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UCAS Exhibition Hints and Tips

Chances are you’ve an idea of which type of course you want to study at University but you’re not quite sure where or even how to start researching which University will be the best fit for you. UCAS exhibitions are the perfect place to start in this situation.  They take place at various locations throughout the UK so you’ll never be too far away from your nearest one.

Why you should attend a UCAS Exhibition

UCAS Exhibitions are a great starting point when researching courses and universities as you get the chance to explore lots of different universities under one roof.  You’ll be able to see what courses they offer, chat to staff and current students about the university, finance, admissions and the course or courses you’re interested in.

To make sure you are fully prepared when you attend a UCAS Exhibition we’ve provided our top tips below.

Before you arrive 

  • Speak to your college/sixth form tutor and see if there is a college/school trip planned already to visit your nearest UCAS Exhibition – It could save you having to plan your own trip and means you can explore the fair with your course mates.
  • Familiarise yourself with the floor plan and decide which universities you want to speak to. UCAS tend to put the floor plans on their website before each fair.
  • Look at the seminars taking place at the convention and plan which ones you want to go to. The seminars are really interesting and give you a chance to experience live demos or listen to a presentation in a relevant subject or get advice on the UCAS application process.
  • Make a note of questions to ask exhibitors so you don’t forget anything you really want to know. Take a pen and paper – You’ll speak to loads of different people from different universities so it’s always great to make notes that you can reflect upon when you return home.
  • Take a strong bag! Universities will have numerous things you can take away for further reading or even just give-a-ways so make sure you’ve something to carry it all in.

While you’re there

  • Talk to staff/students and ask them the questions that really matter to you
  • Compare a wide range of universities - make an informed choice in your own time 
  • Pick up literature and information that you can take home to read and discuss with your adviser and parents
  • If you are able then make sure you get your UCAS ID badge scanned by the universities you are interested in – this means you can be kept up to date with information from those universities over the coming months
  • Have some YOU time – If you are visiting with your school/college mates then have half an hour on your own and visit your favourite university stands so you can form your own opinion.
  • Make sure you make the most of the visit. Speak to all the universities you’re interested in, and maybe some you’ve not thought about. Go to some of the seminar sessions and take some notes.
  • If you’ve walked round the fair and still have time then revisit any of the universities that you really got a good feeling from. It’s always great to get a second impression.
  • If you really like any of the universities ask if they have any Open Days coming up. If they do then, then why not book onto one – they can provide a deeper insight into the university and give you a feel for the campus.

Questions to consider

The Course – Ask about how you are assessed, if you have a placement or study abroad year option, teaching practices, do you get to work with industry or organisations whilst you learn etc. You can also ask about what graduates from the course have gone on to do for professions and what the grad employment rate is for the course.

Getting onto the course - What are the entry requirements? Does the course interview applicants? What will the admissions tutors be looking for in personal statements?

Campus – Ask about the location, facilities, accommodation and transport links.

Student facilities – Does the university have student support services? What is the students’ union like? Does the university have a careers service or job shop to help you find employment both whilst you study and after you graduate.

Costs/financial - Ask about tuition fees, bursaries, scholarships, cost of living and course materials such as reading books.

Year out – If you are looking to take a year out before starting at university then ask about when you should apply and what support is available for applying and deferring your place.

 

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