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A year in the life of a university student
There are periods in the university calendar where the marketing opportunities are endless!
Simon Lucey

Carrying out a successful student marketing campaign isn’t easy. And if you get it wrong, it can be disastrous – not to mention a waste of all the hard work you’ve put into it. Quite simply, it sucks.

One of the most basic errors we see advertisers make is running activity at a time that is convienient to them rather than the period that will get the best results. Your campaign idea could be award-worthy - but if it’s in the middle of Reading Week... nobody’s going to see it. That’s why we’ve written this blog, so you can feel confident in your student marketing decisions all year round.

January: Refreshers

Mid-January brings an excuse for students to rekindle their love for university life and catch up with those they’ve missed over Christmas. Lots of on-campus events and activities make this the perfect time to influence their purchasing behaviour for the final term.

The second instalment of student loans also hit bank accounts and save the day. After the expense of the Christmas holidays and essential income for refreshers parties, students couldn’t be happier to see it.

Unfortunately for the majority of students, January also screams deadlines. It’s a busy time for the libraries and computer facilities on campus as students of all years prepare to recall everything that has been learnt during term one.

February: house hunting

February is the perfect time to find that ideal home for the following year. The first term’s exams are over and accommodation lists are published.

March: the job hunt

For proactive students, finding a graduate scheme or summer job is high on the agenda.

April: the final loan payment

This month the final loan instalment reaches student’s bank accounts. It’s the smallest of the three instalments, providing just enough money to cover the final few weeks of the academic year.

Students’ Union Elections:

This exciting period in the calendar offers students across the country with the chance to decide how they want their students’ union run and vote who should represent them.

Late April: exams & dissertation

The final few weeks of the year means lots of stress, deadlines and time spent in the library!

Between cramming for exams and submitting coursework, many students start thinking about summer holidays and travel plans. This is a key time for students to book trips, organised tours and flights.

May: sporting events

This is a time for universities across the country to get competitive and battle against one another. Popular sporting events such as Varsity take place late April/early May.

Summer balls are normally scheduled around this month too and act as a chance to celebrate the end of exams and often the end of university life! For most, it’s a rare chance to sport a black tie or ball gown to leave a lasting impression on their peers.

June: the job hunt panic

The second phase of job hunting - usually conducted by the more reactive bunch of students who are suddenly faced with the daunting prospect of beginning their career!

July: Graduation

For the majority of final-year students, July means graduation.

August: ‘back to school’ season

Whether they are already at university or getting ready to enrol, students begin making important purchasing decisions relating to what electronics to buy, what clothes to wear next term and how they’re going to cook for the rest of the year.

September: Freshers Weeks

The week normally takes place in late September (but for some universities it happens at the beginning of October instead.) Students are very responsive and keen to start forming their student identity. Where they shop, what brands they buy and how they socialise are all key considerations for first years.

The first instalment of student loans coincides with this period. This will be the busiest period on campus so you need to book early with universities to get the best spots if you are organising a tour.

October: Freshers flu

90% of students will catch the dreaded Freshers flu at some point during their university life.

November: Graduation

For some graduates, November means returning to their university town, donning a traditional hat and robe and showing off their best smiles for graduation.

December: Christmas

This month offers students a well deserved break, running from the middle of December to early January.

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