Guide to University Open Days

Some great tips from our student blogger Steve Adamson on making the most of open days

University open days are here again, and it’s important to know what you are there to look at. Most people haven’t had to do this sort of thing before, as your parents were probably responsible for finding your secondary school. With a university open day however, the decision is completely up to you and no one else can make it for you. Read our guide to discover some tips to make the most of the day.

Speak to someone

The most important thing to do at an open day, if you can, is talk to someone about the subject you are looking to study. There will likely be current students in attendance, ask them for their opinions on the institute and course.  Try and also find a lecturer or tutor; it’s amazing how many people get intimidated and miss the opportunity to approach an academic. This is especially true if they are talking to another group of people; the easy option is to leave them to it but wait for your moment and take the chance to speak to them. You could make a positive impact on them which may be useful later. There’s a chance that the staff you speak to on the day will be those conducting the interviews, and making a good impression at this point will stand you in good stead for any interviews later on.

Look at the facilities

If your subject requires the use of special equipment, an open day is an ideal opportunity to check it out. This might also help you in your final decision. If two universities have similar rankings but one gave you access to its lab/studio etc, you’ll have a better idea of what’s on offer and might choose it over somewhere else.

See the Students’ Union

The final thing to do is check out the student union. Although this isn’t the most crucial factor in your decision, it is important to see what they will offer you. The first year is when you meet most of the people you hang out with, either in your student accommodation, on your course or in the student union itself. It’s important however to not completely write off a university just because the student union is slightly smaller than another. However much it pains me to say it you’re at university to study and get a degree as well as have a good time!

University Open Day student advice blog tipsThese are my suggestions of things to do on a university open day, but of course it’s up to you how you spend your time. Prepare any questions you want to ask about the course or the university in advance. Be sure to make the most of your time as this is when you can get first hand answers instantly!

Student Organisation

Our blogger Hennika gives us an insight into her weekly schedule

This month’s blog is all about staying organised. This is my day-to-day schedule, of course you don’t need to follow this exact routine, but it might provide you with some inspiration to do things differently.


I usually clean up the mess from the weekend’s events, and get started on some uni work. A new week signals a new start, and it’s good to begin with a tidy living space and a headtstart on all my work. I try to write essays and do reading for my course throughout the week, I personally find doing a bit everyday keeps you on top of things and then you may even finish before the deadline!


More uni prep, then I do most of my internet-based work. Research, reading online journal articles, topping up my laundry card, and checking my bank balance. I budget £50 for my supermarket shopping and about £50 for the whole weekend out. It may not seem like enough, but I cook in bulk and pace myself on nights out!


I stink out my whole flat cooking for tonight, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. This way I only spend one night cooking and airing out the room.


A relatively easy day in comparison – this is laundry day. I’ve already topped up my laundry card on Tuesday, allowing enough time for the balance to be on the card, then I take everything to be washed, dried and maybe even ironed!


In the morning I go food shopping, (the best part of the week). I’ve already established my budget and I always look for any deals in the big supermarket! I go with two friends that live in my accommodation, which is great because we share the cab fare on the way back (usually £5). Obviously I forget the odd occasional thing, but then I just pop to the local shop. Then back at home I’ll just unpack the shopping; dinner’s already done so from about 6pm I can start getting ready for my night out.


Luckily I cooked Saturday’s dinner during the week, after Friday’s night out I’m not in any state to cook… Then ready for night out part two.


As Saturday was my second night out, I don’t overdo it and am up at about 12ish. My parents might visit me or I might call friends from home. I often cook dinner for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (I do eat out sometimes, don’t worry!) and then will hang out with friends who live nearby.

You’re probably thinking, “Does she not eat anything else like lunch or breakfast?” I do, but they are usually simple things that I make as I go along. I grab a sandwich out, or on Friday I pick up a baguette and make a fried onion, cheese and ketchup roll. My favourite!

