What to expect at University Open Days

Nadia is a recent graduate in Children’s Nursing, who enjoys getting lost in a book.

You might be thinking what is an open day?

Universities open their doors to prospective students, to allow them to look around the university, learning facilities, and social spaces.

You get to speak to various lecturers and student ambassadors to ensure you get a more holistic idea about your potential degree programme and life at university.

All this can seem super daunting, and truth be told it is, however when you know what to expect then it can seem less daunting.

Here are some things I’ve learnt you can expect and prepare for…

In person and virtual events

First, be prepared to understand that some open days may still be held virtually because of the pandemic. Take this into consideration, when attending one of these. However, even virtually the experience is made to feel as authentic as it can be with virtual tours, live chats.

City has online Youtube videos dedicated to campus tours on specific schools, if you want to familiarise yourself with specific schools. So check out what each university you’re interested in has to offer.


Each university runs its open days differently but usually, they are a day-long event, however, some events happen in the afternoon until early evening. Make sure you are aware of the start/end times especially if you have talks booked, there is nothing like being late.

Outline of a potential open day

At an open day, you can expect tours of the campus, subject-specific talks on broader topics like accommodation, student life, and finance. Universities tend to publish timetables for this in advance.

My top tip would be to check this out in advance to plan which parts of the day you would like to attend and be involved in. This will help you structure your day.


Usually, there is no specific dress code at university open days, so you are not expected to wear formal interview-like clothing so you can leave your suit or blouse at home! However, it does pay to look presentable as you will be conversing with future colleagues and academics.

Asking questions

Another thing to expect at open days is learning about the courses on offer, getting answers on course structures, the application process, fees, and scholarships available amongst other things. Expect a day filled with asking questions and getting answers, so come prepared with questions you want to ask.

Examples of potential questions you could ask are:

  • What types of modules are included in the first term?
  • What’s the split between lectures, tutorials and self-directed study?
  • How will the course make you more employable?

Not sure what else to ask? Read here for more questions you can at an open day.

Final thoughts

One thing I will say is to expect to see a lot of people who look and feel like you. Don’t forget you are not the only one in this situation, and many others are probably feeling anxious.

Make friends, talk to others who are there –  you never know if they could be in your future classes!

Want to find out more? Read Nadia’s top 5 tips for making the most of univeristy open days.

At City, we run open days, open evenings, virtual tours and online chats to give you the opportunity to meet us and get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of City. Find out more about City’s open events and fairs. You can also sign up for alerts and further information.

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