A specialist university, doing things properly

Like all universities in the UK, the European School of Osteopathy, is in a competitive marketplace. They need to attract students to their course and to help improve how they handle admissions and marketing around this, we were brought in to look at some of the workflows.

Current workflow

All course applications are handled by UCAS and ESO had to manually pull off application data to then review and carry out interviews. Using a series of excel spreadsheets they would then manage offers made and feed this back to UCAS. Once students started at ESO, high level data was again stored in a series of spreadsheets and it was difficult to quickly access or update information.

Bespoke solution

ESO were looking at off the shelf CRMs (customer relationship management) as well as something bespoke. Through some initial consultancy we suggested a bespoke web application that could automate some data handling and offer a central access point for student application data. Understanding the team, their needs and abilities, this seemed a better route than procuring a large CRM and having to tailor it back to what they needed.

Our Solution

Before anything is developed, we need to first understand how things are done now


We carried out some early planning and workshop sessions with the various ESO teams who currently manage the admissions process and also the attending student data. We also engaged with UCAS to investigate possibilities of data transfer from their system to the proposed too.

Student needs

Using their XML Link interface, we were able to pull in all student application data. Our web application was built around ESO’s workflow needs, using a simple to use interface, relevant labelling and filtering options.


Data is pulled in from UCAS to allow ESO to easily select candidates to interview, manage the interview stage and make offers to selected students. Updated status information is then passed back to UCAS. From an operational point of view it’s now really easy for the admissions team to find, review and manage applications to the school.

Second phase

A second part of the application allows the registrar team to manage students attending the university. Again data is pulled from UCAS as students start studying. From here data is then held and managed in the new tool. Initially the application will hold high level student data including contact details, general attendance records and end of year results. This area of the application will no doubt grow as the system beds in. We look forward to working with ESO on a long term basis to evolve the application further.

Some Highlights

A key part for this project was to listen and understand to how the ESO team currently managed workflows. We had to balance feasibility, usability, data integrations and timescales to ensure we created an application fit for purpose both now and to allow evolution in the future.

Key features of the latest release:

  • Data integrations with UCAS via XML feeds
  • Application status changes
  • Interview and offer communications with applicants through Email and merged PDF letters
  • Interview date confirmation facility
  • Operational lists built with useful filters
  • A student management facility to allow accurate monitoring of who is studying at any time
  • Reporting system to allow real time data sets to be generated for profiling.

Working smarter, data you can rely on

ESO are using the new tool to handle 2017 admissions and already finding the process easier to manage. This means more time can be spent proactively marketing the school to potential students. Already ideas are flowing around how the tool can be extended to other areas of the university and we look forward to working with ESO for years to come.


If you think we might be able to help you or even if you just wanted a chat to better understand how we do things, then please do get in touch.

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