Student Advice

Open Days: A Guide

Uni Compare  · Nov 15th 2021

At university open days you can expect to talk to tutors, lecturers and previous students who will offer advice about specific courses, the surrounding area and general university life.


All universities offer the chance for students to come and see the facilities they have on offer. It’s one thing to glean information from a student prospectus, but another entirely to walk around the campus and see what’s happening.

With the progress of the internet, students are able to see university facilities online as well using virtual open day bookings, which means you can see the university of your dreams from the comfort of your own home too!

Why should you go to open days?

Open days give you an opportunity to walk around the campus and local area to give you a real feel for your potential new home.

What to look out for?

If you are living at university try to view the accommodation, this will help you to make the decision between staying on campus and renting a student house nearby. Check out the facilities such as the launderette, campus shops and the library; investigate all the areas that will be essential in your day-to-day studying life. This is particularly useful, because you may not know what university student accommodation is like.

What to ask at an open day?

Write down a list of questions you may have about the course or the university in general. Ask current or previous students about the facilities at the university, ask lecturers how the course is taught and assessed and get information about bursaries and scholarships to better prepare yourself. Always remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Which universities should I visit?

Attend the universities with the courses that interest you the most. If you haven’t found many universities that interest you at this stage, you can use university league tables as a guideline. If you know that you want to study a Film-making degree but are unsure of where to go, league tables can help you out here, you can also check out a list of Russell Group universities that you'd like to visit, by checking out our Russell group list or checking out which universities are in the university alliance.

Students walking around on a university open days

Do I just turn up?

Once you have made your decision on where you are going to visit, you need to check when the next available open days are by viewing our Open Day Calendar and booking on a day that fits around you. Your place needs to be booked so that the university can expect you – unfortunately, you cannot just show up. If you can’t make the specific open day dates there is no need to worry; you can contact the university and ask if they offer private tours.

Do I have to pay to attend open days?

Open days are free and hosted by the universities themselves – some even provide refreshments!

Universities really want you to study at their campus, so they don’t charge; however, that doesn’t mean that the entire day is free. Things to consider are the cost of travel to the campus, parking charges and buying lunch/dinner while out visiting.

Who will I meet on open days?

There will be lecturers, staff members and previous and current students. Open days offer you a chance to talk to these significant people to voice any issues or concerns you may have.

Meeting lecturers also gives you a chance to ask questions about the course and to find out extra information on the university and degree you're studying. Don’t be afraid, this is the perfect chance to speak to the people who know what they’re talking about!

Who should I go to open days with?

Open days are a great day to spend with parents, close family or friends. It is also a good idea to take those with a different mindset to you, they may think of questions you would have otherwise forgotten to ask.

Do I have to make the decision on the day?

There is no pressure to accept or apply for a place at the university’s open day. You might find that you fall in love with the campus and want to apply right there and then, or that you can’t see yourself studying in the city and change your mind about your top choice.

If you find yourself changing your mind late on throughout the application process, don’t panic as there is still the option of applying through University Clearing.

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