Published: 09 March 2016

How to make the most of a UCAS exhibition

Surrey’s admissions team share ten top tips to help you plan your visit to a UCAS higher education exhibition.

Higher education fairs give you the chance to gather information about universities from across the UK, all in one place.

Up to 300 universities, gap year companies, charities and other organisations exhibit at each UCAS event. Each university will have its own stand where you can chat to staff, pick up information about the courses on offer and start making an informed choice about where to apply.

Whether you visit independently or as part of a school and college group, follow our tips to help you make the most of the event.

UCAS exhibition tips

Before you arrive

1. Check out the exhibition guide

Visit the UCAS website and find the event guide for the UCAS higher education exhibition you’re attending. The guide includes a floor plan of university stands and a seminar timetable to help you plan your time.

2. Shortlist universities

Draw up a shortlist of around ten universities that offer the courses that you’re interested in. Remember, not all universities offer the full range of courses available on UCAS.

See a full list of Surrey’s undergraduate degrees and visit the UCAS website to find out which institutions offer the courses you want.

3. Prepare key questions

Have a think about what you want to know about each university and ask questions to help you compare all of your options later.

For example, are you interested in taking a Professional Training year as part of your degree or do you want to know whether your chosen course offers a chance to study abroad?

 4. Wear the right clothes

UCAS Conventions take place in large venues, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.

It’s also worth bringing a bag for the prospectuses and other information you’ll collect.

When you're there

5. Visit key stands first

Visit the stands for your shortlisted universities first to talk to university representatives and pick up relevant information. Most events include around 300 exhibitors so you won’t have time to visit them all.

6. Sign up for information

You don’t have to collect a prospectus from every stand – universities can send you information after the event.

Make sure you keep your event ticket handy - exhibitors can scan it to get the details they need to post or email you helpful advice about their courses, campuses and open days. 

7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

University representatives are used to fielding questions on all aspects of university life so remember your prepared list and don’t be afraid to ask! Make sure you bring a notepad and pen or have another way of saving the answers.

8. Go to a seminar

Most events include a full programme of helpful seminars where you’ll pick up useful advice about choosing a course and applying to university.

Read more about applying to the University of Surrey.

After the exhibition

9. Learn more about the universities you like

Research the universities and courses you like in more detail. In addition to university websites, sites like UniStats and The Student Room can offer helpful information.

You may also want to consider how your favourite institutions are performing in university league tables.

Learn more about Surrey in the league tables.

10. Go to an open day

Visiting a university in person is the best way to discover whether it’s right for you.

Surrey’s Open Days take place in the Summer and Autumn each year and other universities list their open day dates on their websites.

Visit our Open Days site to get a feel for what happens at an Open Day and book your place.

University application advice

Read our top tips for writing a personal statement and learn more about how to apply to the University of Surrey.

Information for teachers

The University of Surrey can assist sixth-form students with preparing for university applications and university life through a variety of presentations and workshops, free of charge.

See how we can help.

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