Any students who want to study at a university level will provide a statement of purpose during an application. This statement is sent to admissions officers at your preferred college or university.
How to write statement of purpose?
In your statement of purpose, you explain why you want to study a specific course. Also, you will outline your skills and experience to complete a degree or course.
To help with your preparation for writing a strong statement, we provide some good-quality examples below. After each example, we also provide analysis to help you create a statement during the application process.
What to include in a successful statement of purpose
Overall, you should aim to provide an overview of your education, knowledge and achievements in a statement of purpose. But, it is also important to structure the document correctly.
When writing your statement, try to follow the general structure below to include all the necessary details for admissions officers.
- Introduction: Give a brief explanation of who you are and your motivation for wanting to study your chosen course.
- Education and qualifications: Highlight your academic achievements and skills with real-life examples. Also, use this section to outline specific areas of interest in your subject.
- Additional activities: Here, explain to the admissions officer if you have any subject-specific experience. This could be volunteering, work experience or relevant extracurricular activities.
- Closing paragraph: Express your passion for your subject area and summaries your core skills and traits that you would bring to the institution or course.
Statement of purpose examples
In this section, we provide three good quality statements of purpose examples. Each statement focuses on a different subject area.
Here is an example of a statement of purpose for Law masters, medicine and business masters.
Law masters statement
During high school, I was inspired to pursue a career in law after taking part in a debate in a history lesson. My classmates and I argued whether Julius Caesar was a good or bad leader for the Roman Empire and we all had to provide compelling closing arguments after examining the evidence. I was fully involved in the task and I relished the challenge of debating my classmates and putting forward my case.
This curiosity and determination to make the right decisions and to form arguments based on evidence inspired me to complete an undergraduate course in History in 2017. I demonstrated strong analytical skills in essay writing throughout this course. I also took an interest in the diverse subject matter. For example, I completed modules on European art history where I used evidence shown in paintings from the early-modern period to show how social inequalities took place. But, in another module, I examined how effectively the Nazis controlled the press during World War 2. These experiences show how I can take a variety of subject matter and form a compelling argument based on the facts provided.
However, the main passion in my undergraduate course was social history. I took a keen interest in hearing first-hand accounts from everyday people on their experiences during the Great Depression and I wrote my thesis on this subject. I used the evidence given by people during the Great Depression to argue how the actions of the masses to migrate en masse had more impact compared to government intervention. I also completed a presentation on my findings and answered questions from doctorate-level tutors on the subject and received a distinction for my research.
I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my undergraduate degree. The process of gathering important and impactful evidence and using this to create a solid argument was completely engaging. This inspired me to start getting more experience in law. After graduating, I secured a position working for a local solicitor. In this role, I spoke to clients and supported them with queries. Also, I helped the lawyers organise their files and prepare for court days. Part of this role involved shadowing solicitors in the office and court. During this experience, I learnt from colleagues about legal language and how to make cases for clients based on their needs and requirements. Occasionally, I also helped lawyers when they went to court and seeing the lawyers perform their arguments in a court setting was another huge motivation for me to progress with my law career.
Since a young age, I have been an advocate for justice and fairness in all areas of life. I am determined to bring this core philosophy and my skills and understanding of evidence to become a qualified lawyer. I am a hard-working individual who is always looking to improve my skills and knowledge. I would bring this and a passion for the law to this course in the hope of taking the next step toward my dream career.
This student provides a good story to begin their statement that is engaging and personable. Having strong, specific examples that show long-term commitment to an admissions officer is important.
Then, this student outlines the skills and experience needed to complete an MA Law course. First, they explain they have a degree in History and then they go on to outline key experiences and skills gained from the course. Also, they do not list the skills or experiences gained, instead, they form stories and pick enjoyable parts of their course that could also be useful for a Law degree.
In addition, the student does well to bring some real-life work experience into their statement. Even if the work experience is in an unrelated field, try to find skills that could also apply to your chosen course.
Lastly, the student outlines their passion and commitment to the law, whilst also highlighting some strong personal skills that would help them to achieve well in a Law course.
Also, watch our video on “Mastering the art of winning SOP”.
I remember when I was six, I was playing out on the street with my school friends. It was the first time I tried to do a wheelie on my bike, but I failed. I fell backwards, onto the concrete floor and hit my shoulder hard. The next few hours went like a flash, but my main memory of this event was seeing the paediatrician that diagnosed my broken shoulder. The doctor was incredibly kind, funny and sincere and their easy going nature relaxed both me and my concerned mother about the severity of my injury. During my recovery period, I wanted to learn more about what exactly had happened to my shoulder and I asked my parents and teachers about the body and how it is all interconnected like one complex circuit board.
After this experience, the sciences quickly became my favourite subject in school. But biology was always my favourite. I couldn’t wait to get into the class and learn more about the human body, how it functions, what harms it and what improves it. Even though I loved my biology lessons at school, I wanted to learn more and I joined the after-school science club. Through this experience, I demonstrated excellent subject knowledge, organisation and communication skills by taking lead in the biology section of a school exhibition. Here, my team and I created real-life dioramas and infographics about the organs in the body and how they function. We received an award for the most scientifically accurate display and earned praise from our headteacher, parents and peers.
