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Science Personal Statement

Sample Science Personal Statement

I always enjoyed Physics at school, but my ambition to study the subject to degree level and beyond has developed principally out of the work I have done in the Open University module Exploring Science. I am approaching the academic world in a slightly unconventional way, returning to full-time study after several years in the workplace and applying as a mature student with good experience of the real world of employment and responsibility. I lack A-levels, but my courses with the OU have introduced me to many of the key areas of investigation which are relevant to the study of Physics. I am teaching myself Mathematics, largely through exploring the course material for OU, and I am confident that my level of Mathematical knowledge is more than adequate for the degree courses in Physics I hope to follow. Combining my OU work with full-time employment has concentrated my mind very effectively and given me the skill to learn quickly, and I also feel that my delayed application has allowed me to develop the maturity of approach and organisation which many would-be undergraduates might lack.

The quality which first caught my imagination in Physics is the way it reveals the pure elegance of nature. All natural phenomena, it seems, no matter how complex, can be explained by a small number of Physical laws, which operate in exactly the same way throughout the universe. This is a startling and even moving thought in the face of the clear complexity of the observable Physical realm. I have read widely in the subject, and the exciting prospect which emerges from the thinking of many current Physicists is that we may be on the verge of devising a Theory of Everything, and the satisfaction I find in describing natural phenomena through mathematical modelling has inspired me to wish to play a part in this field.

I read New Scientist regularly to keep abreast of new developments, and I have also read books such as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw’s Why does E = mc2 and Why Should We Care? which introduces the quantum theory and describes the work at CERN. I very much enjoyed John Gribbin’s In Search of Schrdinger’s Cat, which helped me to understand the concepts in quantum mechanics, and Jim Baggot’s Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the “God Particle” explained how the work there confirms the standard model. Another exciting read was David Goldberg and Jeff Blomquist’s A User’s Guide to the Universe, with its comprehensible account of string theory, quantum mechanics and the notion of parallel universes. All of these books make it clear how exciting a time it is now to be a Theoretical Physicist. The subject provides an endless stream of ideas to feed ones’ intellectual curiosity.

For two years I worked as an apprentice electrical engineer for a firm specializing in the installation and maintenance of communication systems in nursing homes and hospitals. The work called for logical and methodical thinking as faults were detected and remedied, and I experienced all the demands of meeting deadlines, writing reports and responding to sudden changes in demand. At present I work mainly on a customer booking website, and have been selected to train and manage new staff – evidence of my ability to lead and to communicate clearly. I am also a member of the company’s charity committee, assisting with the organization of fund-raising events.

Balancing my working life with the demands of part-time OU work on the complex scientific modules I have completed is a clear indication, I believe, of my ability to work productively on a degree course. My imagination is fired by the scope of current thinking in Physics and the implications present-day discoveries have for our understanding of how the universe works and what our place in it might be. I am totally committed to my goal, and believe I have the necessary qualities and experience to become a very successful undergraduate.