Case Study

Plymouth College of Art

How we helped Plymouth Art College test new courses to maximise success with applicants. 

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The challenge

Our market research consistently shows that course suitability is the key factor influencing prospective undergraduates’ choices. 

Plymouth College of Art (PCA) is a specialist art school, the lion’s share of whose students are undergraduates on art, crafts and media courses.

PCA commissioned YouthSight to test the titles of a range of new courses that PCA was looking to introduce.  The college wanted to ensure the new courses achieved cut-through, resonance and correctly communicated the course content and benefits.  We were also asked to provide insights on how PCA’s prospective Arts students make their university and course choices, (with the aim of helping PCA optimise recruitment and boost attraction).

The solution

We ran a large (50 strong) community over 3 days with prospective students and parents together with a fairly large quantitative survey (n=1000) with media and communications, art and design, performing arts and art production students.  The results were provided to PCA in a detailed and highly accessible report and in a client-site workshop which was attended by heads of departments, marketing and insight professionals and PCAs top leadership team.

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The outcome

We developed a '6 pillar' methodology toolkit and set of tests for PCA to apply to their new course titles to ensure success and maximise attraction for the upcoming launch. Going beyond the actual launch, the toolkit was developed as long-lasting resource to inform all future course and portfolio changes.  YouthSight also provided PCA with a table of their best performing course titles (with researched rationales) a schema on the key drivers, motivations and barriers for prospective Arts degree students and the role of parents in decision-making.

The College principle, Andrew Brewerton described YouthSight’s work as one of the most useful pieces of research he’d commissioned and, one year on, the research is still being regularly consulted and used as a blueprint for course development.  The research has been shared widely within PCA and beyond with PCA’s advertising agency using the findings to inform their media buying, targeting, copy and creative development. 

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Success Stories

Our clients hire us because of our sector expertise, our research knowledge and our ability to reach exactly the right participants.

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