University Of York Postgraduate Personal Statement

PhD Physics

Please outline the reasons why you are suited or well-qualified for this course, your motivation for applying, how you will benefit from the course and what you hope to bring to the research group. If you're applying to a research degree it is essential that you include substantial detail of your interest in the research area you are applying to work in. Please add any other information that you feel will help us to assess your application.

The statement should be 500 – 1000 words in length, in English, and be your own words.

PhD in Plasma Science and Fusion Energy

Please outline the reasons why you are suited or well-qualified for this course, your motivation for applying, how you will benefit from the course and what you hope to bring to the Fusion Centre for Doctoral Training. You should include details of your interest in fusion research. Please add any other information that you feel will help us to assess your application.

The statement should be no more than 500 words, in English, and be your own words.

These UCAS personal statements have been kindly provided by students applying to The University of York. You can click on one of the links below to view the entire statement and find out if the applicant was offered a place.

You can also view our entire collection of personal statements or view personal statements for application at other universities.

Computer Science Personal Statement
From an early age I’ve always been deeply interested in computing. It was my dad, introducing me to the computer systems at his work place that first sparked this interest. I can always remember the feeling of wanting to know just how computers worked, why they worked and what else they could do...

Mathematics Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated by my mathematical studies and, having a flair for the subject, there was never any doubt that I would choose mathematics as a degree. It is a pivotal subject on which so many others depend (such as physics and chemistry)...

History Personal Statement
I have always read widely and, due to my English Exhibition at Woodbridge School and my enjoyment of writing, at one point I had hoped to read English at university. However, whilst studying World War One poetry for my English Literature GCSE, I found that I was most interested in the times and conditions in which the author was writing...

History and Politics Personal Statement
History and politics have had a profound impact on my outlook. From childhood, the tangible history I found in castles, museums and family photographs appealed uniquely to my imagination. As I grew up my interest in the past introduced me to the political traditions and ideas of my community, and the study of politics became equally absorbing...

Maths and Philosophy Personal Statement
I believe that there are two ways to look at how the world develops: the first is through the progress of history and human civilisation, and the second is through the progress of knowledge and human understanding...

History Personal Statement
I am captivated by the diversity and depth offered by a History degree; attracted by the way it encourages us to be analytical of the values and patterns of past societies. It was in my final year of secondary school that I was awarded the History Attainment Award, although my desire to study History dates back to an earlier age when I visited the site of the allied landings in Normandy at just eleven years old...

Computer Science Personal Statement
My three major interests and passions are Computer Science, Maths and Music, and I believe that there is a creative fusion between all these disciplines. I engage wholeheartedly in these areas both in my school courses and out of school, and hope that I will be able to continue doing so on my chosen course and in the extra-curricular opportunities at university...

English Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated by the way writers can influence, and even manipulate readers emotions by their expression of thoughts, and by their ability to encourage the expansion of our imaginations and understanding...

Archaeology Personal Statement
Society today is fundamentally founded on key events in our history. Archaeology plays a key part in providing us with vital evidence about our past, teaching us more about how our ancestors lived. This intrigues me, discovering the story behind each artefact and how it affected who we are as a society today...

Computer Science Personal Statement
I find it amazing to watch as the digital revolution sculpts society at a rate that has never before been seen; there is so much to still be discovered. Quantum computing is a topic that particularly interests me, stemming from my studies and keen interest in physics...

Politics and International Relations Personal Statement
The era in which we live goes through constant turmoil and shifting powers. Not a day goes by without a change somewhere on our planet, which in turn has an effect on yet another change to come elsewhere...

International Relations Personal Statement
Being of Pakistani heritage means I am at the heart of multiculturalism that many would say defines Britain today. Growing up as a British Asian in the last decade has allowed me to experience life embedded in a world of politics, not only from a Western perspective but also that of other cultures...

Economics/PPE Personal Statement
My aspiration to study Economics at both Advanced and degree level has stemmed from my lasting interest in current affairs and world development. These issues require an application of Economics in real-life situations and can be related to many diverse subjects such as politics, philosophy and psychology...

