Applied Computing Industrial Summer Placement (Module CSCU9SP)

Information for Organisations Providing Placements for 3rd Year Applied Computing Undergraduates in 2020


1. Background to Placement


The BSc Applied Computing integrated degree is taught between Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling. The first two years of the programme are undertaken at Forth Valley College with the final two years at the University of Stirling. This degree was developed in response to the needs of industry who require the use of digital and IT skills within their organisations. The content of the programme reflects the feedback received from 40 Scottish companies who completed a questionnaire which was carried out in advance of the launch of the degree programme. The provision of employability or “soft skills” has become a key feature of the programme.

In order to improve the students’ employability in this sector, the student must undertake an 8-12 week placement at the end of their 3rd year, in which the student is asked to undertake a mini-project or job role within a placement provider. The Applied Computing Syllabus for years 1 to 3 is shown in Appendix 1 and provides an insight into the students’ capabilities. We are grateful to about 50 companies in Scotland and England who have already participated in the programme and provided placements for our Applied Computing students. The feedback from the companies has been extremely positive leading in several instances to several of the undergraduates being offered full-time employment with the organisation. In several cases the placement topic evolved to become part of the final year dissertation project which gave further benefits to the student and to the companies involved.

We are therefore once again seeking the support of companies in Scotland who operate in the digital and IT sector by providing student placements for the summer of 2020.


2. Nature and Content of the Placement


The nature of the placement work can vary substantially, though the majority of the students will find placements where they will work on software engineering and development projects. A placement can be seen as a mini job within the placement provider organisation. Students may be involved with projects analysing, designing, implementing and/or evaluating solutions for a problem which the placement provider or one of its clients faces. However, other placements such as in technical support or training and other related job roles are also feasible. It is hoped that the students will participate as members of an industrial team, as opposed to working in relative isolation.

The placement should require the use of skills and knowledge acquired during the first 3 years of training, which are shown in Appendix 1, and which they will apply in a real industrial setting. Students may be required to get acquainted to languages, techniques and approaches new to them. The students will be expected to tackle a substantial piece of work, under supervision by the industrial partner, which is anticipated will contribute to the on-going success of the business. The placement will thus undoubtedly enhance the employment prospects of the student following graduation.


The academic Placement and Programme Director, Dr. Mario Kolberg will stay in contact with the student throughout the duration of the placement and will be supported by Gemma Gardiner (Administrative Support), Eunice Atkins (Faculty Employability Manager) and Jim Hay (Industrial Liaison Consultant). University representatives would also like to visit the student during the course of the placement to ensure that there is satisfaction on the part of the student and the employer.


3. What are the benefits to the student?

The following are some of the benefits that the students will gain as an outcome from the placement:

  • The ability to conduct a substantial and largely independent piece of work in a professional setting.

  • The ability to document and verbally present such work.

  • The enhancement of competencies (employability skills and attributes) by being in the workplace where opportunity may be provided to:

  • Build-on and consolidate material learnt during the students’ education and apply it in a real-world setting

  • Work in teams

  • Enhance computing, analytical, design, problem solving and critical thinking skills

  • Enhance generic skills e.g. time management, project management, written and verbal skills, teamwork, customer interaction, resilience, adaptability, creativity, motivation etc.

  • Enhancement of their CV to include industrial experience.



4. What are the benefits to the placement provider?


· The outcomes from the placement should be of value to the placement provider

· The project could become part of a final year project which will thus extend the provider’s knowledge of the project.

· The placement will provide the provider with an understanding of the student’s knowledge and abilities and if opportunities exist within the organisation, the student could be considered for part-time or permanent employment (the latter following graduation).

· Generate links with the university, which could lead to further joint research/projects.


5. What will the placement provider be asked to do?


· Application/Recruitment Process The placement provider should participate in the Placement Application and Recruitment Process. Providers will select and interview students (providers will receive 3 applications in the form of CVs).

· Costs The provider will be asked to remunerate the student during the tenure of the placement.

· Placement Proposal The placement provider will be asked to provide details on the placement as soon as possible to the Faculty Administrator and at the latest by Friday 1st March 2020. These proposals will be circulated to the students who will select 3 companies of interest and their CV’s will then be submitted to the placement providers by the placement administrator. The placement providers will then be asked to interview the students and select the one most appropriate for the project or job role. The placement providers will then furnish the university with their choice, who will then advise the student.

· Placement Agreement Placement provider and the student will submit a signed WBPL-Placement Agreement to the university, showing roles and responsibilities prior to the work commencing.

· Supervision The student will be supervised/managed by a member of the host organisation staff.

· College/University Responsibility Dr Mario Kolberg, the Module and Programme Director will be available to help with any issues that may arise during the course of the placement (E-mail: mko@cs.stir.ac.uk Tel: 01786 467440).

· Induction Training The placement provider will provide induction training in practices, relevant to the project/job role e.g. health and safety training.

· Confidentiality If required, the student will sign a confidentiality agreement or Non- Disclosure Agreement with the provider prior to commencement of the placement period. Please discuss with Dr Kolberg in advance.


6. Placement - Schedule of Activities


Placements will be scheduled for 8- 12 weeks over the summer i.e. June to end of August. The following is a timeline of activities:

· January, 2020 Placement providers will be contacted by Jim Hay and /or visited to discuss the availability of placement places for the students. The companies will be furnished with the placement background information and timelines and project proposal/job role proposal forms.

· January to February, 2020 Placement providers agreeing to take students should provide details of their placement to Mario Kolberg (mko@cs.stir.ac.uk) by 1st March, 2019.

· March, 2020 Placement details will be advertised to students and asked to make 3 placements choices. The University will then forward the student’s CV’s to the companies of choice and this will be completed by March 31st.

· April, 2020 Using their current recruitment process, companies will decide upon the student most suitable for the placement. The name of the student selected will then be forwarded to Mario Kolberg (mko@cs.stir.ac.uk). The placement provider and the student should complete the WBPL-Placement Agreement form and send to Gemma Gardiner (gemma.gardiner@stir.ac.uk). This will be completed by the end of April, 2020.

· June to September, 2020 The student will carry out the placement with the placement provider.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries. Thank you for your participation.



Dr Jim Hay james.hay844@btinternet.com

Consultant

Integrated Degree Programmes


Dr Mario Kolberg

mko@cs.stir.ac.uk

Programme Director, BSc Applied Computing

Placement Coordinator


Placement Administrator Ms Gemma Gardiner gemma.gardiner@stir.ac.uk




Appendix1


The main programming language used in our teaching is Java. However, students will also have been exposed to Web-based technologies including HTML, Javascript, and PHP. They will also have used C in limited form. Students are familiar with standard software development approaches, some unit testing. Students will have experience in SQL databases (Oracle, MySQL) with some students having completed vendor certification. The detailed list of modules studied by the students is provided below.


Applied Computing Syllabus Years 1 to 3



Year 1

Computer System Fundamentals

Developing Software: Introduction

Troubleshooting Computer Problems

Professionalism and Ethics in Computing

Mathematics: Calculus and Matrices for Computing

Software Development Introduction

Systems Development: Introduction

Team Working in Computing

SQL: Introduction

Software Development: Developing Small-scale Standalone Applications

Computer Forensics Introduction

Multi User Operating Systems


Year 2

Software Development – OOP

Systems Development – Object Oriented Analysis and Design

Developing Mobile Web Based Applications: Introduction

Software Development: Developing Websites for Multiplatform Use

Software Development – Data Structures

Rational Database Management Systems

Mathematics for Interactive Computing: Essential Techniques


Year 3

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