Shift learning

Market research for the Education sector

University of the Arts London | A detailed market review of postgraduate study

The Brief

As part of a major strategic project to deliver a medium-to-long-term vision of postgraduate study, UAL needed to gain opinions and insights from a broad spectrum of target audiences. Shift Learning’s research laid vital foundations to support the enhancement and development of postgraduate study across the university.

Our approach and methodology

Shift Learning confidently delivered this complex project within the final quarter of 2013 using a two-stage methodology:

  • Phase 1 – Targeted quantitative eSurvey
    • Generated a statistically significant sample size of 2,800 responses (10% response rate) from UAL and non-UAL students and alumni
    • Engaged respondents using several channels including social media.
  • Phase 2 - Series of qualitative focus groups:
    • 7 face-to-face groups with undergraduates, postgraduates, research students and alumni across the UAL colleges.
    • 90-minute online group with international UAL applicants using GoToMeeting
    • A separate focus group with internal colleagues.
  • We worked closely with UAL to write the esurvey, using routing to adapt the questions to suit respondents’ answers. Our creative questioning techniques allowed UAL to profile respondents and understand the motivations and barriers to postgraduate study.
  • We constantly communicated via regular progress calls, meetings and emails – allowing the client to review key findings and inform the next research stages
  • Analysis of all qualitative data using leading data analysis software Atlas.ti.
  • Analysis quantitative data using complex statistical analysis software SNAP.
  • Advice and consultancy services on other key areas of the research design.

Delivering results and value to our client

The Shift Learning team bought critical market research to UAL through:

  • 2 detailed reports within 2 weeks of phase completion, illustrated with infographics and respondent quotes.
  • 6 marketing personas created for the key student demographics.
  • A concise Prezi presentation explaining the methodology, findings and conclusions to members of the UAL management team.
    Actionable recommendations on recruitment and the application process, marketing, fees and funding, employability and flexibility as well as alternative modes of delivery.

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