Shortlist Interview

The admissions interview is conducted by a panel of two members: a representative from Sciences Po and a representative from UBC. The interview is a total of 30 minutes, and it involves an analysis on a choice of two images. During the interview, applicants are given 5 minutes to analyze the image and prepare an oral presentation. Following the preparation time, applicants are given 5 minutes to present a structured analysis of the image. Applicants then participate in a discussion on the image, as well as other more general interview questions.

The interview lasts 30 minutes and involves three stages.

Stage 1: Candidate presentation

Length: 5 minutes.

In this introductory part of the interview, candidates are asked to present their background and experience, profiles as applicants and ambitions for the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree. They will have a maximum of  fives minutes to complete the exercise and outline their motivations, interests and attributes. Candidates may therefore wish to prepare their introductory presentations in advance of the interview. This stage is the candidate’s chance to meet UBC and Sciences Po representatives in person and the candidate will steer the interview in these first five minutes.

Stage 2: Image analysis and commentary

Length: 10-15 minutes

This part of the interview consists of an analytical commentary on an image.

Candidates will be given a choice of two images prepared by academic staff at UBC and Sciences Po. They will be asked to study the two images and select one for commentary. The candidate will need to explain their choice and be able to discuss the meaning and significance of the image, extract the main ideas and situate them in their historical, cultural and/or social context, identify and acknowledge the motivation behind the image and its intended audience, and speak to any opportunities for further learning of the image.

The exercise draws on all kinds of still images, both from the past and in relation to current affairs. All images have the potential to inspire thoughts and ideas. They include paintings, drawings, photographs, front pages of newspapers, urban graffiti, extracts from comic strips, caricatures, and so on.

This exercise is designed to encourage candidates to think analytically and put their knowledge to use. No prior knowledge of the image is required: candidates are invited to make their own interpretations and will be asked to formulate arguments and demonstrate their critical mindedness. The candidate should not think that the interview panel is looking for any particular response. There is no “right” answer and the interview is about establishing an open discussion around possible interpretations.

Why image analysis? Visual messages have their own language and always serve a purpose: to communicate, convince, persuade, critique. The sensitive nature of images means they instantly open up discussions, which are enriched by the multiple interpretations that each image invites.

Stage 3: Candidate’s motivations and intellectual ambitions for the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree

Length: 5-10 minutes

This section of the interview is about deepening our understanding of the candidate’s motivations for applying and intellectual ambitions for a dual degree program. It also allows us to assess whether the candidate will be a good fit for a Dual Degree program, and their potential to succeed at both institutions.

This stage takes the form of an open discussion and allows examiners to gain a fuller picture of the candidate and their motivations.

Candidates will be asked to outline their interest for the specific Sciences Po campus and UBC. The panel will ensure that the candidate’s profile is suited to this specific dual degree.

Tips to help you prepare for the interview

  1. Keep up with current events. The admissions panel expects you to be well informed about what is going on in your country, your region, and in Europe. They are looking for you to take a critical approach to the news you read or hear.
  2. Prepare for the oral presentation. Work on your critical thinking skills, your ability to analyze and interpret visual information in order to situate it within a context and construct an organized presentation. Bear in mind you will have 5 minutes to prepare your presentation and 5 minutes to deliver it.
  3. Practice your public speaking skills. Have a friend, family member or teacher ask you some questions about current events, Sciences Po, UBC, and/or yourself. Pay attention to your body language, speak distinctly in a confident voice and ask for feedback.
  4. Get to know the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree Program. The admissions panel expects you to be familiar with Sciences Po and your program of choice at UBC, the programs offered by both institutions, learning and teaching methods, and student life on the campuses you are applying for.

And moreover, stay calm and relaxed! The purpose of the interview is both to assess whether you suit the program and study environment and to see if we are the right choice for your future plans and expectations.

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