A Guide to Postgraduate Open Days

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It's that time of year when open days are starting to crop up, and if you're interested in postgraduate study, such as an MBA course, it's a good idea to get a couple of them in your diary. Manchester Business School's postgraduate open day, for example, takes place on the 27th November and provides visitors with an opening to speak to staff and current students, giving them more information about the postgraduate courses on offer. It also means that prospective students can get a feel for the area that they'd be living and studying in.

So, if you plan to attend, what should you expect on the day? And, is there anything you can do to prepare? Take a look at this short guide to postgraduate open days...

What you can expect

Register - During your registration or welcome session, you should be given a schedule, so that you can be aware of where you need to be and at what time. It's helpful to plan out your day when you get this schedule. There will be a number of different talks and presentations, so make a note of the ones you're interested in and find out where they will be held.

A map - If you aren't given a campus map along with your schedule or welcome pack, you can probably pick one up from a member of staff. It's a good idea to have one, even if the open day is all in one place, as you may want to explore the campus to get a feel of the place.

Talks - Apart from there being informative talks on the courses themselves, there should also be information given on the wider benefits of your degree and how it can be advantageous both inside and outside the working world.

Payment options - This should be covered at some point during the day, but if it's not, then make sure you find out exactly what fees are involved and whether there are any alternative payment options that can help make your studies more affordable. It may be that all this information is in a handbook that is provided but, if in doubt, ask a member of staff.

Tours - Most business schools will offer guided tours of the facilities. This should give you a feel for the area you could be living and working in, as well as an insight into the facilities available to you. This might be in the form of sports centres, libraries or computer rooms.

Top Tips

Book a place - Some schools require you to book a place if your wish to attend their open days. Take a look online and double-check exactly what is needed to attend.

Meet your lecturers - try and speak directly to one of the academic staff who will be delivering the course or research programme you're interested in. It's a great opportunity to ask any questions you might have around the course programme, so come with an idea of what you want to find out.

Speak to current students - Speaking to some of the current students, whether on your preferred course or not, can be incredibly eye-opening. It's also a chance to ask things you may not feel comfortable asking academic staff, such as questions surrounding the workload, accommodation and the social scene.

Remember that this is your chance to decide if a postgraduate course if for you. Not only that, but you should come away from an open day with a deeper understanding of what the course and university have to offer, and whether this suits your individual needs.

There's no such thing as a stupid question and, by turning up prepared, you'll be one step closer to making a well-informed decision.

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