On-line course information goes lives

Prospective students now have on-line access to comprehensive, consistent information about all the University’s undergraduate courses.

As part of the corporate website, courses.leeds.ac.uk is fully responsive – so it will adapt to different devices – and presents our course information in an attractive and compelling way.

Explaining the improvements, Rob Picton, marketing business lead on the on-line course information (OCI) project, says: “Our research was showing that prospective students were getting a very mixed experience when looking for course information on our website. Many would-be students look at multiple courses, often in different schools, and there was a lack of consistency in content, layout, headings, etc, that frustrated users.  

“Another driver was that universities are now subject to stronger guidance on ‘compliance’ through the Competition and Markets Authority. Course information can be audited to ensure it’s accurate and up-to-date, and failure to meet the guidelines could leave us open to legal challenge.”  

In order to achieve a better user experience, the project team agreed a template for content under a common set of headings. This ensures that users enjoy a consistent experience as they navigate between different courses. Although the new design also has consistent navigation it does allow us to tailor and personalise contents relevant to individual courses.

Postgraduate Taught (PGT) courses have been in the new design since September 2015 for 2016 entry and work has already started on PGT information for 2017 entry. The OCI team is also looking at how to keep improving the information we provide for prospective students. Longer term, the aim is to investigate how course information can be integrated with our catalogue information.  

The OCI project is part of the wider Student Education Service (SES) programme of work which includes the introduction of the new PGT admissions and marketing and enquiries system later this year, and the SES website which was successfully launched in 2015. Business lead Karen Innis says: “The online course information (OCI) project is one of a suite of projects that is going to make a significant and positive difference to prospective students’ online experience of the University.”

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