UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Personal statement advice for SEMS

Here is our advice for writing a UCAS application (mainly for the BSc Sport & Exercise Medical Sciences but with pointers you can consider for other degrees).

What we want to know about you

  1. Demonstrate your interest for the subjects that will be taught on the course. Make sure you visit the programme page and read about the different modules that will be taught on the course, and focus on the ones that are relevant to sport and exercise, as well as their medical aspects. What intrigues you about the subject? What fascinates you? What do you expect to learn? Why do you find the subject interesting? What difference will learning that subject make to your professional development?
  2. What are your professional aspirations? Is there a particular profession (relevant to Sport and Exercise Medical Science) that you aspire to? What motivates you to go into this field? Or you may not have one defined job in mind, but what possibilities are you looking into and why? Keep in mind that Sport Science, Physiotherapy and SEMS are different programmes, and will have similar yet different professional paths. The biggest advantage of SEMS is that you are bridging Sport Science and Medicine, gaining a medical background while also understanding the impact of exercise on the human body in both health and disease, and vice versa.
  3. What skills or experience do you have that make you the best candidate for this course? Do you have any experience as an athlete or in coaching others? Did you volunteer for any organisations that had some connection to sport, exercise and/or medicine? Have you helped with any research projects? Did you go on any extra courses that might be relevant to this degree?
  4. Last but not least, passion! Ultimately, we want to know how passionate you are about the subject and the course. We want to know if you will apply yourself, if you have that personal motivation and willingness to succeed in your degree. Remember, university is all about independent learning, so are you ready to do what it takes? Do you love the subject enough? Make sure your passion and enthusiasm comes across when you’re writing about 1-3.

Structure helps to make a strong point

A logical flow of information will help the reader to follow your argument.

Before you start writing, make an outline. Decide how many paragraphs you want to divide your information into and decide what you will address in each paragraph, treat it like an essay. Give us an introduction to who you are and why you are interested in the course. Follow with your professional motivations. Then given us some information about your previous experience and what would make you the right candidate for this course. Finally, make sure you close with a conclusion, give us a closing sentence that shows how passionate you are about the subject and, ultimately, why you should be selected for the course.

Presentation makes a difference.

Make sure your writing style is impeccable. Proofread, proofread and proofread again. Ask your parents or teachers to read through your application and give you some feedback. Make sure your sentences are well written, with formal language and that the information flows logically. Needless to say, your grammar and spelling need to be spot on. Make sure the document is neatly presented, with justified edges and distinct paragraphs, and please, no funny fonts.

Good luck!

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