First of all, thank you very much for your help, I found this forum a few days ago and I've been reading through it since then. I am applying for a master's degree and here is my first attempt of motivation letter. I took a lot of clues and hints from any other letters you posted here. Look forward to your revision, thank you.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you to express my interest in applying for the MSc xxxxx programme at xxxxxxx University, scheduled to start in September 2011. I appreciate this opportunity and I would like to provide further information in support of my admission procedure.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of xxxxxx (Spain) in 2009. I got very good marks in several important and relevant subjects such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Environment and Urban Planning, Ecology and Geographic Information Systems amongst many others. I also have a good knowledge of Mathematics, Physics and Statistics since it was essential during my studies. Due to the wide range of different disciplines that Environmental Science involves, soon after starting my studies I realized that the environmental management was the specialty where I really wanted to focus on.
After graduating, I was selected to do an internship for an environmental consultancy in xxxxxxxx (England) for a period of six months, granted by the “Leonardo da Vinci” project. This experience allowed me with the possibility to gain a valuable, international and practical knowledge in the consultancy and environmental advice, areas which I would like to develop my future career in.
I sharpened my critical thinking and took responsibility for several environmental projects. My internship also gave me the opportunity to live abroad and meet people from different countries around the world.
Soon after finishing my work experience, I started working as a volunteer in the xxxxxxxx for three months. I learned a lot from the volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with and gained a lot of experience in the organization work, team working and communication skills. This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxxxxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.
As my aim is to work in an environmental consultancy, since I came back to Spain I kept pursuing further academic education in environmental management and took additional courses focusing on “Environmental Management Systems” and “Environmental Impact Assessment”. However, I consider that studying the MSc xxxxx is the best way to gain deeper theoretical and practical knowledge and achieve the career goals I have set for myself, taking a step forward for my professional development in this particular field.
The high reputation of xxxxxxxx University in the environmental sciences, the courses this programme combines and the internship programme would provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills I will need to succeed as a urban environmental management advisor in the future.
I am aware of the highly competitive demands of this master’s program, but I am confident that I have the ability, ambition and motivation to exceed the requirements and I will do my best to excel within the MSc xx programme. I would like to mention that I also have the support from two recognized lecturers of the University of xxxxxx who assure I am trained to undertake the MSc xxxxxxxx programme. I am sure that my international background, deep concern in environmental management and willingness to make a progress, combined with practical knowledge make me a very good candidate and will add diversity to this master’s degree programme.
Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.
You need to include your research interests -- be as specific as possible. How will attending this specific institution allow you to pursue those interests? Why are you choosing their program? Do not include cliche fluff.
You need to open with this and integrate your past achievements/experience as supporting information for what you're planning to do.
Also avoid general and meaningless words and fluff (ex. I gained valuable knowledge -- this could mean anything and everything). You need to be specific. Do not include stuff like "this will help me in my career" -- they know this. This will also help many other people in their career -- why should they choose you over them?
Do not pad with irrelevant information or information they'll get from other parts of the application (ex. they'll know that you got good grades because they'll see your transcripts).