If you haven’t already gathered, I am a bit of an organisational freak. I think most students live each day as it comes but I like to have a bit more structure. Perhaps you should try it for one week, you might find out that you prefer it that way!

Scape Blogger Review: Ghosts

Our blogger Tyra gave the latest production of Ghosts 5 out of 5 stars! Read her review and decide if you’ll take a trip to the West End to see it too…

Ghosts is intensely contemporary, and has won plaudits from all the major reviewers. The play by Henrik Ibsen is over 130 years old, but this adaptation is mightily modern. The revival suits the appetite of modern audiences, and the play is immensely pertinent to present-day society.

Ghosts reveals the life of Helen Alving (played by Lesley Manville), a wealthy window who has fallen in love with Pastor Manders (Will Keen). Under the pastor’s guidance, she constructs an orphanage in honour of her spouse – a desperate attempt to disguise his philandering past. Despite her best endeavours, the return of her estranged son Oswald (Jack Lowden) haunts her, shatters all her hopes and turns her life on its head. Oswald exhibits blazes of free-thinking and artistry before syphilis and anguish turn his life upside down. The play sets forth the antagonistic relationships between Helen, her lively and passionate housemaid Regina (Charlene McKenna), and Regina’s father, the disreputable hypocrite Jacob Engstrand.

Lesley Manville’s turn is a tour de force of gracefulness and strength. Mrs Alving’s infinite care and tenderness to Oswald is at heart deceitful – an atonement for a life of frustrations. Manville arguably engage you most in her son’s dying moments. The rose-pink dawn creeps across the living room where she stands heartbroken and still as a statue. When night descends, Mrs Alving’s struggle to release her son from torment is acted with a heart-rending intensity. Jack Lowden also puts in a brilliant performance as Oswald, whose life falls apart as he goes from great optimism to miserable collapse.

Tim Hatley’s sublime stage design creates shadows that intensify the sense of claustrophobia. Gleaming walls enable you to catch sight of movement in the dining room at the back of the stage which the characters cannot see. Silhouettes seen behind the translucent screen reveal the title of the play and more specifically, memories that weigh heavily on the minds of Mrs Alving and her ill-fated son. Richard Eyre’s adaptation of Ghosts is daring and detailed, the entire play is a spellbinding production with a dark sense of humour which you’ll enjoy!

Tickets are priced from £10-£49.50. Run time is 1 hour 30 minutes
Tickets can be booked here, there are some pre-theatre dining options here.

Travel information
From Scape East take the District line to Embankment
From Scape Greenwich take the Jubilee line to Westminster and walk from here, or change at Waterloo for Northern/Bakerloo line to Charing Cross

Top Five London Attractions

Our blogger Hennika gives us her list of must-see attractions, suitable for students, visitors to the city, and anyone who wants to see why millions of tourists come to London every year

London student places to visit things to do


National Gallery

Whether you are a big art fan, or would like art or not, this gallery is a great place to spend an afternoon. It’s located in London’s Trafalgar square, which is a short walk from Charing Cross tube station and on numerous bus routes. It is filled with tons of Western European paintings from the 13th century to the 19th centuries, from leading artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Renoir. There are also various s

pecial exhibitions shown throughout the year, and several video and audio visual programmes.

Natural History Museum

This is another popular, and free, attraction to visit in London, containing galleries on Planet Earth, Human Biology and of course the famous Dinosaurs. All of this is free, however there is a cost for special exhibitions. As you enter from Cromwell Road you are greeted ‘Dippy’, the museum’s beloved cast of a diplodocus that has been on display for over 100 years. NHM is located near South Kensington tube station.

Tower of London

The Tower is an iconic London building on the banks of the River Thames. Its historical value is significant, from being a prison for royals in the 15th century, to holding the royal crown jewels today. Tours are also available in which allow you to get closer to the history of this construction. It is located in Tower Hill, which is easily accessible via tube. This experience has a cost, but a student discount is offered. Prices vary according to the season, therefore I advise you to check online prior to travel.

