UCAS is the most recognised and trusted brand in higher education. We harness our expertise and data to help you transform recruitment.

Student recruitment is changing.

At UCAS, we can help you make sense of it through our data, expertise and actionable insights.

Questions we are often asked include:

  • Why are students picking our competitors?​

  • Which applicants are likely to accept or reject our offer?​

  • Where can we find new students that would most suit our institution?

With 30 years of experience, we know all about uni recruitment. It's a fluctuating, fast changing and fiercly competiitve landscape. And we have the solutions. 

Institutions of all sizes harness our trusted data-driven products and expert consultancy to tackle their biggest recruitment challenges.

We help them gain clarity and opportunity. Discover how we can do the same for you.

Are you ready to discover how data-driven insights can solve your higher education challenges? 


Unique products. Bespoke consultancy

Nobody combines trusted data, student access, sector insight and HE specialism like UCAS.

We bring it all together into a range of powerful solutions.

Ready-to-use products that answer everyday questions. In-depth services that solve tricky issues. And bespoke consultancy for your most complex challenges. 

Don't just take our word for it 


"It is easy to purchase large chunks of data, but the value is achieved in the analysis, context provided and recommendations.  The presentation of the recommendations was clear and concise with the right level of detail and that came across well. The slides were visual, and the information displayed in a clear way [which allows us to digest the information much easier].

Overall, the UCAS team have been great to work with and we are looking forward to our next project."

Teesside University

Get unique insight. Solve complex issues. Transform your performance.


UCAS consultancy is the best in the business, with our expert insight consultants backed up by a large team of specialist data analysts.

You can choose from a wide range of services, from solutions tailored to specific issues, through to fully bespoke consultancy to help you tackle any combination of challenges.

  • Gain access to unparalleled HE information to support your strategies. 
  • Build a full picture of your provider’s market position by speaking to the experts.
  • Tackle old challenges in new ways, with creative data scientists pushing your boundaries.
  • Act with confidence using data-driven, evidence-based insight.

Why work with us?

At UCAS we combine data, student access and sector expertise into a range of powerful solutions - designed to help ou focus your efforts and budget.

Everything we do is focused on enabling you to take action. Our data, insights and reccomodations can empower you to  target your activities and allocate your spend for the best return on investment.

Our insights, reports and recommendations are underpinned by EXACT data, so you can trust them to deliver results every time. Below are some examples of how our bespoke consultancy can tackle your most complex challenges. 

Assess your course portfolio

Your challenge:

An overlarge portfolio means your marketing budget is spread too thinly or you’re increasingly perceived as too generalist. Or perhaps you want to broaden your remit but don’t know where to focus?


Our solution:

We’ll conduct a bespoke review of your whole portfolio or a single subject area. We’ll then identify potential growth areas, or subjects and areas to re-evaluate, based on the current market appetite and other factors.


Know who you're up against

Your challenge:

You’re losing market share, or you’re unaware or prepared for emerging competitors. Or perhaps you have different competitors at subject, demographic and regional level, but don’t have time to dig into the granular detail?


Our solution:

We’ll combine data and student insights at competitor and subject level, to give you the full picture of who’s outperforming and who’s becoming an emerging threat. We’ll then give you valuable insights and recommendations on where to focus your future efforts.

Connect with the right students

Your challenge:

You’re not sure where to focus your efforts geographically, or you need time and resources to focus on your subject or course level strategies. Or perhaps you don’t have the budget to explore untapped markets?


Our solution:

We’ll give you in-depth insights about your recruitment trends, offer-making strategies, and how well you’re connecting and performing in comparison with your competitors. You can then translate these data insights into targeted marketing campaigns to demonstrate your ROI.

Become their first choice

Your challenge:

You just don’t have the time or resources to look at every stage of the conversion journey. Or maybe you have a specific problem course or subject area you need to focus on?


Our solution:

We’ll combine in-depth data with our unique student insights to provide a complete picture of when you’re losing applications, and most importantly why. With the opportunity to focus on specifics rather than the full conversion journey, and drill down into a specific stage, course, subject or campus, you’ll gain bespoke analysis of the reasons, along with potential evidence-based solutions.

