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Your personal statement is an important part of your application to university. It is your first chance to make a lasting impression on the admission tutors in the Biochemistry department.

Your statement provides an insight into your motivations for wanting to study Biochemistry, showcases your potential contributions to the cohort and demonstrates your determination and skills that will aid your success on the course. 

Personal statement writing can appear to be a daunting process for many Biochemistry applicants, especially when trying to strike a balance between discussing relevant accomplishments and academic interests, whilst condensing it all into one A4 page. 

To help you get on the right track, our Personal Statement Guide covers everything you will need to know to write an amazing Biochemistry personal statement:

Why are Personal Statements Important? 

Personal statements are a crucial part of your UCAS application that gets submitted to your chosen universities. The limit enforced by UCAS on personal statements is 4000 characters or 47 lines, whichever limit is reached first.

Personal statements hold significant weight. They are a prime opportunity for universities to get a glimpse into what type of student you are, from your motivations to study Biochemistry to your genuine interests and rationale for studying Biochemistry at university.

In a subject like Biochemistry, which you may not have previously studied, personal statements allow you to show your enthusiasm, critical thinking and uniqu perspectives. Admissions tutors want students who have a genuine passion and are dedicated to Biochemistry studies, so you must use your statement to prove to them that you are the right student for their course.



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What Should I Include in a Biochemistry Personal Statement? 

Academic Interests and Achievements 

Universities care a lot about your academic ability and potential; therefore, your personal statement needs to reflect this. You need to delve into how you have explored Biochemistry at school and beyond.

To achieve this, you should aim to cover various media such as books, podcasts, documentaries, TV shows, journal articles, science competitions or prizes you have won, and any other achievements that you are proud of.

You must only include topics that are of actual interest to you and, for each activity or source you mention, you must explain how it has benefited you or what you have learnt about Biochemistry. In doing so, you begin to paint a picture of your academic journey, your motivations for studying and your genuine interest in Biochemistry. You also show that you understand the course requirements and are ready to start undergraduate study.

Relevant Extracurricular Activities 

When writing your Biochemistry personal statement, include extracurricular activities that show off your relevant skills and interests. These can range from volunteer work in healthcare, scientific research projects and clubs, leadership roles, biomedical internships, and hobbies related to Biochemistry.

If you don't have a wealth of Biochemistry-related experience, don't Panic! Remember that not every activity you discuss has to be directly linked to Biochemistry. Provided that you can link key skills you have learned to those required for success on a Biochemistry degree, you can mention it in the Personal Statement. For example, tutoring maths to younger students might have helped consolidate your knowledge and develop your logical-thinking skills; captaining a sports team may have contributed to your teamwork skills in science lab activities; or an internship in finance might have taught you how to learn new abilities quickly whilst working in a high-pressured environment. Whist we don't recommend hinging your personal statement on this kind of activities, you can always mention them towards the end of the statement to offer another view of your transferable skills.

When discussing each extracurricular activity in your personal statement, it is important to emphasise the lessons you learned, skills acquired and how the activity contributed to your passion for Biochemistry and readiness for studying at university. No activity or resource should be mentioned without further explanation of the academic content or transferrable skills it taught you.

Passion and Genuine Interest 

Genuine academic interest and passion for biochemistry are the key distinguishing factors between an average and an excellent personal statement.

Talk about the importance of biochemistry to understanding life on earth; discuss your interest in the acid strengths of compounds; or explain your fascination in virus structures and functions. Whatever interests you!

However, you cannot simply list your interests. Explain the particulars of the area in which you are interested, and how it relates to the wider Biochemistry journey you want to take. By explaining your interest in detail, you prove that you have done research outside of school, demonstrate engagement with your subject, and tick important boxes for admissions tutors.

What Should I Avoid in a Biochemistry Personal Statement? 

It is important at all costs to avoid cliches and waffle, since it wastes your already limited character count and does not impress universities. Including statements such as "I love peptide bonds" or "recent developments in biochemistry are interesting" are vague and do not tell universities much about you.

In a similar vein, mentioning that you have "always known" that you wanted to study Biochemistry is also vague and adds no value to your personal statement.

