6 Great Skills to Demonstrate
in Your University Application

See also: Interview Skills

If you are currently in the process of applying to university, you will want to paint a well-rounded picture of yourself that shows off your best achievements and makes it clear to admissions officers why you should be studying a particular course.

Universities get thousands of applications each year, and having a wide range of skills that are going to support you throughout your degree is a great way to make your application stand out on the pile.

Along with your previous academic achievements from school and college, university admissions tutors also want to see you demonstrate a wide range of soft skills that will not only be beneficial to you as a student but also in your future career.

Here are some of the best skills to demonstrate in your university application.

Research Skills

Admissions tutors want to know that you are able to do your own research.

Whatever the degree course that you wish to study, research skills will always be needed. You will need to undertake research for exams, essays, studies, assignments and everything else that you will be doing as a student, and be able to back your research up and reference it.

When applying to university, one of the easiest ways to show off strong research skill is to make it clear that you have done a lot of research on the university itself, what they offer and the type of student that they want.

Writing Skills

Many university degree courses involve a lot of writing. Even if you are not studying English, chances are that there are going to be essays and assignments to write.

If you’re studying for a STEM subject, you are going to be expected to do experiments and studies and write them up in an academic fashion. So, when writing your personal statement, don’t slack off when it comes to impeccable writing. Perfect spelling and grammar is a must, so get somebody to proof-read your application a few times before you send it, to weed out any potential typos or grammar mistakes that could bring the whole thing down.

Organisational Skills

As a student, it’s going to be down to you to organise your time, make sure that you attend lectures, and keep on top of everything - and it’s not always easy.

Strong organisational skills are a must, and admission tutors are going to be keeping an eye out for signs of these when you apply to university. Time management skills are important too to demonstrate that you will be able to cope with the demands of juggling your university studies with other commitments. The best way to show them that you are organised and methodical is to start in good time and get your application in early. Not only will this mean that you have a head start on other applicants, but giving yourself plenty of time to get your application completed is also much less stressful for you and will allow you to continuously improve it until it’s perfect to send.


Many university degree courses require you to be able to work as a part of a team for projects and assignments. So, demonstrate when you have been a good team player in your personal statement.

You might want to talk about some extracurricular activities that you have done, like volunteering or playing a team sport, that has helped to develop your teamwork skills or mention past projects you have worked on as part of a team in school or college. If you have had a part-time job throughout college, it’s worth mentioning this as working can be an excellent way to improve teamwork skills that will certainly come in handy once you are studying for your degree.


Being able to communicate effectively and having active listening skills is all part of the university experience.

The chances are that no matter what degree you plan to study, you are going to need to effectively communicate with your peers in class and when working on group projects, and you’re going to need to use these communication skills to get your point across when writing essays and assignments.

Demonstrate your communication skills in your personal statement by using examples of when you have effectively communicated in the past and what the outcome was.

Attention to Detail

Finally, admissions tutors are looking for prospective students who have strong attention to detail.

Make sure that you read the entry requirements and any other requirements for applying before you send off your application; applying for a degree where you don’t fit the entry requirements is only going to show admissions staff that you didn’t bother to read about the course. All of this information is readily available online, so do your research in advance.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

Develop the skills you need to make the most of your time as a student.

Our eBooks are ideal for students at all stages of education, school, college and university. They are full of easy-to-follow practical information that will help you to learn more effectively and get better grades.

Along with your educational achievements so far, your skillset can come in very handy when it comes to getting into the university of your choice, so be sure to demonstrate this when you apply to university or college.

About the Author

Zoe has written and researched articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines and has a strong understanding of current business trends and a passion for entrepreneurism!