Previous News

Computer Science researchers join Royal Academy of Engineering on secondment

Date Added: 21st September 2015
Computer Science researchers join Royal Academy of Engineerings Industrial Secondment scheme

Dr Ibrahim Habli and Dr Christopher Power commence the scheme this month. The scheme provides academics with up to 12 months experience at a partnering organisation, collaborating directly on projects with industrial applications. It provides first-hand experience of working environments while strengthening the links between academia and industry that are crucial for innovation.

Dr Ibrahim Habli, Evidence-based Assurance of Health IT Safety, hosted by the Health & Social Care Information Centre.

Dr Christopher Power, Methods for Positive User Experiences in Big Data Analytics, hosted by International Business Machines Corporation.

See more at:

MSc in Cyber Security receives stamp of high quality through GCHQ certification

Date Added: 18th September 2015
GCHQ certification gained

The University of York is one of only five universities in the UK, and the only in Yorkshire, to have received full certification from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for its MSc in Cyber Security. In selecting the successful Master’s programmes, a combination of industry, academia and professional bodies, as well as GCHQ and other government departments worked in partnership to assess the applications. The programme had to meet rigorous assessment criteria which demand well-defined and appropriate degree content, delivered to the highest standard.

GCHQ-certified Master’s programmes will be attractive to high-quality students from around the world, and will help prospective students make better informed choices when searching for an equally high quality cyber security Master’s programme.

The key benefits of undertaking a GCHQ-certified programme is that it provides guidance to prospective students and employers on the content and quality of the Master’s degree. It will also provide the students who have completed their programme with an additional form of recognition - a GCHQ-certified degree. In recruitment, employers will be able to better distinguish between the Master’s qualifications of job applicants, and recognise the distinguishing mark of a GCHQ-certified Master’s Degree in Cyber Security

Dr Howard Chivers, Course Leader said “the aim of our degree is to develop students to the level at which they can make a real contribution in the workplace or in further research. This national recognition is important because it distinguishes degrees with this depth of content and commitment from less focussed educational offerings. As a result graduates are employed in security roles including penetration testing, forensic analysis, in multinational consultancies and in UK Government agencies, some have continued to study for PhDs in the subject”.

Greg Morton, MSc Cyber Security student said “GCHQ’s certification of the University of York’s MSc in Cyber Security signifies their endorsement of the quality of the course on offer; and allows employers to see that graduates of this course will have the relevant knowledge and understanding of Cyber Security to add value to their businesses in the future. York’s MSc in Cyber Security position as only one of six programmes in the UK to have received full certification from GCHQ, coupled with the university’s reputation for academic excellence, should tempt any potential Cyber Security students to apply for York”.

More information on MSc in Cyber Security

For queries please contact: Dr Howard Chivers, Course Leader, Tel +44 (0)1904 325404 Email

Notes: “GCHQ, as the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, is contributing to setting standards for good cyber security higher education in the UK, using its unique role to help promote quality and choice for the benefit of the UK’s cyber security sector. Our aim is to identify and recognise the very best cyber security education in the UK. Our focus so far has been in the area of Master’s degrees in Cyber Security.”

PhD students enter the Dragons' Den

Date Added: 12th September 2015
Students pitch business proposition to "Dragons"

A group of PhD students from Computer Science and Electronics will be put through their paces during a Dragons' Den competition later this month.

The concluding part of the Business Innovation for Digital Technology (BIDT) module gives students an opportunity to pitch their business propositions to a panel of industrial and academic "Dragons", with the aim of gaining valuable feedback on their ideas and securing a generous prize donated by IBM.

One of the industrial Dragons - and the sponsor of the competition - Heather Dunlop-Jones, an IBM Distinguished Engineer sums it up:

"A key challenge for tech startups is the translation of research and small-scale technical innovation into economic and social impact; and we are delighted to see this topic so clearly addressed in this course. Equipping students with an entrepreneurial business layer over the technological knowledge and skills acquired in earlier studies will deliver benefits not only for them, but also for national and international economies".

