Navigating a UCAS fair

An image of a UCAS Fair being held at the University of KentUCAS fairs, or ‘Higher Education Exhibitions’ to give them their official name, are a great way to learn about the different options available in higher education.

These events are mainly held from March onwards. If you attend one, you’ll find a huge number of universities present. Staff will be ready to talk to you about their institution, the range of courses available and any other questions you might have.

These events can seem quite intimidating, a large hall or exhibition centre, filled with different stands from different universities. Where do you start? How do you make the best of the time you have?

The best way to approach these events is to do some research in advance about the courses and universities you’re interested in. You’ll find a huge amount of information on each university website and you’ll easily be able to read their prospectus online or order a printed copy if you want to.

Work out a list of the universities you really want to speak to and head straight for those on the day. By doing research beforehand, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and you’ll be able to focus on the institutions that are the most important to you.

You can use the event to get more detailed answers on a wide variety of questions, such as:

  • What type of university are you – campus or city based?
  • How is the course structured?, how many hours teaching per week?, how many modules?
  • What support (personal and academic) is available for students?
  • What accommodation options are available?
  • What student societies and clubs are available?
  • Some general information about the university, its history, ethos, research profile etc


By speaking to the staff on each stand, you’ll get a detailed sense of what the university is like. This can help you consider whether to make an application or not. Ask those niggling questions about university life you might have. The staff will be more than happy to help you, so don’t hold back J

There may also be general talks going on throughout the day, which if you have time to attend, can give you further advice on applications, student finance and other information concerning university applications.

In addition you can also attend individual university open days that take place throughout the year for further information about specific universities.

The list of fairs is available on the UCAS website, check with your school or college if they are planning a visit

This is a guest post by the digital communications officer at the University of Kent.