Dr Mark Monaghan discusses what makes a good personal statement

Dr Mark Monaghan is featured in an article which advises students about what makes a good sociology personal statement.

The article is entitled “How to write a personal statement for sociology” and was published in the Guardian.

As a new UCAS cycle is fast approaching, students across the country are lightly to be considering where they want to go to university and what to study.

Sociology is a fascinating subject and to secure a place on course there are many important things to include in a personal statement.

Dr Mark Monaghan suggests that applicants should “include a mixture of three things; a passion for the subject, what you want to get out of university, and what you can offer the university”.

He also recommends reading relevant publications such as Zygmunt Bauman’s “What Use is Sociology” and C Wright Mills' “The Sociological Imagination”. Reading the Guardian’s Society section will also give students “an awareness of current debate”.

Dr Monaghan highlights that demonstrating careers aspirations is equally as important. “We expect applicants to be aware of the kinds of jobs available, but we wouldn't expect you to have any specific career in mind".

In conclusion he outlines things that students should try and avoid when writing their personal statement. Confusion may occur when students are applied for sociology as part of a joint honours programme. He advises applicants to “be consistent about the degree you're applying for. You may be applying for different courses at different universities, so think about the social sciences in general."

The full article can be viewed online.