Win £300

Student Essay Competition

Win £300 and have your work published

“‘Flexible learning’ is a current buzz phrase; how do you envisage the perfect flexible learning course?”


The Higher Education Academy’s Information and Computer Science Subject Centre, is inviting students the chance to submit their opinions and experiences in an essay or podcast/vidcast form. This opportunity is open to anyone studying Computing or Library and Information Science as part of their higher education course. International students studying at a UK institution are more than welcome to enter. However, UK or non-UK students studying at institutions outside of the UK are unfortunately not eligible for the award.


The competition asks if students can express their views and write a 1,000-word essay or record a five-minute podcast/vidcast on: “‘Flexible learning’ is a current buzz phrase; how do you envisage the perfect flexible learning course?”.


Further details can be found at the following url:


Deadline for entries is Thursday 31st March 2011

win an Apple iPod Touch

The Higher Education Academy subject centre for Information and Computer Sciences is inviting all Computing or Library and Information Science students to express their views in the form of an essay, a podcast or a vidcast on:

"Who or what was the inspiration for choosing your current course of study?"

This opportunity is open to anyone studying Computing or Library and Information Science as part of their higher education course. International students studying at a UK institution are more than welcome to enter. However, UK or non-UK students studying at institutions outside of the UK are unfortunately not eligible for the award.

Full competition details and rules are available at:

Closing date is Friday, 28th March 2009.

The prize winner will also be invited to attend the Higher Education Academy 2009 Annual Conference in University of Manchester on 30 June – 2 July 2009, all expenses paid.

Student video contest

The Sparky Awards is a contest that recognizes the best new short videos on the value of sharing and aims to broaden the discussion of access to scholarly research by inviting students to express their views creatively. The 2008 contest theme is “MindMashup: the value of information sharing.”

Details can be found at: the HEA Information and Computer Sciences site (where I noticed it).

Full details at Sparky Awards

Closing date 30th November 2008.

HEA Competitions

The Higher Education Academy subject centre for Information and Computer Sciences currently has three student competitions available to students which we would ask you to promote in your institution;
Firstly, the Student Essay competition which involves the student's writing a 900 – 1,100 word essay on "What makes a good lecturer?"  The prize is £250 for the winning essay and the winning essay will be forwarded to the Higher Education Academy York where it will compete against the other subject centres and possibly win a Toshiba laptop; closing date 28th March 2008.
Secondly, the Reusable Learning Objects competition whereby a student prepares a program for reuse, for example to aid a process or a student's understanding of a topic, the idea is that this program can be transferred into a VLE.  The prize for this competition is £700 to the winning student and £300 for the supervising lecturer.  The closing date for this competition is 31st March 2008.
Thirdly, the Student Video competition is where the student records themselves in response to the question "A week in the life", and they talk about their experience coming to University.  Group submissions are acceptable.  Again there is a £250 prize however the closing date for this is 1st February 2008. 

Photographic Competition 2008 – University Christmas Card

The Development and External Affairs Office is again running the annual photographic competition for the official University Christmas card.

Herewith is a plea for all you ‘would-be David Baileys’ to have your cameras at the ready to capture a white world, if we get one! If there is no snow, a frosty morning if captured artistically would make a suitable photograph.

What is required

We are looking for photographs that depict the university, in either a recognisable state or in an unusual way. The competition is open to staff, students and the public.

What you receive

A prize and two complimentary packs of your design, plus a presentation and photograph which will be published in Bulletin.  

How to enter

Entries will be judged on both photographic content and image (technical) quality. The Christmas card will be printed by offset lithography.


Images can be supplied as:

1. digital files and should be in either jpeg or tiff format (RGB preferred) and the size should be at least A5 (210 x 148mm) (2480 x 1748 pixels) at 300 dpi.

or 2. as good quality photographic prints, original colour slides or negatives for scanning.

NB – Prints from inkjet, laserjet or similar will NOT be good enough quality for scanning.

Also images from mobile phones are not generally acceptable due to quality.

Please send your entries to: Brenda Morris in DEAO, Blandford Lodge, marked ‘Photographic Competition 2008’ or email – subject ‘Photographic Competition 2008’.The closing date is Friday 4 April 2008.

Bursary competition for final year students

I've just noticed this on the School pages and thought it may be of interest to Computer Science and Information Technology students:

This academic year, Automation Consultants has partnered with Reading University, to offer a bursary of £3,000 to one final year student in Computer Science and Informatics.

The bursary will be paid in 3 instalments throughout the academic year and the successful recipient will have the opportunity to complete a paid work placement at Automation Consultants, upon degree completion, at a salary of £23,000 p/a.

How to apply

To apply for the bursary, please send your CV to, quoting ref: RDG_BURS, by Monday 19th November 2007. Applicants will then be requested to complete a one-hour online technical assessment. The shortlist of students selected will be invited to attend a final interview at Reading University, week commencing 29th November 2007. The successful recipient will be notified by Monday 10th December.


Applicants need to be able to show a demonstrable interest in IT Services and Software and an understanding of the principals of programming and software. Applicants must be on track to receive an upper second or a first class degree in Computer Science or another numerate degree, with an analytical mind and a taste for problem solving. IT skills, especially programming in Java, C++ or .NET, web development and database skills would be an advantage. Candidates must be excellent communicators, team players and customer orientated. Industry experience in software programming and testing is advantageous.

