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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

Section 1.4: University Guidelines on Interviewing for Undergraduate Admission

1.      Interviews

Durham University does not use interviews as a means for selection except in the following circumstances:

i) where external bodies determine that interviewing is compulsory (applicants to Initial Teaching Training and Medicine);

ii) applicants to the Foundation Centre;

iii) applicants who do not in their application show adequate evidence of recent and relevant knowledge or who have experienced a break in their study prior to application. This will be determined by academic departments on an individual basis having considered all the information provided in the application;

There may arise exceptional circumstances, other than those listed above, when an interview is considered necessary.  Such cases should be referred to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Learning and Teaching for consideration.

Applicants who are resident outside of the UK will not normally be invited to attend an interview.  Applicants may be interviewed by telephone or via the internet in such cases.

Applicants may be invited to the University to meet departmental/college staff once an offer has been made in order to discuss the details of specific degree programmes and find out further information regarding the colleges and University life in general.

2.      Conducting Interviews

  1. In common with the policy at other HEIs, only those staff who are directly involved in substantial unsupervised contact with those under 18 are required to undertake a CRB disclosure. Other departmental staff, Open Day helpers, cleaners, porters, and so on, will not normally have received a CRB disclosure. As the unsupervised contact of such staff is strictly limited the risk to those under 18 is minimal.
  2. It is not necessary for those staff who are interviewing candidates to undertake a CRB disclosure; however, such staff should be aware of the potential sensitivities of interviewing younger age candidates. Selectors are advised to focus on questions that relate to the published and objective admissions criteria and the applicant's ability to meet these criteria. Staff are required to conduct interviews within current legislatory requirements and to ensure that interviews are conducted in a location where other staff are continually present, such as in a connecting office.