University Open Days: Questions To Ask For Economics

Choosing your university is equally as important as choosing your subject. An open day is the best way to help you make this decision. Here's how.

Author: Rob Needleman

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Choosing your university is equally as important as choosing your subject. An open day is the best way to help you make this decision.  

With nearly 80 UK universities offering Economics degrees, it is crucial that you take the time to visit university open days to choose the right one for you. Although over half of all UK universities offer Economics, no two are the same and you can’t rely on the sheer number of universities to reduce the importance of the ones you choose. 

You have booked your open day from the list of universities that offer an Economics degree that is within your predicted grades, but how do you make the most of an open day? The answer is by asking questions. 

We put together some questions to take with you to your next open day that will help you gain the information you need to support your decision-making process. 

University Open Day Qualifications Questions

You might be wondering why we included qualifications questions when all you need to do is Google the university and find the entry requirements on the course page. That is completely true, but universities do not always provide information on more obscure details that you may not know you need just yet. 

Let’s set the scene. You go into school on results day and open the big envelope. Unfortunately, the numbers or letters you did not want are there in front of you. According to UCAS, in 2019, only one in five 18-year-olds met or exceeded their predicted grades (21% of students). You (and we) really hope this is not going to be the case but it is for so many students. 

The next thoughts are ‘will I still be able to get into my university choices?’ Asking for information like this at open days is a great way to prepare yourself for the event of not meeting the requirements. Another aspect to investigate is asking about clearing and how best to contact the university if you do not get the grades. 

kings-college-cambridge-open-day

You can also check if the university prefers you to take certain subjects that are not already listed on their website. It is quite clear that Economics admissions tutors will prefer students who have studied maths but not all universities require you to study Economics at school. It does not hurt to ask questions that could give you an application advantage.

Qualifications Questions

University Open Day Application Questions

Similar to asking questions about qualifications, you can often find some valuable information from asking tutors or students questions about their particular application process. Some universities may place more emphasis on the Admissions Test over the Personal Statement or interview. Some universities place a different weight on sections of a test such as Girton College, Cambridge may use the maths section of the ECAA as an indicator of an applicants ability rather than taking into account the essay section. 

You can also use open days to ask current students and tutors for recommended reading that you can use to demonstrate your passion and suitability for Economics in your Personal Statement

Application Questions

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University Open Day Economics Degree Questions

Here’s the fun part, getting to know what you’re really going to study at university. Three or more years of learning is a huge commitment you will make so ensure you choose the Economics course that is right for you.

Asking questions about the teaching methods and core modules will help paint a good picture. You may prefer to be assessed through exams or through coursework, find out how you will be tested during your degree to make sure it suits you. For example, LSE Economics degree teaching and assessments are heavily exam based whereas Portsmouth Economics Degree assessments are 62% written exams, 4% practical exams and 34% coursework in the first year. 

Economics Degree Questions

University Open Day Economics Career Prospects Questions

Going to university will unlock a lot of doors for you and it is never too early to think about what’s next. Of course, your plans are always subject to change, you might find the ‘Economics of Developing Countries’ to be your calling and you stay in academia to take your research further. Use your open days to find out the value that the university can give to you when it is time to graduate. 

Ask tutors what graduates have gone on to do and see if this interests you, you may find out new Economics career paths that you had not heard of before. Also, check to see what facilities they have in place to support upcoming graduates such as careers guidance and internships or experience that will look great on your CV alongside your Economics degree.

Economics Career Prospects Questions

University Open Day Student Life Questions

As we mentioned earlier, the university is three or more years of commitment so you must include your life around studies into your decision-making process. Here is the time to really ask the students who are showing you around, they have seen the best and the worst of the university and will hopefully give you the honest answers you are looking for. 

Ask about life outside of studying, you might be a keen tennis player so check to see if their club is up to scratch as you’ll likely be out playing most days or going to weekend competitions. There is also much more than just sports in extra-curricular activities. Societies are usually very diverse at university with lots to choose from. An Economics Society could give you the opportunity to meet and learn from famous Economists during guest lectures. In the meantime, why not read our day in the life of a Cambridge Economics student article. 

clare-college-bumps-rowing
Clare Boat Club at Bumps (Credit: R Needleman)
Murray Edwards College - Accommodation at Buckingham Court
Murray Edwards College - Accommodation at Buckingham Court

A big must is to see what the student halls of residence are like. Try to get yourself on a tour or at least ask questions to the students around the university. This will give you an idea of where to pick when the rooms become available to book before the term starts. Don’t forget that many Oxbridge Colleges will ask you to move out of your room during the holidays as they are used for conferences, so check if this is the case with the university you are looking at. 

Student Life Questions

University Open Day Current Student Questions

If you are still full of questions or would like to know some more insightful information, ask the current students who will be showing you around. As long as you are polite, do not be worried about interrogating students, they are there because they want to share their experiences.

Asking more in-depth questions, especially around the more negative side of things will save you the experience of finding out yourself. It always helps to be prepared if your lectures are at the top of a steep hill that you need to climb each day, if you should avoid a particular area of town or if you should turn up 5 minutes earlier to the bus stop to get into campus as the bus does not wait around.

Current Student Questions

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