Cardiff University



In 2018 Cardiff University asked us to help attract and enrol students going through the clearing process. Using a combination of Google search and social media, we exceeded their expectations. This led to them asking us to run a similar campaign in 2019 that was even more successful than the previous year.


The Brief

Due to the declining birthrate, there is a natural drop in the number of eighteen year olds applying for university places, especially in traditional subjects like geography and history.

This has created a highly competitive market place as universities increasingly have to compete to enrol students on to their courses. The competitiveness increases once the A level results have been announced. Students without the grades required for their university of choice go through a clearing process. This involves them contacting universities to find out which universities will accept them on their preferred courses.

Clearing allows universities to fill their undersubscribed courses. It is essential for universities to have a good clearing as poor enrolment can lead to the closure of academic departments.

In 2018, Cardiff University asked us to help enrol students during the clearing process.

The Brief

The Solution

We put together a plan that was built around a massive Google direct response campaign backed by high levels of awareness through social media. The campaign was split into two parts. Prior to the A Level results being announced it focused on getting potential students to sign up for ‘Clearing Updates. Once the A Level results were known, the focus of the campaign switched to enrolling students on to specific courses via the ‘course finder’ pages on the university’s website.

We built a specific landing page for students to pre-register for clearing updates. From the data gathered, the university was able to send regular updates to prospective students during the four weeks prior to the A level results informing them of courses available. 

Our Google Advertising and Social Media teams put together comprehensive campaigns guiding students to the ‘Clearing’ landing page to pre-register their details. The campaigns were specifically targeted at students who: lived in parts of the country where the most successful applicants came from; and who were likely to enrol on courses that the university traditionally struggled to fill.

Our graphic design team produced a number of assets to support the online campaigns and our video production team produced a number of ‘Talking Heads’ style videos featuring students already at the university. These videos highlighted Cardiff as a great city to live in, the university as an exceptional place to study, and gave confidence to students going through the clearing process.


The four weeks of intense activity ahead of the A Level results coming out resulted in hundreds of students registering their interest and providing leads for the university to follow up. This was followed by few insane days of enrollment once the A Level results were announced.

The 2019 campaign delivered:

  • 10,218,804 Impressions
  • 32,759 Clicks to the website
  • 2,710 students pre-registering

From these we understand that over 1000 students enrolled on courses during the four days of clearing.

Other services

Other services we have provided to Cardiff University:

  • Prospectus production
  • Departmental brochures
  • Leaflets
  • Specialist Masters Degree Campaign
  • Student Handbook
  • Newsletters

All printed material was produced in Welsh and English




Cardiff City

Positive Outcomes