Higher Education Exhibitions
Due to current Government guidance around the COVID-19 pandemic, campus-based exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed. Some events may run in autumn but in the mean time UCAS are running virtual exhibitions to help you explore a wide range of academic and career opportunities in specific subject areas.
Despite the events taking place online, this is still your chance to discover more, get your questions answered and start to decide what's right for you.
The big benefit
Instead of having to attend every single open day in the country, you can find out about different universities, colleges and even employers – all in the same place. So if you're not quite sure what you want to do, it's a great place to explore.
On the other hand, if you're already set on what you want to do, you can use the day to get as much information as possible to help with your application.
What's on offer?
In the virtual exhibition you can:
- Chat with people from the colleges, universities and employers you're interested in
- Ask all about the courses or jobs they offer, what they're looking for in an ideal candidate, and what life's like on campus
- Make contacts who might be able to help you after the event
- Attend online seminars on everything from gap years to UCAS applications
Being prepared will help you make the most of the event.
How to prepare before the event
No matter what event you're attending, preparation is important. A little bit of organisation will help you make the most of the experience.
First, think about what you're actually looking for from the day. Check out who will be attending. Find out if there are any seminars or talks you can join.
Decide in advance who you most want to talk to (check out the quesitons below for tips on what to ask about!), and which seminars you'd like to attend. Make a list of things you don't want to miss.
Three ways My World of Work can help you prepare:
- The strengths and about me sections of your account will help you find job profiles and courses which would suit you. This can help when you’re making a decision about what course to do
- The Learn and train search lets you find a huge range of courses – including UCAS information. This will give you an idea of who to talk to and what you want to focus on at an event
- The college and university page gives you information about college and uni, what the differences are, and how to pick a course that's right for you
What to do during the event
Make sure you:
- Attend all the virtual seminars you want to and pick up some digital prospectus'. Go back to the list you made. Have you checked off everything you wanted to do?
- Talk to people! Even though things might be a bit different this year, it's still your chance to learn some really useful information. The college and uni reps and employers are there to see you, so make the most of it. Don't be afraid to ask questions
- Take notes. You'll be getting a lot of details at once. Jotting things down will help you when you're thinking back on the day
Ten questions you should be asking
Whether you’re at a virtual open day, college fair, HE Exhibition, or Skills Scotland event you’ll want to prepare some questions in advance.
This starter list will help you get the information you want from an event – but don’t forget to think about any others you could add.
If you’re a practical person but the course is mainly lectures, it may not be for you.
This could be good if you’re hands-on. It’ll also help you make contacts for when you graduate.
Find out what you can pick outwith your core subjects. It might help you choose between similar courses.
That is – are minimum entry requirements enough or do you need to show relevant work experience or extracurricular activities.
Some courses have earlier application deadlines and you don’t want to miss them.
Find out if there’s guaranteed accommodation for first year students and what costs are involved.
Good to know if you're moving away from home. Even if you’re in halls in first year, you'll need somewhere to stay for the rest of your course.
Ask about lecture halls, labs, workshops, the library, cafeterias, and shops.
It’s about more than classes. Ask for information about societies and clubs, the union and local night life.
Knowing where your course can lead helps when you’re making decisions.
After the event
After the event, it's time to think through everything you've learned.
Three useful things to do after the event:
- Research your preferred courses, unis, colleges and employers. The colleges and universities guide here on My World of Work can help
- Use sites such as Unistats to find out how students rate their courses
- Email course tutors, and find out what you can from current students
Want to explore campuses before you visit them?
Search for universities and colleges to see what they look like and the facilities they have.
An open day is your chance to properly explore a campus and get a proper taste of what that university or college is really like.
Many universities and colleges are running virtual open days where you can attend online lectures and talks which will give you a feel for student life. Lecturers, teaching staff and current students will be there, so make sure you ask them plenty of questions. The answers you get will help you decide if it's the place for you. You might also be able to take virtual tours of the campus and accommodation.
* Of course we did the maths.
Depending on what course you're studying, and where you study, the amount of actual class time will vary. But even if you're not in lectures, labs and seminars through the week, you'll need to be studying. Adding together classes and independent study, this should average out to about 35 hours of uni or college work per week for full-time students.
Then, assuming there's two 11-week terms and a shorter six-week term, we multiplied 35 by 28 weeks and got 980 hours a year.