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Case study: UCL Arts & Humanities - prospectus copy + email sequences

I first started working with UCL in 2014, and I have embarked on projects with a wide range of faculties, departments and specialist teams throughout this time. My experience with UCL means I have good knowledge of the editorial guidelines, tone of voice and brand positioning of the university, as well as the internal systems and processes. It’s usually easy for me to slot into a new project quickly given my prior knowledge.


In 2022, I was approached by the Marketing and Communications Manager at UCL Arts & Humanities to work on a large project. This was to write student recruitment email sequences for each of the departments in the faculty. These departments are diverse, ranging from English, Philosophy and all of UCL’s language subjects, to the renowned UCL Slade School of Fine Art. The team had emails loaded into an existing CRM, which were triggered to send to prospective students in a three step sequence. However, the messaging and structure of these emails had not been worked on for some time. The team needed me to create some consistency in the emails across all departments, pull out the key messages, and write on-brand copy designed to engage, nurture and convert prospective undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.

To start the project, the team briefed me on the requirements in detail. We discussed their aims for the new email copy and how I would identify the key messages across the diverse range of subjects. I did some extensive background research, looking at the previous email copy, engagement analytics, and wider content being produced and delivered by each of the departments in the faculty. 

I went on to write more than 70 emails covering all the subject areas and different stages of the student recruitment journey in the faculty. In particular, I developed consistency in the content structure of the emails, and embedded key messages designed to engage the target audiences. To further support the student recruitment aims, I included additional inspirational copy in the emails such as student successes, research innovations and student or staff quotes. This helped to show off the incredible community that prospective students would become a part of if they applied, as well as the impressive credentials of the faculty within a global top 10 university.

In 2023, UCL Arts & Humanities approached me again to commission an additional project. This one was to improve the standfirsts in the prospectus for more than 40 postgraduate taught programmes. This copy had been written by different individuals over time, and lacked consistency. In particular, I needed to identify the key messages and unique selling points of each programme, and then write the new standfirsts as a result. This work was also delivered to a tight deadline to meet the timeline for the university-wide prospectus copy call.

“Sasha’s copywriting work for UCL Arts & Humanities has been invaluable; she absolutely nailed the brief in terms of what we were seeking to achieve: well-crafted, engaging and informative copy, well-pitched to the target audiences. Sasha was a pleasure to work with and she very quickly understood what we needed, asking questions and for further information where needed, but was able to proactively deliver high-quality and compelling copy encapsulating the tone and distinctiveness about our faculty, departments and courses. I would not hesitate to recommend Sasha to others and would certainly work with her again to fulfil our copywriting needs.”

Emma Gutteridge-Xu, Marketing & Communications Manager, UCL Arts & Humanities

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