Physics Personal Statement
The elegance of the scientific subjects, in particular physics is what has established my eagerness for a deeper insight into the subject. What sets physics apart from the other sciences, in my opinion, is that it can be practically applied to all instances of life...

Languages Personal Statement
At the age of eight, a friend introduced me to Guy Hamilton's 1969 film 'Battle of Britain'. This instilled in me two things: my doomed childhood ambition to be a Spitfire pilot, long since grudgingly abandoned, but also, perhaps ironically, a love for the sound and feel of the German language that has stayed with me all through the intervening decade...

History Personal Statement
It isn't an exaggeration to say my devotion to History has moulded me into the diligent and ambitious person I am today. History continues to shape our contemporary world and my opinions have been formed from an intellectual curiosity about the resonances between the past and the present...

Biology Personal Statement
I think snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef is the closest thing to magic I’ll ever have the fortune to experience. The fragile coral beneath the majestic manta rays cannot help but provoke massive curiosity into the complex ecosystems and inspire endless wonder for the natural world...

Biology Personal Statement
Outside was always my favourite place as a child, splashing in puddles, inspecting insects under magnifying glasses and having snail races with my brothers. The living world fascinated me. My enthusiasm has only increased over the years and living by the sea has inspired me further...

Chemistry Personal Statement
Science is not just a subject taken in school, or a body of knowledge; it is a state of mind as well – always inquisitive and wondering. As a child, the world around me constantly captivated me and inspired questions, and I found delight in having my questions answered, always wanting to learn more, from fundamental particles, to atoms and molecules, to organisms, planets, and the universe...

German and Italian Personal Statement
Foreign languages have always been an integral part of my life as from a young age I have been exposed to other countries and cultures through frequent family holidays to France and Germany. I have always been interested in the logic behind languages...

Biochemistry Personal Statement
The need to survive is a remarkable thing, for it has allowed evolution to equip organisms with a range of extraordinary capabilities in order to stay alive. Since reading 'Why Geese Don't Get Obese' by Widmaier, my interests have developed in the molecular adaptations of animals; for example, the antifreeze protein that prevents the blood of Antarctic Notothenioid fishes from turning into ice...

Philosophy Personal Statement
“The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity”. I believe that when the mind is allowed to think outside the pre-defined constraints of society, the different directions in which it can travel are infinite...

Psychology Personal Statement
“If she’s smart she will study Medicine.” This is an unwritten rule in my culture - all Nigerian parents want their children to become doctors. What becomes of the aspiring psychologist in the family? I met a junior doctor, at an educational conference, who wanted to specialise in psychiatry...

History & Economics Personal Statement
Is one of the useful lessons of the Great Depression that the European periphery cannot restore its competitiveness whilst fixed to an overvalued currency without inducing a debt deflation trap? A study of economics and history can help illuminate such contemporary challenges...

History Personal Statement
Visits to the national museums of Knightsbridge and the Smithsonian ignited my interest in history. My desire to study history was nurtured following visits to the Normandy beaches which prompted me to research the Second World War and its origins...

Biology Personal Statement
My interest in Biology started at a very young age due to spending a lot of time outdoors. I am intrigued by the functioning of living organisms and how they are all linked; one small change in one species will affect a whole range of others...

Philosophy Personal Statement
Although I love my friends dearly, I've come to realise that they don't enjoy having the meaning of their lives, or the essence of the objects around them, subjected to rigorous and logical questioning over a quiet pint in the pub! I'd like to tell you that I've read such and such a book, or met so and so, and it dawned on me that there is more to life than meets the eye...

History Personal Statement
Listening to my grandparents' accounts of air raid drills, blackouts and the arrival of evacuees in North Wales during the Second World War triggered my interest in history. My curiosity about the past was further inspired by looking at family photographs and heirlooms and exploring their backgrounds...

