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Interview for BA (Honours) Photography

What is an interview?

It's a process to assess whether you're suitable for a place on the course. It's a chance to show us your knowledge about the subject and your enthusiasm for the career.

Being invited to an interview event doesn't mean you're guaranteed a place on the course - the point of the day is to help us come to a mutual decision. We need to decide whether to make you an offer and you need to decide whether you like the course and the university.

To find out what will happen on the day, see the subject-specific information below. The timings listed are approximate, so please keep your plans for travelling home flexible.

When and where is my interview

If you're invited to an interview you'll receive an email telling you when it is and where to go.

It's important to be on time. You should arrive 30 minutes before the start time so you can register. If you're delayed on the way to the event call 0114 225 5555 and ask for Admissions.

What happens at an interview?

The interview provides you with an opportunity to discuss your portfolio and enables the admissions tutors to clarify aspects of your UCAS application. You will be asked questions about your personal interests to enable us to understand what motivates you to pursue your creative discipline. The interview will last approximately an hour, including time for you to ask any questions that you may have.

The interview day involves

  • an introduction to the course from a member of academic staff
  • leaving your portfolio with academic staff for review
  • a tour of the facilities led by current students who will be happy to answer any questions you may have
  • an individual interview (around 20 minutes) with a member of academic staff and a student ambassador

What else can I experience on the day?

You will have a tour focusing on the areas that you might be working in as well as the opportunity to talk to students currently involved in project work at different levels of the course, and to see our studios and workshops.

You can attend a tour of our campuses or accommodation every Wednesday.

Alternatively, if you would like to visit our campuses in your own time, please view our self-guided tour booklet. Find out about our tours and book your place now.

Do I need to prepare anything in advance?

For the interview, you should bring a portfolio containing examples of your work. This may include current and past school or college work, other personal projects, work in progress and other work that you feel demonstrates your ability and potential.

Take time when preparing your portfolio. Do not include everything you have ever produced, but rather a focused edit that represents the breadth and strengths of your work. Consider the sequence of images in terms of overall coherency. Your portfolio should be professionally presented including protective sleeves where appropriate.

What should be in my portfolio?

  • If you have one or two strong completed projects, include these along with representations of other work.
  • If you wish you can include work from disciplines such as painting, illustration, graphic design and textiles.
  • You are also encouraged to bring sketchbooks and research files that indicate the development of your ideas.
  • Where possible, please include an example of an essay that you have written.

What do I need to bring with me?

Your completed portfolio of work.

What are we looking for?

Throughout the process, we are looking for candidates who are genuinely interested in their subject with an enthusiasm and motivation to guide themselves through self-directed learning.

We have several criteria that we look for during the interview. These include

  • a creative aptitude for using photography
  • basic skills in photographic production and a desire to enhance and extend technical knowledge
  • the ability to work both as an independent practitioner and in groups
  • an ability to problem solve creatively
  • the ability to manage time effectively, and
  • strong oral, written and visual skills.

The major criterion for acceptance on the course is that you should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the key processes in photography, demonstrate creativity and imagination in portfolio materials, evidence critical thinking and reflective skills and enthusiasm for the subject area. You should be able to show appropriate evidence of preparation for the course, including, a portfolio of production work and any other media work which demonstrates your creative potential.

Who is on the interview panel?

Sheffield Hallam academic staff and a student ambassador.

What should I wear?

Dress reasonably smartly, but there is absolutely no need to wear a suit. Smart but casual clothing will allow you to feel confident and at ease.

How do I find you?

Please allow plenty of time for travelling as parking is limited on all campuses. Please read signs carefully when parking as there are restrictions in place. We strongly recommend that you use public transport where possible.

More information about getting to the campus, public transport links and parking.

I'm disabled and require support at the interview. Can you help?

If you have a disability (this includes sensory and physical disabilities, dyslexia, mental health conditions and medical conditions) and you feel that you will need some support during the interview process (for example, a sign language interpreter, note taker, materials provided in different format or wheelchair access), we strongly recommend that you contact the Events team on 0114 225 6737 or within three days of confirming your interview.

The selection team will then be able to make any reasonable adjustments so that you can fully participate in the interview without any disadvantage.

Disability advice whilst studying at the University

You may or may not have indicated that you have a disability on your application form. In either case, the Disabled Student Support Team is keen to hear from you. If you would like to meet or talk to an advisor to discuss, in confidence, possible support whilst studying, please ring +44 (0)114 225 3813 or email

What happens after my interview?

After the interview our decision will be communicated via UCAS track, so please check your account regularly.

You will receive one of the following decisions.

Conditional offer for the course that you have applied for – you must fulfil certain criteria (usually based on the qualifications you are currently taking) before you can be accepted on the course. If the requirements are met, the offer becomes unconditional.

Unconditional offer for the course that you have applied for – usually made when you have already completed your qualifications and met the academic requirements we are asking for.

Change of course offer for the BA (Honours) Photography with Foundation Year. If your interviewer decides that you do not yet have the skills and attributes necessary to make a successful start on the degree course that you have applied to, you may be offered a place on this course. This takes the form of a foundation year, run in-house by our tutors, and will build your creative skills and attributes. If you complete this foundation year successfully, you will automatically progress onto the degree course.

Unsuccessful – unfortunately we are not able to offer you a place on the course. We do not feel that you have the necessary skills or experience to be successful on one of our courses. However, this does not prevent you from applying in the future, should you undertake further study to develop your skills and experience and portfolio.

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