Your software need - our student project

If your organisation has a software project idea, we can connect you with student talent at the University of Bristol's Computer Science Department.

We welcome novel and challenging proposals that give our students the scope to design, test and evaluate a prototype system or an application using a user-centred approach for real-world clients.

Student software projects are core to the computer science curriculum. The Summer Team Project (STP) is an integrated part of the MSc in Computer Science. Software Product Engineering (SPE) is a key element of our undergraduate courses.

Why get involved?

Business and organisations that take part benefit from:

  • an opportunity to explore new ideas or novel technologies
  • dedicated student development effort to focus on a problem or an opportunity that you have identified
  • establishing a relationship with group of highly skilled students
  • giving your staff an opportunity to up-skill through mentoring students, writing client briefs and matrix management
  • raising the profile of your company by publicising participation in the scheme.

What can you expect?

Projects will typically involve the design, development and evaluation of a prototype system or application. Teams are expected to take a professional approach to the project, developing a clear project plan, with milestones and deliverables and making use of appropriate tools for project management and version control.

Projects should be incremental in scope - at their core will be a minimum set of functionality that any student group would be able to implement. Depending on progress, the team will increase the scope and scale of the system over time, providing more ambitious revisions of increasing value to the client. The students will take your exciting vision and work on it iteratively. Please bear in mind that features and aspects of the implementation may remain at prototype stage.

Postgraduate projects are completed over the summer months, whereas undergraduate projects happen between October and May. If those time frames influence your participation, please let us know when you submit your form. 

Our ask of you

First and foremost, this project forms part of the students' assessed work and their priority is to meet the academic requirements of their course/programme. We therefore ask that any projects you submit are not critical to your company or organisation and do not require specific or restricted implementation that may conflict with learning outcomes.

Ideas do not have to be fully-formed. Feel free to submit initial thoughts or express an interest. Our academic staff determine what is suitable and are happy to discuss your needs.

We provide student effort without charge to you as clients. The main investment from you is in-kind. We expect you to commit to meeting your student teams on a regular basis. The students' project management methodologies involve client liaison so they can present their progress, gain feedback and discuss the next steps. These meetings steer projects towards a mutually agreeable outcome.

You can also expect teaching staff to get in touch from time to time to assess your developing relationship with the student team.

How to get involved?

Please complete the form. We recommend that you describe:

  • your organisation
  • what you want the students to work on
  • if you have a variety of solutions already in mind
  • if the project has a well-defined scope or if the students have free reign
  • IP – by default, solutions will be open-source and students retain the IP, if this is not possible for your project, it is crucial that you indicate this in your brief.

You may wish to include your contact details so that the students are able to talk to you directly about the project. Your proposal will be considered for both SPE and STP projects unless you choose just one option on the form.

The links below provide further information about the two project options.

More information

Potential partners please contact:
ilo-projects@bristol.ac.uk

I was fortunate enough to have a summer internship following the year working on SPE. It soon became clear that a lot of the skills I'd gained in SPE were directly relevant to the job.

Paulo Mura (MEng Computer Science student)
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