Your Virtual Open Day guide
When you can't come to Portsmouth, our Virtual Open Days give you a similar experience you'd get on campus without any need for you to travel.
Here's a guide to everything you can do on the day. Plus, a few things you can do beforehand to prepare yourself.
We're looking to offer an on-demand service after the Virtual Open Day sessions. So if you can't make it or be online for the full day, make sure to sign up anyway. If you're registered, you'll receive notification of when this on-demand service becomes available after the live event.
Before the event
Bookmark the event page
Once registered, you get a link to the Virtual Open Day a week before the event. Make sure you bookmark this link or save the email so you can find it easily on the day.
To make sure you don't miss it, we'll send you a text 3 days before and an email a day before the event.
Prepare any apps or tools you need in advance
To get the full experience, we recommend you attend our Virtual Open Day on a laptop or computer.
If you don't have access to one, you can still visit the event link from your tablet or smartphone. However, a smaller screen might reduce the quality of your experience.
You don't need to download any special software to attend our Virtual Open Day. All you need is an Internet connection.
Prepare your space
Our Virtual Open Days start at 10.00am and finishes at 3.00pm. So make sure you're in a comfortable space with everything you need to hand.
Prepare your space the night before to minimise any distractions and help you focus on the day.
Check your Internet connection
When preparing your space, figure out where in the house you get the best Internet connection. You'll usually find this is by the router.
Also, ask your family or flatmates to keep their Internet use to a minimum if you have a slow connection.
Let people know you're busy
Let people know you're attending a Virtual Open Day so they don't disturb you.
Ask your family or flatmates to keep the noise down so you can focus on getting the information you need. And let friends know that you might not be on social media or available for calls until the evening.
The last thing you want to do is lose your interest in your future university experience because you're starving. Stock up on some healthy snacks the day before, including a lunch that's quick to prepare.
On the morning of the event, grab your snacks and place them close to your laptop or computer so you have them to hand if you start getting too hungry.
Prepare healthy snacks or a lunch so you don't miss out on live Q&As.
Prepare for subject talks and the information fair
List courses you're interested in
When you attend a Virtual Open Day, you get the chance to explore and compare different courses you're interested in.
Make a list of these courses and make sure to watch the subject talks on the day. You can access the subject talks all day by clicking on the 'Webcast' icon on the booths.
List services you're interested in
When you go to uni, you're never going alone. Whether you know anyone in the city or not, you always have the support of services at the university who can help you with your finances, accommodation issues, career planning and your health and wellbeing.
All these services will be available to talk to at the information fair at our Virtual Open Day.
You can explore our accommodation options, guidance and support services, careers support, sports and rec, study abroad opportunities and students' union online before the event, and make a list of those most important to you. Then make sure to visit them at our virtual information fair.
Plan your agenda
All subject talks will be available on-demand from 10.00am and the information fair will run from 10.00am to 3.00pm, so you can pop in to speak to any of the support services in breaks from subject talks.
There will also be live Q&A sessions for each subject throughout the day. Take a look at the schedule for our 9 January event and plan your day.
Questions to ask
- How many hours a week of lectures will I have?
- Are there opportunities for applying what I learn in a practical setting?
- Can I take a placement year or year abroad?
- Are assessments coursework-based, exam-based or a mix of both?
- Will I be able to watch my classes online?
- What careers have recent graduates gone into?
- Are your lecturers supportive?
- How much contact time do you have in your course?
- Do you get opportunities for practical learning?
- How were the halls?
- Is your 2nd/3rd year accommodation affordable?
- Have you taken part in any societies at university?
- Is it easy to get involved in the Students' Union and societies?
- Have you done a placement year and did the university support you to find it?
- Is the university there for you if you need them?
- Do you like the city?
- What support is there available if I struggle academically?
- Is there a tutoring service?
- Will I need my own computer or laptop? What if I can't afford one?
- Can I get help with study skills, such as note-taking, time-management, or presentations?
- Can I get IT support?
- Is there any support for postgraduate students?
- What support is there available if I struggle financially?
- Does the university have sponsorship opportunities?
- Are there any additional course costs?
- How affordable is the city to live in?
- Does the university offer guaranteed halls in first year?
- Can I get help renting privately?
- Can I get support reviewing and signing housing contracts?
- Do the student halls have security?
You can find out more about housing support in our student life section. If you need more information, email our Student Housing Team at email@example.com or call them on +44 (0)23 9284 3214.
You can also join our private Student Housing group on Facebook.
- What opportunities are there to study abroad?
- Where are your partnership universities?
- How does studying abroad count toward my degree?
- What support can the careers team offer me?
- How many past students found work after graduation?
- Can I get help with my CV?
- Will they help me produce a portfolio?
- Do they run events where I can meet employers?
- Can they help me volunteer with a local charity?
If you're thinking of attending Portsmouth, see the careers and employment support available to you when you get here. If you need more information, email our Careers and Employability Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What facilities are available to me?
- Are the facilities of a high standard?
- Are the facilities located on campus?
If you're thinking of attending Portsmouth, see the facilities available to you when you get here.
- What reasonable adjustments can I get to support my learning difference or disability?
