(For BMus Honours, BA Single Honours in Music and BSc Physics & Music)
The information provided by interviews and auditions is a crucial addition to that provided on UCAS forms, and they are an important means of seeing potential in individual candidates.
Candidates will be invited to attend one of five interview days that are held from November through to March. For each of these days, around 50 candidates attend. Anyone who does not attend will be rejected, unless they have contacted the School to make alternative arrangements, or to say that they are unable to attend for other reasons (e.g. distance to travel, exam commitments). In the case of exceptional mitigating circumstances, an offer can be made without interview.
The day will comprise an introductory talk from the Admissions tutor, a tour of the School of Music, a one-hour written test and a 15-minute interview/auditon with a member of staff.
The written test consists of a choice of one of two musical extracts, which will be played twice, on which candidates are asked to write a general commentary concerning expression and meaning in the music.
The Admissions tutor will assess written work on the basis of:
- Clarity of expression and argument
- Knowledge of style, music history and theory
- General ability to respond to the question.
Interviews and Auditions
Interviews are conducted by individual members of staff. Applicants will initially be asked to perform or sing for around 5 minutes. The choice of repertoire is left to individual candidates. Assessment of performance is based on overall expressive and technical standards.
The interviewer will then ask questions of a specific nature, possibly relating to the music performed, and more general questions about musical interests and experience. The candidate will be assessed in terms of their enthusiasm and commitment to the subject, their wider knowledge, and their ability to respond to issues which they may not have considered before.
The aim of the interviews is not to test factual knowledge, or to judge candidates in terms of their likes and dislikes, but to encourage them in as relaxed a way as possible to talk about what they know and what interests them. The interviews are not designed to catch people out or expose their weaknesses, but it is expected that applicants will engage readily with the interviewer. Candidates may also ask the interviewer questions regarding the undergraduate programmes.
Members of staff involved in the interview process prepare written reports on each candidate. If the reports are unfavourable, a candidate may be rejected, otherwise the comments will be compared to the test and UCAS form.