Curtis Associates Research Ltd
Higher Education and Industrial Research Market Research, Database Management and Business Development Services

Introducing New Degree Courses

Client Need:
A faculty in one of the UK's leading universities wished to understand more fully the motivators and inhibitors of potential undergraduates to a range of new degree courses.  In order to market these degrees effectively, the university faculty needed to research elements of the decision making process and the impact of teaching staff within schools on that process.

Market research objectives:
To understand the appeal of the degree courses to potential undergraduates
To understand the drivers of that appeal in the context of the environment as well as the perceived benefits
To understand the hot buttons for influencing awareness of the planned degree courses

This study was qualitative in nature.  Our method involved carefully selected recruitment of respondents for one to one interviews with teaching staff, followed by a series of focus groups involving potential applicants to the planned degree courses.

Key outcomes:
To gain wider exposure (and hence more applicants), changing the course name was recommended
Similarly, to gain more course awareness with key influencers in schools we recommended targeted promotion of the courses to Heads of Subject.
To increase the appeal of the course to students, we recommended expansion of some modules of the courses, without detracting from the academioc content.
We recommended the use a fast track option for some of the courses so as to allow students to progress faster and make the course more affordable to students.

After presenting the market research findings, the university faculty was able to tailor the range and content of the degree courses to fit better with their target audience.  With the understanding of how potential applicants were influenced, they were also able to market the new courses to schools far more effectively.

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