tutors will not just scan what you have written to look for key words or phrases. Tutors will read your personal statement to try to understand what has motivated you to apply for their course. It’s a good idea to evaluate your experiences, to show what you have learned from them and how they have helped develop your understanding of your subject.

Should I include extracurricular activities?

If you're applying for competitive courses, which includes any course at Oxford, we typically suggest that you focus around 80% of your personal statement on your academic interests, abilities and achievements. This can include discussion of any relevant extracurricular activities. The remaining 20% can then cover any unrelated extracurricular activities.

There’s a myth that Oxford is looking for the most well-rounded applicants, and that you will only be offered a place if you have a long list of varied extracurricular activities. In fact, extracurricular activities are only helpful in so far as they demonstrate the selection criteria for your course. 

Do I need experience of work and travel?

We understand that not everyone has the opportunity to do work experience or to go travelling so these activities are not a requirement for any of our courses. Tutors won’t be impressed by your connections, or the stamps in your passport, but they will be impressed by how you’ve engaged with your subject.

For example, some of our applicants for Medicine may have had work experience placements in prestigious hospitals but not be able to evaluate their time there. If you have no more experience than some simple voluntary work, or even just discussing medical matters with your friends and family, you can still write an effective personal statement by reflecting critically on what you have learned and discussed. 

To give another example, for the History of Art, tutors will not want to hear about all the galleries and exhibitions that you have visited around the world if you cannot discuss the art that you saw. You can come across more effectively in your personal statement by evaluating art you have seen, even if you’ve only seen it online or in books without ever leaving the school library.

Don’t be put off by any friends who you think have more impressive things to say in their personal statements. Remember that tutors do not have a checklist of achievements that they are looking for: they want to see how you have engaged with your subject.

I’m applying to different courses at different universities – how should I write my personal statement?

If you are thinking of applying for completely different courses at different universities (eg Physics and Accounting, or Biology and Music) we’d encourage you to reconsider. It’s important to choose a subject area that you really want to study, and focus on that one area when making your applications. Also, you can only write one personal statement which will be seen by all the universities to which you apply, so it needs to be relevant for all your courses.

If you are thinking of applying for related courses at different universities then we suggest that you avoid using course titles in your personal statement. We recommend that you write about your interest in the general course themes, and how you have engaged with relevant subject areas, so that your personal statement is equally relevant for each of your course choices. 

Does my personal statement need to stand out?

Students sometimes feel that they need to say something dramatic to stand out from the crowd and be really memorable in their personal statement but this is not true. Applying to Oxford is not like a talent show where you may only have a few seconds to make an impression. Tutors consider each application carefully on its individual merits, looking for evidence of your commitment and ability. If you use your personal statement to demonstrate your academic abilities and your engagement with your subject or subjects, then your application will be memorable for all the right reasons.

Where should I start?

Think about talking to your friends about what you want to study at university: what would you tell them? What have you read or watched or seen that has inspired you? (This might have been at school, at home, in a museum, on TV, in a book, on YouTube or a podcast or anywhere else.) Why was it interesting? What do you want to find out next? What did you do?

If you find this difficult, it might be time to think about whether or not you’ve really chosen the right course. If you can’t think of anything that has inspired you, this lack of enthusiasm will probably come across in your personal statement, or it will become clear at interview, and you’re unlikely to gain a place at Oxford. If you find it easy to answer these questions, you will have a long list of ideas to help you write your personal statement.

When you start to write, remember not just to list your achievements but show how they have affected you, how you have benefited, and what you’d like to learn next. Be honest about yourself and what has inspired you, whether that’s been text books, museums and literature, or websites, podcasts and blogs. Be sure to tell the truth, as tutors might check later, so don’t exaggerate and certainly don’t make any false claims. Don’t hold back either – this is no time for modesty.

When you've written a first draft, have a look back at the selection criteria for your course and think about the evidence you've given for each of the criteria. Have you covered everything?

How many versions should I write?

Ask a teacher to read through what you’ve written, listen to their feedback and then make any updates that they suggest. You may need two or three tries to get it right. Don’t keep writing and rewriting your statement though, as it is more important to keep up with your school or college work, and to explore your subject with wider reading. (See suggested reading and resources.)

Some dos and don’ts

  • DON’T be tempted to make anything up, as you might be asked about it at interview.
  • DON’T copy anyone else’s personal statement. UCAS uses plagiarism detection software.
  • DON'T list qualifications like your GCSE grades or anything else that's covered elsewhere on the application.
  • DON’T just list your other achievements: you need to evaluate them.
  • DON'T feel the need to be dramatic in order to be memorable.

 DO:

  • Apply for a course you really want to study.
  • Be yourself: tell the truth about your interests.
  • Sell yourself: this is not the time for modesty.
  • Reread your personal statement before an interview – the tutors will.
  • Read the UCAS guidance on personal statements.