Case study: UCL Engineering – new course materials
I have been working with numerous UCL teams and departments since 2014. As a global top 10 university, UCL is constantly working on new ideas, innovations and learning opportunities. One of these was the launch of the Engineering Foundation Year – a course for prospective students who do not meet the entry criteria for UCL Engineering undergraduate programmes. This is a really important way for UCL to provide opportunities to a broad range of prospective students, and I worked directly with the academic responsible for this initiative on a range of marketing and communications materials.
The Engineering Foundation Year at UCL is aimed at prospective students who have faced obstacles or disruption to their learning. They are students in their final years at school considering what they will do next. Many may not know what engineers do, and they may not think university is an option for them. The materials produced for this project also needed to target their teachers and caregivers, to support conversations they have with their young people.
We started with an introductory phone call so I could understand the background of the project, learn more about the audiences, and hear about how the new course would work. I also wanted to clarify the intended impact of both the course and the materials I would produce, and hear about what success looks like to the academic team. I was also sent a range of background documents to review, which covered the reasoning behind this initiative and some initial market research.
Originally the brief was to create a new website specifically for the Engineering Foundation Year, but I advised on creating a new section on the UCL Engineering website for the programme. Since UCL Engineering already has a strong brand, does well in terms of SEO, and is a globally trusted faculty, the Engineering Foundation Year would instantly benefit from all of this.
Developing the right tone and messaging for the Engineering Foundation Year was crucial. The target audiences differ slightly from UCL’s usual audiences, and it was important to highlight the breadth of career opportunities engineering can lead to, and how well supported students would be if they embarked on the course.
I went on to develop the information architecture (IA) of the new website section, write 10 pages of website content and select images to go with the content. I also wrote the course material for the UCL prospectus and wrote a flyer. Finally, promoting the Engineering Foundation Year to an internal UCL audience was also important for the team, and I wrote five pages of content for internal use to support this.