When trying to write a great criminology personal statement that stands out amongst your competition- you should try and aim to give a strong representation of yourself and your suitability to study this course.
As your personal statement will come across admission tutors who are judging you, you should try to get across five major points:
i) That you have thought about studying Criminology for a long time. 'That it is the next natural academic step to take'.
ii) Demonstrate the reasons why you want to carry out a degree in Criminology. For example this could be as a result of work experience etc.
iii) Your current ability to carry out a Criminology degree. - this could be demonstrated by your wider reading and online courses for example, but the Universities will realise that this isn't a subject that you have studied as part of your school curriculum, however they are still interested in your thoughts and opinion.
iV) Your awareness and interest in current issues related to criminology (e.g. 'crime and criminal justice policy')
V) Provide them with an overview of the social skills that are required to carry out the degree. Such as asking questions, thinking independently, read widely, initiative etc. Whilst possessing 'intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work' - LSE.
For in-depth detail on these five sections along with other crucial criminology personal statement advice be sure to check out 'How to do a Good Criminology Personal Statement' and check out the London School of Economics' section on Criminology and Social Policy - Admission criteria.
Whilst doing all the sections above in an 'original and interesting way'.
The Do's and Don'ts of Writing a Criminology Personal Statement
- Make sure that every sentence is related - don't go off on a ramble.
- Do start early on your personal statement, it will take a lot of time and effort to create a fantastic personal statement (especially your opening paragraph, that needs to be captivating, yet clear as to why you want to carry out a criminology degree).
- When writing your personal statement make sure it flows and has a structure to it.
- Try to show a connection of what you are studying now (from EC's etc.) - to what you are studying later.
- Be sure to check the personal statement over for typos, grammar etc.
- Be sure to get it checked out by 'The Student Room' reviewer service.
- Check out some of the research, that some of the criminology professors have been carrying out, and see if you can incorporate a connection between them. Like you wrote up a published report on a specific piece of research - that a university you are applying to conducted.
- Get people to check it through for you (not your friends or parents), teachers and professionals.
- Check out universities that are offering Criminology (even if you aren't thinking of applying to them) for their tips on how to do a better a Criminology personal statement.
- Be sure to read a lot around Criminology.
- Read other past examples of Criminology personal statements to give you more ideas of your own.
- Don't use Cliches - they are boring and unoriginal, again just wasting your space.
- Try to avoid starting a sentence with 'I'.
- Avoid using quotations - the admission tutor wants to know about you, besides it is wasting your space available.
- Don't exaggerate the truth, you maybe asked to provide evidence of claims that you have made.
- Don't make it too general - make sure it is specific to Criminology - adapt your experiences to fit in with your interest in criminology.
- Don't mention specific names of universities.
- Don't use metaphors and flowery language, get to the point, otherwise you are just wasting space.
- Don't keep at it, give yourself breaks from writing it, try writing one day, leave it the next, then write the next day - things will just appear different, as you can end up being too narrow focused.
- Don't plagiarise.
For more Do's and Don'ts check out the article I recommend above here.
Questions to Ask Yourself, Before Writing Your Criminology Personal Statement
- Why have you chosen to study Criminology?
- What Interests do you have around the subject of Criminology?
- Have you had any work experience, that you have learnt from that influenced you in choosing Criminology?
- Have you learnt anything from any roles of responsibility, that would be helpful in studying Criminology?
- Have you attended any schemes or actives? E.g. summer schools
- What future career and general plans do you have once graduating from university?
- What makes you special?
- What specific skills that you have learnt - that many others have not?
These were just some questions that were on offer by LSE, that I have applied to Criminology - in their section 'What makes a good personal statement?'. Be sure to check their 'What is a poor personal statement?' section also.
Good Luck, writing your Criminology Personal Statement.