The module was developed by Dr Dick Whittington, entrepreneur and Visiting Professor. His aim was to provide an opportunity for students in Computer Science, Electronics, and also TFTV, to develop their entrepreneurial and business skills and experience at first hand what it is like to pitch to investors. The topics addressed introduce students to the factors involved in taking new technology to market, and encourage students to explore ambitions around launching new businesses or joining start-ups.

Dick said "these people are technically excellent, and it's great to work with them to develop their latent business entrepreneurial talents, firing their imaginations and widening their horizons, and now is the time to intercept the current wave of UK tech startups."

Earlier this year, a group of Computer Science undergraduate students completed the BIDT module and braved the Den. Their feedback on the experience was unanimously positive: "I now understand the planning steps needed to make it work and the existing legal and financial structures. The visiting speakers motivated me and made me believe it is possible". "I know what to actually do to form a startup, what qualities are needed, how develop a business plan - got some great ideas and I know how to develop them." "The module has taught me how accessible the resources (such as funding) are and it has lowered my mental barrier to entry into starting my own business. I have realised (especially through the second week project) that starting a business isn't daunting and (is) a lot of fun".

The course is currently offered twice a year: at the end of the summer term for undergraduates, and before the start of the autumn term for postgraduates.

The Dragons' Den session for the forthcoming course will be on the afternoon of Friday 25 September, in the Department of Computer Science, and is open to anyone who wishes to come along.

10 September 2015

York real-time systems research selected to showcase impact

Date Added: 10th September 2015
Research selected to showcase impact

Research from York into real-time systems for automotive applications has been selected by the UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC), Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and British Computer Society (BCS) Academy to showcase the impact made by UK academic Computer Science Research within the UK and worldwide.

Read the report

IGGI Symposium 17-18 September

Date Added: 10th September 2015
Annual celebration of the work of the IGGI students

The event is our annual celebration of the work of the IGGI students, featuring our exciting IGGI Buzz where our industry and academic colleagues can hear about our students' research three minute thesis style, plus industry keynote speeches and masterclasses. This year's keynotes will be given by Steve Collins of Swrve and Gwarredd Mountain of Lionhead.

National Student Survey (NSS) results 2015

Date Added: 8th September 2015
Continued Improvement in our students' experience

The Department's National Student Survey (NSS) results for 2015 have shown a continued improvement in our students' experience, with an increase in Overall Satisfaction of 8 percentage points.

On a more detailed level, we have improved by 4 percentage points in our teaching provision, and 9 in the way our students felt about assessment and feedback. The rating for Learning Resources, already high, increased to 94 out of 100.

These results mean that we rank around 8th out of the 21 Computer Science Departments of the Russell Group of leading Universities in the most important teaching and learning areas.

Digital Creativity Hub now recruiting

Date Added: 28th August 2015
18 million Digital Creativity Hub recruiting experienced academics

The Digital Creativity Hub is now recruiting. We are looking for academics with a wide range of experience to get involved in really exciting and innovative projects to deliver research into the games and media industries. Please visit for more info.

Computer Science Professor wins Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award

Date Added: 21st July 2015
Professor wins Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award

During last week's graduation ceremony Professor Colin Runciman was presented with the Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award. The award, which was introduced in 2006, recognises staff who demonstrate excellence in teaching and/or learning support at York.

Colin impressed the panel with the wide range of teaching he has been involved with and the high student feedback he has obtained over a sustained time. The panel also noted how he has reflected on his teaching and how he has been able to adapt this for diverse groups. The panel further recognised the range of roles he has undertaken in the Department of Computer Science, which they felt has led to high impact on learning and teaching practice with the Department and clear influence on colleagues' practice.

Colin said "I am pleased to receive such an award on behalf of the Department. Thanks to my students for learning well, to my PTAs for helping them, and to everyone else in Computer Science who supports and stimulates our teaching work".

The awards are presented at the summer graduation ceremonies, in order to recognise outstanding teaching and learning support before the students and their families, and colleagues.

Further information about the scheme is available at

York to head world-leading digital creativity centre

Date Added: 14th July 2015
The University of York is to lead an 18 million Digital Creativity Hub which aims to spark a revolution by harnessing cutting edge research in digital games and interactive media to benefit society.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget that the York-led Hub is one of a network of six new multidisciplinary research centres, worth a total of 45 million with partner contributions, that will drive forward the UK's Digital Economy research, knowledge and skills.

