Bristol Graduate Application Personal Statement

What are your entry requirements?

Entry requirements are found under the Entry tab of the individual course listing. Please visit our postgraduate course listings to find courses you are interested in. We have also have a selection of part-time courses.

How do I apply for a postgraduate course?

In most instances applications to our postgraduate courses should be made using the online process. For the majority of courses you should follow the 'Apply for this course' link on the individual course listing for the course you wish to study. For some programmes an alternative application route is required. These will be identified either on the 'Apply for this course' link or on the Entry tab.

Is there a deadline for postgraduate applications?

For most courses we will continue to consider applications until they are full. Any exceptions will be identified on the Entry tab for the specific course.

Please note that Counselling courses have specific deadlines. Closing dates are published on individual course listings.

I have submitted an application to UWE Bristol, what happens now?

Once we have received your application, we will email you with details of how to access yourWelcome website, which has been designed to help you manage all aspects of your application and entry to UWE Bristol. We will then consider your application and contact you if you are successful.

What is my UWE Bristol Welcome website and how do I login?

The UWE Bristol Welcome website is an online portal for UWE Bristol applicants and future students which allows you to track your application. You access the site using the login ID and password provided to you at the application stage.

Please note: For security reasons you will be asked to change your password when you first log in to the site. Therefore, the password will be different from the one in our original email. If you cannot recall your login details please visit the login help page for further advice.

Using the site you can view the latest status of your applications(s), reply to any offers using the ‘My Applications’ option, and view all the important information we have sent to you including letters which you can print. At the appropriate time we will also use the site to send you information about how to apply for accommodation. In addition we will send you links to the new student welcome information relating to enrolment, registration, reading lists etc.

Please note: This is NOT the same as ‘My UWE’, which is for current students and staff only.

I want to withdraw my application, what should I do?

All requests for withdrawal must be put in writing either by letter or email. Please include ‘Request to withdraw’ in the subject heading of any email. In any letter or email to the University it will greatly facilitate a speedy resolution if you provide the following information to enable us to identify you:

  • Your welcome ID
  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth

You can email or post a letter to:

Contact address:
University of the West of England
Coldharbour Lane
Frenchay Campus
BS16 1QY

What postgraduate study does UWE Bristol offer?

UWE Bristol offers both taught and research programmes in a wide range of subjects.

  • Taught Master's degrees
    • A taught Master's degree usually involves a nine-month taught element followed by a research project, so is likely to take 12 to 18 months to complete full time. The award may be a MA (Master of Arts), MSc (Master of Science) or MBA (Master of Business Administration).
    • It may involve a detailed study of a particular aspect of your academic discipline. It may be vocational and accredited by a professional body.
    • It may be a conversion course developing your knowledge and skills in a new subject.
  • Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas
    • These often represent the initial stages of a taught Master's degree, the Certificate requiring fewer credits than the Diploma.
    • They normally take 9 to 12 months to complete full time.
  • Short courses
    • A short course enables you to develop new skills or enhance and update existing skills without committing yourself to long-term study.
    • Some courses are aimed at the absolute beginner, while other courses are designed to further develop existing skills.
  • Research degrees
    • The PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) and MPhil (Master of Philosophy) are research degrees with little or no taught element.
    • They take a minimum of two or three years to complete and often longer.
    • The PhD is a higher academic qualification than an MPhil, but you don't need to take an MPhil first before going onto a PhD.

What are the UWE Bristol term dates?

Please see term dates page for the most up-to-date information.

We will send you joining instruction information via the UWE Bristol Welcome website as soon as it is available, usually from the beginning of August each year for courses starting in September or October, and in November or December for those starting the following January or February.

This information will detail the start date for your course together with confirmation of the exact date upon which you should arrive at the University. It will also include anything you should bring with you or any preparatory work or pre-course reading that you need to do.

What is the tuition fee for postgraduate study?

Please refer to our tuition fees for further information.

Is there funding available for postgraduate study?

Please refer to our information regarding postgraduate funding.

Are postgraduate students entitled to any scholarships or bursaries?

Please see our postgraduate scholarships and discounts information.

How can I apply for Home fee status?