Determined to continue my learning and to develop my experience to eventually become a medical doctor, I completed my degree in Biology in 2021. As part of the course, we often visited local hospitals and medical centres. Seeing the help and excellent level of care inspired me to volunteer at a local emergency department as an orderly whilst I completed my degree. Here, I witnessed both the realism of being a doctor, with long hours, tough patients and dealing with emotional situations. One evening, two surgeons came out of a long-term procedure and we spoke about the details of the surgery they had just completed. Even though they were tired, they were both joyful and excited about what they had achieved and glad they made a difference in the patient’s life. Seeing these responses highlighted to me how important it is to see the patient first in any scenario. The long, demanding hours of being a doctor may be tough, but it is all worth it to provide expert patient care.
My experiences so far in hospital environments have only strengthened my determination to become a medical doctor. I want to be a thorough professional who provides the best services available. Understanding and sensitivity are key to becoming a top doctor and these are some of the key attributes in my professional and personal life. Combined with my knowledge of Biology, I feel ready to pursue the next step toward becoming a fully qualified doctor through the Doctor of Medicine course.
[Name of the person]
This statement shows how you can create a timeline of key events to help organise your structure and content. Sometimes, thinking back to the earliest memory and thinking about how your subject knowledge and experience have grown can be helpful.
Also, this student does not specifically outline the knowledge they have from their undergraduate course or school education. Instead, they concentrate more on inspiring and engaging moments from their life that have led to this application.
Often, admissions officers will know you know necessary from your school and degree results. It is not necessary to repeat them in the statement of purpose. Generally, it is more effective to focus on real-life experiences that show you have the right attitude, commitment and passion to complete a course, which this student does.
Business masters statement
From a young age, I went to work with my Dad in his hardware shop. Here, I saw first-hand how he interacted with customers and dealt with queries, and complaints and provided excellent services. But, he also showed me that running a business is more than being a people person. After the shop closed, he worked on budgets and finance, talked with suppliers and checked stock items regularly. As I got older, my Dad helped me to become more involved in the business. First, he trusted me to work the tills, process orders and print receipts for customers before I was promoted to shop floor assistant.
Overall, I learnt from this experience that business is many subjects rolled into one. Successful business person is not just a salesman, but they are a leader, a mathematician, a communicator and an organiser.
Even though I had experience running a business, I was not immediately inspired to start my shop or enterprise. Instead, I completed my school education and studied for a degree in English Literature. Here, I regularly demonstrated excellent communication skills. I completed my thesis on the themes of ‘War and Peace and went on to present my findings to a group of 30 first-year students. But, I also showed great skill in teamwork and leadership when I formed a research group in the second year of my studies. I realised that I was not achieving as well as I could and I demonstrated initiative and a proactive approach to help support my studies. I first organised an online study forum for my peers and then we decided to meet in person to discuss themes and approaches to the book. The group continued to run until we graduated and I felt proud to start an active group that supported others and myself to complete our degrees.
Towards the end of my studies, I started working as a freelance writer, submitting fiction stories and non-fiction articles to local and national magazines. Over time, I grew my online presence and profiles to attract customers and showcase my work. Shortly after finishing my degree, I went full-time in this line of work as I attracted more clients. In many ways, this was similar to my early experience working in my dad’s shop. Although my role as a writer is different to a shop owner, I still use many of the same business-related skills. I create budgets, talk to clients regularly, speak with potential customers and create invoices each month. All of these skills and tasks are equally as important as my writing to keep my business working.
Something about this entrepreneurial adventure inspired me to apply for a Masters in Business. Someday, it is my ambition to scale up my writing business and to help and inspire younger writers and entrepreneurs to follow a similar path. However, I want to learn more about the business side of running my enterprise. Ultimately, I want to improve my management and communication skills and learn how to expand from being a sole entrepreneur to a business with multiple employees and staff. In my studies and career so far, I have shown the necessary determination, hard work and initiative that have helped me to succeed. I would bring these skills and my experience to this course and demonstrate my passion to learn and understand more about this subject to help myself and others in the future.
[Name of the person]
An engaging back story or experience is essential to grab the attention of the admissions officer. If you can identify a key experience, course, moment or conversation that sparked an enthusiasm for your subject, this can help engage the admissions officer immediately.
This student uses her early experience of working in a shop to relate to business. It is effective and showcases that they already have subject knowledge from first-hand experience.
Also, this student did not always show a determination to join a Business course straight away. But they use their own experience and context to make it relatable to the course they are applying for.
In addition, this student gives a genuine closing statement about their motivations and will to help others. This is powerful and the closing paragraph is a great opportunity to outline your desire and passion to join a course.
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Any strong statement of purpose will capture you as a person and as an academic. Be sure to focus on your positive contributions during your academic and personal life that will impress any admissions officer.
While you can use the above examples to help with structure and content, your statement will be unique to you and your experiences.
However, remember to keep a positive tone throughout and think about your skills and experiences that will make you stand out to the admissions officer.