Interviewing in: History of Art

Background on subject

History of Art aims to arrive at a historical understanding of the origins, meaning and purpose of art and artefacts from a wide range of world cultures. A degree in History of Art provides skills in the critical analysis of objects through the cultivation of visual literacy. The course overlaps with subjects including Architecture, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classics, History and Philosophy.

Oxford requires students to have taken an A-level involving essay writing.

Some Cambridge colleges also require an A-level in an essay-based subject.

Oxford asks for written work to be submitted prior to interview.

Cambridge requires students to take a written assessment at interview, and some colleges also ask for submission of written work.

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Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied History of Art at university to give a robust and rigorous practice interview in this subject.

Volunteers from the following subjects, or similar, will also be able to deliver History of Art interviews: History, Classics, HSPS, Archaeology & Anthropology and Fine Art.


Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in History of Art, which you may be asked to deliver. 

  1. Interview on 'application material' - asking the students' questions about their personal statement, or an essay they will submit as part of their application

  2. Interview on 'unseen material' - asking the students' questions on an article, study, or research paper they have not seen before, testing how they handle new material

SAMPLE Resources

Below you can access a folder of resources for conducting History of Art interviews:

  1. Interview on application material - you can see a sample personal statement, highlighted with examples of questions which could be asked

  2. Interview on unseen material - you can see examples of articles which have previously been given to students, along with questions

These resources are intended for inspiration - to give you an idea of the level, length and themes of the material we use in our practice interviews. However, should you wish to use this material in the practice interviews you deliver, just let us know so we can make sure returning students haven't seen it before!

Meet one of our VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWERS: Catherine

I graduated in Classics from Cambridge in 2015, which I did because I have a wide-ranging love of languages, history, history of art, and more.

I now work for the civil service in what is known as a "commercial" role - I work with suppliers who deliver public services to make sure they run as well as possible while still being value for money

I've volunteered with OxFizz for the past 2 years as a mock interviewer.

I volunteer with OxFizz to fundraise for the Julia Thomson Memorial Trust, and because I enjoy keeping in touch with my academic subjects.