How can a Postgraduate Fair help me?

Postgraduate Fairs are a really useful way to find out a lot about a number of Universities in a short space of time, whether it’s the courses they offer, or a general impression of how they talk to postgraduate students.
They are particularly useful in the early stages of your search, as a way of finding out a lot of information quickly, or if you already have a number of Universities in mind and want to talk to them all on the same day.

What Fairs are there for me to visit?

There are a number of Postgraduate Fairs held around the country, organised by Careers Services at Universities, or by commercial companies. The biggest Fairs at are in November in Manchester and in October and January in London, and each includes stands from individual universities, or groups of Universities from overseas countries, and other useful organisations such as funding providers, listing websites, internship providers etc. The other specific postgraduate fairs tend to be smaller, attracting between 20 and 40 individual Universities. Some graduate jobs fairs may also include stands from Universities presenting their postgraduate opportunities.

If you are looking for PhD Funding, apply to attend our annual PhD Funding Fair which takes place every December in London. Meet leading UK Universities with funding on offer, chat to current PhD students, attend talks on how to apply, and find out what it’s really like to be a PhD student.

What happens at a a Postgraduate Fair and how do I find out about a particular Fair?

Each Fair will have a website where you can see not only the practical details such as time, date, location and booking information, but they will also have a list of exhibitors, and often a list of additional information talks – these may be on specific courses, subject areas or employability, or on related postgraduate topics such as funding. There is also often a talk on why it’s a good idea to opt for postgraduate study in the first place, so if you are not completely sure, that may be a useful one to check out.

How can I get the most from attending a Fair?

  • decide whether you want to just wander round and pick up a range of prospectuses or have more specific discussions with staff.
  • Recognise that you are unlikely to be able to talk to a specific course provider – most Universities send staff from central marketing or admissions departments, sometimes students and occasionally staff from specific departments.
  • Do your homework before the Fair if you want to talk to particular Universities.
  • Ask about open days, further opportunities to get in touch, talking to students on the course, and the specific contact details for your course or department, as well as the course content.
  • Go and say hello if you’ve already applied and/or been made an offer – the reception you get will help you form an impression of the University.

What should I avoid when attending a Fair?

  • Ask ‘do you have any funding?’ as your first question – Universities want to be convinced you want to study their subjects and their courses.
  • Complain about other Universities – even if you are frustrated with the treatment you’ve received.
  • Turn up in the last 15 minutes of the Fair – if it’s been busy you’ll risk missing out on prospectuses and key information.

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