7 university interview tips for studying in the UK

Fri 12 Jul 2019 < Back to listing


Applying for university can be a scary time, and even more so when you want to study abroad. If you are looking at courses in the UK, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the British education system in order to prepare for your UCAS interview.

Applying for university can be a scary time, and even more so when you want to study abroad. If you are looking at courses in the UK, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the British education system in order to prepare for your UCAS interview. 

Whether you are applying for an International Foundation Year, an undergraduate or postgraduate course, knowing UCAS requirements is key. For performing arts courses you will need to prepare an audition, and you may be observed in a group environment to see how you work with others. So there’s a lot to think about before you apply. Here are 7 university interview tips to help you secure a place on your dream arts course. 


1. Get to know the UCAS interview process

First and foremost, students should understand how the UCAS interview process works and what the requirements are for their chosen university. Most universities and colleges will arrange a face-to-face interview and/or audition, and expect international students to attend just like local applicants. Being able to visit the university and see the grounds and facilities before you begin your course is also highly beneficial. 

However, universities are understanding of individual situations, and geographical distance or visa requirements may not make it possible to attend in person. In these circumstances, they may arrange phone or video interviews instead. 


2. Plan your travel in advance 

If you want to be able to attend a face-to-face university interview, UK travel visas will need to be arranged beforehand. It’s also important to book your travel and accommodation in advance, giving you plenty of time to focus on interview and audition preparation. 

Try to find a hotel or apartment close to the university, so you’re not hit with any travel delays on the day. And research transport links ahead of time, so you can get to your interview easily. 


3. Print out practice questions 

There are lots of sample interview questions online that could help you prepare for your big day. While there is no way of knowing exactly what you will be asked, practicing questions and answers is a good way of honing your interview skills. Not only will mock questions help you form better responses in the moment, but you can train your voice and improve on things such as eye contact and body language. 

Try to practice with friends or family members, and ask for constructive feedback. Or record yourself so you can see how you would come across either in a voice or video interview.


4. Double check all requirements for auditions

If you are attending an audition in the UK, make a list of the things you need to bring with you. Students are usually required to bring their own music - find out what sound system is available and in what format you should bring your music. 

At CSVPA we are happy to accept recorded auditions for our performing arts courses. Please check all requirements, such as performance length and specifications on clothing or appearance. For instance, it’s important for the panel to be able to see the lines and movement of your body for all dance auditions, so streamlined dancewear is essential.  


5. Prepare an interview outfit 

Your appearance helps to form that all-important first impression when you walk through the door. While looks aren’t everything, it’s still important to make an effort on the day. Most prospective students will aim to strike a balance between formal and casual, but this can depend on the type of course you are applying for.  For performing arts or fashion design interviews, you may want to showcase a bit more of your personality. The most important thing is to be clean, presentable and not scruffy.


6. Ask others for their university interview tips 

Speaking to other students in the same field can be a great way of finding out what you could expect from your interview. If you know someone who has applied or is currently on a course in the UK, ask them about their personal experience and see if they have any useful tips.


7. Be yourself 

It’s important to be yourself at your UCAS interview. University panels don’t just look for people with the right academic achievements or creative talent. They want to offer course places to students who have a great personality; someone who is passionate, driven and willing to learn. You should also highlight your teamwork skills, as working with others is something that is required for most arts courses. It isn’t just about solo performances, but being able to collaborate creatively with others. 

Find out more about Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, the range of courses available in the creative field and destinations our students progress to. Our school provides a highly personalised method of learning, and welcomes talented students from across the globe.


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