Primary Research

Often the answers to your problems and challenges cannot be found within existing data. For example:

  • How do you know whether or not to develop a course that is targeting a brand new market or is in a subject area not previously available to  students, or plans to use an innovative new teaching model?
  • What does ‘value for money’ actually mean to students?
  • What is the universities reputation amongst different stakeholder groups?

The answer lies in conducting original research. This can be combined with secondary data to give you a full market picture.

We are experienced researchers with a range of tools in our toolbox including the full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative techniques. Uniquely we contextualise our primary research with secondary data (such as HESA, UCAS, Rankings and Tuition Fee data) to give you the opportunity to assess the size of the market and likely return on investment.

Some examples of issues we can help with:

  • New course development – what are the relative strengths and weaknesses of the new offer? Who is most likely to apply and what is the size of demand? How do you optimise the marketing for the new course? See more detail in New Primary Research Studies.
  • Student experience and outcomes - what are the causes of poor retention? How can we improve our NSS scores? How do we map our current student journeys?
  • Pricing and proposition - how appealing is our new course proposition? How should we position the fee and any scholarships in order to ensure we are competitive and maximise demand?

We can also help you access hard-to-reach audiences:

  • Prospective UG and PG applicants
  • International Students
  • Current students from competitor HEIs

Why The Knowledge Partnership?

 Below are some recent testimonials we've received from our clients.

TKP supported us to evaluate a set of new products. They combined secondary data and enhanced the insights with survey data from our target audience. TKP worked really well with us as an extension to our team. Their insights have helped to shape board level decision making and informed the next stages of our project.

Jason Abbott, Cranfield University


Please email our primary research lead Christine, ( or call her +44 113 2430597 if you would like more information.

Christine has twenty years of experience covering the full range of qualitative and quantitative techniques, so whether your needs require measuring the attitudes of hard to reach audiences via survey research or really understanding a key audience through ethnographic techniques, she can design a solution tailored to your specific needs and help you turn the insights into action through workshops.


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Viability Reports

These reports provide market intelligence and benchmarking information at individual HE course level.


audits and consultancy

Reputational audits and communications consultancy support university vision, stakeholder communications, and reputation management.