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How to make the most of an Applicant Day

A great way to think of an applicant day is like a tailor-made Open Day – when you get the opportunity not just to take a look at the campus and town you’re thinking of coming to, but also have a look around at the facilities on offer and meet the tutors for your course.

If your entry requirements ask for it, it’s also when we’ll interview you for the course and you can show us your portfolio of work. If you’re applying for a course within performing arts, it will also be your audition day.

Our Applicant Days usually run from December and March and we’ll contact you beforehand to let you know the dates for your chosen course.

Getting ready

  • You need to make sure you confirm your place once you get invited to an Applicant Day. Once you’ve done that, you should read your Applicant Day Guide which will tell you what to bring, what to put in your portfolio and where to go.
  • If your course requires you to bring a portfolio with you on the day, you need to start getting it ready. On the Applicant Portal you’ll find your guide which will give you advice on how to put a good portfolio together.
    If you’re from outside the UK, you’ll receive instructions to upload your portfolio digitally.
  • Refresh yourself on the key aspects of your course and what attracted you to apply to UCA. You may find it useful to prepare a few questions to help make sure you get the most information out of the day.

Planning your visit

Here are a few frequently asked questions that you might have about your Applicant Day:

  • What time does the Applicant Day start and finish and how long does it last?
    The start time of your Applicant Day will be sent to you when we invite you to attend. We will also give you an idea of how long the day might last, although this can vary depending on how many questions students have and when you are interviewed. If you have to leave by a certain time, let us know when you arrive.

  • Will I be sent a copy of the Applicant Day timetable in advance?
    Your Applicant Day Guide will give you an idea of what to expect on the day. The format of the day can sometimes vary depending on how many applicants are able to attend an Applicant Day, so we aren’t always able to provide a timetable, however we will give you an interview time.

  • Can we bring guests? How many can I bring?
    You can bring guests with you, but they will not be able to attend your interview, or some group activities. Guests are welcome to wait in one of our cafes on campus (they might want to bring a newspaper or a good book!), or they can take a stroll into the town/city and explore the local area.
  • I have already attended an Open Day – do I need to go to an Applicant Day too?
    Yes – while the Open Day is a chance for you to look around before you apply to UCA, the Applicant Day is where we get to know you, look at your portfolio and interview you for the course.
  • Do I need to book an Applicant Day or can I just turn up?
    You need to book. Once you have applied to UCA we’ll send you an email with an invite to an Applicant Day. It will give you the date and time and you’ll need to log in to the Applicant Portal to confirm you can make it. If you can’t attend the date you’ve been allocated and there are other dates available, you’ll be able to select an alternative while you are in the Portal.

  • Do I need to bring anything with me?
    Make sure you bring your portfolio if you have been told to in your Applicant Day Guide. Other than that, you just need yourself.
  • What should I wear?
    Our Applicant Days are quite informal – wear whatever you feel comfortable in, and make sure you have comfortable shoes as you might be doing quite a bit of walking around campus.

  • What do I do if I have any additional support needs?
    If you have accessibility needs for coming onto campus, such as booking a disabled parking space, call our enquiries number on +44 (0) 1252 892 883 and let them know which campus you are visiting. We can then put the necessary arrangements in place. 
  • How do I get there?
    Your Applicant Day Guide will give you specific information on how to get to your campus. If you’re travelling by car and plan to use a Sat Nav, please use the postcode that we send you as a lot of Sat Navs will direct you to our Farnham campus!

  • Is there anywhere to eat on campus?
    All of our four main campuses have a UCA Café, where you will be able to buy lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

On the day

As soon as you arrive, please let us know you’re here by registering at campus reception. The layout of each campus is a little different so make sure you check out the layout beforehand so you know where you’re going.

Our Applicant Days are very friendly and informal – we make sure you have lots of opportunities to explore and find out more about us. While you’re visiting, you’ll get the chance to:

  • Meet the current members of your course team
  • Meet current students studying on your course (timetable-dependent)
  • See the facilities and studios available to you on your course
  • Check out the whole campus including the library, UCA Café, accommodation, student services, Students’ Union and any exhibitions on at the time
  • Meet fellow applicants on your course
  • Meet our student ambassadors – they’ll be wearing a UCA t-shirt or hoodie, so if you have any questions about student life UCA, please don’t hesitate to ask them.

Also, don’t forget to check out the local area – whether it’s a stroll into the town you’ll be based in, meal out or a quick look around the shops and local sights, it’s important to try and get a feel for the place you could be calling home for the next few years.

Student advice 

Watch the video below by our Student Ambassador Maisie Mok to hear her Applicant Day and interview tips:

Find out more about how to apply to UCA.