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Course marketing

This area contains information relevant to staff who are responsible for managing/maintaining course marketing information for their Faculty or School. The how-to guides below will assist staff in carrying out the basic tasks with regards to creating new marketing records or updating existing records.

When creating new publishing plans or amending existing ones, colleagues should remain aware of our obligations to comply with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) guidelines to ensure that information is transparent, accurate and consistent across all locations where it is published.  Published programme information is considered contractual, so it is important to check and maintain this information regularly.  The University may be in breach of consumer law if we do not meet this obligation.  To learn more about the role of the CMA, please visit the Quality section of the TLSO website where you will also find a brief five-minute guide to the CMA.

For the sake of consistency, the guides refer to the terminology used in Campus Solutions. For example, the term 'publishing plan' or 'plan' is used to refer to course marketing records. Each degree course has an academic plan, which is maintained by Academic Quality staff. Each academic plan has a separate marketing record for each year of entry. This marketing record (i.e. publishing plan) contains all of the information on the degree profile that is published to the University website.


Creating a new publishing plan

The Academic Plan Settings page is a configuration page and used to maintain some basic settings about the marketing record.

  • Captures how the title, award and duration should appear in the A-Z list on the main University web site;
  • Lists any alternate names for the course;
  • Identifies any other related versions of the course, such as part-time versions, diploma or certificate versions, or distance learning versions.

This information is something that you would usually enter once when you first set up the marketing record and then rarely (if ever) change. When adding the plan title (which will be displayed on the main A-Z list), it should be stated so that it matches the official title of the degree course but should leave off any references to BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), etc. This will help to ensure consistency in how the degree courses are listed and courses display in the proper alphabetical order. For example, BSc (Hons) Physics should be listed as just Physics so that it appears under P in the A-Z list and not under B.

Making changes to an existing publishing plan

In order to make any changes to a plan, it must be in a Draft status. It is recommended that after saving your changes you use the preview feature before publishing the changes. This preview will help you to ensure that any text, digital content or formatting will appear as you expect on the degree profile page.

Once you have made these changes, the updated version of the degree profile needs to be copied to a number of different servers for back-up purposes. As a result, it can take up to 20 minutes or more before the changes are published to the University website.

Adding digital content to a publishing plan

Within the the Marketing Information section within Campus Solutions, there is the ability for staff to add rich digital content to publishing plans. This content includes the following:

  • Banner images - the image that displays across the top of the degree course profile on the University's website;
  • Charts - pie charts that provide a visual representation of assessment methods, career destinations, gender profile and study breakdown;
  • Videos - short videos providing further information about a degree course;
  • Contextual images - images that provide visual context to the degree course;
  • Photo of a person- photos of a student or member of staff with an associated quote (e.g. a member of staff talking about the course or a student describing her experience on a course);
  • Useful links - links that provide further information about the degree course (e.g. Discover more about, course brochure, etc.).

This rich media will only appear within the course profile on the University website if the corresponding text field (i.e. display area) is populated. It is advised that you use the preview function to ensure that the resulting web page contains a good balance of text and digital content.

Only one type of rich media will appear alongside any text field when the course profile is displayed on the University website, even if multiple types are added in Campus Solutions. The reason for this limitation is to ensure that no part of the web page is overloaded with digital content. In other words, there is a hierarchy to the digital content in how it displays on the website. Videos are given priority over charts and images; and charts are given priority over images. For example if you upload a contextual image to a specific area within the degree profile where a video has already been assigned, the video will be displayed but not the image.

It is recommended that you upload a poster image for your videos to avoid relying on the image stills that are created automatically by the Video Portal and YouTube, as these may not be suitable for marketing purposes. For YouTube videos, the University's website will display your uploaded poster image; however after the play button is pressed, the default YouTube image will be displayed very briefly before the video begins to play. At the moment, there is no way to resolve this issue.

Any images and/or captions that are uploaded into Campus Solutions will be scanned for viruses. As a result, there will be a slight delay before the upload completes.

At the moment, any links to documents, images or video subtitles added to a publishing plan will not be visible through the preview feature. These features will be included as part of future enhancements to Campus Solutions.

Adding keywords to publishing plans

Keywords are designed for use with the search function on the University's website. When a visitor enters a search term, the system looks for matching in the programme title and/or course description. When adding keywords to a degree profile, it is important to keep the following things in mind:

  • You should use no more than 6 keywords;
  • The keywords should be unique to the degree course or at least will not be associated with another course;
  • No word should appear more than once, e.g. if both 'electrical engineering' and 'electronic engineering' are appropriate, use 'electrical electronic engineering';
  • The keywords should not repeat the terms that are already in the course title;
  • You can refer to the course description field for potential keywords.

The article below explains how to add keywords:

Making bulk changes to publishing plans

The Bulk Publish process provides a way of publishing (or re-publishing) a large number of degree profiles in a single step. This method saves you from having to access each degree profile individually to publish it. For example, you could use the Bulk Publish process to update the entry requirements across a large number of your undergraduate programmes where the requirements are all the same. The steps would be as follows:

  1. Use Bulk Copy to create the new draft versions of the plans;
  2. Use Bulk Update to apply the new entry requirements to all the relevant degree profiles;
  3. Use Bulk Status Change to change the status of the updated degree profiles to Approved;
  4. Use Bulk Publish to publish the updated profile.

The first article below (Make bulk updates to plans) covers the first three steps and the final step is explained in the second article (Publish bulk updates).

Creating text blocks

Text blocks are pre-defined blocks of text that you can set up once and then reuse across multiple publishing plans. For example, you might want to create some standard, pre-defined text about open days. You can then use the bulk processing feature to apply this text across a large number of publishing plans. It is important to note that to apply new text blocks to existing marketing records, you will need to create and publish new versions of the marketing records.

Using the video portal

These guides explain how to upload and manage videos that have been added to the University's Video Portal system.