Insights Hub

Insights for Postgraduate Marketing and Recruitment

At FindAUniversity, we know postgraduate. With over 20 years of experience, we’ve mastered Masters study and, by now, we could probably write a PhD on PhDs.

But our expertise isn’t just based on what we’ve learned by working with universities to meet their postgraduate recruitment targets. It’s also powered by the vast audiences of prospective students who continue to use our leading FindAMasters and FindAPhD websites.

We care what they think, we listen to what they say, and we want to help universities give them the support and encouragement they need to go further.

Here you can find a range of insights specifically for postgraduate marketing and recruitment, including the results of our latest Future Masters and Future PhD surveys of over 16,000 prospective postgraduates.

We’d love to hear feedback, take suggestions and see if we can help answer some of the questions that matter to you. Feel free to drop Mark, our Director of Audience and Auditorial, an email: [email protected]

Latest reports

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Postgraduate Pulse Update as of May 2023

Our unique Pulse trackers and Share of Search data provide insights on thousands of prospective UK postgraduates every month. As of May 2023, we’re seeing that:

  • Autumn 23 is still the most popular start date, but more than a third of the PG audience are now considering study in 2024.
  • Share of PGT Search for Africa and South Asia is still down vs 2022; European Share of Search is increasing slightly for PGT and PGR.
  • There’s been a surprising increase in international Share of Search for Arts & Humanities, leap-frogging Business and Life Sciences for April.

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The State of Postgraduate Taught Search - 2022

Our 2022 ‘Postgraduate Landscape’ white paper has been compiled using data from FindAUniversity's unique client insights tool, Masters Compass. Written by Dr Mark Bennett, Director - Audience and Editorial & Jack Taylor, Head of Data and Optimisation. This delves into the following:

  • UK PGT Market Overview
  • UK Search Trends - Universities & Delivery
  • Exploring PGT Audiences
  • Exploring PGT Disciplines

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Google Analytics 4 – Technical Implementation Guide

Our in-depth technical guide talks you through the implementation process. This includes:

  • Upgrading a Universal Analytics Property to GA4
  • Creating a New GA4 Property From Scratch
  • Advance Configuration Implementation

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Google Analytics 4 – A Guide for Marketers

Google Analytics provides essential metrics for its performance, but big changes are coming to the web analytics platform. We take an in-depth look and explore the changes and the benefits for higher education marketing, including:

  • What will the new move to Google Analytics 4 mean for your university and faculty websites?
  • How to master the switchover
  • How GA4’s new tools can measure students' online behaviours and optimise your recruitment marketing performance.

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Google Analytics 4 - FAQs Autumn 2022

With Google Analytics 4 bringing changes and benefits for users, we’ve created a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions to guide you through the implementation process and beyond.

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Report 1 – University Choice

The first report from our 2021 Future Masters and Future PhD surveys examines how prospective postgraduates evaluate potential universities and programmes: identifying the factors that do and don't influence them and revealing how they seek information about further study:

The findings reveal that:

  • Prospective Masters students prioritise the uniqueness of a university's programme portfolio over factors such as rankings and location
  • The most popular source of information about Masters study is a university's prospectus; whereas the most popular avenue for information seeking at PhD level is direct contact with academics
  • Roughly a third of UK undergraduates would attend a study fair to learn more about Masters opportunities

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Report 2 – Study Preferences

The second 2021 Future Masters and Future PhD report looks at interest in different entry points and modes of study for a wide range of prospective postgraduate audiences and asks how Covid-19 is (and isn't) reshaping these preferences.

The findings reveal that:

  • January 2022 was the most popular entry point for Masters and PhD students planning their studies in summer 2021
  • Attitudes to flexible study vary substantially between audiences, with UK students almost equally split between online, blended and on campus learning
  • Around a fifth of prospective postgraduates say the pandemic has made them more likely to study a Masters or PhD

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Report 3 – Information Gaps

Our third Future Masters and Future PhD report asks what people don't know about postgraduate study – spotting opportunities for good advice and guidance to really make a difference for prospective students. This report focusses on the UK, but it may indicate the presence of surprisingly large knowledge gaps for postgraduate study in general.

The findings reveal that:

  • A third of people considering returning to university for a Masters don't know they can get a postgraduate loan to do so
  • Less than half of prospective international postgraduates are aware of the UK's new Graduate Route post-study work visa (this is a big one)
  • Brexit may have made EU students overly sceptical of UK study opportunities, 'fogging' positive changes such as eligibility for UKRI PhD funding