Katy Scott, International Officer (Eurasia and South Asia - University of Glasgow) speaks of the importance of a student’s statement of purpose. She feels that an SOP is the chance for you as a student to sell yourself to the university. Grade sheets show if you qualify academically, but the statement of purpose gives you the opportunity to add some personality into your application.
She tells us what your statement of purpose should cover: reasons for why you want to continue with the subject and also what you did until your present point in time and why you are interested in the university. This should also include any experience that you may have gained even from university clubs or societies to prove your admission will be valuable to the university. You have to think about all the different things you could bring to the university.
If you are looking for a change in your field, she points out that your SOP is your opportunity to explain to the admissions team the reasons why you would like to have this change. Applications to some of the programs may be based on experience so it’s important for you to mention your experience for admissions officers can access it.
She stresses that it is important to have your SOP rated and checked a couple of times so you can sell yourself as well as possible to the university.
When asked if there was any word limit or structure that must be followed, she let us know that this varies from subject to subject. She says that MBA applicants, for example, would also have to include their cv. She warns us that an SOP should never be too long but to the point. She feels that in an SOP, students should try to express their individuality rather than stick to some particular structure or format.