Philosophy Personal Statement
Philosophy has shaped the foundations of all human life and thought. The importance of philosophic enquiry can be traced from the beginning of civilization to the heart of modern society, and I believe that the ability to ask and attempt to answer philosophical questions is one of the key attributes we associate with being human...

Maths and Economics Personal Statement
By skimming through a daily broadsheet or examining journals such as ‘The Economist’ it is clear to see that economic issues affect everyone both locally as well as on a global scale. However, I have been interested by Mathematics for many years and have found my enjoyment for it has increased as the depth of my understanding has grown...

English, Education and Sociology Personal Statement
I have always been enthusiastic about English. I spent a lot of time reading when I was younger and feel that this benefited me by encouraging me to develop and learn quickly. I had a vivid imagination as a child, possibly influenced by my interest in the captivating work of such authors as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Charles Kingsley...

English Language and Linguistics Personal Statement
Language is common to all people. By its nature, it is something that links us all together, yet our use of language is a major factor in defining us all as individuals. For something that comes so naturally to all of us, language can hold great power and influence...

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Personal Statement
Upon the opening of any quality newspaper, one would find that economic and political news dominate the headlines, but upon deeper reading it can be seen that the foundations of all human thought and actions have been shaped by philosophical theories...

Law Personal Statement
I first became interested in studying law after visiting my local Magistrates' Court in Melbourne, Australia. After witnessing the impact a lawyer could have on the outcome of a case and on a person's life I saw that a career in law offered a career in which my work made an impact in the world around me and a career in which I could directly see the consequences of my work...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Logical problem solving has always appealed to me and this explains my interests in mathematics, programming and computing in general. The decision to read computer science was therefore a simple one. My desire for solving challenging problems led to my choices of studying mathematics and physics at AS-level...

Politics Personal Statement
I am of Somali and Maasai parentage, but was adopted and became a Dutch national. This places me firmly in the mainstream of multiculturalism. My family's extensive travels exposed me to various African and European cultures...

English Personal Statement
What I enjoy above all else in a piece of literature is the feeling that it has brought about change, either in me or in some wider context. Literature which offers the opportunity for an adapted way of living or thinking, however slight, is I think a thing to be kept and treasured in our intellects...

Psychology Personal Statement
My deep interest in psychology started to develop after I read the books "Owl in Love" and "Woman in the Wall" by Patrice Kindl. Of course, being only twelve years old at the time, I was far from grasping the true depth of the characters and the complex psychological net Kindl had been able to weave...

English and Philosophy Personal Statement
English has always been at the forefront of my mind, whether it be writing storybooks as a child, play-writing as a teen, or analysing literature at A Level. I enjoy the thrill of writing creatively but equally enjoy composing non-literary pieces where I can put across my views, inform or debate...

Chemistry Personal Statement (IB background)
Few aspects of life fall outside the scope of chemistry and this is what fascinates me about this dynamic and fundamental science subject. From a young age I have enjoyed and excelled in mathematics which reflects my logical and enquiring mind...

English Literature and Creative Writing Personal Statement
I once aspired to be a visual artist, a photographer or painter. However, I later discovered the unique ability of poetry and the written word to maintain its power and resonance in a world saturated with images and messages...

PPE Personal Statement
Lester Brown recently stated: Socialism failed because it couldn't tell the economic truth; capitalism may fail because it couldn't tell the ecological truth. My 6th form study of Economics has led me to question the ecological and social price of free market capitalism with its underlying aim for continual economic growth...

Computer Science Personal Statement
When a friend asked me: "Why do you like computer science?" I found myself unable to give an answer. However, from that moment on, I tried to understand what makes computer science so attractive for me...

Midwifery Personal Statement
From a young age I have had a desire to help and care for people. Once I was old enough to understand the uniqueness and beauty of all stages of pregnancy and birth, I knew that I wanted it to be a part of my everyday life...

Psychology Personal Statement
To what extent should we humans accept things the way they are? When should we seek deep meanings and what are the circumstances that convert simple unambiguous certainties into complex facts? These and many other questions have aroused in me a keen interest in Psychology...

