What's changing with course pages?

Find out more about the recent design and content developments to improve University course pages

4 min read

July 2020

What changes should I expect?

During the life of the project, course page templates (editable in the CMS by the Digital and Content Team) will be reviewed to ensure key facts that sell the course are prominent and users can follow easy calls to action (CTA) to apply. 

In this first phase, a major update was to amend key CTAs, including applying via UCAS, signing up to a Virtual Open Day/Plymouth On Demand and prominent information to help prospective students to find what they need during the coronavirus pandemic. Course page CTAs now share the same editing capabilities as CTAs on other articles.

Screenshot of a current course page.

Clearer call to action buttons added

As a website user
I want to see clear CTAs on pages
so that I can quickly take action

Watch: A vlog demonstrating the evolution of CTAs on our website

We have updated the visual style of call to action (CTAs) across articles, school and course pages. 

This will help users perform valuable actions such as registering for open days, applying via UCAS and collaborating with our researchers.

CTAs are important because they signpost or encourage the user to take the next step. They should be direct and use active language. [Content Design London Readability Guidelines]

The clearer CTA design quickly helps users identify these are buttons they can interact with. Improvements have been made to the layout and visual language, as well as aligning them with the University's current brand identity.

What's new?

  • Updated CTA style implemented across articles, school and course pages on 29 June 2020.
  • Red 'Apply now' button linking to UCAS is the first CTA on course pages.
  • New blue colour for all other CTA buttons.
  • New icon font set including COVID-19 icon added.
  • See an example of the new CTAs in action: BSc (Hons) Marine Biology course page.


Pin flagship courses to top of lists

As a product owner
I want to be able to pin flagship courses at the top of course listings
so that flagship courses appear at the top of the alphabetical lists

This development grants CMS super users the ability to pin flagship courses to the top of a course listing. These courses will then show at the top of that list when it is used on a course page. 

This functionality is only available on the feature panel course list and not on a school level page course list.

What's new?

  • A multi-select box allows the user to choose one or more courses to be pinned to the top of a course list.
  • A select box will be populated by the courses offered by the selected school.
  • A course list is composed of any pinned courses, followed by all of the other courses offered by the selected school, in the order of those pinned.
  • If a user pins one undergraduate course and one postgraduate programme they will both appear top of their respective lists if criteria are set up to display both undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the feature panel.


Virtual Open Days

Plymouth On Demand (POD) is our online platform of user-friendly and engaging material to bring Plymouth and its campus, its people and courses, into homes across the globe. 

An authentic way for students to meet our staff who will be teaching them and the chance to ask any questions, it helps us showcase our location and facilities to those unable to attend open days or visit us in person during the current outbreak.

What's new?

  • Links to POD added as a default call to action button across relevant undergraduate course pages.
  • Visit the POD landing page: www.plymouth.ac.uk/pod

Plymouth on Demand grid of faces
At the heart of Plymouth On Demand is our academic-generated content


We have implemented the Unibuddy platform across the website. Unibuddy gives our prospective undergraduate students real-time access to ambassadors and students at the University to ask them any questions and gain a friendly insight into studying a particular course and what it is like living in Plymouth.

What's new?

  • Dedicated Unibuddy platform page with embedded form and search functionality: www.plymouth.ac.uk/unibuddy.
  • Links to Unibuddy platform page added as a default call to action button across relevant undergraduate course pages and POD subject area pages.

Screenshot of the Unibuddy platform implemented on our website.
Got a question to ask? Our current students are ready to chat

Course page developments in progress

  • Investigation into embedding 360 content into feature panels to enable us to display this within articles – great to showcase labs or facilities. 
  • New style of accreditations on course pages – clear, consistent design and placement.
  • Updated accordions – ability to add galleries and visual content within an accordion.
  • Campaign banner images – refined CMS functionality to update existing images used in campaign banners.
  • Restyled course search box (sitewide).
  • Remove grey gap between feature panels and text sections of pages (sitewide).
  • Remove restrictions on image settings to allow portrait imagery (sidewide).

Screenshot of design concepts for including galleries within an accordion on a course page.
Design concept: early wireframe showing a gallery within an accordion

Website Refresh Project 2020

The University's external website is undergoing a refresh to update certain design elements, functionality and content, as part of a project ending on 31 July 2020. 

Keep up to date with everything that's happening – from the latest new content design features, to the next developments on the horizon

Post-it notes used for Agile planning.