Veterinary Personal Statement-Academic Interests

UCAT SJT Books

It is a great idea to talk about your academic interests in your Veterinary Personal Statement.  Use your Personal Statement as an opportunity to show off your aptitude for science. Veterinary degrees are academically demanding, and the career involves lifelong learning. Therefore, admissions tutors are looking to identify students who can show that they are curious and dedicated to academia.

Common Questions: Academic Interests

Why is it important to discuss your academic interests?

Reflecting and describing your academic interests in your Veterinary Personal Statement allows you to show what extra efforts you’re making to widen your knowledge outside of the taught curriculum. This will help you stand out from other applicants.

What do we mean by “Academic Interests?”

When we talk about academic interests, what this refers to is anything that you may have achieved in school that does not include your A level or GCSE grades. Please do not waste characters putting your grades into your Veterinary Personal Statement.

Examples of super-curricular activities/ academic achievements

The sorts of academic achievements that you could write about include the following: 
Sponsored reads/ book clubs that you are part of 
Debating societies 
Interests in science or veterinary medicine from reading magazines such as ‘In Practice’ ‘The Vet Times’ or online journals. 
Journal clubs at your school 
Extended Project qualifications 
Books that you’ve read. 

Common pitfalls when describing your academic achievements.

Lying

Do not lie within this section of your Veterinary Personal Statement (or in any other section). If you state that you have read something or won an award… please ensure this is true. At Veterinary MMI/ Panel interviews they may ask about your academic interests and what you have written about them. It would be embarrassing if you did not know what they were talking about or didn’t know how to answer their questions.

Listing

Never just list facts about yourself in your Veterinary Personal Statement.

Stating not explaining

Do not just state your academic achievements but put them into context. Consider what you learnt and how this will help you in your career as a vet.

We have shown you a good and bad example of this is practice:

Bad Example –  ‘I was part of my schools Oxbridge society’

Good Example: ‘Being selected to be part of my school’s Oxbridge society has allowed me to have access to a plethora of scientific journals in which I have been able to research my interest of veterinary microbiology more thoroughly’. I found X interesting and am looking forward to expanding my knowledge on this throughout vet school.’ 

In the second example can you see that the student presents the achievement in a constructive way rather than just stating their achievements.

Sweeping Statements

Academic awards are great tangible achievements to write about in your Veterinary Personal Statement. You may have gained awards for the most improved grade or an award for your continued efforts towards your studies – these are great things to put in! A pitfall is describing ranking highly in your year group using a sweeping statement – many students may describe coming “near the top” of their year group. Your Veterinary Personal Statement should contain solid evidence, not sweeping statements about achievements relative to those of others.

Top tips for Writing About Your Academic Interests

Planning is essential!

Ensure you know which academic interests you want to write about and consider which paragraph these reflections fit in with. We advise that it is best to write about any personal or academic achievements in your penultimate/ last paragraph. It is always good to end with reflections on what else you do outside of your normal teaching and hobbies. 

Show Proactivity and an interest in Veterinary.

It is a good idea to talk about your achievements, or something interesting you have read and link it back to how this can benefit you during your time at vet school.

For example, imagine that you are writing about your extended project on badger culling due to TB. How could you relate this to a career in veterinary medicine? You could describe your understanding of the large debate as to whether badgers do spread the disease or not. It would be good to include any interesting points from your research that you found out here and expand on them for future development. For example you may have come across research into a vaccine for TB in the future from your EPQ research. You could mention that this would be an interesting area to learn about at vet school in the coming years as the evidence is continually changing. 

So, whatever your academic achievements may be (and believe me everyone will have at least one they should be able to think of), always remember to include them in your Veterinary Personal Statement.

Check out our other Veterinary Personal Statement Guides and the UCAS website for further guidance on your Personal Statement. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

What should a vet personal statement include?

An introduction explaining their motivations to study Veterinary medicine.
A middle paragraph explaining about work experience.
A paragraph (or two) at the end where you talk about your personal achievements, hobbies, academic achievements etc.

How do you talk about academics in a personal statement?

When we talk about academic interests, what this refers to is anything that you may have achieved in school that does not include your A level or GCSE grades. The sorts of academic achievements that you could write about include the following:
Sponsored reads/ book clubs that you are part of
Debating societies
Interests in science or veterinary medicine from reading magazines such as ‘In Practice’ ‘The Vet Times’ or online journals.
Journal clubs at your school
Extended Project qualifications
Books that you’ve read.

What hobbies should I write in my personal statement?

If you have lots of hobbies and extra-curricular activities, then you may struggle to write about all of thee in your application. If this is the case, cherry-pick the most important ones to you or the ones that you can easily relate to making you more skilled to being a vet.
Below is a comprehensive list of extra-curricular activities that you may want to include in your application:
• Duke of Edinburgh award
• School clubs e.g., debating clubs/ societies.
• Private tutoring
• Part time jobs e.g., paper rounds/ retail work/ hospitality etc
• Volunteering positions e.g., caring for the elderly or volunteering at an animal charity
• PGL trips
• School prefect
• National Citizen Service (NCS) summer programmes
• Camp America etc
• School trips away e.g., to Kenya wildlife reserves
• Charity events for animal foundations e.g., sponsored runs
• Hobbies
• Musical instruments and their grading
• Sports

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