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Teacher Education Personal Statement

Learn about the personal statement process
Applicants to our undergraduate education and postgraduate teacher education degrees, except early childhood, will be required to complete a brief personal statement.

Teacher Education Personal Statement Workshop

  • Saturday 12 October, 10am–1pm

We recommend that all applicants for undergraduate education degrees (excluding early childhood) attend the Teacher Education Personal Statement Workshop to learn more about the personal statement process and suggestions for what to include in your statement. Academic staff will be available to provide feedback and advice on individual statements. Places are limited. Early registration is recommended.


What is a personal statement?

Ranked 12th in the world for the discipline of Education,* we are committed to creating a learning community where you are provided with the best environment and academic opportunities to excel in your chosen field of study. Taking effect from 2018, we require a personal statement with all applications to the University of Sydney’s teacher education degrees (excluding early childhood) for prospective students planning to commence their studies from 2019 onwards.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership responded to the Federal Government's request to create selection guidelines for all universities to assess both the academic and non-academic qualities of all students applying for entry into a teaching degree. The personal statement applied by the University allows you to demonstrate your suitability for teaching through the right combination of qualities to enable you to become an effective teacher.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject

How do I submit my statement?

If you are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) to study a teacher education degree at the University of Sydney (excluding early childhood), you will be prompted to complete a personal statement questionnaire during the application process.

Please refer to UAC’s guidelines and the relevant UAC form when submitting your personal statement. More information is available on the UAC website.

If you are a direct applicant to the University of Sydney, you will need to upload your personal statement as a supplementary document to your applicant portal. You must use the personal statement form (pdf, 595KB) provided by the University, and address the two answer categories on it. Explanations for how to complete these fields on the form are provided below.

Category 1: Interest in teaching and children/young people

Write approximately 500 words (1 page) about your motivation and suitability for teaching. You may consider the following prompts to frame your response:

  • Who or what has inspired you to become a teacher?
  • Why is teaching a good career choice?
  • Why are you interested in teaching young children/young people?
  • What subjects are you interested in teaching and why?
  • What does being a good teacher mean?
  • What skills and abilities do you have that will make you a good teacher?

Category 2: Involvement in personal learning and leadership activities

Write approximately 500 words (1 page) about your involvement in learning and/or leadership activities that demonstrate the following:

  • commitment to learning
  • conscientiousness
  • resilience
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • organisation and planning skills.
You could describe examples from your:

School experience

  • co-curricular participation (for example, arts, sports, debating, social justice)
  • projects (for example, curriculum projects, science fairs)
  • leadership experiences (for example, student leadership positions, arts, sports)
  • support of other learners (for example, peer mentoring, coaching, buddy programs)

Work experience

  • employment history and roles
  • employment involving children or young people
  • work-based training undertaken
  • work-based training provided

Volunteer and community experience

  • volunteer or community experience (for example, community groups, parish/church groups, cadets, lifesaving, fundraising, clubs)
  • community learning and training experiences (for example, Guides, Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh Award, St John Ambulance)

Personal talents, interests and abilities

  • elite performance (for example, athletic, creative arts, other areas)

Disadvantage that you have overcome

  • social, cultural or economic
  • geographical – remote and rural
  • personal and health.
You may consider the following prompts to frame your response:
  • What learning activities have I been engaged in?
  • What leadership activities have I undertaken?
  • What activities of personal interest am I involved in?
  • How long have I participated? How am I involved?
  • What tasks or events have I planned and/or organised?
  • How have I shown that I can work with others?
  • What do I do to overcome obstacles, challenges or problems?