If your marketing office allows it, a custom web domain is a great way to improve search engine rankings for a particular keyphrase. Also known as a microsite a custom web domain is bigger than a landing page and smaller than a normal website.
One great example of a microsite is the University of Wollongong’s business school site. You would expect that the University of Sydney would rank first for the keyphrase ‘sydney business school’ but because of the custom web domain and great content by UoW, they snake USyd to be number 1 (as at Feb 3 2017 searching from Sydney).
A custom web domain may also be outside the university’s content management system so might be more responsive to interesting social media integrations and more graphically appealing.
If your university doesn’t allow separate custom web domains, you can still get a lot of SEO benefits from using a keyword like courses in your a sub-domain (e.g. courses.yoursite.edu.au). If they don’t allow sub-domains you should try to use directories and subdirectories with your keyphrases in them like we do with this site for the phrase ‘digital marketing’. If even this is disallowed by web policies, you should build a business case for SEO and make sure policy is changed!