Chemistry Personal Statement
My passion for science became apparent when I had a 'light bulb' moment during my time at college. Throughout school it wasn't really clear which career path I should take as I have an aptitude for most subjects creative as well as the scientific aspects of the curriculum...

Chemistry Personal Statement
Chemistry is in my opinion the most important of the sciences today. As a science of matter and its properties, Chemistry can be applied to almost any situation from forensics through medicine to environmental sustainability...

History Personal Statement
“I have conquered an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself.” This quote by Peter I came to mind when I had to write this statement because is sums up my interest in History; here a great leader of men expresses his human weakness...

English Language Personal Statement
My decision to study English Language is based firmly on my desire to understand and study comprehensively the language that I and my peers encounter daily. This will give me an insight to society and enrich me personally...

Geography Personal Statement
Geography affects all aspects of our lives. One of the beauties of the subject is that wherever you look, there are links to geography. Even as I write this, there are connections all around. The sky is full of the typical unpredictable rainclouds, contrasting the bright blue skies opposite...

Social Work Personal Statement
What can be more rewarding than finishing work, going home knowing you have made a difference in someone's life? In society we have individuals who need caring and support for them to have quality lives and be healthy beings...

English Literature and Sociology Personal Statement
Since I have begun to study A Level English Literature, it is the way in which writers use expression within their writing to influence and manipulate the reader's emotions which has most intrigued me...

History Personal Statement
My interest in history lies in the simple fact that I have always been fascinated by the past. At eleven I won a full academic bursary to attend my current school. This was a way into a community in which my intellectual curiosity would be valued and where I could further my enthusiasm for history...

English Personal Statement
Recently, I was reading an interview with Francoise Sagan, author of Bonjour Tristesse, when I came across a quote that defined my love for literature. In the passage, the French writer claimed that while “Life is amorphous, literature is formal”...

Physics Personal Statement
Attending university has been a lifelong dream of mine; ever since my childhood, I have been told that I should, and I have always agreed with the sentiment. If I were asked to pin down an exact reason, however, I would be forced to confess that I do not know - I just enjoy learning new things and exercising my mind...

Biology/Natural Sciences Personal Statement
I do not have to look far to find the source of my love of science. Just glancing around my living room my eyes fall upon a whole host of fascinating different organisms, seen and unseen they create a brilliant miniature ecosystem with billions of tiny processes and reactions for me to sit and unpick...

Archaeology Personal Statement
I have had an interest in archaeology for some years which has stemmed from reading about topics such as Troy and ancient Rome. I have always found it very intriguing how the discoveries of sites and artefacts from places like these have raised awareness about the importance and value of archaeology and I am fascinated by how archaic cultures, findings and inventions have influenced our modern lives...

Biology Personal Statement
Biology is a subject which fills me with wonder and awe but it was not until I started college to continue my studies that I was introduced to the vast complexity of our world. Realising intricate mechanisms are involved in what I had thought to be simple parts of life amazed me, inspiring me to want to learn as much as I could...

Sociology Personal Statement
I have, for a long time, been interested in the inner workings of society: how and why subcultures develop. Also, how political policies shape the direction of society for years and I wonder why people act in the way they do (here, I have sympathy with Robert Owens' view that we are mostly the mere products of our environment), not only how we shape society, but how it shapes and changes us...

Biotechnology Personal Statement
The possibilities of biotechnology first intrigued me when I watched Jurassic park. I ran around my house asking if it was possible to bring back dinosaurs, and spent the rest of my childhood imagining that it was...

Chemistry Personal Statement
The realisation I wanted to study Chemistry at degree level came with my growing appreciation of its contribution and significance in shaping modern society, coupled with an increasing interest in the subject as my knowledge and understanding have developed...

Politics and Sociology Personal Statement
Everyone wants to 'change the world' when they are young. I was no exception, but it is only as I have matured and watched events unfold that I realised the importance of politics and sociology within society...

Business Management Personal Statement
The role of a leader can be tough. Motivating people, supporting people, making decisions and learning from your mistakes are only just a few things you can expect from managing a team. However if you, your team members and your business prosper and succeed, it gives you a sense of achievement like no other...

