Postgraduate study

Personal statement

You will need to submit a personal statement of around 500 words, outlining your academic history and relevant experience.

Your personal statement is an important part of your application: it will help selectors to decide whether you are good match for the programme you have applied for and, just as importantly, whether the programme is right for you.

Areas to cover

Your personal statement gives you the opportunity to outline your academic history and relevant experience in order to demonstrate that you are a suitable candidate for the programme you have applied for. 

You should also use your personal statement to outline your motivation for your chosen area of study. Try to answer questions such as:

  • Why are you interested in studying at Edinburgh?
  • Why have you chosen this particular programme?
  • What are your career plans, and how will your studies support these?

If you have any other relevant experience, for example paid or voluntary work experience or additional qualifications not stated elsewhere, then please include this information in your personal statement, or you can add it to the “Relevant knowledge/training skills” field in the application form.

If you are applying for more than one programme you should write a tailored personal statement for each of your applications. This enables you to refer to the specific programme you are applying for and to highlight how your academic background and skills make you suitable for this particular programme.

Length and writing style

Your personal statement should be no more than 3,500 characters (approximately 500 words) in length and should be written in formal English, using appropriate grammar and punctuation.

It is a good idea to ask a friend to proofread your statement for you before you submit your application.