If we cannot determine your fee status from your application form, or if you tell us that you disagree with the fee status you have been given, you will be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire.

The tuition fees for which you are liable and the financial support available to you depend upon the programme of study that you follow and whether you are classed as a Home (UK) student, European Union (EU) student, Offshore student or International student.

Please see our tuition fee status definitions for further information.

Postgraduate Personal Statement

A postgraduate personal statement is one of the major parts of your application to a postgraduate course. You can find out more about the whole admissions process here. Your postgraduate personal statement and your references are the two main sources of information for your admissions, and the personal statement is the one you have control over. So how best to make it stand out?


How to write a postgraduate personal statement

#1 Firstly, let’s work out the basics - how long does it need to be? Generally, applications allow for 1 side of A4 (although some, such as Oxford University , require far more – so make sure you check!). That means there’s no room for anything unnecessary, so drafting, redrafting and editing is a must!

#2 Secondly, remember that a postgraduate personal statement is different to an undergraduate statement as you can tailor it to each individual university. You shouldn’t send out the same statement to each university. There are two good ways to do this – either write one for each university, or write a basic template, and adjust it to focus on each university you apply for.

#3 The easiest way to start writing a postgraduate personal statement is to make a plan. Work out what sort of things the university wants to know about you, and then answer those questions. Good questions to look at include:

  • Why do you want to study this particular course?
  • Why do you want to study at this particular university?
  • What part of the course in particular appeals to you? e.g. certain module, work opportunity, etc
  • What previous experience do you have in the area you are applying to study?
  • What skills do you have that’ll lend themselves to postgraduate study? e.g. if you apply for a research masters, what did you learn from doing a dissertation?
  • What would you like to do after your postgraduate study?

Inject your personality into your personal statement

Of course, everyone who applies will write very similar content in their postgraduate personal statement, so you need to ensure you stand out. This doesn’t mean you need to write something that no-one has ever read before, but that you need to make sure some of your personality comes through. Did you get into philosophy thanks to a certain work of fiction? Mention it (briefly). Did a particular incident doing undergrad biology make you want to study medicine? Write it down! And remember, whilst there’s a set amount of things you need to include (like answering the questions above); don’t just follow a template you find online.

Don’t lie!

Another important thing to remember is this: don’t just make things up! In the same way as you should NEVER lie on your postgraduate CV , you shouldn’t do this on your postgraduate personal statement either. And it’s not just important to make sure you don’t make things up about yourself – make sure anything you say about the university and the postgraduate course you’re applying to has been thoroughly researched. After all, the university is definitely the expert on what it offers, and the admissions office will certainly know if you’re making it up.

Make sure you’re memorable

Of course, there are also ways to help your postgraduate personal statement get noticed beyond what you actually write, and that’s to make yourself memorable in other ways. Name-dropping is probably not the solution here, but dropping references to subjects you know their department specialises in is definitely worthwhile. Just make sure you know what you’re talking about and haven’t just picked something at random!

Fill in the gaps

But what if you’ve got some weak spot that comes up? Perhaps you did worse than expected on a certain module, or you have an unexplained gap in between leaving university and applying for further study? You need to own it. The university is going to want to know about these things, and the best thing you can do is to take the opportunity to not only explain it, but to put a positive spin on it. Did you get worse results than expected because you were ill? Say as such – and then mention how much extra reading you’ve done since, and how much you’re looking forward to improving in that area!

Read it, re-read it, and re-read it again!

Finally (and the most important part of all!), proofread . Take a few days away from it, go back, and read it again. And then after you’ve edited it, find someone else to take a look too. Ideally, if you can find a tutor willing to help, they’re your best bet. If not, a friend already on a postgraduate course should have some idea of how to write a postgraduate personal statement successfully.

Once you’ve done all of this, your statement should be ready. Take a deep breath, upload the file (or put it along with your printed copy), and finish of the rest of your application. And make sure you keep a copy on file, just in case you need to refer to it later!

Related Blog Links

Preparing For Your Postgraduate Application

Related Editorial Links

How to apply for a masters

Entry requirements for postgraduate students

How to choose a masters degree

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