Nottingham Trent University

Telephone UK: 0800 032 1180 Intl: +44 (0)115 941 8419


Online student experience

Writing your statement of purpose

Writing your statement of purpose

Writing your personal statement can be daunting. Our Admissions team have provided some handy tips to guide and support you through the process.

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose is one of the documents you are required to complete when applying to an online course at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). Think of it as a cover letter for a job application: it’s a freeform essay that should be sent to the Student Recruitment Coordinator you’ve been in contact with, along with all your other application documents. Your Coordinator will then send it on to the University Admissions committee.

Why is your statement of purpose important?

This letter gives you the opportunity to summarise your skills and demonstrate your commitment to both the course and the University, while explaining why you’d like to study with NTU. It should give us an insight into the type of student you’ll be, the level of thought behind your application, and your future ambitions.

What information should this contain?

Your statement of purpose should explain your background from both a professional and educational perspective, and detail how you’ve got to where you currently are. But it shouldn’t only be historic; we also want to know your future goals and how studying at NTU will help you reach them, as well as why you’re applying to our course now.

We want to know why you chose our course, why you chose online, and what’s next for you. What are you going to do with your Masters degree? What are your motivations and inspirations? This is a chance to demonstrate your decision-making process, your personality, and your ambitions.

How long should the statement of purpose be?

Your statement of purpose should be no longer than two pages.

Should it be focussed around any particular element of my experience?

This letter should complement the rest of your application documents.

Be honest about your own weaknesses, while ensuring that you also focus on your strengths. Identify challenges, and how you overcame them. Help the admissions committee to see you as a rounded individual, and not just one person in a long list of applicants.

Should it only include work and academic experience?

This is your opportunity to show us who you are, so make sure that it includes all of your relevant professional and academic experience. If you feel that something outside of these experiences will also support your application, you’re welcome to include it.

How should it be structured?

The statement of purpose should be structured like a letter, in a timeline order, but there is also flexibility to create a document that best suits creating a succinct and compelling summary of your experiences.

This is your letter – the right order is the one that most succinctly and compellingly summarises your accomplishments to date. To achieve this, we’d recommend chronological order – just remember that you’ve got the flexibility and freedom to produce a document that does justice to your experiences and achievements.

What tone should it be written in?

You don’t want it to read like an essay.

Make sure that you show your personality in your letter: it’s your story, so ensure that it captures your character and voice. Your tone should be professional, but also authentic – persuasive, confident, and genuine.

What are we looking for?

We want to know your key successes, how you’ve overcome challenges, and your motivations for applying to the course. We’re looking for candidates who fit our admissions requirements, so make sure that the examples and evidence you’re providing are all relevant to these requirements.

Are there any top tips for writing the statement?

Double-check your writing style, spelling and grammar; we’ll be paying close attention, and we’ll retain your statement of purpose as a writing sample. Be confident – don’t be afraid to show off your writing skills and personality. Our other tips include:

  • Keep it simple, but personal
  • Ensure that it captures your voice
  • Limit your statement to two pages – we don’t want an essay
  • Include both your academic and professional experience
  • Be creative, and honest – think openly about your goals and inspirations

Our online Admissions team will help to coach you through the admissions process, and answer any questions you might have around how to write your statement of purpose.

If you have any questions about your application, speak to our online Admissions team on:

UK: 0800 0321180

Intl: +44 (0)115 941 8419