Top Tips for your BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy Interview at Edge Hill

At this time of year, interviews for prospective Counselling and Psychotherapy students have begun at Edge Hill. Two years ago, I was preparing for my interview and found myself frantically searching Google for insider knowledge to no avail.

If you have been offered an interview, you will already have a rough idea of what will be asked but each interview will still be somewhat unique based on the responses you give. So, I’ve pulled together some general advice to get you on the right track.

Spend some time really familiarising yourself with person-centred counselling. In the interview, they will really dig deep to make sure you have understood the model of counselling and will ask your thoughts on it, how you imagine yourself practising it etc. A rehearsed definition won’t be enough, you will need to really be ready to unpick it and discuss it!  Spend some time journaling your ideas around the model and what it means to you beyond simply helping others or making a difference.

As you are researching the model, have a look at some of theory and books surrounding it. Being able to give some examples of what you read and how it made you feel will evidence that you have been preparing and will also better equip you for any counselling specific questions that may come up. Websites like Counselling Tutor will have simplified versions of the theory for you, with references to the books used. However, read carefully as Counselling Tutor covers all models of counselling whereas the Edge Hill course is wholly focussed on person-centred, experiential counselling.

There is also a huge focus on personal development and self-awareness on our course, which means a lot of sharing of emotion and being vulnerable (as well as being open to learning stuff about yourself that shocks you or that you don’t necessarily like). An awareness of this and some consideration of how it will feel to be on that journey with up to 30 other people for 3 years will stand you in good stead in the interview – even if that comes in the form of an honest “I’ll find it really hard but I’m going to do it even when it hurts”.  Again, spending some time exploring this in a journal will help you to form a really clear standpoint that you can confidently and authentically share in the interview.

If you have an interview coming up for this course, or if you are thinking of applying for 2021 entry and beyond, feel free to ask me questions about the interview and/or the course in the comments below!

Sam xo

Interview Process for Primary Education with QTS

What happened in the interview?

I went with my Mum, Dad and best friend to the interview. When we arrived, we went in for a ‘Welcome’ talk in the lecture theatre where they told us the itinerary for the day. We went for a campus tour first while my Dad stayed for a Q&A session in the lecture theatre. After that, I completed my English and Maths tasks. During this time, we were called up to do our group activity where the tutors give you random items and you have to discuss with other prospective students about how you could use these in the classroom and then I had a 1:1 talk with the tutor who asked me questions about teaching.

Tips for the English/Maths task

The English Writing task gave us a statement about resilience and why this is important in teaching (it is!) and we had to write about a time we have been resilient. They are basically just checking that you can write fluently and will give you targets based on grammar or handwriting etc. The Maths test was complied of very basic Maths questions to check you can work out, again, basic maths. They do get quite tricky at the end but nothing too hard to worry about just brush up on your times tables, multiplication and division methods etc. Don’t worry too much about this!

Group Activity

Don’t take too much control in the beginning, but if nobody else is talking definitely take the initiative. They did our group activities in groups of three and the girls I was with were lovely and we all had really nice ideas. The tip here would be to think outside the box, they are very random objects but don’t feel like anything is a stupid idea.

The 1:1 interview

This was not what I thought it would be. We were still in the room with the other tutors and prospective students so that was a lot more reassuring. The questions they asked me were along the lines of ‘Why do you want to be a teacher?’, ‘What is the most important thing about teaching’, ‘Why is it important to be professional?’ etc.

Any other questions about the process, feel free to comment below.


Interview Tips and Preparation for Primary Education with QTS

In all honesty, I was incredibly nervous about the interview for this course and I felt sick to my stomach all morning – but this was just nerves and it is completely normal. When I arrived, the staff and student guides were so friendly, reassuring and calm that it settled me down straight away.

