3. What is looked for in the Personal Statement?
The Social Policy Department at LSE does not routinely interview applicants as part of its decision making process, hence the personal statement plays a key role in the application process. General guidance on how to structure your personal statement is available on our Admissions Criteria website by following the link to the personal statement section. You are strongly advised to make use of this information prior to submitting your application, although as with your predicted grades, simply following the guidelines will not automatically guarantee that you will be made an offer.
For Social Policy, selectors are looking for an original and interesting statement which demonstrates your awareness of and interest in contemporary social problems and their alleviation. We recognise that this is not a subject you will have studied explicitly as part of your school curriculum, and so are interested in your wider views and opinions; and/or the experiences that you have had which have resulted in your interest in this field of study.
Voluntary work, work experience and other extra-curricular activities such as music, drama, sport and art are considered to be relevant, particularly if they provide evidence of your awareness of and interest in current social issues. However, the main point to remember is that the majority of your personal statement should be based around your subject interest. The selectors are keen to know why you wish to study Social Policy, whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how it relates to your current academic programme and what additional reading or other activities you have undertaken which have led you to commit to this multi-disciplinary degree programme.
For the Social Policy degree, the selector is looking for an original and interesting statement which demonstrates your awareness of and interest in contemporary social problems (e.g. health care and ageing populations, child poverty, educational underachievement, gender discrimination, anti-social behaviour, etc.) and their alleviation.
For the three combined Social Policy degrees a genuine interest in both aspects is essential, as you will be required to devote a similar amount of time to the study of both disciplines. It is also worth remembering that you may find that you have slightly less freedom in the specific mix of programme available to you during your studies when following a combined programme compared to a single-honours one. Above all you need to ensure that you can convince both the Social Policy selector and the other department selector that you are serious about following their particular programme.
If you are applying for Social Policy combined with Economics, Government or Sociology, you may find it helpful to look at the admissions criteria webpages for those departments before you submit your application.
Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Social Policy (as a single or combined programme) will be those such as the abilities to ask incisive questions; think independently; read widely; show initiative; be creative and adopt a flexible approach. In addition you should possess intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work.