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Writing a Compelling SOP for UK Student Visa: Expert Tips and Tricks8 min read

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An SOP for a UK university reflects your intent behind studying at the institute. It also gives the university a brief idea about your Ideas, goals, and aspirations. A UK statement of purpose for Ghanaian students is one requirement of studying in the UK.

This article will show us how to write a statement of purpose, what to include in a statement of purpose and best practices for writing a personal statement as an International student.

I promise you won’t get bored. You are sure to get all the answers you need regarding writing a brilliant SOP. Stay with me!

Effective Personal Statement for International Students

To write an effective personal statement, there are some unique qualities and experiences to highlight in a personal statement for international students.

An SOP determines your eligibility for admission or rejection into your preferred UK University. It is a summarized writeup indicating why you wish to apply to the specific university.

  • It also highlights your academic achievements.
  • Define your professional background.
  • Enlist your career goals for the future.

It should have the above-listed elements for it to be effective.

Writing a Personal Statement

Below are some dos and don’ts for crafting a strong personal statement for International students. Following these points will make your SOP stand apart.

  • When drafting your SOP for the UK, don’t forget to include all your extracurricular experiences, like attending workshops, training programs, or conferences related to the course applied for.
  • The ideal word count of an SOP written for a UK university is somewhere between 600 and 900 words. Stick to the word count to avoid rejection of your application.
  • Don’t copy the content of your SOP. Keep it original, with fewer grammatical mistakes.
  • Write your SOP in English because UK universities will prefer an SOP written in formal British English.

How to Write a Personal Statement

To get accepted to study in the UK, you need to learn how to write a compelling personal statement for international students. Each paragraph should be written as outlined below:

Paragraph 1: A brief introduction that shares your academic and professional background and a vision of your future career goals.

Paragraph 2: A detailed description of your professional experience.

Paragraph 3: Details on your academic qualifications and a special peek into your academic achievements, awards, and recognitions.

Paragraph 4: Your intent to study a specific course or undertake a research program at a particular UK university

Paragraph 5: Talk about your short and long-term career goals

Paragraph 6: Discuss your reasons for joining the university which should highlight the positive aspects of the institution.

Paragraph 7: Close the SOP by thanking the university board of selectors.

Keep Learning: How to Study in UK from Ghana: A Step-by-Step Guide

Content Structure

The structure and format of a strong personal statement for international students should

Ideally be two pages long, single-spaced, written in 11-point typefaces, and broken up into five to eight paragraphs.

Your overall narrative should be organised with clarity, with each paragraph addressing a particular topic connected to your academic and professional ambitions.

Language and Style

An effective SOP should be written in clear, concise language so that anyone reading it can easily understand it.

Limit the use of technical terms and use active voice when writing your SOP. If there is a gap year or an academic issue, optimistically address them. Make sure your SOP has a clear introduction and conclusion.

Remember, you should always write your SOP in reverse chronological order. That is, list your achievements from newest to oldest.

What do I include in my Personal Statement?

Key elements of an effective personal statement for international students should include evidence of your key skills like research, critical thinking, communication, organization, planning, and time management, and also show how you can contribute to the department and university at large. Your SOP must reflect your ability to offer value.

How long should my Personal Statement be?

Ideally, a statement of purpose should be between 500 and 900 words.

Your statement of purpose should not be longer than one page or a page and a half in a readable font, at a size of between 11 and 12pt. This allows the reader to easily digest the information you are giving and makes your SOP more meaningful.

What are common Personal Statement errors?

Some common mistakes to avoid in a personal statement for international students are:

  • Exceeding the word limit
  • Not proofreading
  • Incorrect grammar
  • Rushing your SOP
  • Adding false information
  • Using too many technical terms
  • Dishonesty
  • Dull introduction

Keep Learning: UK Admission Requirements for Ghanaians

Personal Statement Example

Below is a personal statement example for Ghanaian students:

Hello, my name is Lisa Kofi. I am from Accra, Ghana. I am particularly keen on studying Law at the University of Oxford since I don’t think that any other university in the UK would be able to impart the learning and values that I can imbibe from your esteemed institution. I am an LLB Graduate from the University of Ghana and now wish to upgrade my Law knowledge to pursue a full-time career in this domain.

I completed 6 months internship at Invest Ghana, a national investment promotion and facilitation agency based in Accra. This experience helped me understand the depth of sector-specific investments. It also provided me with an excellent opportunity to assist several investors. Then I moved on to a part-time position as a Legal Advisor at JP Morgan Chase Bank in Accra, Ghana, where I assumed responsibility for reviewing all legal documents based on specific investor requirements

During my graduation, I was awarded the ‘Best Law Student of Ghana’ award in recognition of my exceptional performance. I have also been recognized as the Best Student of the Year three times in a row at my university. To further nurture my passion for Law, I have also attended several international legal conferences in Accra. I have also completed a few training courses as part of my internship in Law.

With a vision to advance my worldview of Law, I now wish to pursue a Master’s program in Law in the UK. I feel that this program would help me enhance my expertise in the legal domain and boost my chances of creating a successful career as a Legal Advisor. I chose the UK for my study program because it has earned worldwide recognition for its caliber in imparting the best level of education to international students worldwide. Besides, the University of Oxford is a pinnacle of learning, and it would only be my good fortune to be a part of it.

After completing my Master’s in Law, I wish to put the knowledge received, and the skills learned to good use for the welfare and betterment of society at large. My particular interest lies in the investment arena, and I would like to use my experience working with an investment firm to my advantage in the future. This, coupled with my advanced knowledge of the Law, will help take me far on my career path.

Getting admission to Oxford University will be my first step to success because it takes pride in being the oldest university in the UK and promises globally recognized courses. Not to forget, the University of Oxford proudly features among the top 5 Best Global Universities and is ranked at the top of the Best Global Universities in Europe

I appreciate you taking the time to go through my application and humbly request that you consider it for admission into your esteemed university. I can assure you of my sincerity and dedication to my work, and I promise to put my 100% into the program to get the best out of it. Upon completion of the course, I hope to find mention among the millions of proud Oxford graduates.

Tips for writing a Personal Statement

If you are a Ghanaian student and want to study in the UK, you need to apply some tips for writing an effective personal statement for international students. They are:

  • Always use an attractive introduction.
  • Write in the required word limit.
  • Don’t be flashy while writing, your font shouldn’t be flashy.
  • Talk about your credibility.
  • Make sure your content is not plagiarised.
  • Write with clarity.

Keep Learning: Expert Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation for UK Admission


A UK statement of purpose for Ghanaian students is an essential part of your application process to any university of your choice.

There are some dos and don’ts which you should adhere to that can increase your chances of getting admitted.

This article has shown you how to write your statement of purpose. If you are ready to take it a notch further, submit your details, and let’s take it up from there.


What should I avoid in my personal statement?

Providing false information should be avoided at all cost

Do universities read personal statements?

Yes, university admissions officers are the people who will be reading your SOP and deciding whether or not to accept you.

What happens if you lie in your personal statement?

If you are caught in a lie, it can put you in a tight situation where you will have to pay for your misconduct. Your admission could be revoked.

What happens if you make a mistake on your application?

It could get overlooked if it is not a major mistake but try as much as possible not to make any.


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    Ayobami Awosanya

    My name is Ayobami Awosanya. I am an SEO content Strategist & SEO Manager @ IBS Consulting.

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