Considering university? Here's everything you need to know about going to an open day.
An open day is the best way to get a real taste of university life. You can explore the local area, check out the facilities on campus, and speak to current staff and students. Here’s everything you need to know to plan and get the most out of your visit.
Questions to ask at an open day
Questions about the course
- How many teaching hours does the course have?
- How is the course assessed? For example, is there a mix of coursework, exams, and presentations?
- How many students will be on the course?
- What grades do I need to get on the course?
- What qualities or experience do you look for in your personal statement?
- Will I need to attend an interview or audition?
- What modules are compulsory and which ones are optional?
- Are there opportunities for work placements or years abroad?
- Can I switch courses if I don’t enjoy it?
- What careers have recent graduates gone on to?
- Are there any scholarships or bursaries?
Questions about accommodation
- What are the accommodation options for first years?
- What are the rooms like, and can I do a tour?
- How and when do I need to apply for accommodation?
- How many weeks of the year are covered by the halls contract?
- How much do I need to pay and when?
- Is it catered or self-catered?
- What facilities are on-site? For example, parking, a gym, laundrette
- What is the local area like?
- How easy is it to get to and from campus? (if the accommodation is off campus)
- What accommodation is available off-campus?
Questions to ask about the area
- What facilities are there on, and off-campus?
- Are there plenty of transport links to and from campus?
- Is there any student parking?
- How far is the campus from the nearest supermarket/town/bars?
- Are there any jobs on-campus for students?
- What’s the students’ union like?
- What sports clubs and societies are available?
- What does the local town/city have to offer?
- What support does the uni offer while I’m studying?
Find and book an open day
If you want to book an open day, you can use our search tool to find the ones for the unis you're interested in, or the nearest ones to you.
Before you go: 10 essential tips
Decide which tours and talks to attend
the uni will have lots of activities running throughout the day, so check what’s on so you know where to be and when. You can find the information on the university website, and most will email you with more info about the day closer to the time.
Think about what you want to get out of it
Which departments do you want to visit and who do you want to meet? Make a note of people to speak to and places to visit.
Prepare your questions in advance
what do you want to find out about the uni, course, facilities, accommodation, and its location? Think about what’s important to you and find some examples below.
Get a feel for the campus
It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the campus or campuses before you go so you have an idea of where you're going beforehand.
Decide what to bring
You'll probably come away with prospectuses, leaflets, and freebies, so take a bag that's big enough to put things in. It's a good idea to where comfy shoes as you'll be on your feet all day.
Plan how to get there
if you’re going on public transport, check timetables and how far the uni is from the station or bus stop. If you're driving, look up the parking situation in advance.
Make plans to explore the area
It’s not just about the uni. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the city and potentially living there, so find out what it has to offer.
Decide who to bring with you
It’s your decision, but it’s always useful to have a friend or family member with you, to think about questions or point out things you might miss.
Reach out if you have any special requirements or disabilities
Contact the uni or college disability support team in advance. They’ll make sure you have access to everything you need. You may also find our advice for disabled students on preparing for open days useful.
Things to consider after your visit
Think about location
Think about the location – how did you feel being there? Was there a good atmosphere and would it accommodate the lifestyle you want? Think about both the campus and city. Make sure it’s somewhere you’ll be happy living as well as studying.
Talk about it
Compare what you liked and didn’t like – writing it down can help make your thoughts clearer. Make a list of pros and cons for each uni and course. Discussing your ideas and plans with family, friends, teachers or advisers can help you think through what would be best for you.
Follow up if you need to
If you have unanswered questions, call or email the uni to find out what you need to know. You might even be able to book another visit. If you’re still not sure, attend a UCAS exhibition – another great opportunity, with the chance to meet and compare lots of different unis and colleges in one place.