Getting into a top psychology course is not an easy thing, and there is a good reason for that. Being the basis for all kinds of careers, psychology is considered a sought-after degree. It is no wonder that thousands of students dream about enrolling in top courses. Are you one of those who dream of becoming a certified expert one day? Then you are to stand out from the crowd and to do more than simply notching those top grades. Introduce yourself in a proper way - prepare a psychology personal statement that clearly explains why you want to study this course and why you are the best candidate to accept.
Since most students lack experience and knowledge of application essay writing, we have made a selection of tips from psychology admissions tutors. So keep reading to have an idea of why this type of writing is so important and how to make it land you a “yes” from the admission committee. In case you have no time to draft a winning application essay yourself, you can always reach out to professional writers. We will help you enroll in your dream college.
Reasons to Write a Psychology Personal Statement
Just like a statement of purpose, personal statement writing is an important part of the application process regardless of the graduate psychology school you are going to apply to. It is a great opportunity for you to showcase your best qualities and achievements, thus, interest the admission tutors. Here are some other good reasons for you to include a personal statement into your application:
- You introduce yourself from a broader perspective, which is not attached to grades and test scores;
- You emphasise your strong points, achievements, goals, and ambitions;
- You clearly demonstrate your interest in this field of study and a particular course;
- You make the admission commission easily distinguish you from a bundle of other applicants and remember you.
People at the admission board want to know more about you than just having an overview of your academic grades. Reviewing students’ applications is a complex thing. But you can boost your acceptance rates by delivering an effective essay and focusing on your key strengths and traits. The below tips will guide you in this business.
It is sometimes difficult to find the perfect starting point for a winning piece. But things will get easier if you stick to our recommendations. So before you get on the task, keep in mind the following:
- Sell yourself - Capture the admissions committee’s focus with the very first paragraph of your piece. In order not to miss out on important information, we recommend that you prepare a general outline by listing key points you want the selection committee to know about you. Include the aspects of the study that are most interesting to you, provide reasons behind your motivation, and share your achievements in the field. It is best to provide this information in the opening paragraph that determines the rest of your essay. Remember that a personal statement is your marketing tool to market and sell yourself.
- Focus on your strengths - Some of your skills may be unobvious to people from the admission board as you expect. So your goal is to make sure that people are aware of all your unique characteristics. Discuss your long-term goals, incorporate academic achievements, and explain what makes you a solid candidate.
- Research program modules - Demonstrate you are interested in a particular program (e.g.criminology, law, sociology) and not just sending your application essay to all educational establishments in your area. It is important you learn the discipline areas and specific faculty members you would like to work with.
- Ask your undergraduate advisor for help - If you need an extra eye on your paper, you can always reach out to your undergraduate advisor. He may also offer you a clear direction about how to target a specific program of your interest. You may even ask a professor to write a letter of recommendation for you.
- Show you are up to date with the subject - Saying that you are interested in learning psychology is not enough for being accepted. You need to prove your interest level and show your knowledge in the subject. Analyse recent articles, news events, blog posts, or scientific publications. In your piece, you can mention any specialist magazines, blogs or websites you read.
- Share your life goals and ambitions - It’s good to let admission people know what you want to gain from the academic degree and from your university experience. Write a couple of sentences about your long-term goals and ambitions.
Some of the recommendations may sound banal, but they work. It is your responsibility to make sure you avoid generic information and cliched reasons for doing psychology. They will hardly make your personal statement sound persuasive. You can also check successful graduate school personal statement examples and use them as your main reference point.
Just like in academic essay writing, there is a general outline to follow when working on your application essay. Stick to it in order to structure the information in the most effective way:
- Intro paragraph – 4-6 sentences;
- Academic achievements – 5-7 sentences;
- Research experience – 6-8 sentences;
- Employment/ volunteer/ charity/ clinical experience – 6-8 sentences;
- Goals – 6-9 sentences;
- Conclusion – 3-5 sentences.
Final Review Needed?
Need an expert to run the final check of your psychology personal statement? No worries - we will polish the piece and make it shine.
Some academic programs require specific information from applicants. So it is important to check application instructions before writing your statement. Essay length, content, format, and structure - all these are essential for your considerations. In case there are no strict requirements, you can always improvise and provide the information in the format that works best for you.
Psychology Personal Statement Example 1
Psychology influences our everyday decisions and moulds us into who we are. Growing up as a transgender youth, studying the case of David Reimer was extremely captivating. This case study led to the nature-nurture debate which helped me understand the development of the gender debate throughout the years.This is a very predominant aspect of my life as the evolution of psychology in this area has led to the treatment I have received.
Having completed several online courses on FutureLearn such as ‘Psychology and Mental Health’ and ‘The Mind is Flat: the Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology’, as well as having attended a psychology taster day at King’s College London. An area that has particularly caught my interest is how chemical imbalances can lead to mental disorders. This was particularly interesting after completing tasks involving being attached to a machine that detected brain activity. Where the objective was to complete the race course against an opponent, a chemical imbalance would cause a scalextric set to halt.
