Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, London School of Economics… these institutions are as prestigious as they could get. It’s easy to understand why many students want to study in a British university. This is one of the oldest and most effective educational systems in the world.
However, these universities are also extremely competitive. If you want your application to go through, it has to be impressive. Your academic record and diplomas are important, but they are not everything. Keep in mind that students from all around the world are competing for the same schools, and many of them have similar achievements to yours. The university can’t accept all of them.
That’s where the motivational letter comes into the picture. It adds personality to your application and sets you apart from other candidates.
How exactly do you write a motivational letter for a British university? Are there any specific standards you should follow?
Tips: How to Write Motivational Letters for UK Universities
There is nothing unusual about the motivational letter you need to write for a British university. It will still be a personal letter, which will show you as a unique candidate. You need to explain how you would fit into that school and why the admission board should be happy to have you as a student. However, some aspects of it will be slightly different.
Let’s start with the actionable tips.
Always Start with a Concept!
An outline will help you maintain the logical flow. When you outline the main points you want to write about, you won’t miss out on important information. Here is what you should include in the concept:
Your thoughts on why you want to get in the specific program;
An experience, thoughts, or interests related to that program;
How you would fit into the university’s culture, and
Why you think that school is the best one for you.
You don’t have to go in that precise order. Simply brainstorm for ideas on those points, and then organize them in a clean outline. From that point on, the writing part won’t be that challenging.
Make It Personal, but Relevant!
The motivational letter should describe an experience, point of view, or a special moment of your life that helped you build character. However, many students misunderstand the personal aspect of a motivational letter. They write something about themselves, but they forget to relate it to their studies in that particular university.
It’s best to focus on your intellectual or artistic personality, depending on the type of studies you’re going to pursue. Focus on the strengths and explain how they make you an adequate student for that particular university.
Show Interest in a Particular Course
In the USA, you get some space to explore your interests during the first years of college. You’re free to choose and change a major after you start. In UK universities, things are slightly different. You go there with a precise direction and you aim for a particular program.
Your motivational letter should include hints about that direction. Show that you’re familiar with the course and you have interests and skills that will make you a great student.
Don’t just list those interests. Show them through examples. If, for example, you’re aiming for a program in literature, explain how a book changed your life and how it affected your character in that particular point of life. Then, relate that moment to the future at this British university, as well as to the career you envision upon graduation.
Make It Simple
How do you impress British academics? This may be the first idea that comes to your mind: “I’ll write an impressive motivational letter with complex constructions and advanced style.” That’s the wrong thing to do. Eloquent and persuasive writing is okay, but you mustn’t opt for overly complex style.
Your expressions should be smooth. When someone reads that letter, they should have an image about you in their minds. You must sound like a real person, so don’t try to fake an advanced style.
Write Few Versions and Get Feedback
You can’t skip the editing stage. You have to go through that letter and fix all spelling and grammar flaws. Maybe you’ll need to add more content or take something away to achieve the perfect logical flow. If that’s the case, then keep the first version and create few more as you edit.
You’ll end up with few similar, but different motivational letters. Ask someone to read them and give you their opinion. If you don’t have a friend or professor who can help you, you can always get professional feedback from writing companies.
The important thing to present a flawless version of your motivational letter. You don’t get many chances for admission at a UK university. Thus, you have to be wise about the way you use this one. Good luck!