UK university open day checklist
A guide to help you get the most out of open days
This guide is taken from the Know How Library, a tool on the Unifrog platform. Not sure whether to take the ACT or the SAT? Or how to give the perfect Oxbridge practice interview? The Know How Library is an easily searchable library of 100s of expert guides for both students and teachers, covering every aspect of the progression process. It is included as standard for Unifrog partner schools.
You can travel a long way to an open day. Doing just a little preparation in advance can make your trip more worthwhile, and can make it more likely that you'll end up choosing the best course for you.
Our checklist is downloadable by clicking this link here. Or read on below!
What to do before the visit
- Book your Open Day through the university's website.
- If necessary, book your lectures, tour, lunch in the canteen etc.
- Plan your transport.
- Print off a map of the campus.
- Create a timetable of your day.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask during the visit. Example questions are given below.
- Research your chosen course. We’ve listed some questions to help structure your research below.
What to do during the visit
- Ask the questions you prepared!
- Pick up the contact details of the admissions tutor and tour guides so you can follow up with more questions later.
- Talk to faculty and staff. If you have the opportunity to meet professors that teach the subject you are interested in, ask them questions, including about what career opportunities studying your subject at that university might lead to.
- Talk to current students. They will be able to speak openly about the student experience and offer a different perspective to an admissions tutor.
- Check out the university facilities (accommodation, cafeteria, gym, swimming pool, library etc.).
- Walk around the campus to get a feel for the community and atmosphere.
- Explore the surrounding town/city to get a feel for the area.
- Take notes of all your findings so you can refer to them when finalising your choices.
Questions to research before visiting
- Does the university offer my course?
- What is a typical offer for my course?
- Is there a university campus or are the buildings spread across a town/city?
- Are there any particular subjects that my course requires?
- Does this department require applicants to take an admissions test / sit an interview / provide a portfolio?
- How long is my course?
- How well is this university ranked for my course?
- How far away is this university from my hometown?
Questions for admissions tutors
- What is the university policy on gap years and deferred entry?
- Are any particular subjects or qualifications favoured in applications?
- What do admissions tutors look for in an application?
- What happens to students who don’t meet their offer? Are places often made available in Clearing?
- Am I at an advantage if I send in my application early?
- Does the university provide any bursaries or scholarships?
- How many students study my course?
- What is the completion rate for my course?
- What career development opportunities are availabe on my course and at the university? What careers do graduates of my course tend to go on to?
- How many graduates went on to find graduate positions last year?
Questions for students
- Is it expensive to live here?
- How much does accommodation / a night out / travel cost?
- What’s the workload like in a typical week? How does this change over the duration of the course?
- How have you found the teaching / facilities / course so far?
- How have you found the pastoral care?
- Where do you like to study?
- Why did you choose this university / course?
- Do you self-cater or eat at a canteen? How much does that cost?
- Why did you choose to apply to this university?
- How flexible is the course? Are you able to choose modules or change course?
- What extracurricular activities do you do?
- What is it like to live in this area? What is the surrounding community like?
- Is there time to have a job during term?
Questions for professors
- Do professors help students outside of class? What opportunities do I have to meet with my professors for extra help?
- How many hours of teacher contact time will I receive?
- What is the student to faculty ratio?
- How big are the lectures / seminars / tutorials?
- How much do undergraduates take part in research?
- How is my subject examined? What proportion is coursework and exams?
- Will I have to complete any group projects as part of my degree?
- What is your favorite thing about this college/university? Why do you choose to work here?
- How should I prepare for my degree before it begins? Can you recommend any wider reading?
More like this in: For students
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