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Importance of the Personal Statement

What is a UCAS personal statement?

​Your UCAS personal statement is a written piece that you submit to your 4 medical schools. You can only write one personal statement per UCAS application (even if you’re applying for multiple courses at multiple universities). It has a 4,000 character word limit. 

How is my personal statement used?

This will vary depending on the university but generally speaking it will be used alongside your GCSEs, entry exams (UKCAT & BMAT) and teacher's reference to shortlist candidates for interviews. You may be asked questions about your personal statement so it is important to stand out from other candidates. However, anything you mention on your personal statement will be fair game for them to ask in interviews so do not lie or say that you've read a book when you have only read half of it!

What to include in my personal statement?

We would recommend starting early so that you can maximise the amount of redrafts you can go through. 

  • (Motivation to study Medicine

  • Work Experience/ Voluntary Work

  • Realistic Insight into what a career Medicine could entail

  • Demonstration of key skills & qualities e.g. reflection, teamwork, empathy, communication, leadership

  • Academic Achievement

  • Balanced Lifestyle e.g. hobbies & interests

Personal Statement Tips?

Our advice for the first draft would be to write down everything you can think of in terms of work experience, clubs, extra reading and more importantly what you have learned from doing them.

Do NOT treat your personal statement as a CV where you are simply listing of all of your experiences and clubs. You then want to expand on your experiences and explain how they demonstrate areas of the selection criteria.  The selection criteria varies between university but they are all broadly the same. 

Useful Links

Oxford University Selection Criteria

Cardiff University Selection Criteria

Medical Schools Council Selection Criteria

NHS Constitution 

How can the Aspiring Medics help?

We offer a personal statement review service for £10. When you send your form you’ll be able to include additional information such as the medical schools you’re applying to and we’ll do our best to match you with a medical student who is either at or has received offers from your chosen medical school.


We will endeavour to get your personal statement reviewed with corrections and/or comments within 3-4 days. 

One of our core values is that your household income should never affect the education available to you. As such we offer a very generous bursary scheme and even scholarships. If you come from a low income household, check out our bursaries page for more information.