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University Open Days

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

If you are planning to apply to University in the near future, then this is an ideal summer to book into some University Open days. Attending an Open Day can give you a chance to look beyond the glossy prospectus and find out what it is really like to study there. But it is important to be clear what you want to get out of a visit so it is really worthwhile.

If you would like to visit universities this summer contact our team at Carfax Education to help you create a bespoke itinerary of University visits.

Here are our top tips to make the most of a visit and the key questions to ask.

1. Find out about the University

An Open day is a great way of really getting a feel for a university, which is important as potentially you will be living there for the next 3-4 years. You can work out if a campus or city university is the best fit for you. Check out the university facilities such as the Student Union or sports centre. Do be aware though, that an Open Day is designed to showcase the very best of the University to encourage prospective students to apply. So enjoy the all of the activities and the interaction with current students but remember the balloons and banners won’t be out every day!

Questions to Ask

What sports and societies are on offer?

What are transport links like?

Are there opportunities for part time work nearby?

How much does it cost to live there?

What is the town/city like?

What are the best and worst things about the university?

2. Find out about the Course.

This is the ideal time to find out about the course you are interested in. An Open Day should give you a chance to meet some of the people who teach on the course. Often you will be able to attend ‘taster’ lectures which will give you an idea of the sort of topics you will be covering and how it feel to sit in a lecture theatre rather than a classroom. Try and talk to students who are already studying on the course and find out from them what they are enjoying and finding interesting.

Questions to ask

What does the course cover?

How much flexibility is there for choosing modules?

How many hours of contact time are there in a week?

How much time is in lectures or small seminar groups?

How is the course assessed?

How many pieces of work will be set a term?

Are there opportunities for study abroad exchanges or work placements?

Interested in finding out what a University course would be like? Try our University Taster courses Click here for more information

3. Find out what the University is looking for.

Attending an Open Day is a great opportunity to find out what sort of students the University and, in particular, the department you are interested in, are looking for; the grades they will accept, whether they favour an EPQ; the ECA’s they think are helpful. It is also a good opportunity to ask their advice about reading or activities they would recommend.

Questions to Ask

What combination of qualifications do they prefer?

Will they accept you if you narrowly miss the grades?

How do they select the candidates they make offers to?

What are they looking for in the personal statement?

Do they interview applicants?

Is it acceptable to take a gap year and apply for deferred entry?

4. Check out the Accommodation

It is really important that you get to see some of the student accommodation, this will be a key part of your experience at University and the hall of residence you start in will likely be the place you will make most of your friends. By visiting some accommodation you will be able to know what is important to you, location? Single rooms? En suite facilities? Self catering?

Questions to ask

Is accommodation guaranteed in the first year? Is it guaranteed if the university is your insurance offer?

What does the cost of the accommodation include? How many weeks does it cover?

How secure is the accommodation?

Where do students live in years 2 and 3?

5. Find out about Career Prospects

Although this may seem some way off it is important to understand how the university can help you to find internships and a job at the end of your degree.So it is good to find out about the Careers department and see how proactive they are and whether they have good industry links.

Questions to ask

Will the course improve employment prospects?

What have other graduates gone on to do?

Can they help with placements and work experience?

Applying to UK Universities – Contact Carfax Education for information about our University preparation services.

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