Top tips to plan your open day

Open days give you a unique insight into your future at university, so there's a lot to pack in to ensure you make the right choice. Here are a few of our tips to help you make the most of the open day.

Be prepared

Remember to plan your journey in advance and make sure you leave plenty of time to arrive before your first talk.

There are a lot of activities to get through during an open day, so it’s best to plan an itinerary for the day so you arrive with an idea of what you want to do.

We’ve created a printable itinerary planner to help you plan your schedule in advance. Just print it off, fill in the talks and activities you want to attend and bring it with you.

And don't forget to think about the important questions you'll want to ask while you're here so you can leave with everything you need to know about studying at Nottingham.

Two open day visitors looking at a map

Top tips on the day

Talk to staff

We'll have lots of staff present at our open days, including academics and professional services staff.

Our academics are experts in your subject of interest and are involved with developing our courses. Some of these academics will be on the subject stands and holding talks, so they're a great source of information you should tap into during your time on campus.

For questions about student welfare, finance or sports and societies, you can talk to representatives from these teams at the Information Fair.

Doing this will give you a great insight into what it's like at the University of Nottingham and higher education in general.

Chat with students

Lots of our current undergraduate students will also be at our open days. They'll be checking you in at the arrival and information points, delivering campus and accommodation tours and helping out on the subject stands. 

Be sure to have an informal conversation with them while you're here, they'll have lots of stories and advice about student life to share with you. They were in your position not too long ago, and are the best people to ask about what it's really like to study at Nottingham.

Get to know our campuses

Our campuses are renowned for their wildlife and architecture, so be sure to join a campus tour or take a self-guided tour around the grounds.

As well as the subject-specific buildings, here are some places we think you should visit on the day:

  • our Students' Unions
  • sports centres
  • libraries and study spaces

And if you want to find out why we've been a Green Flag Award winner since 2003, you should make time to visit Millennium Gardens, the Downs and Highfields Park on University Park Campus and the lake on Jubilee Campus.

We have three beautiful campuses and we encourage you to explore all three if you have time. There will be a free hopper bus running every 15 minutes throughout the open day to take you between the campuses.

Visit accommodation

Staying in halls of residence is a big part of university life in your first year. It's where you'll sleep, eat and have the opportunity to make friends for life.

But everyone has different preferences for where they want to live. So we recommend checking out a few different accommodation options during the open day.

If you're not sure where you want to stay, explore both our on-campus catered accommodation and the self-catered accommodation, just off campus. That way, you'll be able to compare the options and decide what works best for you personally. 

More things to do while you're here

At some point during the day, you should take a moment to stop, catch your breath and take in your surroundings. Reflect on how you feel and think about whether you can picture yourself living here.

An open day is one of the only opportunities you'll get to really experience campus life before you make a decision about university, so make the most of this time. 

We also recommend planning time for food, drinks and relaxing during the day. Open days can often be jam-packed, so it's important you take breaks when you can. If at any point you feel overwhelmed, we have designated 'quiet spaces' on all three campuses that provide a low-sensory environment for those who need it. 

Visit Nottingham City

As much as we love our campuses, our students also spend a lot of time in Nottingham's city centre. 

If you have time after the open day, take a trip to the Old Market Square in the city centre for some food, shopping or a cup of coffee at one of Nottingham's many independent businesses.

Here are some of our top recommendations for your visit:

  • 200 degrees coffee shops
  • White Rose charity shops
  • Lace Market
  • Victoria Shopping Centre
  • The Cornerhouse
  • Nottingham Contemporary art gallery
  • Broadway Cinema

This is a good way to experience the wider area and get a feel for our exciting and diverse city.