Guide to credibility interview
Establishing you are a genuine student
The purpose of the interview is to establish that you are a genuine student and that your English language ability is at the correct level.
To ensure you do your best in a credibility interview, you must prepare well and above all be honest and natural with your answers. We do not advise you to prepare or read off a script as this can be seen as you not answering truthfully. You should listen to the questions carefully and ask the interviewer to repeat a question if you do not understand. Questions you might be asked are detailed below.
As part of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) production – and prior to you paying a deposit – you may be asked to participate in a UWE Bristol Pre CAS Interview with a member of our staff. This will help you think about what you need to know before joining UWE Bristol.
Your visa application
You may be asked about your previous study as well as your proposed study in the UK. If you are doing a pre-sessional course such as an English Language or foundation you will be expected to know the details of your main course as well as the pre-sessional course. If you have had a gap in your studies you may be asked to explain what you did during that time.
Why did you choose UWE Bristol?
People choose their university for a range of reasons, from academic quality to the location of the campus, to positive experiences of friends or family. Explain how you found out about us, why you chose us and what factors were important to you. It may help to refer to the About UWE Bristol web page to read about our story.
Avoid using general statements or reasons. Saying "the library is big" may be a good reason for you to choose UWE Bristol, however the interviewer may assume that many universities have large libraries and disregard your reason as being credible.
Did you consider studying at any other university?
Explain which other universities you thought about applying to and why you chose UWE Bristol over the others. The interviewer will want you to be able to clearly explain what made UWE Bristol a more suitable choice than the other universities you considered.
Why do you want to study in the UK?
You may be expected to explain how you will afford your study in the UK, especially if there are alternative options in your home country which are more affordable. Consider why you want to study in the UK rather than in your home country or in another English language speaking country. What are the factors that you considered before making this decision?
Why did you choose your course? What modules will you be studying?
Make sure you know about your course:
- How long it is
- What qualification you will receive
- What is the structure of the course like
- What modules you are interested in studying
You might also be asked for technical details of your specialism. An MSc Public Health student was asked ‘What impact would health promotion have in your region?’ and ‘Can you explain epidemiology?’ – so it's worth recapping on your course details.
What are your future career plans?
Think about what your plans and goals are after you graduate – how will your course help you achieve these? What skills and knowledge will it provide for your future career? Are you clear on the career opportunities available to you with your qualification? Will you gain a professional accreditation that you can use in your home country? If you are interested in graduate work after your studies in the UK, are you aware of the types of jobs available and the visa requirements for graduates?
Are you planning on further study in the UK after you complete this course?
If you plan to undertake further study in the UK, explain what you intend to study and how it will relate to the course at UWE Bristol. If you want to study another course at a similar level, have you thought about how you can justify this as progression?
Do you have any travel plans?
If you plan to travel throughout your time as a student, give some thought as to where you would like to go, how you would plan to fund yourself and when you are planning to travel. Remember that your principal reason for being in the UK is as a student and you will not be permitted to travel during term times. If you are planning on travelling to the EU, spend some time researching how you would do so and whether you would require a Schengen Visa.
Your visa application
Your immigration history may be checked against information already held by UKVI. Possible questions you may be asked are noted below.
Do you have family in the UK?
You may be asked whether you have family in the UK. You should always disclose this information and mention any family members you are aware of. Failure to do so may result in a refusal due to providing fraudulent information which can result in a visa time ban.
Have you made any previous visa applications and were they successful?
You must be prepared to talk about any previous applications you have made. If you have had a visa refusal, you will need to be able to talk about why this was in detail and if you have been granted a visa since then, you should explain this. Do not under any circumstances attempt to conceal adverse immigration history.
Have you travelled to the UK previously and, if so, for what purpose?
Be prepared to talk in detail about previous trips to the UK and for the primary purpose (tourism, work, study).
Personal and financial circumstances
As part of your Student Visa application you will be expected to demonstrate that you have made relevant plans and have sufficient funds to allow you to study and live in the UK. Questions that may be asked could include the below.
How did you obtain the funds you are using to support yourself during your studies?
The purpose of this question is to check that your funds are genuinely available to you for your studies. As part of your application you will have submitted proof of your finances - be very clear about the source and availability of these funds, also how you plan to pay for subsequent years fees if your course is more than a year in duration. If you have official financial sponsorship make sure you are aware of the amounts and exactly what is covered. If you have a loan, how will you afford to pay this back?
Where will you be living during your studies and how will you travel to University?
Are you living in UWE Bristol or private accommodation? How much will your accommodation cost and are you clear about the cost of living in the UK? If you won't be living on campus, have you considered how you will get to and from lectures and seminars? It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the University location and surrounding area. You can find out more via Visit us.
Whilst is it not a requirement to have secured accommodation ahead of your visa application, you may be questioned on where you plan to stay and if it is far away from the University. You should be expected to detail how you will afford to travel to your place of study on a regular basis.
Do you plan on working in the UK?
Typically, students studying at degree level or higher are able to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time (for further information see Working during your studies), however, you cannot rely on funds from work in support of your living costs. Additionally, the main purpose for being in the UK is your studies so, if you do plan on working, think about how this would enhance your academic studies.
Will you be bringing dependants with you?
Check your course allows you to bring dependants with you to the UK. If you are allowed, think carefully about how your family will be supported and housed in the UK and how much money each dependant will need to provide in support of a visa application.
Adult dependants are typically allowed to work full-time, however keep in mind that as part of the visa application, funds should be prepared and available to applicants throughout your stay in the UK.
If you are bringing your children to the UK without the other parent, check whether additional documents or an explanation as to why this is will not negatively impact the visa application.
English language skills
The interviewer will also be checking your ability to converse well in English, if there is any issue with hearing them clearly via the video link, you should ensure that you raise this so that they are aware that it is a technical issue not an English language issue.
Following your interview a report of the interview including the answers you have given will be sent to the Entry Clearance Officer who makes the decision on your Student Visa application.
What to do if you are invited to a second interview
You may be required to attend a second interview. This is usually because the interviewer would like to ask more in-depth questions about your application, or request further documentation relating to your first interview. If you are invited to a second interview please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
If you have any feedback that you think would be useful for other students or for us please email email@example.com.