Higher Options checklist

Handy tips to help you make the most of all that is on offer at Higher Options

Higher Options can be busy at times so it is a good idea to come prepared. Photograph: Alan Betson

Higher Options can be busy at times so it is a good idea to come prepared. Photograph: Alan Betson


The 2018 Higher Options Expo at the RDS is a great opportunity to discover what you really need to know to make an informed choice. First and foremost, be prepared.


1. Know why you are attending. Ask yourself what you want to take away from the event. Do you want to find out about individual colleges, a particular course or find out about what career your course will lead to.

2. Be prepared. Bring paper and a pen. You will be getting a lot of information and you should be prepared to take notes.

2. Plan your day. Higher Options is a big event and you will be thankful if you plan ahead. Visit the Irish Times website to discover what colleges will be in attendance and draw up a list of who you want to speak to.

3. Research the courses that interest you. There are a lot of options to consider. Identify the areas that interest you and then visit college websites and draw up a list of questions about their graduate programmes. Try to establish whether the programmes on offer match your interests and goals.

4. Prepare a set of practical questions. Ask about the cost of living where the college is located, how good/bad is the accommodation situation. What are the admission requirements, what are the class sizes, what is the retention rate?

5. Be patient. Higher Options attracts 20,000-25,000 students and you may have to wait to talk to a college representative. Be patient. The wait will be worth it as talking to the representative will be of value, especially if you are trying to narrow down your list of colleges .

6. Leave your comfort zone. There will be colleges at Higher Options that you may not have considered before now. Be open to talking to their representatives . You might be pleasantly surprised.

7. Consider what seminars you wish to attend. Higher Options features speakers on a wide range of topics. Check irishtimes.com for topics and times.

8. Higher Options: Sign up to The Irish Times’ Higher Options email service at The Student Hub exhibit and receive articles and support on subjects ranging from study tips to college guides and offbeat news stories.

9. Follow up. Don’t throw away the brochures you gather on the day. Read through them in a week’s time and look back over the notes you took at the event.

Higher Options 2018 will take place at the RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin, on September 12th, 13th and 14th, from 9am-3pm each day