A question I am frequently asked is what exactly you should write on your personal statement when applying for a journalism/media course. Putting together a great statement can be a pretty stressful task as it is difficult to gage what exactly universities are looking for. However, all graduates have been through it and there is no reason why you cannot secure a place on the course of your choosing. Here are some of my top tips on what exactly you should be writing:
Enthusiasm and passion
For me, I think this is the most crucial element to any application. Demonstrate just how passionate and enthused you are about the course. Perhaps pinpoint an element or a module that you are most excited about and why. Showing that you genuinely want to be studying that course always looks great and will put you in good stead with the admissions officer. Cardiff in particular has a fantastic student media department with its own newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV station. Make reference to these and emphasise how eager you are to get involved, maybe even mentioning that you aspire to be the editor-in-chief of the magazine, or a presenter on the radio station. Universities are always looking for people that want to get stuck in so convey this well.
If you have done any kind of writing, editing, blogging etc. outside of school then absolutely put this in. This will show that you are not only able to use your initiative, but that you have the ability to work independently and have great time-management – all essential skills when studying at higher education. If you don’t already have a blog GET ONE. This is possibly the most simple and easy way to get journalism experience where you can write whatever you like, whenever you like, and wherever you like.
Even if you don’t directly have experiences like this, any part time jobs or qualifications you have will also be great for your statement as each will bring with them a useful set of skills for university.
A recent news story that has caught your interest
If you want to study journalism, you of course have to be up-to-date with all the latest happenings of the world. Writing a small paragraph on something in the news that has captured your attention and why will make your statement stand-out and show that you engage with the news. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and articulate your feelings about something you feel strongly about.
Why is it you want to study journalism/media? What do you hope to do with the degree you are applying for? Express that studying the course is a stepping stone for you to get into your dream career and that you truly believe the university will be able to support and facilitate that goal.
Finally, no human being is defined purely by work. Tell the admissions officer exactly who you are and show some personality. What is it you enjoy doing at the weekend? Do you have a hobby? No matter how common or unusual it is, put it in! If you play a sport then there is bound to be a society for that at Cardiff so let them know that you are desperate to get involved. You want to make it clear to the university that there is so much more to you than just academia, and that you will be an all-round great student to have study with them.