The Question of Interviews
February 6, 2012, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As the Admissions process continues, Twitter is ‘a buzz’ with excited chatter of offers and interviews.  I thought some guidance might help at this time:

Depending on the Admissions procedure of your selected Universities, some courses may require you to attend an interview at the University.  Other courses simply make their offer based on your application form.  Please do remember that you simply can’t  read too much into whether you are invited or not. 

The interviews can vary greatly in both style and purpose.  For example:
Our Nursing degree holds group interviews where potential students take part in an activity.  The interviewer then assesses each candidate’s ability to work in a group, their interpersonal skills, communication, decision-making and negotiation skills.  After all, these  are key attributes for nurses.  It is also important and useful that candidates ensure they they have an understanding of nursing and the role of the nurse.
On the other hand our Computer Arts applicants are invited for a short informal interview with members of the course team and this gives applicants chance to discuss their portfolio.
Some interviews are conducted over the telephone, so don’t worry if you are unable to travel to the University, they will usually try and make alternative arrangements for you. 

Some final points for those of you being interviewed:

  • Be prepared and be honest
  • Ask questions and listen carefully – remember, this is as much an opportunity for you to find out more about the course as it is for the tutors to find out more about you.
  • Remember to be on time for your interview!
  • Finally, be yourself  

Good Luck!


January 30, 2012, 5:31 pm
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Happy New Year?
January 24, 2012, 2:50 pm
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So how has your January been so far?

Let’s face it; it’s rarely the best month is it? The inevitable come down from the Christmas break, the making (and often breaking) of resolutions, the long wait till pay day… ah but there is something about a New Year, a new start, full of promise, opportunity and the chance to improve on past follies.

Thousands of budding students across the UK are anxiously awaiting their offer letters from their chosen universities.  Twitter is full of excited chatter as offers arrive and (perhaps tentative) celebrations begin.  Those with unconditional offers could be tempted to rest on their laurels, however this is not advised.  You’ll always want to do the best possible job and your never know when the qualifications will be called upon.  Even with a degree, employers are still interested in your higher grades.  You want to look back and know that you’ve done your best and afterall, you’ll have the whole summer to relax and enjoy yourself!

Hopefully my past advice has helped some of you to complete exciting applications that have helped you on your path to university.  And for those of you still waiting to hear.. panic not, there are a lot of applications to get through! 

And for those of you who did not receive the happy news you were hoping for, it’s a new year, new start, what can you do differently next time? How can you help yourself and what can you learn from others?  Was this course the right one for you?  Time is your friend and there is more than one road to your destination.

What’s That?
December 23, 2011, 10:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, we’ve finally got to the end of the first term and we’ve all survived! Students have all gone, and the place is eerily quiet again. Staff are trying to finish jobs off so we can focus on the next term once we get back The university will lie dormant for nearly 2 weeks whilst everyone enjoys the Christmas celebration and recharges their batteries.

I’m off back home home for a couple of weeks so no more blogs till early January. In the meantime I wish you a Furry Merry Christmas!

The Furry Blogmother

Oh, it’s a picture of Rudolph in a snowstorm! (Or it could be a tomato on a square white plate.)

All work and no play?
December 20, 2011, 11:44 am
Filed under: Observations and general wonderings, Uncategorized

This week is exam week. Students find it very stressful, but it’s also a busy time for staff with invigilation and marking. There have also been a number of e-mails or knocks on the door: “Can you explain this?”, “I don’t understand how to calculate that – can you show me?”, and most frustrating of all “I’ve just found that I’ve lost my handout from lecture 2, can I get another copy?”

The best way to get help is to prepare well in advance. Asking your teacher or your tutor the day before is usually a bit too late as you may find that they are busy. Besides, with so much on your mind you’ll probably have a job remembering it anyway. Another tip – attend classes and do your homework and assignments – you’ll find everyone is much more willing to help if you’ve already shown that you’ve tried your hardest. And if things do go pear-shaped, it’s not the end of the world. (Why do we describe bad things as going pear-shaped? I quite like pears!). There are different ways to get back on track, so use the experience to pre-pear you for next time!

But it’s not all work. At the weekend many of our students will all be going home and this week is their last chance to socialise, so there have been a number of events and parties on. Last Friday our drama society put on Swan Lake, The Play and very good it was too. The night scenes in the woods made me quite homesick!

Talking of home, for some of the first years this will be their first time home for nearly 3 months. They’ll be looking forward to it, but will have forgotten that they’ve changed, and the rest of the family has got on perfectly well without them! They are now used to the freedom of looking after themselves, but their parents aren’t yet. One of our cubs had to remind me when they were late home that I didn’t have a clue how late they were out whilst at uni, and I didn’t worry then! We parents do tend to worry so enjoy your holiday, but try and keep the rest of the family happy as well.

(Christmas) Time Management
December 14, 2011, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.”   Now who can recall where I’ve borrowed that line from?

We have family to visit, friends to see and presents to buy.  Christmas is an extremely busy time for all of us without the added anxiety of studying for classes beginning in the New Year.  So what is the best way to manage both your studies and your social life at this hectic time of the year?

I would suggest, that you need to organise yourself in advance if you want to balance both your reading/studying/coursework and your free time.  No more unexpected panics when you suddenly realise that the deadline is now next week or even tomorrow.  There will be no more rushing around, getting tired and stressed. These holidays it will be different.

The Furry Blogmother’s top tips for (Christmas)time management:

•    Write down everything that you want to achieve on a piece of paper (and be sure not to lose it!).

•    Work out how many days you will need to actually work on these – be realistic – no one expects you to study OR party 24/7.

•    Any last minute plans to arrange:  For example:  There are loads of concerts happening in December/January – and there are many that are not local. So make sure you organise tickets and transport early!!  You don’t want to miss that all important PM concert in Liverpool on 20 December just because you forgot to book a return rail ticket.

•    Do you have a part-time job? – organise your shift patterns in advance.

•    Once you have managed to sort out what days and times you have available then put it into your diary.

•    Leave yourself a few days free at the end of the holiday; just in case something comes up that you had not planned for.

You don’t have to spend all of your holidays studying, but it is important that you plan. This will help you to keep up with your studying and also enjoy the Festive period, totally stress-free.
My final borrowed quote for you to think about:

“I’ve just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we’ve learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. Pencils ready!”.

Anyone recognise what book I’ve been reading lately?? Answers on a postcard…. or on the blog of course

Mind the Gap!
December 12, 2011, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’ve had a few applications this week wanting to defer to take a gap year. Is a gap year worth it? Well, it all depends on you! Sometimes a gap year might even be better than staying on into sixth year, but in other cases you might be better going straight off to uni. One danger of a gap year can be that you get out of the routine of studying and it takes time to readapt to learning again. I did have a gap year and I think it took most of the first term to really get back into studying. But a gap year can help you mature and get more out of university.

There are two main reasons people want a gap year – to earn money, or to spend it! A year working can certainly help your finances and might mean that you’re less dependent on a part time job. Other students want to roam the world, or to give a year to charitable causes, or sometimes a bit of both. Whatever you do, make sure its something you’ll look back on and say “I’m glad I did that”.

Any hitches? Well, you need to see if your uni accepts gap years. We don’t take deferred applications because it gives a student an advantage over those applying next year, but other places do. If you can’t get a deferred place you simply need to apply early next cycle and arrange with your school to give you a reference and your form can be all ready to go. But do check if you may be needed for interviews etc and see what you can do about it.

Happy globe trotting!