There are two different types of open day organised by universities. Some hold open days for all prospective students before they’ve chosen which candidates to make an offer to. Others prefer to only hold open days once they’ve made offers. These are called “Applicant days” or “post-offer open days”.
In either case, an open day is your chance to explore your chosen university and really get to grips with what university life is going to be like. You’ll usually look around the student halls of residence, be given a tour of the university teaching and recreational facilities, and be able to ask current students and teachers questions.
You may also be able to take part in a sample lecture or demonstration depending on the university and which subject you’re interested in studying.
Open days are usually informal and are just there to give you the chance to gather more information. The admissions team and other staff won’t be judging you based on what they see on the open day – although that isn’t a free rein to behave badly!
For most university degrees you won’t need to attend an interview but if you do your university may combine their open day with their interviews. For example, Nursing, usually requires a whole day of interviews, group activities, and other tasks before you’ll be offered a place.
To save you travelling twice you’ll probably also have a “mini open day” where you’ll be given a tour of the campus and have the chance to ask any questions you might have about the university or course.
However, even if you have an interview at the open day it isn’t normal university policy to tell you on the spot whether you’ve been offered a place. Both you and the university needs time to think about the open day so no decisions will be made then and there.
Open days are held throughout the year so it depends when you apply when you’ll hear whether you’ve been made an offer or not. Put simply, just enjoy the open day!