Today we have a special feature with Rosie about the History Interview. This will be continued on Monday!
How many interviews did you have?
I had 2 interviews: the first focused on my personal statement and the essay that I had submitted. The second interview took the form of a discussion on an unseen primary source material that I had a chance to look over for around 20 minutes beforehand. Each interview was carried out by a different set of two tutors from the college.
What specific areas of history were they on?
My personal statement and submitted essay guided the questions in the first interview. In my statement I touched on areas of Modern History that I had found interesting during my A level/ Pre U studies. I also tried to offer something a little different by detailing some areas of history that I had found particularly interesting that fell outside the confines of my A Level course. The restrictions on Victorian sexuality and the changing perceptions of masculinity and homosexuality in the period had interested me far more than the Whig Reforms I was grappling with in the classroom and so were much easier to discuss!
What were you asked about from your personal statement?
I had opened my statement with reference to a talk I had attended on Transnational History to show my understanding of the subject as a developing academic discipline (at university you learn about the writing of history as well as the subject matter) and I was put through my paces by a tutor who happened to be a leading academic in the field, unknown to me! It turns out that I hadn't fully grasped what Transnational History actually meant and was told as much by the tutor, but I can now see that (thankfully) the tutors were not looking for students who were a polished article but had a genuine interest in the subject and the different permeations of it.
To be continued...