Further reading has extended my knowledge of the subject. ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ by Oliver Sacks which includes six individual stories about some of his remarkable patients. One of these stories included twin Autistic Savants who had spectacular talent dealing with prime numbers, which improved my understanding of topics within psychology such as the characteristics of Autism and the application of psychology to everyday life. Books ‘Blink’ and ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell explains ‘the three rules of epidemics’ and prejudicial behaviour previously highlighted in social psychology.
I have had the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of the subject further by attending a criminology conference. Guest speakers included Professor Graham Pike and Dr Michael Fiddler, who spoke about the myths of criminology and the public response to crime and punishment. On top of this, attending a course on phobias at the Zoological Society of London developed my knowledge of the clinical and learning aspect of psychology. John Clifford, the lecturer, explored hypnotism as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy to resolve common phobias such as arachnophobia and ophidiophobia.
I currently have a part time job working as a teaching assistant at Kumon, a tutoring company which aids children in areas of Maths and English. Here working first hand with an Autistic child has allowed me to apply the aspects we learn in the classroom to a real life situation. I have developed patience as well as adapting my tutoring style to the needs of the children.
Studying psychology at A-level allowed me to understand the basis of the subject in depth which provides a foundation for further knowledge which I know will aid me at university.
In addition to studying Psychology at A Level, my A levels in Government and Politics as well as Economics have improved my essay writing ability and analytical dexterity, which are traits needed in psychology.
Aside from academic interests, I have completed my Bronze DofE and I am currently in the process of completing it at Gold level. This gives me many diverse skills due to the varied sections of the programme. I have partaken in and completed many charitable events, such as reaching the semi-finals of the Wings of Hope Achievement Awards competition, in an effort to fundraise for better education for children in India and Malawi. On top of this I have regularly been nominated for various roles such as Sports and Form Captain as well as school council roles, and received an outstanding contribution award in 2013 for my involvement within the community such as helping out on open and parents’ evenings.
I believe that the skills I have gained throughout my A level courses have prepared me well for the challenges I will face at university.
Psychology Personal Statement Example 2
During the holidays of 2016, I took part in some scientific based work experiences including editing for the student British Medical Journal, being a first aider in a refugee camp in Germany and blogging for an AI event planning group based in London. In addition to realising that it was possible to take my pure science background and apply it to many areas of a commercial workplace, I became fascinated by how the refugees adapted to new social situations and the impact that AI has on human behaviour.
I have always had a passion for science but it is only recently that I have discovered how diverse and interesting the study of psychology is and I would like to develop this at degree level. I have been exposed to the science of psychology, knowingly or not, as my mother suffers from bipolar disorder. Growing up around a person with such a complex mental illness made me question its cause. My mother has given me many reasons for her disorder including her upbringing so I wanted to see if there was a reliable link between the way she was raised and the disorder she has. I have since discovered that several members of my family have had different psychiatric conditions. I have become interested in research that studies how much behaviour is influenced by nature and how much by nurture. This led me to read 'Nature via Nurture' by Matt Ridley. It is here that Ridley showed how recent research demonstrates that the expression of genes can be affected by the environment and how these controlled genes impact behaviour, thus explaining how the two theories can coexist. Unable to attend psychology classes at school, I sought my own reading. I found Oliver Sacks' witty and insightful presentation of his studies in 'An Anthropologist on Mars' particularly stimulating. His study of Greg F. in 'The Last Hippie' was similar to the case of Phineas Gage in that they both experienced frontal lobe damage and I found Sacks' exploration of the relationship between cognitive functions, and the roles specific parts of the brain play in memory thought-provoking. Having enjoyed Sacks' work and style of writing, I read 'The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat' where further case studies of localised brain function are explored. I hope to look into similar case studies through research at university.
Through my EPQ I was able to look at many methods of research and conduct a meta-analysis titled 'Based on research already conducted is there enough evidence to draw a direct link between the consumption of Excitotoxins, Alzheimer's disease and other small brain lesions?' Although this was not based on a pure area of psychology it still allowed me to look thoroughly through research, find faults and question reliability and research methods. Writing an EPQ required me to develop a complex, balanced argument in a discursive essay format. Having taken statistics for AS Mathematics, I am aware of the issues associated with statistical data and I look forward to applying both my interest in research and statistics at university.
As a mixed-race student who spends time with both Italian and Ghanaian family, I have always been aware that different cultures have different behavioural norms. This summer, I took part in the National Citizenship Service which allowed me to consider social influence in a much wider context. I lived and worked with people from many different socio-economic and racial backgrounds. We had few norms and had to negotiate common goals and behaviours in order to successfully complete the tasks set. It was after this that I became interested in the dynamics of groups and social psychology. I watched an open Yale course, 'Why are people different? : Differences', where Professor Paul Bloom discusses the varying elements of social dynamics, intelligence and personality. I found the analysis of social intelligence particularly engaging and this is something I cannot wait to explore further at university.