For your Biochemistry personal statement, remember to be straight to the point, clear in your wording, and demonstrate your interests or points with evidence as opposed to just stating them.

Another key element to avoid in a Biochemistry personal statement is misspelling key terms or incorrectly identifying information about topics relating to Biochemistry. Life sciences such as Biochemistry require attention to detail and depth of scientific understanding; be sure to demonstrate this in using the accurate language in the correct places.

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Advice on How to Start a Biochemistry Personal Statement  

Starting a personal statement can be challenging, which is why it is important to remember its purpose: to showcase your interests and passion for the subject.

Before starting to write your Biochemistry Personal statement, consider making a mind map or list of the reasons you are interested in the subject. Reflect on what science experiments you have enjoyed at school, which books or science reports you have read, and interesting videos you watched.

Remember to focus on how each activity or resource has contributed to your interest in Biochemistry, and how you have considered the topics discussed at a high academic level. For instance, in studying organic compounds, what questions did it raise for you, and how have you explored the topic further? Your biochemistry personal statement should reflect the specific academic journey you have had with Biochemistry.

If you are struggling to get started, check out some of our recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. Hopefully something below might spark your interest!


Life Ascending by Nick Lane

Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley

The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes

Why Chemical Reactions Happen by J. Keeler and P. Wothers 


Your Inner Fish (a PBS Series)

The Human Body

The Secret Life of Chaos


The Drive with Peter Attia, MD

Imperial College London Biochemistry Podcast


Journal of Biological Chemistry

Nucleic Acids Research

Annual Review of Biochemistry


This is not an exhaustive list, and we strongly encourage you to research your areas of interest.

Advice on How to Finish a Biochemistry Personal Statement  

Concluding a Biochemistry Personal Statement can be just as challenging as writing the opening line. Our key piece of advice is to aim for simplicity. Your last sentence or two should encapsulate your academic passion for Biochemistry and your eagerness to delve deeper into the subject.

Remember that you have laid out your key interests and conveyed your motivation in the previous paragraphs of the personal statement, so you don't need to write everything again in your conclusion. Focus on leaving the admissions tutors with something to remember you by, ideally by highlighting the main theme of your statement.


The strongest Biochemistry Personal statements are the ones that demonstrate a clear interest in and understanding of what the course entails. Often, applicants include content that is more relevant to other life sciences, such as medicine. Although incorporating interests in general life sciences is acceptable in moderation, especially if you are applying for different courses at different universities, it is still important to demonstrate your passion for Biochemistry.

Successful applicants manage to explore their academic interests in depth while also covering what they have learnt from the content, why and how it interested them, and in doing so, demonstrate genuine academic interest and a passion for their subject.

We advise that you use as much of the UCAS limit provided as possible, to maximise the opportunity to showcase your potential to be a fantastic Biochemistry student to the universities. While 4000 characters or 47 lines (whichever is reached first) may appear plenty, exhibiting your enthusiasm and mentioning your key areas of interest will rapidly take up the available space!

There are a wide range of extracurricular activities that you can cover in your Biochemistry personal statement. These can be activities focused either on academic relevance or demonstrating skills and experiences relevant to studying Biochemistry at undergraduate study.

Examples might include laboratory research projects, contributions to science, robotics or maths competitions, or volunteering in hospitals, clinics or research labs. When talking about your extracurricular activities, it is important not just to list them but to explain and elaborate on what you gained from each activity.

Tailoring a personal statement to any university will be difficult, as it is best to avoid mentioning any names of universities or course details in your personal statement to avoid losing out on a place at other institutions.

Ultimately, the key part of tailoring your statement for an Oxbridge application lies in the amount of academic content you choose to incorporate. Oxbridge tutors are keen to hear as much as possible about your academic interests, therefore we recommend aiming to focus 80-90% of your statement on academic content, whilst the remaining 10-20% talks about your extracurricular activities.

Book your Biochemistry Personal Statement Package

You can contact our Oxbridge-graduate Consultants on +44 (0) 20 7499 2394 or email [email protected] to discuss our personal statement packages. 

If you’d like to know more about Biochemistry, we have admissions test guidance and interview preparation readily available. 

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