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Getting the most out of university open days

Tuesday 10 October 2017

You’ve waded through piles of prospectuses, googled every university that could be of interest, and now it’s time to hit the open road and pay a visit to the ones on your shortlist.

Thinking of going to university?

Unless you’re planning on staying local, you could have a good few miles to cover, so you’ll want to make every trip worthwhile and get as much as you can out of each day.

Start by focusing on the course itself. Make a list of questions to take with you such as: what modules you will be studying; what assessment methods will be used; how much contact time there will be per week. These are all important questions that may not have been covered in the prospectus. For example, if you don’t want your final grade to hang on the outcome of exams, you might need to look for a course that is more coursework based.

You’ll be studying the subject for three years and chances are you’re planning to take it forward into a career as well, so you need to be sure you’re going to enjoy it. Make sure you attend any talks given by the lecturers and don’t feel as though you can’t ask questions at the end if they haven’t covered what you wanted to know; that’s what they’re there for.

There can be lots of talks going on, so if you’re short on time, prioritise which ones you go to. You might want to miss any on UCAS applications, for example, if you’re already up to speed from your sixth form teachers. 

Once you’re happy with the course, take time to explore the campus. If you can, join a tour and get the insider information on facilities, halls of residence and more! Speak to current students as you go round; our Student Ambassadors love helping out prospective students and sharing their experiences, and we’re sure this is also the case at universities.

If you’re studying a subject where facilities are important, make sure you see everything you want to before you leave; photos on websites are never as good as being there in person.  And, we may be biased, but make sure you check out the library; you’ll be spending a lot of time there!

Finally, don’t forget to explore beyond the campus. You’ll be moving to a new city so go into the centre and see what it’s like. Have something to eat, check out the public transport, the shopping, bars, restaurants; whatever is important to you.

Above all, enjoy the experience. You’re entering into a really exciting part of your life, so go out there and find your perfect destination!  

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