Advice on completing the personal statement for the BSc in IDMHR
- The more personal the statement can be the better! Admission tutors read a lot of statements so think about how to personalise it to ensure it is individual and stands out. It is important to let your personality in and to use your own voice. To that end avoid quotations and cliches and try to have your statement reflect you as an individual.
- Explain your reasons for wanting to study IDMHR. What are your motivations? How did you first develop an interest in this field, and how have you developed this interest both in your current studies and extracurricular activities? This may include volunteering, an interest in current affairs, a blog, or both academic and fictional reading around the many issues addressed by IDMHR.
- Be specific from the very beginning and convey your enthusiasm for this subject area and what about it interests you. This could be a discipline approach like geographical risk mapping, the history of humanitarianism, health based sciences or applied languages. Alternatively, you may connect your interests to a future career like journalism/photo journalism, interpreting, policy making or working with an international institution.
- Provide evidence that you have researched the course and the profession and understand what studying IDMHR will involve and that you are prepared for this. This evidence could come from books, quality newspapers, websites, periodicals or scientific journals or from films, documentaries, blogs, radio programmes, podcasts, attending public lectures and so on.
- Reflect on your experiences of work experience, volunteering, university taster sessions, summer schools, campaigning, travel and anything that is relevant to explain what you have learned from them and how they have developed your interest in this subject area. Don’t just describe these experiences but connect them to why you want a career in this sector.
- Tell us about your transferable skills. What experience do you have of working independently, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and good time management. Don’t just write a list but tell us which ones relate most to the course and demonstrate how you have developed them and improved them, and be as specific as you can with examples.
- Tell us about your goals and aspirations, what do you want to get out of the degree and where do you see yourself at the end of it. It’s ok if you don’t know exactly just let us in on how you see this degree fitting in with what you want to do later.
- Always remember to answer the question why should we give you a place on the course? rather than just writing about yourself every bit of the personal statement should be answering this question so give as much evidence and specific information as possible.
- Stay positive! Even if you have only become aware of this course, or even this subject area, very recently and have limited or no formal experience in this field, it is ok! A significant number of our postgraduate students come to study IDMHR later in life after successful careers in other sectors. We are therefore equally interested in why this subject area inspires you and motivates you and you can give us plenty of evidence of your transferable skills and how you want to develop them through this course.