How to prepare:

  • Brush up on your maths knowledge, in particular: addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; fractions, percentages and decimals; negative numbers; area and perimeter etc. Just the basic maths skills that you would cover in primary school. Have a look at the national curriculum.
  • Work on your handwriting – they may set you this as a target after the interview if it is not up to ‘teacher standard’
  • Look for random objects around your room/house/school – think about how you could use it as a resource in a lesson. Think outside of the box.
  • Be prepared to answer questions such as: Why do you want to be a teacher? What is the most important part of teaching? Why is it important to be professional? How can you differentiate lessons? etc.

Any questions about the interview, feel free to comment below.


Q&A with a literature student

Hi everyone,

i thought today I would do a Q&A with one of my housemates and fellow literature student to give you an insight into what the department and coursers Edge Hill offers!

Q: What has been the best part of your degree?

A: Getting the opportunity to study a subject I’ve always been interested in with like minded people.

Q: Why did you choose Edge Hill?

A: The course has a wide range of modules spanning from classical renaissance literature to more contemporary issues. Also, the fact that Edge Hill is a campus and everything is in one place makes it feel like a community!

Q: What was your favourite aspect of your course and why?

A: The lectures are delivered by tutors who are passionate about their subjects and therefore it makes it interesting to learn from them.

Q: How would you summarise your experience at Edge Hill?

A: I’ve had the best three years at Edge Hill, it’s such an inclusive university it’s nice to be around so many people who are friendly and happy to be there.

Q: Favourite module or anything you found particularly interesting?

A: Special Author in third year in which we studied the works of Rudyard Kipling who wrote the Jungle Book which was really fun.

Q: How have you found living in Ormskirk

A: Really good, Edge Hill provides a lot of support for finding off campus accommodation and in the transition from living on campus to in Ormskirk. The support means that  you won’t come across any landlords that you feel that you can’t trust.

Q: Any advice for future students?

A: Take every opportunity that is given to you as you don’t want to look back on your time at uni and regret not pushing yourself to do new things.

I hope you all find this helpful!

See you next time,

Ellie 🙂

Prepping for your interview! 👩🏽‍🎓

Hello! February already?

I’ve just had an ‘on this day’ memory come up on my Facebook of me travelling back to the UK for my interview at Edge Hill. The fact that this was a whole year ago is absolutely absurd but here we are. Honestly, time flies.

All interviews are different, all courses have specific criteria or procedures to allow you onto the course. If you’re a prospectus trainee teacher and the Edge Hill liked your application, you should, if not already, have an interview date. Hoorah! Now, what to do?

Prep, prep, prep.  📝

The most important thing you can do is to prepare. The interview process for Primary Ed QTS can seem quite daunting at first, but as long as you know your stuff and breathe, you’ll be fine. There is a maths test, a short English writing task, a 10-15-minute one-to-one interview with someone from the panel, and finally a group task. It’s nearly a full day.

Revise your basic maths, quick tips and tricks for multiplication/division/number facts. They provide you with areas that the test will cover so make sure you go over these beforehand. The English task isn’t something you can really prepare for, just write from the heart with some good grammar thrown in and you’ll be fine.

 The interview is where you need to show your passion and enthusiasm, get your answers ready. “Why do you want to be a teacher” “What is the most important thing about teaching?” “What makes you make a good teacher?” – these aren’t guaranteed questions, but they’re likely to come up!

Relax. 💆🏽

I spent the morning, the entire day, and all evening throwing up and feeling nauseous. I very rarely feel nervous at all, but I’ve never experienced anything like that. I think I felt this sick was because this is something I wanted so badly, I didn’t apply for anywhere else because I didn’t want to go anywhere else. A risky move, but I was sure it was Edge Hill. If I didn’t get in, I didn’t have a backup – don’t do that, it’s not smart. I spent the night before practising maths, reading notes, researching interview questions – don’t do that either. Get all your prep done and go over it the week before but leave the night before to relax and chill out. This is so important.

