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  • Sanchit Varma

Writing the personal statement for Oxford

The personal statement is one of the five primary requirements that must be fulfilled to apply for a BCL at Oxford. It is a relatively short document of just 300 words, in which applicants are required to talk about their motivation for applying for a BCL.

Application requirements for the BCL

Oxford's guidance on the personal statement

The university website provides a bird's eye view of what is required in the personal statement.

Amongst the substantive requirements, the guidance states that the personal statement should explain:

  • Your motivation for applying for the course

  • Your academic history and relevant experience

  • The specific areas that interest you, or the areas in which you intend to specialise in

The bit that stands out, however, is that "the personal statement generally plays a less important role in the Law Faculty's assessment of applications than the references, written work, and academic qualifications". Srimukundan Rajaram, a 2021 BCL graduate from Oxford, talks about how a statement of purpose is the crux of the applications for Cambridge and American law schools, and in comparison the personal statement for Oxford required relatively less effort.

Structuring the personal statement

According to Jyothsna Gurumurthy, a 2020 BCL graduate, while the university places relatively less importance on the personal statement, it still plays an important role in filling in the gaps in one's application.