We have established a great many links with industry through our industrial visiting researchers, industrial research collaborations and those companies who employ our MEng students on their industrial placement. We have acknowledged the importance of formal input from industry to help guide the Department’s teaching and research strategy and this is administered by our Industrial Liaison Board which meets annually. We are also constantly seeking to involve industry in the design and implementation of our course content.
The Department’s Corporate Partnership Programme provides students with the opportunity to benefit from our enhanced relationship with partner organisations. These organisations can join as Members or as Benefactors and the money donated is used to fund student bursaries, prizes and scholarships, student-organised events and some specialist equipment, as well as a wide range of additional student activities, including attending national and international programming competitions.
Full details of the programme, including the current members, can be found on the CPP website. This page also includes a link to the CPP web portal (implemented as an undergraduate group project) that manages the contacts between students and CPP member organisations. Our CPP members often propose group projects where they act as the customer or end user.
The Department’s degree programmes are designed to prepare students for employment as well as providing rigorous academic training. The following summarises some of the distinctive aspects of our educational provision that contribute to the student experience:
- We employ a large team of Teaching Fellows who act as ‘Academic Teaching Staff’. In addition to lecturing they also have key administrative responsibilities.
- We support a novel Teaching Scholars programme which gives selected PhD students an extended bursary and an extended timetable that allows them to make a substantial contribution to the Department’s teaching, roughly at the rate of one extra term per year. Further details can be found on the scholarships page.
- We use a wide range of in-house, open-source and proprietary tools for managing teaching materials, coursework / lab work and feedback, for monitoring attendance, for administering the submission and auto-testing of programming exercises and for testing programming skills under exam conditions.
- We use third and fourth year Undergraduate Teaching Assistants, or UTAs, to help with first year tutorials and selected labs in first and second year. The UTA system is immensely popular with the students who are being taught and plays a key role in developing the communication and mentoring skills of the undergraduate tutor.
- We fund a substantial number of Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) positions each summer. These give students, who are typically in their first or second year, the opportunity to experience research first-hand by working with a researcher or research group over an extended period. An international version of the scheme (IROP) has also recently been initiated, providing funding for students to do summer placements at overseas institutions.
- We regularly engage external lecturers and speakers in order to enrich the educational experience and ensure that students are being taught by the right people. For example, our ethics, and human-centred design courses are taught by external lecturers. Our software engineering courses are taught by a Principal Teaching Fellow who is also the director of a software engineering consultancy.
- We have weekly extra-curricular lectures delivered by our industrial partners called ‘Applications of Computing in Industry’ that inform students about interesting technical problems encountered in Computing-related industries.
- Group working is a pervasive theme throughout our degree programmes.