University Open Days: What to Ask | Top Universities

University Open Days: What to Ask

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 24, 2021 Updated March 24, 2021

Instead of just going with the flow and allowing yourself to be herded around at university open days, you want to take control of the experience and make sure it’s really useful for you – especially if you’ve travelled a long way to be there.

Here’s my checklist of 25 university open day questions. Hopefully it’ll be a good starting point, and help you get as much information as you possibly can before making that tough decision!

(These questions could also be useful at events like the QS World University Tour and Grad School Tour.)

About the course:

1. How many hours of teaching time are there per week?

2. What size of group will you be taught in?

3. Is there any one-on-one or small group supervision?

4. What are the main compulsory modules, and what optional modules can you choose from?

5. How much independent work are students expected to do?

6. Are there any group projects? How about field trips? Work placements or study-abroad options?

7. Are there any opportunities to take parts of courses based in other departments?

8. How will you be assessed? (eg. exams, coursework, projects)

About the campus and student life:

9. What are the accommodation options for first-year students?

10. How much does university accommodation cost?

11. How far from the main university buildings are the rooms?

12. How far is the campus from the nearest shops/town/bars?

13. What sports and other recreational facilities does the university have? Are these free to use?

14. What student clubs can you get involved with?

15. How much are students advised to budget per term/year?

About the applications process:

16. What are the main deadlines you need to know about?

17. What are the academic requirements for the course you’re interested in?

18. What other qualities/experience is it desirable for applicants to have?

19. Do you need to sit any entrance exams, or submit any additional documents?

20. When can you expect the university to make a decision?

If you’re studying abroad:

See also: How to check out a university if you can’t visit in person >

21. What are the fees for international students?

22. Are international students eligible for any scholarships or financial aid?

23. Are international students guaranteed a place in university accommodation?

24. What support services are available for international students?

25. How many international students are currently at the university?

A few final pieces of advice for university open days:

  • Make sure you get a list of useful contacts (this may be in the university prospectus). You’re bound to have some questions left over, so make sure you know who to call/email when that happens!
  • Try to see as much of the university campus as you can – especially the department you’re applying to, student accommodation, and shared areas such as libraries, canteens and outdoor relaxation grounds.
  • Try and speak to some current students, both about the course and about student life in general. For example, ask what they usually do at the weekends, whether they think the course is challenging, and why they picked the university.

This article was originally published in July 2012 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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