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Future student online experiences

Future student online experiences

Sharing the work of the Prospective Student Web Content Team

Future of the Degree Finders event – 24 May 2022

We’ve spent the early part of 2022 working on a plan to replace the central University provision for prospective students. A big part of this offering is the degree finders. Join us for a talk about this planning work and what we envisage the next 3 years will bring.

UPDATE: The slides and recording from this session were included in a subsequent blog post “Presenting a future state for prospective student online provision”

From December until March this year, the team collaborated with the design and development agency Manifesto to create a plan and proposal for the replacement of our existing central provision for prospective students. To do this we will be using the new Web Publishing Platform and the Design System being developed by IS Website and Communications. (Manifesto have been working on these projects too).

Back in December I wrote a blog about what I anticipated we would be doing, and why it was important to think about this as much more than just the replacement of content management system software.

Read my December 2021 blog post: “We are not replacing the Degree Finders. We are transforming them.”

Since then, the planning project has concluded, we’ve presented our proposals to our Executive Steering Group (who oversee our prioritisation of activity) to a very positive response, and budgets and timelines submitted to colleagues responsible for the University Secretary’s Group annual budget planning round.

So, with the caveat of not having received formal budget approval at this point, we wanted to share our plans with the University’s student recruitment and marketing community.

The Future of the Degree Finders – presentation and Q&A

The session will consist of a presentation from me, followed by around 20 minutes for questions and answers.

When: Tuesday 24 May, 1530 – 1630

Where: Online – MS Teams link will be shared in advance

Can’t make the session?

If you’re not available, don’t worry. I’ll record the presentation and follow up discussion, and share a link after the event.

Session summary, slides and recording


If all this is too much detail, I’ll also be presenting a summary at a range of forums over the course of the next month or so including the Student Recruitment Management Group, the Marketing Forum and the Web Publishers Community.

If 10 minutes is too much, here are the key things you need to know:

  • This whole project is about reimagining the prospective student online experience, it’s not just a technology replacement exercise.
  • We want to provide a more comprehensive publishing service for colleagues in schools so much less needs to be published on websites managed by schools, colleges and central services.
  • The project follows our human-centred design approach (see other blog posts about the user research and co-design we’ve done so far)
  • We will build the new service using the Web Publishing Platform which replaces the EdWeb CMS from this summer (learn more about this work from the Website and Communications blog)
  • This will be a three year project:
    • Work in 2022/23 focuses on the undergraduate experience leading to a launch in March 2024
    • Work in 2023/24 focuses on the postrgraduate experience leading to a launch in October 2024
    • Work in 2024/25 focuses on developing new ways to access key data (entry requirements, fees, scholarships) which will enable us to deliver significantly better digital services as envisaged in the prototypes we developed and tested during the design sprints (see video walkthroughs of our new digital service concepts)
  • Funding for the project is expected be confirmed in June following the annual USG planning round.


I’m happy to answer your questions directly if you have any concerns. Drop me an email if you can’t make the session.


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