Believe in yourself.  💕

You can definitely, undoubtedly do it. It’s okay to feel nervous, and don’t be scared to say “Sorry, I’m just feeling a little nervous.” They’ll help you and calm you down. That’s one thing I can truly say about my interview process was that all the staff I spoke to were so kind and calming and really helped to chill me out. Don’t worry.

Good luck to all and I hope to see you in September at Edge Hill (it’s the best choice!). Thanks for reading!


Interviews at Edge Hill

Not every course requires an interview but Primary Education is an example of a programme that does. I remember how nervous I was beforehand, mostly because I did not know what to expect. It has all become a bit of a blur now but I will try my best to recall what I can about Edge Hill’s interview process! You can access some useful information here. 

How should I prepare?

Research – make sure you know enough about the university. Have you been to an open day or campus tour? Why have you chosen Edge Hill University? What about their Primary Education course appeals to you?

Work experience – make sure you have had enough experience in a classroom environment. It is not too late to ask to spend time observing lessons, perhaps in your former primary school.

World of education – it is SO important to stay informed of current educational issues.  The Times Educational supplement and BBC education news are good starting points!

What should I bring to the interview day?

Portfolio – although a portfolio is often not necessary, I found it really useful to bring to my interviews. By having a small file with a few pictures from different work experience, it allowed me toeasily access things to talk about. Not only did it support my discussions, it looked organised to the interviewers. It shows them that you are already thinking about meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

Certificates / Qualifications – these can be photocopies. Ensure you have all the evidence you need to demonstrate your abilities and past achievements.

Potential Questions

  • Why have you chosen Edge Hill University?
  • Why do you want to be a primary school teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach primary insteadof secondary?
  • What current issues in education are important to you?
  • How will you be a creative teacher?
  • What experiences have you had of working with children with special needs?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?

Subject Knowledge Tasks

As well as having a campus tour and an individual interview, I also took part in maths, science and English written tasks. These were marked out of 20 and I received my feedback when I got my letter of confirmation in the post! An important piece of advice I can offer is… research phonics!

Good luck!

Although it might seem a bit daunting, you’ll be absolutely fine! During the interview just be yourself and relax. The interviewers at Edge Hill are lovely so try to think of the interview as a chat, rather than an interrogation! Wishing you all the best.

That interview question… where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Many of us have been in an interview where we are asked ‘where do you want to be in three or five or even ten years time?’ and so often it catches us off guard. Deciding to study at Edge Hill was part of my goal for where I see myself in five years time.

However, this is much more than an interview question. By asking yourself this question throughout your degree or as make your degree choices you can make sure that you stay on track. It helps you to focus on what is important to you and enables you to chase after the opportunities that surround you.

I knew from walking around at my first Open Day that Edge Hill could help to get me to where I wanted to be. There are many opportunities to study different languages, people from across the country and many international students too and the educational opportunities available are fantastic.

Here are three quick questions to ask yourself about your university experience if you are considering your degree choices:

  1. What would you like to get from your university experience? What clubs and societies would suit your needs or personality and are these available? If a particular society isn’t available at Edge Hill you can get together with a group of people with the same interest and set up a new society!
  2. What extra skills do you have that you could write about on your application form or talk about at an interview? What skills could you bring to the university/job/volunteer opportunity? These don’t have to be academic skills, it could be anything you enjoy. This is a fantastic question to ask yourself whatever the interview or application is for and applies to more than just university applications.
  3. What memories would you like to create over the next few years? What is important to you? Is it being close to your family or being able to explore a new area? These questions can help you to decide on a location and also help you to think about what it is you’re looking for around campus if you attend an open day.

What questions do you think you should consider before starting uni or throughout your degree? Please share in the comments, would love to hear your ideas 🙂

Primary Education Interview Process

On this day 2 years ago I had my first interview at Edge Hill for Primary Education with QTS. Today I have been in the same room as around 100 applicants answering questions, discussing the interview process and seeing the nerves and excitement that I had when I was in their position. This led me to think about my interview process and how I found my experience at Edge Hill.

