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Your personal statement is a significant part of your university application. It gives you the opportunity to show universities your enthusiasm for studying Economics and demonstrate your skills and motivations.

Many students struggle with writing personal statements. It can be difficult to balance academic interests with personal achievements, keep everything relevant to the economics courses you're applying for, and fit it all into just over one A4 page.

To help you get on the right track, our Personal Statement Guide takes you through everything you need to know to create an excellent Economics personal statement:

Why are Personal Statements Important? 

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

Personal Statements provide valuable insight to universities on the reasons why you want to study your subject and tell admissions tutors about your genuine interests. Particularly for subjects like economics that you may not have studied before at school, personal statements offer you the chance to express your enthusiasm, critical thinking, and creative opinions.

Admissions tutors are ultimately looking for students who love and care deeply about Economics, as well as possessing the requisite skills to perform well on the degree course.



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What Should I Include in an Economics Personal Statement? 

Academic Interests and Achievements 

The content of your personal statement should focus heavily on your academic explorations around Economics outside of your school Economics, Mathematics, or Statistics courses. Include various media such as books, podcasts, documentaries, TV shows, journal articles, essay competitions or prizes that you have won, as well as any other achievements you are proud of that you can link to key skills required of an Economics student.

If you plan to apply for related economics courses at different universities, we advise against mentioning specific course titles in your personal statement. Instead, focus on your interest in general course themes, such as development economics, economic theory (including philosophy), or political economics (for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics application). Ensure you include how you have engaged with relevant subject areas, making your statement pertinent to all your chosen courses.

Relevant Extracurricular Activities 

Extracurricular activities included in your Economics Personal statement should showcase relevant skills, qualities and interests that prove your suitability for an Economics degree; nothing which you cannot relate back to studying Economics should be included!

For instance, you can include Economics-related projects or competitions such as the Economics Olympiad and UKMT Maths Challeng,e or an economics blog or club you run/attend. Alternatively, you can discuss relevant hobbies, such as being a member of your school chess team, which demonstrates your analytical thinking skills.

When mentioning your extracurricular activities, remember not to list them but talk about the relevant skills, experiences or learning points you gained from them and how this has prepared you for studying Economics at university.

Passion and Genuine Interest 

The most important part of your Economics personal statement is showing your genuine interest in the subject. This is, of course, already proved by your extracurricular activities and independent research, However, you can strengthen this aspect of the statement, and give the tutors an idea of your personality at the same time, by outlining why are fascinated by Economics and wish to apply to it at university. This should be unique and personal to you; convince the admissions tutors that you are genuinely passionate about Economics, and your job is halfway done!

What Should I Avoid in an Economics Personal Statement? 

You must avoid waffle and cliches. A common cliche that we recommend you avoid is "I have wanted to study Economics since I was a child" or "I want to study Economics because I want to make money". While these statements may be true, you need to focus on demonstrating your interests in economics, not just stating them.

Instead, talk about a documentary you came across and how it interested you and how, in light of this interest you read a book related to the topic. Connecting your academic interests in this way instead of using cliche statements helps keep you under the word count, but also makes your personal statement interesting and personal to your academic journey.

You should also definitely not mention anything in your personal statement that you have not read, watched, listen to, or done yourself. In other words, absolutely do not lie! Admissions tutors will sniff dishonest statements out very keenly, especially if you attend an interview with them further along the line.

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Advice on How to Start an Economics Personal Statement  

Economic ,at undergraduate study contains many elements and topics; use this to your advantage and research widely to find various areas of personal interest. Before starting to write your Economics Personal Statement, consider making a mind map or list of the reasons you are interested in the subject, and any areas in which you are particularly interested. Which podcasts have you listened to, books have you read, or videos have you watched?

Remember to focus on what you have done, what inspired and benefited you, and what you would like to learn next. For instance, in studying elasticity of demand, what questions did it raise for you, and how have you explored the topic further?

If you are struggling to get your wider research off the ground, or need something new to get out of a research rut, check out some of our recommendations below:


Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty by Muhammad Yunus

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner


IMF Podcast

Planet Money


The Economist

American Economic Review

The Econometrics Journal

Journal of Political Economy


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

Advice on How to Finish an Economics Personal Statement  

Writing the ending of an Economics Personal statement can often be just as hard as beginning. The most important task for the final section is not to overcomplicate things; focus on using clear and concise language to round up the main theme(s) of the preceding content.

Your final sentence or two should summarise your academic interest in Economics and your excitement about studying the course. If you wish, you may also briefly mention your hopes for the future (be it working in further research, a financial institution, or government policy) and tie an Economics degree into your plans going forward (although this is not necessary).

Think about what you want the admissions tutors to remember about you once they have finished reading. This is the information to foreground in your conclusion.

Lastly, always proofread your personal statement several times. We recommend giving a final version to a parent, guardian, teacher, friend, or anyone else you can find, really! Getting a second opinion, be it from someone with Economics expertise or someone completely new to the subject, can help weed out mistakes and ensure your writing is clear and your intentions can be understood.


A strong Economics personal statement will include relevant academic interests and the motivations behind pursuing Economics at a higher level, and not a lot else.

As Economics is a subject that links to other social sciences such as sociology or politics, the temptation can often be to discuss topics that are potentially not covered in an Economics course. To ensure against this, it's always good to check back over the course syllabus and double check that everything you mention is linked either by content or by the skills needed to study it.

If you are applying for different courses, such as PPE at a few universities and Economics at others, carefully think about which topics you write about to demonstrate that you are a passionate Economics student.

We recommend that you use the majority of the limit UCAS gives you. It is your first chance to make a lasting impression on the admission tutors, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to show them why you would be an exceptional Economics student.

4000 characters of 47 lines (whichever comes first) may seem ample, but once you have spoken about your interests in detail, you will find that it really is not. Often students go over the limit in their first draft of their personal statement; do not worry about this, as continual redrafting and reviewing (which you really should do) will help you shorten it down.

You want to ensure that you only include extracurricular activities that demonstrate relevant skills, interests, and qualities in your statement.

Whether the activity or resource you want to mention is directly related to economics or not (and it doesn't necessarily have to be), you should not just mention it, but also explicitly discuss why or how you believe that it either motivates you or equips you with the skills to perform well on the degree course to which you are applying.

There is no secret formula when writing a personal statement for Oxford or Cambridge, and you need to make sure not to mention the Oxbridge course directly since your personal statement goes to all your universities. In our experience, however, the key to an Oxbridge Economics personal statement lies within the amount of academic content you have in your statement. 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.

To demonstrate your academic ability and potential, you must talk about how you have engaged with your subject beyond the school syllabus. This can include presenting your views on economists such as Milton Friedman or analysing the implications of theories such as economies of scale. You need to avoid waffle, be concise, and demonstrate your love for Economics at every stage.

It is important to note that if you do reach the interview stage of the Oxbridge application process, you can be asked questions about your personal statement, so do carefully select topics that you are passionate about. We offer a fantastic interview preparation course if you need support preparing for the interview stage of the process.

Book your Economics 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 Economics, we have admissions test guidance and interview preparation readily available. 

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