University: Explained- Open Days

Hello and welcome back to another blog post in our series ‘University: Explained’. Today we’ll be finding out more about University Open Days. You may have already heard about Open Days or been told by your teachers to go to some. However, what are Open Days? How do they help you prepare for applying to university? Is it worth travelling across the country to attend Open Days? We’ll be answering these questions and more in this blog post!

Lots of Open Days over the last few years have been virtual, and some still are. However, lots of universities are now moving back to having in-person Open Days, where prospective students can travel to the university and take a look around the campus and accommodation whilst also attending general and subject-specific talks!

What are Open Days and why should I go to one?

Open Days are days that universities organise for prospective students to visit the campus and have a look around the study facilities and accommodation, alongside finding out more about courses they are interested in.

Open Days are a great way to get a ‘feel’ of a specific university campus and a chance to attend subject-specific lectures on courses that you are interested in. You will also get the chance to ask questions to current academic lecturers at the university and to current students who are working as Student Ambassadors!

There will also be much more information available on Open Days. For example, if you attend an Open Day at the University of Manchester, you might see the Access Manchester team at an Open Day stall! We’ll always be happy to see you and have a chat about our access schemes and contextual data! There will also be other stalls such as UoM Sports, the Disability Advisory and Support Service and the Careers Service- so you’ll be able to talk to a lot of people from throughout the university and find out about lots of aspects of the student experience.

It is always a good idea to come to an in-person Open Day if possible, as attending one can give you a better idea of what the campus and surrounding areas are like, what the student accommodation is like and also perhaps give you a better understanding of what the course structure and teaching style is for the course or courses that you are interested in. As much as you like the look of a university online, you never know if you might not like it at all in-person, or vice-versa!

I can definitely say that attending Open Days really changed my mind on which university was my top choice. I really liked the atmosphere on The University of Manchester’s campus and its proximity to the city centre and transport links. However, this might not be the same for you- you might really like the ‘feel’ of a more rural university campus. You’ll never know until you visit!

What if I can’t attend an Open Day?

Attending lots of in-person university Open Days can be very expensive and may clash with plans you already have. Universities completely understand this, and, especially due to many of the Open Days over the last couple of years being online, many universities now have great online and virtual Open Day resources, that can be accessed at any time.

For example, The University of Manchester has the ‘Virtual Manchester’ webpage: Here you can find informational webinars on things such as accommodation and applying to university. You can also find 360 tours of university buildings and access a digital version of the undergraduate prospectus! The prospectus contains a massive amount of important information, such as tips on choosing a course, information on scholarships, funding, study abroad opportunities, sports and societies.

So- we’ve talked about why Open Days are important. Don’t just take my word for it though! Below you’ll find a short interview with one of our Student Recruitment Graduate Intern’s- Cat, about what Open Days are, why they’re important, and when the next Open Days at The University of Manchester are. Cat and the rest of the Student Recruitment team organise The University of Manchester Open Days- so she definitely knows a lot about them!

What is your name and what is your role at the University of Manchester?

I’m Catriona and I’m a graduate intern in the UK Student Recruitment team. I take part in all the recruitment events we run, like giving webinars, travelling to events, and giving personal statement workshops, but my main focus is on-campus recruitment. This means I’ve been kept very busy the last few months helping to organise the first on-campus open days since 2019.

What sort of things can I do at an Open Day?

The most important part of an open day for most people is the subject sessions. You can listen to an academic who teaches the subjects you’re interested in explain the course and answer any questions, and for some subjects there are taster sessions where you can experience what a seminar might be like.

The other thing people always want to see is accommodation. You can see some, or all of the halls of residence the university offers, and there are often accommodation exhibitions and people to talk to about your options. You can also chat to people about all aspects of uni life, like sport, studying abroad, finance, disability support, and much more.

Did you attend any Open Days before applying to university/choosing your first choice university?

I went to open days and taster courses with a few different universities. They were great for helping me decide what I wanted from a university but also what I didn’t want – a visit to a uni you don’t like as much is just as useful as a visit to one you love.

Would you recommend going to an Open Day to find out more about The University of Manchester and other universities?

Open days are the best way to get all the information you need about all aspects of the uni, while getting a general feel for the place where you could be living. If you can’t make it to an open day, many offer guided tours, or are open to have a wander around yourself.

When can I come and attend an Open Day at The University of Manchester?

Soon! Our next open days are the 1st and 15th October and the register of interest form is open – I’d recommend getting in quickly as the last open day booked out fast. See you there!

Thanks so much to Cat for those great answers! And remember, as Cat mentioned- the next University of Manchester Open Days are on the 1st and 15th October 2022. This will be a great opportunity for any Year 12 or Year 13 students to take a look around the university and find out more about the courses you are interested in before applying! Lots of other universities will be having Open Days around the same time, so make sure to have a think about which University Open Days you want to attend and have a look online for when they are!

You can have a look on the WhatUni website:, which shows all of the upcoming Open Days in the UK! However, remember to make sure you filter for ‘Undergraduate’ in the Study Level filter, as Postgraduate Open Days are for students looking to do a Postgraduate degree, such as a Master’s or PhD, after their Undergraduate degree!

Please also make sure to double check whether you need to register for a University Open Day. For example, you can register for The University of Manchester’s October Open Days here.