I am an international (American) undergraduate student going into my fourth year at the University of St Andrews and have some questions about applying to Oxford for an MSt in English and American Studies and Cambridge for an MPhil in American Literature.
I was wondering 1) the likelihood of my having to interview for either of these places if I am accepted. I am definitely not the best interviewer and tend to get extremely nervous before and after interviews. Although I am all right speaking during tutorials on a regular basis (largely because I usually come prepared), I can only imagine how anxious I would get if I did not know what to expect and knew that my performance would determine an offer from Oxbridge! Sadly, I wasn't accepted as an undergraduate to any university I interviewed at (...well, there were only two of them, I suppose, but you see my point).
I was also wondering 2) generally how long these Masters interviews last, and 3) what sorts of questions are commonly asked. Is it more of a 'pop quiz' on the period you hope to study, an exercise in getting to know you, or a chance to see how you react to extremely difficult/unexpected questions?
I also intend to apply to other universities (possibly St Andrews and Edinburgh). My final question is: 4) Do either of these institutions commonly host interviews for Masters places in English?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!
I am coming from the natural sciences but my Master´s interview at Cam (MPhil course) was pretty hard because they asked me really tough matter, which is also part of the curriculum of the Master´s. I guess they wanted to know how I deal with such situations and how well I am thinking...
But the best advise is to be yourself. Calm down, be focused and if you don´t know what they mean, then ask them to rephrase the question for you. Generally, it´s advisable to ask many questions!!! So prepare a few things you want to know!
I wish you great luck and always keep in mind that the people at every University (also Oxbridge) are only cooking with water just like you
Oxford's English faculty don't interview applicants for their M.Sts, all they're judging you on is your Statement of Purpose, your writing sample(s), references, grades, etc. So in that case, you needn't worry.
Not much to add to the above posts, except that I also did my undergrad at St Andrews, and went on to read for an MSt in History of Art at Oxford. I was not interviewed, thankfully - I'm sure your interview technique can't be as terrible as mine! Application procedures will vary by department and faculty, although I believe interviews are more common for candidates for scientific disciplines. The university website is pretty thorough so if your department does hold interviews, it should be mentioned on there somewhere. You would probably be asked about your research proposal (which forms part of your written application) in any possible interview, rather than be quizzed on your knowledge of facts. Good luck, and enjoy your final year in the bubble!
(Original post by kka25)
I wish you all the luck in the world; hope you'll get in!
Thanks . Anyway to try keep this on track, from what I have picked up, it's more usual not to interview for master's courses, but there are plenty of exceptions depending on department or specific course. This is usually specified in the application guidelines for the courses.