How to get the most from Postgraduate Fairs

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, whether they are in Birmingham or Manchester,  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 postgraduate fair and how do I find out about a particular event?

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?

Its tempting just to wander around and pick up a selection of prospectuses, but this won’t help you make your mind up about which course or University is right for you- you need to ask questions and get answers from the University staff- they are there to help you and they will be very friendly and approachable! 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?
  • Don’t ask ‘do you have any funding?’ as your first question – Universities want to be convinced you want to study their subjects and their courses.
  • Don’t complain about other Universities – even if you are frustrated with the treatment you’ve received.
  • Try not to 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.
Next Steps

Looking for a Masters? Search and compare Masters courses now on MastersCompare

Looking for PhD Funding? Meet leading UK Universities with funding on offer at our annual PhD Funding Fair in December.

Receive Email Updates of the latest PhD and Masters opportunities and funding as they are added to Postgraduate Studentships and Masters Compare.Tell us about your search for postgraduate study or ask us a question on our Think Postgrad Facebook page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to take to a postgraduate fair?

Postgraduate fairs are a fantastic way for you to get to know more about a university and your course of choice. The best things to take with you is a good set of questions for you to better understand everything about the course and the university itself.

What questions to ask at a postgraduate fair?

There will be plenty of staff on hand to answer your questions at a postgraduate fair. You should use this as a great opportunity to find out more information. You can ask questions related to topics such as future prospects, alumni, research and facilities that you have access to.  Check our the PhD Funding Fair section of our website for more information