10 Top Oxford Engineering Personal Statement Tips

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What makes you different from all the other applicants? Your engineering Oxford personal statement is a crucial component in your university application. It gives you a chance to articulate why you’re interested in Engineering and to distinguish yourself from other applicants. Additionally, it offers the interviewer a focal point to base discussions about your personality, interests and deduce your commitment to the subject you’re applying for. To help guide you through the process, our Oxford application experts have compiled a list of top 10 tips for everything you should do and not do for your Oxbridge Engineering Personal Statement for the 2024/25 application cycle. 

engineering Oxford personal statement


The Engineering Science programme is a four-year course, leading to the degree of Master of Engineering. The first two years are devoted to topics which Oxford believes all Engineering undergraduates should study. In the third and fourth years there is scope for specialisation into one of six branches of engineering. These include Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Information and Mechanical. Decisions about which of these will be your specialisation can be deferred until the third year.

All candidates must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) as part of their application. Find out more about this here.

For the first time, for entry in October 2023 Oxford offered a Foundation Year route to access Engineering Science. So if you’re interested in studying Engineering Science but your personal or educational circumstances have meant you are unlikely to achieve the grades, then choosing to apply for Engineering Science with a Foundation Year might be the course for you. More information can be accessed here.

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Top 5 Tips for an Oxford Engineering Personal Statement

1. Tell your story

Your story will be what makes your UCAS personal statement stand out. In your Engineering personal statement Oxford admissions tutors will be looking for you to outline the reasons as to why you want to study Engineering, along with relevant experience and skills for the subject. Some ways to do this include thinking about your plans for the future, why you have decided to pursue Engineering, and any relevant experience you have.

2. Choosing a discipline

Oxford offers six branches of Engineering- (Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Information and Mechanical). While you can still write about your interest in Engineering more broadly, both academically and as a professional field, you can also narrow down on your chosen discipline and discuss some skills and experiences specific to this branch. This will show the Oxford Admissions tutors that you have a clear plan for your studies and where you hope your degree will take you in your career.

engineering personal statement Oxford

3. Read around the subject you’re applying for

Students who carry out extra-curricular work are more impressive to Oxford admissions tutors than those who do not. Podcasts such as ‘The Engineering Commons’, or those produced by the University of Oxford itself are useful for students. Additionally, reading research, such as that from ‘Engineering Science and Technology, an International Journal’ could act as a talking point at an interview.

4. Proofread & read aloud your work

Once you’re happy with the content of your engineering Oxford personal statement draft, check it, check it and check it again! Certain people such as a current Oxford student, a teacher of Engineering, or an Engineering student would be useful in proofreading your work as a fresh pair of eyes can pick up improvements that you may have glossed over.

5. What makes you suitable

In your engineering personal statement Oxford tutors will also be looking for what qualities you possess that means they should grant you a place on an Oxford Engineering course. Think back to any relevant skills or experience you have undertaken on placements and link these to your future career. Relevant skills would include problem-solving and teamwork, as well as more.

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Top 5 things to AVOID for your Oxford Engineering Personal Statement

1. Writing a list of achievements

Avoid listing things for the sake of it. Make sure each point in your Oxford Engineering personal statement is relevant and backed up by evidence. Expand on statements in order to explain why you’re an ideal candidate. It will look more impressive if you are able to reflect on your experience because it will show that you have learnt and understood a little of the Engineering speciality.

2. Write anything that isn’t true

Don’t exaggerate. You may be asked to provide evidence of your stated achievements, or if you are interviewed you may be asked detailed questions about things you’ve mentioned. It will reflect badly on you if you are asked questions about an event that didn’t happen, so don’t exaggerate for the sake of trying to impress the Oxford admissions tutors.

3. Copying other people’s personal statements

Don’t plagiarise. Do not copy someone else’s UCAS personal statement or use something you have found on the internet. UCAS uses software to check every personal statement for plagiarism. Not only will this reflect badly on you, but it won’t sell your personal statement as being authentic.

4. Not reflecting on or justifying your point

Write succinctly and explain points without repeating yourself. Don’t tell the admissions tutor what they already know – instead, expand on how you’ve acquired certain skills and why they’re important. Remember, quality is always better than quantity- it’s better to expand on a few points than to list every point you can without going into detail.

5. Don’t sound unprofessional

Steer clear of slang, clichés and quotes. It will sound repetitive to Admissions Tutors to hear about how students are “passionate” about their subject or that they have a “thirst for knowledge”. Write about your personal experience with your Engineering journey, and allow the Admissions Tutor to do the rest.

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