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Tips for writing your Statement of Purpose

What is a Statement of Purpose?

Your Statement of Purpose explains your motivation for applying for the course. An interesting and well-written statement of purpose showing strong motivation for the course you have chosen can influence the final decision.

Why do we ask for a Statement of Purpose?

The statement of purpose helps us to assess how well you are able to articulate goals, motivations and values, and your writing and reasoning abilities. Tell us who you are, what your academic and professional interests are and how you'll add value to the Master’s course you're applying to.

5 top tips

1. Structure

Have an interesting introduction that acts as a framework for the rest of your statement. Explain what you’re interested in and how you became interested in it, give an overview of your background in this area, your experience, skills and knowledge and conclude with your career aims.

2. Content

Tell us what will make you stand out as an exceptional candidate for the course.

  • Why this Business School? Be specific – don’t make generic statements such as “Because you are an internationally-renowned university with an excellent academic reputation”. If the university/business school itself made a difference in your choice - what was this?
  • Why this subject? When did you become interested in this subject and what have you learned about it? It is especially important to demonstrate your commitment if you are applying to a conversion course – why the change of direction?
  • What is your academic ability? Highlight any relevant units from your undergraduate degree which will benefit you in your chosen course. You can talk about any relevant work experience, volunteering and extracurricular activities.
  • What are your career aims? How will this course help you to achieve them? Knowledge, skills, accreditation with professional bodies etc. If, for example, if you have a particular career or job in mind, talk briefly about this on your application. The same applies if you plan to go on to study for an MPhil or PhD in your chosen subject.

3. Evidence

The statement of purpose will only be convincing if the points are backed up by hard evidence, i.e. examples drawn from academic achievements, work experience and extra-curricular activities. Use a sentence structure where you make a claim and back this claim up with evidence.

4. Length

This should be concise, it can be over the 300 – 500 words stated on the application form, but make sure it’s not more than one A4 page. Do not upload as a document to your application. You will be able to complete your statement of purpose in the application form. We suggest writing it in a word document and then copying and pasting it into the personal statement section of the application form.

5. Mistakes

Proofread your statement of purpose and check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. Avoid clichéd and overused sentences: 'I have always wanted to study' or 'I feel I have always had a passion for this subject.' Tell us what has influenced you to study this course, be specific. If you are applying for multiple courses or institutions, don’t use the same statement of purpose. It must specific to Alliance MBS and the course you are applying for.

Read further tips on The University of Manchester website