Madame Tussauds

Housing a world-famous collection of waxworks, you can ‘meet’ anyone from the royal family to Hollywood actors.  Unfortunately this attraction is not free, but it’s somewhere you should visit as least once!  Pricing can be found on the website. Madame Tussauds is located on Marylebone Road, the nearest tube station is Baker Street.

London Eye

Situated on London’s Southbank, there are also a lot of seasonal markets and other attractions in this area. There is a charge to enjoy the London Eye however it’s highly worth the money. The view from the top is indescribable (especially when there are clear skies). If you’re lucky enough to be in London on New Year’s Eve, then there are fireworks, which you can observe nearby, in view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The London Eye also has a starring role to play in the display!

Wherever you visit I’d advise you to book online where necessary. Discounts are often available, and then you can avoid long queues on the day.

For more articles on things to do in London, revision tips and more visit

Blogger Review: BOOM Cycle

Our blogger Paula has been trying out a new fitness class in Shoreditch, read on and see if it’s for you!

There are two locations for the class, one in Shoreditch and one in Holborn. I opted for the one in East London. Found in a chic basement on the quiet Scrutton Street, BOOM Cycle does exactly what it says on the tin. Through the tough intensive stages of cycling exercises, you get an injection of ‘boom’ in your veins. So what’s the deal with BOOM Cycle? It was started by professional model Hilary Gilbert who came up with the concept of creating an effective exercise that did not require lots and lots of hours in the gym. After years of researching and brainstorming, BOOM Cycle was born and as they say, the rest is history!

As soon as you enter the basement the light is noticeably dimmer and you are met by a blast of music.  The receptionists are attentive; I am quickly given a series of instructions of what to do and told what the class will entail. There are some nice touches too. All the lockers are free and although small, the changing room is light and carries a nice feeling of calm which is accentuated by deliciously scented candles. A decent size, the indoor cycling arena is packed with bikes and not before long half are filled with eager enthusiasts who seem ready to get cycling. I was told by the receptionists that help would be given to adjust my bike but luckily my designated bike seems perfect and I start warming up like the other cyclists.

The instructor enters like a swift breeze and quickly introduces himself and true to form talks to all the newcomers. The music intensifies and then the magic begins. The instructor is clear, encouraging and has a vivacious approach. He even takes time to explain the differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise and the importance of the cycling exercises we were doing. I quickly find that I want to work harder, although I don’t feel forced to. Before you known it the class is over. I had gone from thinking I could not last the distance to wanting to cycle more.

One class costs £14 with there being a student rate of £12 (on presentation of a valid student ID).  Is it worth it? Absolutely. Indeed the workout is tough but your endurance builds and the cycling, in its various stages becomes fun.

Travel information

From Mile End: Take the District Line To Whitechapel and change for the Overground to Shoreditch High Street
From Greenwich: Take the Jubilee Line To Whitechapel then change for the Overground to Shoreditch High Street

For more articles on student life visit the Scape Living blog.

The End of Term in London – Things to Do

Our blogger Sandip has created this great round up of things to do in March. Take a break from revision and try out one of his suggestions!

Can you believe that it’s March already? The end of our final semester is in sight. These final few weeks of term don’t have to be consumed with work, reading, essays and dissertations. Sometimes it can help to take a day of to relax and enjoy yourself, and there are plenty of things to enjoy in London this month.

Swap the library for the cinema

There are plenty of good movie releases, the most-hyped release the return of Captain America in the sequel Winter Soldier (28 March). If superhero films aren’t your thing and you love a murder-mystery, then there’s the return of sassy private investigator Veronica Mars (14 March) in her first feature film. If it’s something with a comedic edge you’re after, then The Grand Budapest Hotel (7 March) is for you. This is very much a who’s who of Hollywood, but above all it is a brilliantly funny story.

