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University Application.

Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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9/26/2011 1:13:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So I'm going to apply to university soon, applying for the course PPE (Politics, philosophy and economics) or just Politics and Economics. I have to write a personal statement of 4000 characters to differentiate myself from other applicants and sell myself. I'm English, and still not sure if I want to apply to Oxbridge. Does anyone who has gone through the process have any tips or advice to give? What's the best way to write my statement? What should I say?
Grape
Posts: 989
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9/26/2011 1:25:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What does the prompt exactly say? I forgot exactly what I wrote my personal statement about last year.

If I lived in the UK, I would have applied to Oxbridge. Go big or go home. Then again, I didn't apply to any Ivies so I suppose that's hypocritical. You're also limited on how many universities you can apply to, right? What have you looked at?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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9/26/2011 1:27:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Your profile says you own a Bonsai tree. That would be good place to start. Don't just say you own a Bonsai tree of course. Say why you own one. What makes you so unique and different that makes you want a Bonsai tree? Basically write something unique and interesting about yourself to capture their attention.

After that, gradually transition into how good you are at academics. Don't mention your grades. Those will be sent to them anyways, but tell them WHY you have such great grades (assuming you do). Are you just someone who is motivated to give the nest you can? Is that why you always have great grades? Does that internal motivation drive you to win nearly every debate you instigate online? Does you thirst for knowledge make you puruse a hobby like online debating where you gained extensive experience writing papers and sourcing them and making academic style arguments? What is it about you that makes you win 50/52 debates?

Answer those kind of questions. In short, tell them why you are such a winner, and why they should be glad to have you. (I just gave DDO as an example but there are so many different things you can say.)
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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9/26/2011 1:38:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
@Grape: This is the website I have to apply through, and the information they give you about writing the personal statement: http://ucas.com...

Apart from Oxbridge, my second choice would probably be Durham, then Newcastle, generally Russell group unis (equiv your ivy group).

@FFF

Thanks for your advice. I'll take it into account, though I'm not sure my statement will be that, umm, flowery?
Kinesis
Posts: 3,667
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9/27/2011 11:42:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
So this is what I have so far (I need more). Any suggestions?

From reading books such as John Rawls' A Theory of Justice and Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia amongst other abstract political works, I came to have a strong idealised notion of how politics ought to operate. It is only since investigating more fully the current state of the world that I came to realise that reality is less simple. Religious extremism sparked a messy war in the Middle East that lingers on today. Greed and corruption, as well as poor regulation, facilitated a global economic recession. Rioters in Britain showed an ugly face of British sub-culture. Reading publications such as the Times and the Financial Times, as well as foreign based publications such as Al Jazeera has given me a broad perspective of global events, but I wish to take my studies to the next level, and studying economics and politics at degree level would be immensely enlightening and useful.

I have a broad range of interests, including interacting with Japanese culture and people. I am taking a course in Japanese language at Durham University, which has allowed me to investigate university life as well as interact with like-minded people. I play the cornet and trumpet, and having attained my Grade 8 I am currently working on receiving my diploma. I play badminton and tennis at local clubs, and have taken part in events such as the Coast to Coast bike ride to raise money for charity, and silver Duke of Edinburgh award, which has allowed me to gain experience working with other people. I have debated and discussed with university students and others, British and foreign, online about political, philosophical and economic subjects, taking part in tournaments about subjects such as voting systems, Keynesian vs. Austrian economics, ethical theories, healthcare systems, affirmative action and drug legalisation. This has given me a broad knowledge base to draw from with regards to political, philosophical and economic issues. Balancing these various interests with the demands of academic work as allowed me to learn good time management skills, which should put me in good stead with regards to university life.

Originally I took AS-levels including Biology, Chemistry and Physics during my first year of A-levels, but a growing interest in economics, writing and philosophical issues lead me to restart AS with different subjects. Taking maths, including statistics, has allowed me to better understand economic issues, English language and literature has allowed me to develop my writing skills, and taking philosophy and religion has improved my ability to comprehend and evaluate competing points of view.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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9/27/2011 1:48:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/26/2011 1:38:43 PM, Kinesis wrote:


Apart from Oxbridge, my second choice would probably be Durham, then Newcastle, generally Russell group unis (equiv your ivy group).


I'd advise you to consider not just the educational institution itself, but also the city that will become your home for three years. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Shef, Glasgow, Birmingham (obviously!) these are all top notch universities in cities that are actually vibrant and dynamic (no offense to people from Durham or Cambridge).

I never went to Uni so can't advise you on the application process but good luck.