1. Students should describe their initial interest in their subject (e.g. a topic they have studied at A-level, article they have read, issue they have heard about). Not ‘ever since I was a little girl/boy…’
2. Students should discuss why they continue to have an interest:
i. Work experience – what did the student do and how was it valuable?
ii. What has the student read about their subject in journals, newspapers etc that has stimulated further interest in their subject.
3. What are the student’s extra-curricular pursuits and talents and what transferable skills have they acquired as a result? This should not be a list of achievements and interests, but should focus on how the students extracurricular interests have helped them develop skills which will be useful to them as a student, in the workplace and in their chosen career (e.g. leadership, decision making, time-management, teamwork and organisation etc).
4. Are there any services, aspects of the courses, etc common to all the universities that the student has chosen (e.g. If the student is a sportsperson, they may have been attracted to their sports facilities, they may like an aspect of the course which is similar at each university etc).
5. The student should explain more about themselves. What type of person they are. What do they read, what films do they watch? What are their interests and hobbies? Where do they like to go on holiday? Let the universities know that they are getting a person rather than a list of grades.