Market Assessment & Programme Viability and Submission

What is a Market Intelligence Report and How do I get One?

A Market Intelligence report provides you with information about similar programmes within the HE sector, along with demand, best performing competitors, tuition fee levels and information from international agents on potential recruitment globally. The report provides a comprehensive picture of the recruitment potential for your programme, although does have some limitations where there are emergent areas.

Market Intelligence reports are prepared by the Marketing Intelligence team and usually take 4-6 weeks for completion. Please ensure that this timeframe is factored into your development plan. To request a report, please complete the Market Intelligence Report request form and submit it to the Marketing Intelligence team. 

New Programme Proposals will NOT normally be considered for review by the Programme Management Board without a complete Market Intelligence Report. If you think that you have sufficient market information without a formal report, or your programme has been commissioned by an external agency and has guaranteed recruitment, please contact the Marketing Intelligence team and/or Academic Quality Services to establish what is required. 

Is there a Market for my Programme?

The Market Intelligence Report will provide information about the likely market demand for your proposed new programme. The report will indicated whether there is likely significant, some or limited demand, and will indicate the sources of this demand (home or overseas, and specific countries or areas). This will help you to develop a strategy to most effectively market the proposed new programme in order to maximise recruitment within the markets identified. If the report establishes that there is a limited market, you should consider revising the proposal.

However, there are exemptions to this. Some subject areas are new to the sector (notably in health and sciences) and therefore there is insufficient data to demonstrate a clear market. In these cases the market report will indicate potential markets, and the Faculty/School should present a clear case that the new programme will recruit sufficiently.

Proposals in a new/emergent market represent a higher risk to the institution, therefore a robust case must be presented to develop programmes in these areas.

Nobody is doing a Programme Like this, so the Market Potential must be Huge!

This is a commonly held belief but the chances are more likely that there isn’t a market and that competitors have not developed programmes because of this. On rare occasions we may be able to secure first mover advantage in new or emergent markets, particularly where we have sector leading performance, but research excellence doesn’t always translate into market leading programmes.

How do I Establish Whether my Programme is Viable?

Once you receive the Market Intelligence Report, you will normally have sufficient information with regard to the market demand for your proposal. Where there is limited data, some further specialist research may be required to determine the likely recruitment markets.   

You will need to consider the potential of local, national and international competitors to recruit from the same candidate pool. You will also need to consider the approximate costs of delivery, to ascertain whether projected income will outweigh the setup and delivery costs. Finally, you will need to provide evidence-based projections of the likely recruitment for your proposed programme for the first 3-5 years. You should note that the i-MAP Report Innovation in the Market Assurance of New Programmes concludes that programmes which do not recruit successfully in the first 1-2 years are not usually successful. It is therefore essential to allow sufficient lead time to effectively market new programmes and recruit students. 

You should also bear in mind that a programme which may be financially viable may not recruit sufficient students to be educationally viable, i.e. to deliver a positive shared learning environment within the student group. This is of particular note since students report satisfaction level through the National Student Survey. There is evidence to suggest that effective learning in groups results in a higher levels of student satisfaction. 

How do I Complete the New Programme Proposal Form?

The New Programme Proposal Form should be completed online using the online Programme Approval and Management (PAM) system which can be accessed by logging into the Intranet and selecting Academic Records > Courses > PAM. You will be able to access help and guidance in the PAM system for the completion of each section in the ‘information’ boxes on the left of the screen, accessed via the question marks in each section. A user guide to PAM is available. When completing the form, please ensure that you provide all information in full and complete every section required. Forms should be complete. Academic Quality Services will provide support and guidance to individuals or teams developing new programmes. Please contact Academic Quality Services for more information.

How do I Submit a new Programme Proposal for Consideration?

Once you have completed the online New Programme Proposal Form you should submit this for review by the relevant Board of Studies and your School Management Board/Postgraduate Research Committee (for postgraduate programmes) through the Programme Approval and Management system. Once approved, new proposals should be submitted to the Programme Management Board.


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