We're here to support you - whatever the challenge

With a wealth of expertise gained across the HE sector and the commercial world, the UCAS insights consultancy team is the best in the business. From analysing your whole recruitment cycle to focusing on a specific stage, they'll solve any and every challenge you bring to the table.

Their skillsets include everything from brand insight, to commercial strategy, marketing, advertising and much more. Together they have many decades’ experience in data-based strategic problem-solving, and the ability to apply innovative creative thinking to swiftly identify and leverage your advantage.

Our unique combination of sector knowledge and commercial awareness is what sets UCAS apart, and we’re supported by a large in-house team of expert data analysts. We’re always happy to collaborate as an extension of your team, or you can simply set us the task and we’ll report back with the actionable insights you need to solve your challenge.


Meet our team of experts

Vicky Downie - Principal Insight Consultant

About Vicky:

With 17 years of experience, working at 7 different universities and colleges,  Vicky Downie knows higher education like few others. Having spent time inside Russell Groups, private providers, research institutes, and subject-specific universities – Vicky now brings this breadth of knowledge,  plus her outside-the-box thinking, to every UCAS client.


So Vicky, what do you do?

"I help providers find solutions to their most difficult or demanding challenges. Utilising my real world experience, creative background, and team of  brilliant analysts – I work alongside each provider to understand  what they really need to sort out.

Sometimes it’s very different to what they originally think, but whatever it is, we work  together to get to the bottom of it.

Ed McClaran - Senior Insight Consultant



About Ed:

After starting out in the film making industry, Ed has spent a decade in the world of OOH and Cinema advertising, bringing brands and media owners together into meaningful, impactful partnership and sponsorship packages. He brings enthusiasm for the stories brands seek to tell through their marketing to the projects he leads at UCAS, achieved via trusted, enduring client centric relationships.

As partnerships specialist within the team, Ed interprets data and brings insight led narratives to life for UCAS’ strategic partners.


So Ed, what do you do?

"I consult on projects, research, and campaigns for youth-focused clients. Using the unique data that UCAS has, I provide insight and make recommendations that can provide new solutions, validate assumptions, and uncover new opportunities."

Rose Johnson - Principal Insight Consultant


With a background in insight and marketing, Rose brings 25+ years of experience working within the international automotive and retail sectors.

With a focus on outcomes and strategic solutions Rose intuitively gets to the heart of issues, making a difference for both education and commercial clients.


So Rose, what do you do?

"Whether it is delivering primary research projects or tapping into the wealth of data UCAS has on the youth audience and education sector, I work with our team of analysts to unearth the data findings to provide solutions that will make a difference for our clients. It’s not a one size fits all approach, so we always think innovatively to find the ‘why’ and create clarity on those questions that keep our clients awake at night."

Mike Adams - Principal Insight Consultant

About Mike:

With 30+ years of senior marketing experience, including running his own ad agency, Mike Adams is a strategic problem solver with an eye for the creative solution.

Having helped some of the world’s biggest brands solve their challenges with insight led consultancy, and unconventional thinking, Mike  works with educational and commercial clients to find and leverage their competitive advantage.


So Mike, what do you do?

"I help organisations find and solve their big challenges, using UCAS data.

Working with our dedicated team of analysts and the client to really understand the issues they face, we leverage all of our resources to find the best ways to tackle a problem. Whether it’s demand generation, regional targeting, preventing dropouts, or even filling beds – there’s always an answer"


Hear what existing clients are saying... 

‘We could see a perspective on the insight that could make a significant difference.

We have very open and regular communication [with the data consultancy team]. It’s a genuinely equal partnership – UCAS really feels like an extension of our team."

Swansea University

Some of our products and services

How to get started

Bespoke data consultancy is all about you and the novelty of your challenge. All consultancy projects start with an initial chat and a kick-off meeting to establish exactly what you need to get out of the process to make it worthwhile - with no obligation if you change your mind. Once we agree on the approach, it’s time for our data scientists to get to work.

Contact us to discuss your requirements - we look forward to hearing from you.

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