About Automation Consultants

Automation Consultants (AC) is an exciting and rapidly growing IT services and software company with a blue-chip customer base that includes BSkyB, BT, HSBC, Logica CMG, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Our mission is to improve the quality, reliability and cost-effectiveness of IT systems through automation at various points in the software development lifecycle. Every year AC recruits graduates for Consultancy positions. The role involves developing test software and managing automated testing projects. AC provides full training and a structured career development programme.

Software Challenge – Reusable Learning Objects 2007-2008

The Higher Education Academy Subject Network for Information and Computer Sciences is pleased to announce a national student competition in the development of Reusable Learning Objects for teaching computing.

The Software Challenge has been established to stimulate the development of high quality learning resources for computer science education and to acknowledge that such resources make a valuable contribution to computer science education. Many institutions use student projects as a mechanism for developing appropriate materials to supplement study at all levels but whilst such projects produce many valuable resources, rarely do they leave the institution of their origins.

The Software Challenge has been designed to give both students and academics recognition for their efforts. A cash prize (£700 for the student, £300 for the academic supervisor) will be awarded for the best learning object produced. Each entry will be judged on the basis of its applicability to computer science education, educational content, ease of use, innovative practice, design and portability/reuse.

In an effort to promote sharing of such resources, the Higher Education Academy will make all short-listed and highly commended submissions available via the Centre's website. The Intellectual Property Rights remain with the individual and/or institution of origin. Results of the competition will be announced and awards made at a Higher Education Academy Subject Network for Information and Computer Sciences event .

What is a Reusable Learning Object (RLO)?

Graphic of learning object on a PDAReusable learning objects are web-based interactive chunks of e-learning designed to explain a stand-alone learning objective. The fact that the learning object has been broken down to a low level of granularity facilitates its reuse in different learning and teaching situations. The Higher Education Academy have developed a guide on Creating Reusable Learning Objects see:

There were two primary concerns in developing learning objects: they should be pedagogically effective, and they should be maximally reusable. Each learning object should be characterised by being a cohesive learning resource focused on one clear learning goal .


To be eligible, entrants must be registered on an undergraduate course in a computing related discipline within a UK Higher Education Institution or a Higher Education validated course delivered in Further Education. Individual and team entries are both welcome.

All students entering the software challenge are required to be supervised by an academic (or other suitable professional as agreed in advance with the competition organisers) with knowledge of information technology/computer science who is able to confirm that the work has been undertaken by the contestant unaided.

How to Enter

Students and their academic supervisors are invited to submit an Expression of Interest Form giving brief details of the proposed development of a reusable learning object which could be embedded in an undergraduate programme of study in a computing related discipline.

Materials developed should be suitable for inclusion in virtual learning environments (VLEs), thus providing support for new patterns of learning. Furthermore, resources aimed at introductory level, and thus suitable for use in HE delivered in FE (providing much needed support for Foundation Degrees and other HE offerings in this sector) are encouraged.

The rapidly changing nature of computing means that significant emphasis will be placed on the need to future-proof any developments. Planning for delivery via mobile devices and other emergent technologies should therefore be taken into consideration.

Students will be expected to submit on 31 st March 2008:

  • A completed Competition Entry Form
  • A running version of the system (including source code) with emphasis on completeness. (Prototypes which are incomplete will not be considered.)
  • A software CD (which should be anonymised ie no reference to author or institution)
  • Short user guide (including voluntary reflective comments)

The Higher Education Academy – ICS, do not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to Internet or Postal Service failures. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

The role of the academic supervisor is to:

  • Check that work submitted is the original work of the student(s) and submit a disclaimer authenticating the work.
  • Ensure copyright release through institution to enable dissemination via Academy website.
  • Provide a short statement outlining the student effort.

Entries must be submitted via email or by post on a CD, DVD, or Flash Memory (memory stick). The closing date is 31st March 2008.

Send your entry to:

Postal address:
Higher Education Academy Subject Network for Information and Computer Sciences,
Room 16G28,
Faculty of Engineering
University of Ulster
Shore Road
Co Antrim
N Ireland, BT37 0QB

or email address:

For Further information please contact Hazel White ( )

You must download an application form to send with your entry (this includes a copyright declaration form)

You may also download the full competition details and rules


  • There will be considerable prestige associated with winning a national competition (prizes will be presented at a Higher Education Academy Subject Network for Information and Computer Sciences event). The winning student will receive £700 and the academic supervising the project will receive £300.
  • The prize-winner will be the one who has, in the view of the competition judges, performed the best overall at all stages. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Each participating student will be awarded a certificate.


The prize winner will be expected to participate in reasonable publicity activities in connection with the competition.


Indication of intent to participate from Supervisor

3rd December 2007

Submission of final materials

31st March 2008

Present winning students at Higher Education Academy event

May/June 2008


Criteria for Making Decisions on Submissions

Well-designed and user-friendly with easy-to-use interface and documentation
Good levels of interactivity.
Flexibility of design t
o meet students needs.
Accessibility – evidence of how this issue has been considered and incorporated into the design of materials.
Pedagogic considerations – motivation, link to learning outcomes etc
Creativity – creativity of the concept/application.

Imaginative and up-to-date use of technology.
Technical merit – quality of the software design and implementation.
Functionality – robustness, portability/re-use etc.
Evidence of testing, evaluation and feedback.

All submissions should be suitable for delivery within an internet-based environment and should be IMS compliant to ensure delivery within any VLE of choice.

The judging panel reserve the right to test the application on an individual learner.

Review Panel

The review panel will be made up of representatives from the Subject Centre, it's Advisory Group and their representatives. Each submission will be assessed by 2 separate members of the panel plus 1 subject centre team member.