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Trinity College Dublin

Cracking Postgraduate Personal Statements

Importance of Personal Statements

  • Your Opportunity - This is your opportunity to convey a sense of your passion, personality, and intellectual drive. In addition, a well-written statement should provide the committee with valuable insight into your motivation and rationale for the proposed graduate study programme that is not otherwise communicated in the rest of the application materials.
  • Your goal - to present a rationale for the proposed study programme and provide concrete evidence of your readiness. It is important to compose your statement carefully and concisely so as to provide precise and relevant information in response to each section.


Key Elements

  • Demonstrate your interest in the course and any evidence of this interest – academic and personal.
  • Why this is the field of your choice, are particularly, why this university/department?
  • Unique contribution - your personal strengths and experience which you believe will help you to enjoy and succeed in this course at college.
  • Relevant experience - employment, work experience, placement or voluntary work which you consider support your application.
  • Relevant extracurricular experience- sporting, hobbies, social activities and any other interests or achievements that are relevant and may support your future performance in the position for which you are applying.
  • Any other information which you believe supports your application
  • 3 things to remember: Why me? Why Here? Why now?



  • Ensure that you have addressed the most important issues and in appropriate depth.
  • Use clear, concise and professional language. Try not to waffle, be clear and concise. Active language is always effective, for example verbs such as ‘implemented’ and ‘delegated’.
  • Is the structure of the text clear and logical?
  • Have your final personal statement reviewed by your careers adviser and/or proofread by a fresh pair of eyes for typing, spelling or grammatical errors.
  • When you have finished, photocopy/print out/save your completed application and keep this: it will help you in preparing for interview and applying for other courses.



  • Mind Map (pdf) of what to include in your personal statement.
  • Worksheet (pdf) designed to help you think about information you might include in your statement. Useful in conjunction with the personal Statement Mind Map.
  • Personal statements overview (YouTube) from Postgradireland Fair.

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