Advice on applying
Applying to LIPA Sixth Form College (or any post-16 education provider) is a big step, so it pays to make sure that you have all the information you need before making a decision
Our application process is designed to offer a range of opportunities for you to show your potential for making the most of our unique curriculum and environment through two parts of the process - the application form and your audition and interview.
No single element takes precedence over another, and our selection is based on the understanding that not everyone will have had the same opportunities to gain experience prior to applying to us.
We want our process to be as fair, open and transparent as possible, and for the whole experience to be one that does not feel unduly frightening or off-putting. We understand how much you care about your work and that nerves inevitably play a part at any audition or interview. Try not to worry – nerves can often be a good thing, and we have all been in your shoes at some point. We want you to feel that you are able to present yourself and your work to the best of your ability.
Specific information relating to each of the courses and what we are asking applicants to do to prepare can be found in each of the course sections. What follows is intended to help you understand how our overall process works and what help is available to you to make the best of your application and audition and interview.
Throughout the process try to remember these key points to put your application in context:
- Our job is to find the students who show the POTENTIAL to make the most of the educational opportunities we provide, rather than looking for a finished ‘product’. To that end, we are looking at the whole person – your enthusiasm, your engagement with learning, your interest in the world at large, and your imagination and spirit as much as experience, essential qualifications and so on. This is part of what makes LIPA Sixth Form College a distinctive environment and applies just as much to LIPA's HE provision. Remember that HOW you work is just as important to us as WHAT you produce at this point.
- We are not here to be judges of your ‘talent’ alone. Undoubtedly, we will see talented applicants whom we judge overall to be not right for our course, but who may well be suited to other opportunities elsewhere. Where feasible and appropriate, we will give pointers towards further development.
- You are also interviewing us. You are seeking to spend two years of your life furthering your knowledge, craft and experience in an intense environment and you need to feel sure that you will be able to learn in a way that is both fun and challenging. There will be a workshop part of your audition and interview day, which will give you a real sense of how we will be working. In the end, you may feel it is not to your liking and the final decision about taking a place with us is yours, so this part of our selection process is a means of enabling you to make an informed choice.
Overall, we are putting together not simply a body of individual students but a ‘company’, which we want to reflect the diversity and breadth of our culture. Please be assured we are not looking for any kind of ‘type’. Each candidate is unique, and we are interested in finding out about YOU. There is no point trying to ‘second guess’ what you think is going to please your panel at audition or interview, or the assessors of your application form. Be honest and try to communicate what you believe. That is what we would expect you to bring to your studies with us should you be offered a place.
- Learning in the creative and performing arts is NOT about competition with others. Rather, it is about identifying challenges to yourself, and then striving to embrace opportunities for development wherever possible. This will be part of how we assess your attitude during the overall selection process.
- Having said that, however, the creative and performing arts are competitive as an industry. They require determination, discipline, enthusiasm, strong communication skills and self-management as well as flair, imagination and a hunger to get better at your craft. It is also an industry where rejection is built in, so we need to develop strategies and a level of emotional toughness to deal with that. In this context, we would encourage you to treat our selection process as an opportunity to learn more about your work, yourself and your passion, regardless of the final outcome.
- Above all else, the creative and performing arts are predominantly collaborative in nature. Your ability to work well with others and to respect each other's talents and ways of learning are important. So too is a committment to collaborative practice and learning together. We will be assessing this alongside your talent and potential on your audition and interview and audition day.
- Finally, whenever you are asked to attend an audition or interview day, prepare well to the best of your ability. On the day itself, try to relax and enjoy yourself. We know this is easy for us to say, but not always easy to do, but you will present yourself at your best if you can.
We hope that joining LIPA Sixth Form College will be a great adventure of discovery for you.
This is the first step on that journey.