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Statement of Purpose for Masters

TheMixTheMix Posts: 3,000 You really Busted out those posts
edited February 20 in Student Life & Education
Hey everyone,

We have a young person that is looking for some advice for their master's statement of purpose. We're posting on behalf of them under our account here at The Mix :)
Hello everyone,
I just need some advice for my statement of purpose for the masters. I am fairly anxious about not being accepted into any program so I'm probably gonna apply to at least 15 different universities around Europe and see how that goes for me. I was wondering whether anyone had any recs when it comes to what to include in the statement itself.
I already got down on paper what my interests are in my field, how they were shaped by my bachelors' degree and by personal events, why I like a program in a specific Uni and what type of research labs i like in the Uni itself, what type of course I followed after my bachelors which could potentially be helpful for my future career, what i want to do afterwards, etc.
The only issue is I haven't really spelled out any qualities or strengths as one would do in a CV or during a job interview, and since it's already 650 words I don't know whether I should try to build a paragraph around my strengths or if they're already made clear by the rest of the statement. I could also try to pepper them in inside already written paragraphs but that would mean doing quite a lot of rewriting.
Also, because of mental health related events I didn't work for half of the year I took for myself after the end of my BA and I was wondering whether i should explain why such a big gap in my CV came to be.
Essentially I just wanted to know whether anyone else here had already done it and what their experience was
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  • jess63jess63 Posts: 263 The Mix Regular

    I’ve not personally wrote a statement of purpose but I found an article by UCAS you might find useful, I’ll link it here https://www.ucas.com/postgraduate/postgraduate-study/how-write-your-postgraduate-personal-statement

    In regards to the gap in your CV I wouldn’t worry too much about it, i think it’s pretty common for people to take a break after finishing a bachelors so they probably wouldn’t be too worried about that.

    It sounds like what you have written already sounds really good. I wish you the best of luck with it
    The steps you take don't have to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.
  • Laura_tigger82Laura_tigger82 Moderator Posts: 4,927 The Mix Elder
    edited February 26
    Hey! Thank you for reaching out to us. Yep, I have already written a personal statement for a Master's degree and I was accepted. I worked with my undergraduate careers service on writing my personal statement which might be one option for you if you are looking for further, more targeted, support.

    I can hear your fear about not being accepted onto a Master's degree programme. In hindsight though, chances are if you have already completed a BA degree you are more able to be accepted than you currently realise.

    I have a few tips for what to write in the statement itself but I, first, want to acknowledge that you are already doing so well and are hitting many of the 'right' points. Well done.I will now outline a few tips based on my own experience. First and foremost, I cannot stress making your unique (lived experience if applicable!) points explicit enough. I will put in a spoiler below an example.
    I applied for a Master's degree in education with proficiency in special educational needs. Therefore, I wrote about my educational experiences as an autistic person. Based on this, I wrote about what it meant for how I perceive the degree, education (the field), and my practice more generally.

    Try to tell it as a coherent story with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is probably going to be before you realised you wanted to study the Master's degree (my beginning was school), the middle is probably what sparked your interest but you linked it back to earlier experiences and the end is where you are currently, why you are applying and what you intend to do with the degree. Telling it in story form just makes it more impactful and makes you stand out more.

    Whilst you do not need to write it like a CV, I would encourage you to still apply Situation, Task, Action and Result (STAR) within each paragraph. This enables you to make sure each point you make is linked back to the Master's degree you are applying for. It also ensures you can incorporate your qualities and strengths within each paragraph.

    Additionally, where you have stated the aspects that you particularly like and that particularly interest you, I would encourage you to make the 'why' explicit if you have not already. The more personal you can make this the better too. Again, it is just another factor that helps you to stand out compared to other applicants.

    Depending on the applicability to the subject you are applying for, I would encourage you to try to apply your knowledge of the programme, by linking key concepts in with theory, policy and practice. On this note, it is even better if you can also link it to practical experience, CPD qualifications and recent policy advancements. I will provide an example of this below in a spoiler.
    For example, one of the modules I was going to study on the Master's degree was inclusion. I linked this to a module I already studied at undergraduate level about inclusion, my lived experience of exclusion, what research indicated that made it particularly interesting to study at a deeper level and linked it back with my observations in practice.

    Try to ensure everything links back to the Master's degree you are applying for. Finally, end with why you want to study at the particular university or type of universities (if you are sending out the same personal statement to more than one university).

    Please try not to worry too much about already being on 650 words. Although it varies between universities, my accepted personal statement was 1075 words (2 pages).

    Good luck with finishing off your Master's degree statement of purpose. Please feel free to reach out if you need any further support or guidance! <3
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