Take in some nature whilst at the National Archives

If your dissertation takes you to the National Archives then why not check the annual Orchid Festival? Perfect for anyone looking to escape the last of the winter chills, you can enjoy the tropical temperatures of the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Here you can explore the exotic world of orchids and tropical plants, learn about different plant species and rare botanical treasures. This orchid exhibition will be any nature lover’s paradise, and even if plants aren’t normally your thing the beautiful blooms will be enough to take your mind off your work. The Festival is in full bloom at Kew Gardens until 9 March.

Go green at the St Patrick’s Day parade

It’s time to discover your Irish ancestry with the St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival on Sunday 16 March. The parade begins in Piccadilly at 2pm.  There will be singing, dancing, Guinness-drinking, and in amongst all of that the religious aspects of the Saint’s day. Whether you’re Irish or not, this is a great celebratory festival in London, and did I mention entry is free? So why not head down to Piccadilly and let your hair down for the afternoon?

Visit a festival of fashion

The final weekend of March sees the Vogue Festival descend onto the capital. Across the two days at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank there will be an array of special fashion events, such as advice sessions from designer Alexander McQueen on getting into fashions, which styles are in and which are not, workshops, interview panels and lots, lots more. So if fashion is one of your interests, or you see yourself as the next big designer, then put down your book and book your tickets to this event.

Have a laugh with Miranda

Coming to the O2 this March is popular comedian Miranda Hart with ‘My, What I Call, Live Show’. If you’re a fan of her popular sitcom Miranda, or just a fan of comedy in general, this will appeal to you! Hart has won awards for her TV work and this is her first stand up show since her series began on the BBC. But make sure you’re quick  as tickets are going fast.

This is by no-means a complete list of things to get up to in March, but whatever you do be sure to have fun, and not get too stressed by exam season and essay deadlines.

For more articles on London events, as well as student advice, visit our blog.

What I Love About Living in Greenwich

Our blogger Steve Adamson tells us why he loves the area of London he now calls home

At first I was a bit concerned about moving to London, but any concerns left me after seeing how beautiful Greenwich is. I was originally worried about how I might see scenes amounting to pandemonium compared to what I was used to back home. Yes I would be living in the country’s capital and seeing the sights but there would also be the thousands of tourists, business people and others who live and work in the city. However in Greenwich there is none of that – I wouldn’t say it is overly busy but it’s not too quiet either.

I’ve found living in Greenwich to be the perfect medium between the peaceful and busy sides of London. You are close enough to the heart of the capital to go for a night out and get back easily enough, but you’re not too central so it is quiet and relaxing when you want it to be.  The area is part of a huge redevelopment and has undergone a lot of change since the new millennium. This means that everything is relatively new and you can see that by the way it’s kept. Some areas sadly see run down buildings and blocks of flats, which are simple grey brickwork. Greenwich adds a bohemian splash of colour, which brightens up the area from any other development. No two buildings are the same as different designs and tones distinguish housing blocks, whilst some more wacky designs get the buildings noticed.

The busiest days are definitely when events occur at the O2 but there is not as much disruption as I anticipated. I thought that with every concert the peninsula would be mobbed with people, but so far even with sell out shows it hasn’t been too bad. I suppose a big part of this is that most people get the tube to North Greenwich, but another reason is the wide range of transport links that Greenwich offers you. There are very few places that offer boats, trains, tubes, buses, cable cars, bikes and more all within walking distance.

All the views and transport links are great; however the best thing I would say about living in Greenwich is the convenience it gives you for shopping. As a student you tend to try to look out for bargains and within walking distance you have most of the major supermarkets available to you. Not only are they close by but the likes of Asda and Sainsbury’s are 24 hours, allowing you to do your shopping at the time that suits you!

So that’s what living in Greenwich is all about – great for shopping on a budget and convenient for nights out. It’s nice to know that you have somewhere quiet and safe to return to every evening.

You can read more of Steve’s work and posts from our other bloggers on our website.