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Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:32 am
by RagDoll
Hi all,

My work might be paying for me to do a masters in Town Planning (fingers crossed), so I'm just filling in the application form at the moment.

There is a part in the application entitled 'personal statement' which I'm struggling with. The form says:

"You are encouraged to complete this part of the form: you may wish to tell us why you want to study the programme, or what you intend to do after you have completed your studies.
If appropriate, please attach any relevant documents, e.g. portfolio evidence - see the options at the bottom of this screen."

Does anyone have any suggestions about what to include?! Once I start I'm sure I'll be on a roll with it (I hope anyway), just not sure what's relevant and what's not at the moment and need something to get me started.

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:18 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
You could include what you currently do at work and say you'd like to expand your knowledge. What you did at university and that you enjoyed it and areas that you are specifically interested in?

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:49 pm
by Jenny22
I've just had to write a personal statement for my uni application. I don't know if its any good because no one else has read it yet, but I could PM it to you if it would help get some juices flowing? Any feedback would be appreciated too!

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:53 pm
by rufio89
Jenny if you want some feedback on your personal statement, why not post it on here? I know a lot of the PPers went to uni, and I applied 2 years in a row and was offered several places, so you should get some good feedback!

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:03 pm
by Jenny22
I did think about that, but I've got quite a bit written on it about where I live and where I've done work placements, and I don't like the idea of someone working out who I am from that!

Maybe if anyone feels like that they could offer any assistance I could send it on to them?

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:15 pm
by rufio89
I'll cast an eye over it tomorrow if you want to PM it to me x

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:25 pm
by Jenny22
Thanks Rufio that'd be really good :) x

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:31 am
by dipsydoodlenoodle
Jenny, you could still post it on and just say I live in X, I had a placement at X, just take out all the place names and stuff if you want.

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:07 am
by RagDoll
Jenny, if you want to PM it to me that'd be great. Might give me some inspiration and I'm also happy to comment on it :) (I've been to uni, so I've written a few successful statements before - I've even had an offer previously for the MA I'm applying for now, just can't remember what I included the first time around, haha)

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:16 pm
by RagDoll
I've done a first draft of my personal statement. I'd be grateful for any comments...

"Studying MSc. Town Planning at Newcastle University would enable me to achieve my academic and career goals. The course would endow me with the knowledge, experience, understanding and skills I need in order to better perform and progress in my current role at *****.

I graduated from Durham University with a BSc. (Hons) in Geography, Environment and Development with a desire to work in planning. Modules such as Urban Geography and Victorian Cities gave me an insight into planning matters and I found them interesting and stimulating. I was particularly drawn to the fact effective planning can have such a positive impact on the environment and the people utilizing it. My degree included a wide range of disciplines, hence it has equipped me with many skills such as the ability to effectively write reports, carry out research and analyse data.

I very much enjoy working as a **** and dealing with the planning matters of Major Projects at ***** and wish to further expand my knowledge in order to achieve outstanding professional performance. The main duties of my job are to assist in the effective implementation of regeneration projects and programmes. I work on the preparation and implementation of aspects of ****** strategies, including housing, economic regeneration, community, safety and social exclusion and am also involved in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of capital programmes, regeneration initiatives and projects. Expanding my knowledge of planning would enhance my work and result in better-implemented projects.

I also greatly enjoyed the Newcastle University training sessions that were held at ****, which covered urban design, sustainability in development and understanding the economics of development. They gave me an insight into the wide-ranging field of planning and I particularly enjoyed the modules on urban design.

Moreover, both programme and project management are fundamental parts of my previous and current employment and require excellent oral and written communication skills, organisational skills, self-motivation, team work, the ability to work to deadlines and under pressure. These skills were acknowledged when I was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for my innovative work on ***** project. I think that these skills would prove invaluable whilst undertaking further study and contribute to my success.

Furthermore, I would relish the opportunity to study Town Planning at Newcastle University as the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape is very well respected and colleagues whom have undertaken the course have spoken highly of the quality of the modules and teaching. I would also be proud to graduate from a planning school which is Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited. Lastly, I believe that the city of Newcastle would be a fantastic locality to study planning, regeneration and conservation matters.

I think that the combination of my interdisciplinary degree, my experience of working as a planning professional and my skills would enable me to excel on the MSc. Town Planning course. The professional reputation of Newcastle University is the factor that makes me sure that my career goals absolutely comply with what the University provides – outstanding knowledge and great practice."

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:07 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
Ha and you didn't know what to write. I think it's excellent my one minor change would be...to maybe include a date or something into the following sentence;

"I also greatly enjoyed the Newcastle University training sessions that were held at ****, which covered urban design..."

even just say during 2009, or May 2009 or something just so they know it's recent and not from 10 years ago. Although like I said it's a tiny minor thing to maybe add, but it seems well written and you seem to do a lot!

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:14 pm
by RagDoll
Haha I know, that's still only about half the maximum word limit though!!

Thank you anyway Dipsy :D I will add something in about when it took place. Didn't think to mention it as it was so recently, but I guess the person who reads it isn't necessarily going to know that.

Any other comments would still be welcome :)

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:01 am
by RagDoll
I've submitted my application Dipsy, so fingers crossed!

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:57 pm
by captainf
Good luck with your masters.
Town planning? I hope the course is a good one because I cant say I know of too many towns/Cities that have been planned particularly well.

Re: Masters application - what to include

PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:22 am
by RagDoll
Thanks. I'm still waiting to hear if I've been accepted or not.

Hmmm, there are obviously good and bad examples of town planning. You also have to remember that some towns/cities were built a long time ago, so the current planners just have to do the best with what already exists.