Out of all the universities I applied for Edge Hill was the first interview I attended. One of the things that stood out to me about the interview process here was the level of organisation and how important you were made to feel from the outset. I came to the interview with my Dad and travelling up from Nottingham it was one of the first times I was actually able to look around the university also. The campus was one of the main things that stood out to me on the day, with everything being contained together and the country surroundings, I knew that this was somewhere I could see myself for the next 3 years. The day was structured well and when I first arrived I had to hand in my exam certificates to be checked and then went into one of the lecture theatres. On the day you are given the option to have a campus tour or stay for a question and answer session with current students (something that I am currently doing with new applicants). On the day I choose to stay for the question and answer session, this was really informative for me and having the session led by students put me at ease as there was an informal tone. They allow you to ask any questions and give you their perspective of life at Edge Hill and life in Ormskirk. Following on from this I was taken into another lecture theatre to complete the test aspect of the interview. Many people worry about these tests, but there is nothing to be scared of. Of course you should try your best on them, but the purpose is to not only identify areas of strength but to also see where you can improve. As a teacher you are not expected to know everything especially at this early stage and if you are successful in your interview these tests provide the basis for extending your knowledge and identifying targets to ensure you are making progression in your subject knowledge.

Following on from this you have your interview with a member of staff at Edge Hill, this part of the interview is normally based around a task or scenario. For my interview I had to bring in a book or an object and identify cross curricular links and discuss my lesson ideas for this. When you are invited to interview you will be fully informed of what the task involves and be given plenty of time to prepare. This is often the area that people find most daunting. It is important to remember that nerves are okay, the interviewers understand how scary the process can be and ultimately they want you to do well. The interviewers are not out to get you and it is basically just your chance to show your potential and passion for the subject. My main advice would be to dress smart to make a good impression from the start, have eye contact this shows you’re interested and engaged and be yourself, they want to see what you have to offer and understand that we’re all human.

After the interview it can take up to four weeks before you receive an offer. Whether you are successful or unsuccessful you will receive a notification via UCAS. As well as this the university will e-mail providing you with feedback regarding your interview and results from the tests in which you participated. As this was my first interview the feedback I received was really beneficial in preparing me for future interviews and helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses prior to starting the course. Another thing I found really useful following my interview was the e-mail communications from Edge Hill, this included advice on gaining experience, things to do before starting the course as well as information about open days.

Overall the positivity of the interview was one of my main reasons for choosing Edge Hill, I knew that if I could feel comfortable in that situation that I would be able to fit in as part of the course and part of the university life style.


Offers and Interviews!

So congratulations if you’ve been invited to an applicant day, as this means you’ve been offered a (conditional or unconditional) place! This is great news! If your offer is unconditional then you know that you’ll be joining us in September to start! However if you receive a conditional offer- do not fret! As long as you continue to work hard you will also be joining us in September as you will undoubtedly meet the necessary criteria!

Some courses may also request other non-academic requests, such as placements/work experience! Back in 2014, I attended an interview for my course (Secondary Maths Teaching with QTS)! Before the interview I was asked to prepare a part of a lesson on expanding brackets that I would be demonstrating to the panel. I also was told I would be subjected to a written comprehension based on an educational topic, as well as questions from the interview panel. The interview panel at the time consisted of two people, the head of a local high school and the maths course leader at Edge Hill.
Thankfully I received a conditional offer which was based on my grades at college, passing the skills tests (required for QTS) and also having completed work experience in a high school and primary school!

My advice to you as prospective students, many of you with interviews to attend is to be confident, research your subject topic (you might be asked about current affairs!) and enjoy the experience! The tutors will be happy to help you and answer any questions you have. At Edge Hill you are an asset to the university so ensure that you show off your talent and skills so you can really develop academically over the forthcoming years!

Good luck!