English Literature & History Personal Statement
Throughout my education, I have constantly been captivated and inspired by my History and English studies. I have recognised how the two disciplines entwine and coexist to create an invaluable tool with which to explore the past and future...

Mathematics and Computer Science Personal Statement
I have found Mathematics a fascinating subject since my early years. I enjoy it as it is challenging and logical. I am particularly interested in Decision Mathematics as it is a field that is directly related to real-life applications of Mathematics and can be used to solve problems, such as finding the optimal solution for transporting materials from one place to another while minimizing the cost...

Politics Personal Statement
Politics has always enthused me because it allows an exploration of some of the fundamental values of our society: the principles of democracy, good governance and the relationship between the state and individual...

PPE/Politics and Economics Personal Statement
I have a strong interest in the close relationship between political events and economic developments, highlighted by a study of Russia in the lead up to the 1917 revolution. I was grabbed by the film adaptation of Ten Days That Shook the World, with its emphasis on its power of the masses...

Psychology Personal Statement
Quid est homo? Why do different people act dissimilarly in the same situations? Why are some people affected by mental illness (like my mother) and others are not? These and other questions have aroused my interest in the only subject that can answer these issues - Psychology...

Archaeology Personal Statement
I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and civilisations, reflected in my enduring love of history, and more recently, archaeology. Compared to modern history, archaeology carries a sense of enigma which makes it much more stimulating for an imaginative and inquisitive mind...

English Literature Personal Statement
I was once told by a writer at Bath "LitFest" that literature is "all about control". At a young age, his words seemed obscure, but years later, I am finally able to grasp his meaning. On one side of a barrier of ink and paper, a writer aims to understand and control their world, whilst a reader attempts to lose control in a boundless, imaginary world...

Mathematics Personal Statement
I have always had a passion and a thorough understanding of the subject of Mathematics. This helped me to progress academically because, unlike a lot of people, I have not had to worry about passing my GCSE Maths exams...

Law Personal Statement
The reason I want to study Law, is that it has always intrigued me; there’s never been any other option for me it has always been Law. I am captivated in the development of the Law as it interests me the way the Law is changing around the needs of civilization...

Sociology Personal Statement
A Gospel choir tour around South Africa was the catalyst for my fascination with human culture. As I travelled I was able to directly experience a multiplicity of cultures even within this one country...

Philosophy, Economics and Politics Personal Statement
The emotional state of human existence is propelled by economic, and political revolutions that arise throughout history. It is only through practices of observance and purposeful inquisitions that humanity is able to truly understand the delicate emotional state of society...

International Relations Personal Statement
Since visiting Cairo in 2009 and hearing first-hand of the contempt towards the police force and government I have held an enduring interest in the politics of other nations. This is why I was struck to see my twitter feed overrun with updates on the Arab Spring and later the global Occupy movements...

Mathematics & Physics Personal Statement
My enthusiasm for Mathematics and Physics comes from the fact that they are both used to further our understanding of the universe and have applications in all other areas of science. My main area of interest in Physics is particle physics as this tells us how fundamental parts of our universe interact with each other...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Computer Science - the most exciting insight into humanity's mission to conquer the future. It has been my favourite and most fascinating preoccupation since childhood, though back then I did not even know it...

Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement
In this day and age virtually every aspect of our lives may be considered political. My passion to study Politics stems from this tenet and a belief that a comprehension of Politics is integral to understanding the current state of humanity...

Chemistry Personal Statement
Chemistry explores the properties of all matter and energy in our universe, which eventually leads to breakthroughs that benefit mankind, ranging from how to prevent food from decomposing to understanding what chemicals can help or harm you...

Computer Science Personal Statement
Interacting with computers has been my passion ever since I was a young kid. I will not lie – I was initially drawn to them because I fancied computer games. However, the more I operated with computers, the more I began to appreciate understanding how they work, discovering just how much they can do and the near limitless potential they hold...

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