How to write a personal statement for Psychology

Elis Power, Psychology with Criminology

Psychology is the study of people and why they do the things they do, so we want to see that you have a fundamental interest in people and their behaviour, say Admissions Tutors.

Tips to follow

  1. Show passion. We want to know where this interest in psychology comes from, what excites you and how you indulge your passion. Simply saying: “I have always been interested in psychology” is meaningless without presenting any evidence. Demonstrate how this interest has manifested itself and what you have done to take it further.

  2. Research the profession. Show that you understand there is more to psychology than clinical psychology. Remember, psychology is a science, with a focus on research methods – designing studies and analysing data. It’s not all about Freud and psychoanalysis!

  3. Show you are up to date with the subject: perhaps you could analyse a recent article or news event, or write a short blog post. Talk about any specialist magazines, blogs or websites you read and why you enjoy them.

  4. It’s good to have an idea of what you want to gain from the psychology degree and from your University experience. Mention what you are looking forward to, from modules to placements.

  5. Don't simply list what you have done. Saying you were captain of the cricket team or spent a week at a local newspaper is not very helpful unless you use it to show what you learned from the experience. Only mention hobbies that reveal something relevant about you. Perhaps they have taught you good timekeeping skills, teamwork or given you extra insight or experience in your field of interest.

Student tips

First-year student Keira said: "I put a lot of effort into my personal statement. I approached it by brain storming what information I wanted to include and why. 

I structured it by introducing myself first and then talking about my passion for psychology. I then talked about my experiences and how they adapted me for my studies, before talking about why I wanted to come to USW and study Psychology.

If I was to do it all again, I would talk more about my current interest in Psychology and read around this subject, as I think this would have demonstrated initiative and real passion."