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Future student online experiences

Future student online experiences

Sharing the work of the Prospective Student Web Content Team

Content design opportunities – come learn with us

We have two entry-level opportunities to join our team and start a career in content design. These positions would suit graduates or people with a couple of years’ relevant experience. Applications deadline: 24 August 2021.

The opportunity: Content Design Support Assistant

First up, the fundamentals. If these meet your expectations, it’s worth reading on…

  • Grade 4 – £20,600£22,847
  • 36 days annual leave, excellent pension and other benefits
  • Open ended contract, available immediately
  • Application deadline: Tuesday 24 August at 5pm

Full job description and application process

What is content design?

If this is a new term to you, don’t worry. Content design is at times lumped in with copywriting and content marketing. All roles require editorial talent, no doubt, but content design isn’t about flowery prose or “compelling copy”.

Content design is about making website visitors and digital service users successful. The fundamental way we measure the effectiveness of online content is based around what people do.

Read more: What is content design by Sarah Winters (Content Design London website)

Watch: What is good content design? (a short video primer by Trisha Doyle on YouTube)

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people with a talent with words who are keen to help solve problems for our target audiences – prospective students and applicants. This is a great opportunity to learn in a supportive environment and start a career in content design.

We’re not looking for the finished article, but we are looking for a particular type of person.

  • You need to be committed to the discipline of content design. We’re looking for people who can write and edit, and have an appetite to learn. Joining a dedicated team of content specialists will bring new opportunities and require editorial discipline. This is less about content creation and more about content curation.
  • You need to be open to learning about our users. We don’t expect you to be experienced in human-centred design, but you need to care about whether the content you design actually works. Be ready to get involved in user research and analytics to really understand and meet student needs.
  • You need to have a collaborative mindset. We work as a multidisciplinary team, so you need to be ready to collaborate and support colleagues across the University. We have many subject matter experts in a wide range of fields – both academic and administrative – and they need to be supported to meet editorial standards.

Who we are and what we do

We’re a (fairly) new team to the University, set up to overhaul how we approach provision of online services to prospective students.

This is a massive job in an organisation serving around 40,000 students, where much responsibility has been traditionally devolved to our 22 schools, 3 colleges and numerous support units. So enhancing experiences for students is also about enhancing experiences for the staff who support them.

We’re a multidisciplinary team and place great emphasis on collaboration and co-design. We’ve got more recruitment coming in the next few months, so this is a bit of a forward look to where we’ll be before the end of the year:

  • Seven content designers working across enhancement projects and ongoing content management services
  • A user experience lead who coordinates our discovery and appraisal work, and a performance analyst who focuses more on the quantitative side of our insight work
  • A software developer who helps us interact with some complex, business-critical University systems and extend the functionality of the University’s corporate content management system.

And also me… as head of the team,  I help colleagues in key services and in our colleges to set our priorities so that the work that we do has maximum impact. I’m committed to taking a human-centred approach to our work so that what we do is well evidenced and achieves the outcomes we seek.

Why? Because a great student experience is also great for the business. Students being successful independently when they use our online services means:

  • We get more applications from students of the right calibre
  • Those students make the strongest possible applications
  • We handle enquiries quickly and efficiently, and don’t need to cover things students could’ve answered for themselves

Read more about the team, our priorities and processes – my December 2019 blog post introducing our work

About this blog and our team profiles

Where this role fits into the team

This role is first and foremost a support role.

Every year we refresh our online provision for prospective students to ensure our offer is accurate, up-to-date and easy to use. The role of the Content Design Support Assistant for around half the year focuses on facilitating this update cycle and supporting colleagues in academic and support roles to meet editorial standards and deliver better online services.

But it’s not just about support provision. You’ll also collaborate with more experienced content designers and participate in a range of enhancement projects. This will take you far beyond curating web content, and into design workshops, user research and analytics, amongst other things.

Full job description and application process

Room to grow

A final thought from Lauren Tormey in our team.

In this video (a contribution to the Content Ed conference 2021) Lauren reflects on her career and development in confidence as a content designer.

Whether or not you choose to apply, it’s great advice and a good reflection of the ethos of our team.


I encourage you to learn more about the team and our work through this blog. If you’ve got any questions about the vacancy, I’m happy to field them via email.

Neil Allison’s contact details


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