- Is the campus accessible?
- Can the university help me claim the Disabled Students' Allowance?
You can find out more about additional support and disability advice in our student life section. If you need more information, email our Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) at email@example.com or call them on +44 (0)23 9284 3462.
- What are the sports facilities like?
- Is there a competitive team for my sport?
- Is the university gym affordable?
- What fitness classes are included in the gym membership?
- Is there a sports scholarship I could apply for?
Plan or draft your personal statement
You have the chance to attend a talk on personal statements and book a 15-minute slot where a staff member at the university will check your personal statement.
This is a great opportunity to get your personal statement reviewed by someone who works in admissions at the uni.
If you haven't drafted your personal statement in time, make sure to attend the talk where you can take notes on how to write a winning statement.
Have a friend or family member with you
If you were travelling to attend a face-to-face open day, you might take a friend or family member with you for company and support. Just because you're attending an open day from home, it doesn't mean you no longer need the company.
Having a friend or family member with you can help you evaluate a course or university, or think of important questions you might have forgotten to prepare.
However, don't let them take over your open day experience. Things important to your friends or family might not be as important to you, so make sure to ask your own questions as much as possible and explore the uni the way you want to.
You might decide the best way to do this is to call a friend of family member when you need a quick bit of advice, rather than have them with you all day.
Use our tips to prepare and get the most out of the Virtual Open Day.
On the day
How to get around
We've made sure that getting around our open day is as easy as possible for you.
When you log on for the day, you'll see a home screen with all the main areas:
- Information fair
- Subject talks
- Accommodation tours
- City tour
- Student Life Live Lounge
- Personal statement support
- Help desk
The information fair hosts all our guidance and support services – just pop into one of their booths to ask any questions you have.
Ask questions and make notes
You'll get loads of information during our Virtual Open Day. The best way to remember the information important to you is to ask questions and take notes during the day.
This is especially important if you're also attending open days at other unis. Your notes will help you compare the courses and support services across unis and decide which course or uni is right for you.
You can get into the subject talks section from the Virtual Open Day homepage – you'll see that each subject has its own booth. Once you're in a booth, just click the 'Webcast' icon on the right-hand side of the screen to see the subject talk.
The subject talks are available on-demand throughout the whole day to make sure you don't miss out on important information about your course.
Live chat Q&As with the subject course team and students
We're running live chat Q&As for every course during the day. You can download an agenda of live Q&A sessions for each day below.
To join a live chat Q&A, just go to the relevant subject booth and click the 'Chat' icon on the right-hand side of the screen.
If you miss the live Q&A with the subject course team, you can still ask questions in the booth at any point in the day. But please note, it might not be answered by an academic.
Attend the student panel discussion
There will be two live student panel discussions in the Student Life Live Lounge involving a student from each faculty, at 12:00pm and 2:00pm. At these panel discussions, five current students will be talking about their experience of life in Portsmouth and answering questions sent in by the audience – including you. To join, just click on the Hotspot in the Student Life Live Lounge.
You also get the chance to talk to alumni throughout the day. They can give you insight into how their time at Portsmouth prepared them for their career.
Take down the contact details of speakers and people you meet
You can see the profiles of all speakers at the Virtual Open Day.
Make a note of their names and what they teach in case you want to follow up with them after the event. You might want to see what impact their research has had and how it fits with your interests.
Keep the university website open
You'll probably want to make notes on specific opportunities that are mentioned throughout the day, such as facilities or work experience opportunities, so you can look them up later.
If you want to take a quick look at something that's mentioned in a talk, keep our main site open in a different tab. You can quickly navigate or search for a staff profile, university service or accommodation page for further information.
Stay connected on social
Make sure to follow our Instagram story on the day, where you can ask student ambassadors about their experiences of studying and living in Portsmouth. They'll be online all day until 4:00pm, an hour after the Virtual Open Day ends, so you can ask any questions you might have forgotten to ask earlier. We'll also be sharing more information on social media about our halls, facilities and student life – so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Once you've applied, look out for an email inviting you to join our 2021 applicant Facebook group to meet your future classmates.
We've already mentioned that it's a good idea to prepare healthy snacks for the day. But also make sure to stay hydrated while at the computer and take regular breaks away from the screen.
As the subject talks and information fair run for the whole day, you won't miss out if you want to stretch your legs. Just make sure to check the agenda so you don't miss the live Q&As.
To start the day, get focused with a high-intensity training session run by our Sport and Recreation team at 10:20am or 10:40am. At the end of the day, you can take part in a 10-minute unwind and relax session. To join any of these activities, just click on the Hotspot in the Student Life Live Lounge.
After the event
The first thing you should do after our Virtual Open Day is step away from the computer and take a break.
You could go for a walk or cycle to get some fresh air and come back to your notes refreshed.
Review your notes
Take time to look over your notes from the Virtual Open Day the evening after the event or the next day.
Highlight any information that's valuable to you that can help you make a decision. Use one colour to highlight things you love about Portsmouth, and another to highlight areas you'd like to know more about.
If there's still information you need after reviewing your notes, contact our open day team at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us on social media.