There’s a lot of ground to cover in a Natural Sciences personal statement, and you only have 4,000 characters to work with. Ideally, you want to write about two or three different areas of science that interest you, as this is what you’ll be expected to study, at least in the first part of your degree. Therefore, everything you write must be valuable – there is little room for waffle on a Natural Sciences personal statement!
What should I include on my Natural Sciences personal statement?
You need to include concrete evidence of things you have done to further enhance your scientific abilities. Here are some examples of what you might include:
- Science Competitions: such as team competitions, the Chemistry Olympiad or the UKMT Maths Challenge
- Books you have read: it is important to read around the subject, and you should briefly include your opinion and analysis of any books you particularly enjoyed reading.
- Online courses or lectures: the internet has thousands of interesting lectures, podcasts and courses you can engage in, which will show the admissions tutor your willingness to learn independently.
- Work experience: if you have work experience that relates to one of the sciences you are interested in, this is a useful thing to include.
- Projects: if you have completed a project, either independently or on an examined basis, this is a perfect opportunity to show independent research, an important skill that is required for a Natural Sciences degree.
For more details of what you might include for the individual physical natural sciences, see:
- Maths Personal Statement: 5 Top Tips
- Your Guide to the Physics Personal Statement
- Your Guide to a Materials Science Personal Statement
- Your Guide to a Chemistry Personal Statement
Do I need to connect the areas of science I mention on my personal statement?
The other important technique you must conquer when writing your personal statement is linking the different sciences together. To make your personal statement flow, you don’t want to write about each science as a stand-alone subject, but instead analyse their points of intersection.
Some ways to do this include:
- Laboratory work: if you’ve worked in a lab, this can be linked to more than one science, as you can talk about how the skills you developed working in the lab are transferable. For example, you could have a sentence linking chemistry to physics such as:
“When working on investigating halogens in a lab over the summer, I developed a collection of practical skills, including writing risk assessments and data analysis. These skills will be directly transferable to my degree, in terms of the chemistry practical work, and also the physics lab work. The practical side of a Physics degree really interests me because…”
- You can also find overlapping topics between the subjects, and use these to link two together on your personal statement.
- Maths and Physics: Think about mechanics modules, or how integral maths is in deriving equations that are central to understanding physics. Physics requires a strong mathematical skill set, and you can easily link between the two of these subjects.
- Physics and Chemistry: There are many subjects that sit on the boundary between physics and chemistry, such as Materials Science. If Materials Science is something that interests you, this may be a nice way to weave together physics and chemistry.
- Chemistry and Maths: You can link maths to chemistry through the mathematical skills required in analysing data from a lab; for example, calculating yield, or the maths required in reaction equations.
- You can also talk about more general scientific skills that you have learnt, whether that be through lectures, extra problems or work experience, and use this as a way of connecting disciplines.
It is important to make sure your personal statement isn’t fragmented; you need to flow from one natural science discipline to the next.
Hopefully that’s given you a sense of what you need to write in your Natural Sciences personal statement! Remember to read our blog posts for each individual discipline, and always make sure you can back up what you write. If you’re looking for more inspiration, you can check out our example personal statements for Natural Sciences.
The next step, once you’ve written your personal statement, is to start preparing for the admissions test – but what exactly is the NSAA?