Published: 10th May 2024

How to Create an Effective University Prospectus (27 point checklist)

In the realm of higher education, the university prospectus serves as a crucial tool for prospective students, providing them with vital information about the university, its courses, facilities, and culture. An effective prospectus not only informs but also entices and inspires, acting as a window into the university’s ethos and offerings.

Understand Your Audience

Before embarking on the design process, it’s key to understand your target audience. Prospective students come from diverse backgrounds with varying interests, aspirations, and expectations. Conducting thorough market research and audience analysis can provide valuable insights into the preferences and needs of your prospective students. Consider factors such as demographics, academic interests, geographic location, and psychographics to tailor your prospectus content and design accordingly.

Keep it clear and simple

Clarity should be the cornerstone of your prospectus design. Present information in a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand manner. Avoid jargon and overly technical language that may alienate readers. Organise content logically, using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make it easier to read.

Make it visually appealing

Aesthetics play a crucial role in capturing the attention of prospective students. The visual design of your prospectus should be visually appealing, professional, and reflective of your university’s brand identity. Choose a cohesive colour scheme, typography, and imagery that aligns with your university’s branding guidelines. Incorporate high-quality photographs, illustrations, and graphics to showcase campus life, facilities, and courses.

Include Compelling Content

Content is king when it comes to designing a university prospectus. Provide comprehensive information about your university, including more information on the courses, admission requirements, campus facilities, extracurricular activities, student support services, and alumni achievements. Highlight unique selling points and distinctive features that set your university apart from competitors. Use compelling language to evoke emotion and spark curiosity in prospective students. Incorporate testimonials, success stories, and case studies to add credibility and authenticity to your content.

Include Interactive Elements

Incorporating interactive elements can enhance the engagement and interactivity of your prospectus. Consider integrating QR codes, augmented reality (AR) features, or clickable links to additional resources such as virtual campus tours, video testimonials, or interactive maps. These interactive elements not only provide additional information but also create a dynamic and immersive experience for prospective students, encouraging them to explore further.

Make sure it’s personalised

Personalisation is key to making prospective students feel valued and understood. Tailor your prospectus content to address the specific needs and interests of different segments of your target audience. Consider creating customised versions of the prospectus for different courses or student demographics.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Ensure that your prospectus is accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities or special needs. Design your prospectus with accessibility principles in mind, such as providing alternative text for images, using readable fonts and colours, and ensuring compatibility with screen readers and assistive technologies. Make your prospectus available in multiple formats, including print, digital, and mobile-friendly versions, to accommodate diverse preferences and accessibilities.

Get feedback and iterate

Seek feedback from various stakeholders, including current students, course lecturers, admissions staff, and prospective students, throughout the design process. Conduct usability testing to identify any usability issues or areas for improvement. Refine your prospectus based on feedback and insights gathered, ensuring that it effectively meets the needs and expectations of your target audience.
Consider your distribution plan

Once your prospectus is finalised, develop a strategic distribution and promotion plan to effectively reach prospective students. Distribute printed copies to schools, college fairs, and recruitment events. Leverage digital channels such as your university’s website, social media platforms, email newsletters, and online advertising to reach a broader audience.


Understand your audience:

Tailor content to resonate with the target audience’s interests, aspirations, and preferences.

Create an eye-catching cover:

Design a visually appealing cover that captures attention and reflects the university’s brand identity.

Create a linkable table of contents:

Provide a user-friendly navigation system with clickable links to easily access different sections.

Highlight key university departments:

Showcase prominent academic departments and their offerings to emphasise academic excellence.

Showcase non-academic activities:

Highlight extracurricular opportunities, clubs, societies, and community engagement initiatives to foster holistic development.

Promote upcoming Open Days:

Prominently feature dates and details of upcoming campus visits and information sessions to encourage engagement.

Include student photography:

Use a diverse range of high-quality photographs to showcase campus life, events, and student experiences.

Showcase Accommodation:

Provide comprehensive information about on-campus and off-campus housing options, amenities, and support services.

Highlight placements or study abroad programmes:

Showcase opportunities for internships, work placements, and study abroad experiences to enrich academic learning.

Showcase Sports Clubs:

Highlight sports facilities and competitive teams to promote physical well-being and active lifestyles.

Introduce Lecturers:

Feature profiles of faculty members, highlighting their expertise, research interests, and teaching philosophies.

Showcase facilities and resources:

Highlight campus amenities such as libraries, laboratories, gyms, dining facilities, and recreational spaces.

Include Student Testimonials:

Incorporate authentic testimonials and success stories from current students and alumni to provide social proof and inspire confidence.

Bring it to life with promotional videos:

Create engaging videos that offer glimpses into campus life, academic programs, and student experiences.

Link to a virtual tour:

Provide links to virtual campus tours or interactive maps to give prospective students a sense of the campus layout and facilities.

Include a Campus Map:

Provide a detailed map highlighting key campus buildings, amenities, and points of interest.

Information on the mature students community:

Provide information on support services, networking opportunities, and tailored programmes to address the needs and concerns of mature students.

Include a course index with links:

Create a comprehensive course index with links to detailed information about each course, including curriculum, faculty, and career prospects.

Highlight support networks:

Provide information on student support services, including academic advising, counselling, career guidance, and disability accommodations.

Clearly explain the admissions process:

Outline admission requirements, deadlines, application procedures, and contact information for admissions offices.

Include term dates:

Provide academic calendars with important dates such as term dates, registration, exams, and holidays.

Information on Fees:

Transparently present tuition fees, financial aid options, scholarships, and any additional costs to ensure full financial clarity for prospective students.

Include clear contact details:

Include contact information for admissions offices, academic departments, student services, and other relevant offices for further enquiries.

Ensure a clear design and layout:

Maintain consistency in design elements, typography, and colour schemes to enhance readability and visual appeal.

Create print and digital versions:

Offer both print and digital formats to cater to different preferences and accessibility needs.

Keep it regularly updated:

Regularly review and update content to reflect changes in courses, facilities, term dates, and deadlines.

Ensure it is proofread:

Thoroughly proofread all content to eliminate errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, ensuring professionalism and accuracy.

If you want your prospectus to stand out, then video can play a key role in doing this. At Maia Films, the team has created films for many of the leading universities, including King’s College London, University of Southampton and UCL. If you’d like to chat with one of the team about how we can help your university, then do get in contact.

Hatty Wilmoth

Hatty is the Marketing Manager for Maia Films. Passionate about all things video related, Hatty loves creating content, delving into the challenges of SEO and brainstorming with the team. When not orchestrating marketing campaigns, Hatty can be found exploring London markets, firing up the pizza oven or trying her hand at pottery.
A well-executed university prospectus can serve as a powerful tool for universities to connect with their audience, showcase their offerings, and achieve their goals. If you’d like support from a video production company who are specialists in higher education films, then do drop us a line.