Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences



We offer in-person or online interview slots, and we make clear to all interviewees that their decision about whether to accept an in-person or virtual interview slot will have no bearing on the outcome of the interview.

For any students who declare disabilities, we ensure any reasonable necessary adjustments can be made in good time.

Before the scheduled interviews, we run a live, open-access, recorded webinar for interviewees, to discuss the interview process. We explain what to expect at the interview and we provide advice on how to prepare. We discuss in broad terms the topics that will be explored at interview. Current students join in and reflect upon their interview experiences. As part of the webinar we also provide ample Q&A opportunities.

We provide all shortlisted applicants with written guidance on the format of the interview and the type of topics that will be discussed at interview, including a prompt for our first interview question. This is aligned with NERC guidance and is designed to help ensure that all candidates have the chance to prepare sufficiently, not just those applicants that have access to mentors with extensive experience in PhD interviews.

The same interview questions are asked to all students, which include some competency-based questions where appropriate. We quantitively grade the interviewee responses using pre-defined criteria.

We record a quantitative, standardized overall interview score for each applicant, and then the combined score is used to rank and then select the applicants in each thematic pathway to whom offers are made.

Our centralised application and interview process enables effective monitoring of voluntarily provided characteristic data of applicants. Confidential analysis and reporting of this data is presented to our DTP Governing Council.