A sneak peek at the undergraduate course pages

Jennifer Hamrick
Friday 13 January 2017

The digital communications team has been hard at work creating, developing and designing the academic subject pages (phase 3 of our digital prospectus business case) and the undergraduate course pages. The subject page system is being built to replace course search (developed by IT Services), which as many of our colleagues have agreed, is not meeting the needs of our users.

To give you a better idea of how University website users will be able to navigate to undergraduate course pages from the subject pages, here is a sneak peek into what we have developed so far.

Navigating to subjects

Currently, our programmes listing is organised by School or department, which can cause issues for prospective students who are not aware of the structure of St Andrews.

To address this, we are creating a subject-led approach to find programmes by developing a section called Subjects.

A screenshot of the Study page from the St Andrews website
A link to Subjects will be created on the Study page.

Subjects will be linked to from our Study pages, and will allow prospective students to search for all programmes related to their subject of interest.

A screenshot of our temporary main navigation page for subjects.
Students will be able to choose their subject of interest from here. This is not the final version, and we plan to have a fully designed main page for subjects soon.

Your subject

After the prospective student has navigated to the main subjects page, they will click on their subject of interest and be directed to that page.

On their subject page, the first thing the student will see is an introduction to the subject and the courses they can take in that subject (at undergraduate and postgraduate level).

A screenshot of the top of the Divinity subject page.
Students will see an introduction to the subject and the courses they can take in that subject.

If they choose to explore further down the page, users will find information about

  • research areas
  • research centres
  • careers in the subject
  • funding opportunities
  • the reputation of the School (or Schools in the case of interdisciplinary subjects) related to the subject
  • news and events
  • image galleries and videos.

Finding a degree

From the subject page, the prospective student can see a list of degrees related to that subject area. If they choose one of these degrees, they will be directed to the corresponding course page.

The first thing users will see on the undergraduate course page is an introduction to the course along with key information. Key information includes UCAS codes, course type and duration, and entry requirements.

A screenshot of the introduction and key information on the Biblical Studies MA undergraduate degree page.
Introduction and key information are the first items on the UG course pages.

Dividing key information from course information is a blue-coloured bar containing information about the reputation of the School which runs the course. This can be accompanied by a video.

Course information explains the structure and organisation of the course, and includes information about the topics students will study.

A screenshot of the reputation and course informatoin content items on the undergraduate course page.
Reputation and course information

Dividing course information and teaching format is another blue-coloured bar containing a call-to-action for visiting days.

The teaching section contains information about the course’s teaching format, class sizes, and methods of assessment.

A screenshot of the visiting days and teaching format on the undergraduate course pages.
Visiting days and teaching format

The modules section describes the modules students can expect to take during their degree. This includes the number of modules per semester they will typically take.

The modules section has been designed with a spiffy tab section which allows students to explore the modules they will take year by year. Each module links to the module catalogue so that students can get more detailed information.

A screenshot of the modules information on the undergradaute course pages.

The next two sections contain information about funding (including fees and scholarships) and joint Honours degree options students can take with this particular degree.

Thanks to some ingenious work by our design and development team, we were able to add the mandatory KIS widget for each joint programme as small expandable icons rather than huge banners.

A screenshot of the funding and joint degrees information on the undergradaute course pages.
Funding and joint degrees

After joint degree options, students will see a section called ‘Your future’, which contains information about careers and study abroad opportunities.

A screenshot of the 'Your future' section on the undergraduate course pages which contains information about careers and study abroad.
Your future: careers and study abroad

Beneath ‘Your future’ is a section called ‘Student life’ which provides information about what it is like to live and study in St Andrews, student societies related to the programme, and where students of this degree can expect to attend lectures, tutorials and laboratories.

A screenshot of the student life section on the undergraduate course pages
Student life

Lastly on the page, students will see a student testimonial (accompanied by an image or video) and the contact information for the School (or Schools) running the course.

A screenshot of the testimonial and contact sections at the bottom of the undergraduate course pages.
Testimonial and contact

Special degrees

On each subject page, we are linking to only single Honours and Integrated Masters courses. But what about all of the special option degrees? These include direct to second year entry, Fast Track routes, and integrated years abroad.

For all of these special options, we have created appropriate subpages that explain exactly what these options are and how students can apply for them. These subpages will be prominently linked to from their respective single Honours or Integrated Masters page.

What about degrees which are only offered as part of a joint Honours, such as Arabic? For these courses, we have gone ahead and created special pages which explain the joint situation, but which also detail the course requirements and modules students can expect to take for that portion of the joint Honours. These will be linked to from the relevant subjects pages.

A screenshot of the introductory text on the undergraduate Arabic MA joint honours course page.
The introductory text for the Arabic page explains that this course is only available as a joint Honours.

What’s next?

Digital communications will soon be sending out the content from each undergraduate course page to Schools. We will be asking Schools to provide additional information as necessary and to make amendments to any inaccuracies in the current text.

We plan to launch the subject pages and the undergraduate course pages at the same time in early February.

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