Office for Students
I See The Difference

Specialist shortage

When you need specialist treatment, you want to know there are enough skilled professionals around to meet your needs.

But some specialist health roles are in danger of becoming understaffed. Professional bodies, universities and the Office for Students set their sights on a future where everyone can get the specialist care they need, when and where they need it.

We joined forces with the partners on a targeted and aspirational campaign that successfully increased applications to study four at-risk professions.

Discover and aspire

The professions: podiatry, orthoptics, prosthetics and orthotics, and therapeutic radiography.

The campaign: I See The Difference.

We researched what sort of people universities and employers were looking for, and designed the campaign to show them why these are careers to aspire to.

All four professions come with good pay, good prospects and sociable working hours. But most importantly, they’re careers where you get to make a difference to patients’ quality of life, every day – and see the difference you make to them personally.


Show the way

Based on our research, the campaign targets potential recruits on social media and student forums. Since launch, the campaign’s emotive messages have been viewed more than 1.3 million times on Facebook and Instagram. is a central hub that provides all the information someone needs to decide whether one of these careers is right for them, alongside links to degree courses to get them on their way. Nearly 12,000 people visited the hub between the campaign launch and the next major university application deadline.

14 universities and 7 NHS Trusts have also adopted I See The Difference, using the materials in their own channels to promote their courses and opportunities.

After less than a year of campaign activity, universities reported that applications to study courses in the four at-risk professions had increased.

Now the partners have ambitions to bring other low-profile health professions along on the journey.

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