There are a number of different styles of university campus; predominately broken down into city-based and campus-based. These can offer a number of different benefits depending on where you are. It could be the community feel of a campus based university or the benefit of being in the centre of a busy and exciting city. It’s also important to consider the feel of the institution; does the campus feel welcoming on open day, are the facilities available to support your time there?
Key Question: Does the university and its campus appeal to you?
Our open days include subject specific talks for every course that we offer; these give you the detail about the course and the department you would be joining at The University of Manchester. They can include information about the department, its research and teaching focus, specific course pathways as well as additional information on the application process. For us, they’re the most important part of a student’s time at an open day – talking specifically about the course with the people who teach or study on that programme. These sessions help to identify if the course covers the content you’re interested in, if it will lead onto the career that you’re aspiring towards and if it has any special features.
Key Question: Does the course match your interests and aspirations?
If you’re moving away from home to study at university, then chances are that you’re not just picking a new institution but also a new town or city to live in. This means it’s important to consider what life in that new place might be like, as well as what the university might offer. Manchester has a great deal to offer beyond the University as the home of one of the largest student populations in the country; from sport to arts and culture to nightlife and beyond the city to the great outdoors, Manchester is a great place to live. Hopefully when you visited the University, you also had chance to go and explore the city – both in Fallowfield, the thriving student hub of Manchester, and the city centre.
Key Question: Would you like to live in the city that you’ve visited?
The Student Experience
University is an academic experience at its heart; your open day experience is about choosing where you want to study. However there are a number of additional elements to consider outside of your academic life; we often describe these elements as contributing to your wider student experience. This can include clubs and societies, studying abroad or university support services, such as the careers service. These are areas that you might not have considered before an open day, when the focus is often only on the course, but can make a big difference to your university experience. It’s good to consider these elements and how they might affect your decision about university. For example, The University of Manchester has a broad range of study abroad options as well as being the most targeted university by graduate employers – points that could make a difference to your wider experience at university and beyond.
Key Question: Does the university offer additional services, support or opportunities that you’re interested in?
After visiting an open day, there can be a lot of information to process and consider and it can be difficult to remember all of the things that you’ve been told but it’s important to think about that information. Talking to your friends about what you liked and disliked on the journey home or writing a list of your favourite things can be good but simple ways to reflect on your day. If you’ve learned something about your course or the university then we’ve done our job and now the decision lies with you; bringing together all of the elements discussed here and possibly more.
Key Question: Would you like to make an application to the university you’ve visited and what course might that be for?]]>
There was a little bit of rain, but our friendly student ambassadors carried on regardless. As you can see our campus tour guides were more than happy to welcome everyone on their tours!
And then the sun shone, making everyone a little happier!
Open days really are a great way of getting a real feel for the university and its location. Our next aren’t until June 2015, but you can always visit our campus as part of a Guided Visit on a Wednesday afternoon. There’s even the chance to visit our halls of residence on a Wednesday morning too. For more information check out our website and book your place now.]]>
There are a ton of different options available, making it difficult to know exactly what type of institution you are looking for. One of the main things you should consider is what kind of environment you would feel most comfortable in. Universities come in a range of different sizes; some have a small student populous of 1000, whereas bigger institutions, such as The University of Manchester, have almost 40,000. I knew before researching my potential options that I wanted to live in the heart of a busy city that had a whole array of facilities outside of the university site to enjoy. For me, living and studying in the city seemed most attractive; there are a wealth of shops, food outlets and pubs all around the city, making it easy to meet up with friends to both study and socialise. On the other hand, many of my friends decided that they would rather go to campus universities, such as Birmingham, Warwick, and Lancaster, which are located in more rural areas where the student accommodation, teaching services and social spaces are all located together.
The best way to get a sense of what institutions and courses are like is to visit the universities on campus and talk to members of academic staff about the courses that they offer. Almost all academic institutions offer open days throughout the year, providing potential students with tours of their campus and accommodation facilities (such as their halls of residence), information about societal activities that can be undertaken, and talks tailored around the structure of your specific course which usually cover the modules that can be picked and any features that are uniquely offered by the place you’re visiting. When I was choosing my options, I decided to visit a number of universities in order to get a sense of what it would be like to study there. Through doing this, I found that one or two of the options that I had initially wanted to apply to weren’t as good for me as I had thought. On the other hand, I also found that certain institutions that didn’t appeal to me at first were much better suited to my social and academic requirements.
Making sure that you look at in detail at the course specification for the universities that you want to apply to is also incredibly important. Even though the title of the courses may be the same (e.g., English Literature; History; Politics) the actual content may differ considerably. For example, at The University of Manchester, the English literature side of my degree focusses on specific historical periods and the effects that they had upon writing in these times. On other universities’ literature courses, however, individual authors, such as having whole modules dedicated to Shakespeare, may take centrality within their syllabus. It is important to take note of these subtle differences in order to ensure that the course you’re looking to study focusses on your interests, and doesn’t emphasis areas that you aren’t particularly interested in.
One of the best places to research degree programmes is the UCAS website. The site has all sorts of useful information about what requirements certain universities set for their courses and the modules that they offer.
Teachers are also fantastic people to ask about university. The English teachers that I had in college helped me go through prospectuses and websites to find a course that they thought I’d enjoy the most and have the best chance of gaining a place on. Initially, I had doubts about the grades that I’d be able to obtain in my A-levels. To ensure that I would definitely get into a university that I liked, I applied to a range of universities that desired different grades; I chose one university that wanted higher grades than I expected, two that I thought I’d have a good chance of gaining a place at, and two others that asked for lower grades than I had been predicted. After I had been given offers, I was able to select both a firm and an insurance choice. As Manchester was the university that I most wanted to attend, this became my firm choice. To make sure that I could definitely go to university if I didn’t attain the grades that Manchester wanted, I selected an institution that asked for significantly lower grades as my insurance.
If you are currently looking at university courses, I would definitely recommend the following websites. Each offers profiles of the establishment, and information on the courses that they offer. Apart from each university’s website, the following links may be useful in determining what options you may want to study in the future!
UCAS course search is the best way to find the universities that offer a course you are interested in.
Push is an independent guide to UK universities
Which? Uni is a website that allows you to search for institutions based on what is important to you.
The Complete University Guide is a website that offers detailed, independent information of all the universities within the UK.]]>