22 Oct 2014
art college open day
University open days – top tips

With the university open days and art colleges holding their Open Days as we speak it's a great chance to see what you'll be letting yourself in for at any one particular college. Many courses can sound quite similar from one college to the next but in reality they can be very different. This depends on who teaches there, what their heads of schools vision is etc. So at the university open days you get a chance to meet staff and importantly students from the courses that you might be interested in applying to.

So when you're looking at courses across the country you really need to go with a plan so you get all your questions answered at the university open days. First read our eBook on 'Choosing the right college for you' and 'Deciding which subject to study' as these will help you with your plan. Then take a look at the points below before you visit the university open days.

  ebook-preview-college   ebook-preview-subject


Make a shortlist

There are around 340 unis and HE colleges in the UK. Not all of them will offer the course you want to study as art and design courses are so specialised. However, once you've read our eBooks, UCAS have a couple of resources that might help: the UCAS search tool and their open days search tool.

Be prepared

Each university has it's own way of dealing with Open Days as there can be literally thousands of visitors. As someone who has organised Open Days for Edinburgh College of Art, this is quite an arduous task and a structure to dealing with all these visitors is imperative!! So visit the website of the colleges that you're planning to attend, see what talks, demos, tours they have and book up early. They will have limited places so don't miss out and just end up wandering around on your own!

Have some questions

You need to think before you go about what exactly you want to see AND find out. Write down some questions, departments you want to see etc. etc.


Sometimes the colleges have a number of workshops that demonstrate processes, using workshop facilities etc. which might be led by academic teaching staff or students. Watch out for these.

Higher education conventions

UCAS hold a couple of events each year called Design your Future where many of the universities who offer art and design courses come together under one roof to answer questions about their courses. Sometimes they have academic staff or admissions staff available to talk to. Others have current students (student ambassadors) available to chat to giving you a real flavour from a students' perspective. Attending this should not be instead of going to university open days.


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