How To Write Personal Statement for Art University Courses

Tue 2 Jan 2018 < Back to listing


Learn how to write the best personal statement you can for art university courses with the expert advice of Emily and Heather from CSVPA!

art university courses

One of the most important parts of your UCAS application to any university course is the personal statement, and art university courses are no exception. At Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts (CSVPA), ensuring that students can write an excellent personal statement that really increases their chance of progressing to further study is very important to our tutors.

In a recent interview, CSVPA’s Emily Starr and Heather McClean outlined the most important factors that students should consider when writing their personal statements for art university courses. Keep reading to learn more about how you can craft a personal statement that will maximise your chances of university admissions success.

What is the Personal Statement, and Why Does it Matter?

“A personal statement is a short piece of writing that is about you. It is a chance for the University to get to know your personality through your words, rather than through the answers on a form,” said Emily. “It is also your chance to show what you can bring to the University and explain why you want to study on your chosen course.”

The personal statement should be between 1000-4000 characters in length, which is 300-600 words. As Heather explained, this short text should cover a wide range of information relevant to the art university courses you are applying to. “Students should write about why they chose the subject, what inspires them, what they like to do in their spare time, and their achievements and ambitions.” She added that it is important that the different parts of the statement are linked and flow well together.

foundation programme in art and design

Reflect on your goals and motivations to make sure they are apparent in your personal statement

For students who aren’t sure where to start, there are resources available. “UCAS has a really useful online tool to help get you started,” said Emily.  “The tool provides questions, and when you write the answers it completes them into a personal statement. After that, you can go through and revise it, making further drafts that showcase your creativity and positivity.”

Use This Checklist for Your Statement When Applying to Art University Courses

According to both Heather and Emily, there are a few “do’s and don’ts” that students should keep in mind when writing their personal statements.


  • Be positive
  • Talk about your interests and why you want to study a particular course
  • Write in your own words that you would use every day


  • Write clichés
  • Include a University name, as the statement will go to every school you apply to
  • Repeat information that is already in your application, e.g. your high school grades
  • Copy or let someone else write your statement
  • Use quotes – universities want to know what you have to say, not someone else

By keeping these things in mind as you revise your draft, you can be confident that you are on track to create an excellent statement that will help you really stand out to top art universities in the UK.

art universities in the UK

Keep this checklist in mind when crafting your UCAS personal statement

Integrity is Crucial to Personal Statements for Art University Courses

Finally, as Emily explained, it is very important that your personal statement is about you, and written by you. “A personal statement is personal, as the title says. If you copy someone else’s words, then the University is not getting to know you.”

“It is also plagiarism to have someone else write your statement,” she added. “There are moral and ethical implications, and if you don’t sound like your personal statement during your interview, it will be very obvious to the University that you did not write it.”

Emily and Heather also noted that UCAS has a detection process that will notify them if parts of your statement have been copied from another submitted statement, which can jeopardize your application. Overall, you have everything to gain by crafting an authentic personal statement that is a true reflection of you.

Want to know more about the UCAS application process?

Contact us to learn how graduates from our foundation programme in art and design progress, or to find out how to apply for a BA Degree at CSVPA!


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