The five-year investment will come via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and InnovateUK. The DC Hub will provide an access point for cutting edge research in digital creativity technologies.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: "This latest investment demonstrates our commitment to maximising the digital revolution for the UK. These Centres will lead the way in developing innovative digital products which enhance our daily lives -from personalised digital health services to the use of interactive media in education.

"By harnessing our international research excellence, in partnership with local and regional expertise, these Centres will accelerate Digital technology innovation for business and society's benefit."

Working with Government, business, the third sector and the public, the DC Hub will harness the power of digital creativity to provide new technologies for digital games and interactive media, exploiting the space where they converge to benefit science, society, education and culture.

The DC Hub will aim to ensure: Research ideas find a fast route into the marketplace through close partnerships with industry. Scientists, social scientists, government and the third sector work together to harness the enormous potential of games and interactive media to achieve social good. Museums, galleries and publishers of games and media with the DC Hub to maximise the positive impact of the digital world on creative culture.

The DC Hub Directorship reflects the breadth of its activity, with co-Directors Professor Peter Cowling, from the Department of Computer Science and Professor Marian Ursu of the Department of Theatre Film and Television.

Professor Cowling said: "The potential of the digital creativity is enormously exciting. We shall engage with partner organisations to develop of proof-of-principle, market-led projects based both on current research and applied research shaped and undertaken with industry partners."

Professor Ursu added: "We already have over 80 partners within the DC Hub, and we anticipate the partner base will grow to ensure we generate substantial economic, social and cultural impact."

The DC Hub will employ 15 of the best impact-driven digital creativity researchers in the world at levels from Professorial to post-doctoral to transfer knowledge and expertise gained from the 90 million of investment in Digital Creativity Research at York and Falmouth University, Goldsmiths (University of London) and Cass Business School over the last 10 years. Recruitment to these posts has just started and can be accessed via

These researchers will work together with our many partners to co-create projects which will develop this world class research into prototypes and demonstrators, building the case for further exploitation. Example projects include: - embedding advanced artificial intelligence in commercial digital games through working with industry partners, - working with broadcast companies, producers and performance companies to - develop new ways of interacting with TV programmes and theatre performances, - developing ways to improve engagement with digital archives and digital assets for heritage sites and archaeologists - engaging with local authorities to help them to reach citizens to understand policy changes through the use of games and media.

The DC Hub partners range from large organisations such as the BBC and Aecom, many SMEs, including games companies such as Revolution Software and AI Factory, to charities such as Dyslexia Action and New Visuality and networks and funding organisations such as Game Republic and Creative England.

Adrian Woolard, Head of R&D North Lab, said: "As part of BBC Research & Development's User Experience Research Partnership, BBC R&D is supporting four Digital Economy research centres to help drive the UK's creative economy forward. By focusing on user experience research, we want to enable our audiences to enjoy genuinely new experiences enabled by an internet-based broadcasting system, data and context-driven insight and connected devices. Across all four hubs we will be able to tackle some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in broadcasting today - from immersive and interactive storytelling, to interfaces and services that offer greater accessibility, and flexible content that can be used for a range of learning, social and cultural purposes."

The University of York's new DE Hub has partnered with BBC Research & Development to explore the delivery of digital services over the internet, prototyping new interactive and immersive story forms created from new flexible content formats. The partnership will offer new opportunities and challenges for the craft of storytelling and explore the capabilities of a new generation of digital content players.

The DC Hub will also work closely with the sister EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI), helping to promote innovations arising from the research of the 56 IGGI PhD students and with City of York Council to build on connections forming with cities worldwide through York's recent UNESCO City of Media Arts designation.

Professor Cowling added: "We welcome new partners at any stage and look forward to working with them to create and exploit new technologies and new ways of using digital games, interactive media and the exciting space where they converge."

Computer Science students triumph at York enterprise awards

Date Added: 19th June 2015
Students scooped top awards at two University of York enterprise competitions this week, celebrating innovative ideas for new ventures.

Sam Heather, a third year Computer Science student, won an awards in the Plan ENVY (Exciting New Ventures at York) competition.

Sam collected a 2,000 prize for Outstanding Business with pingWHEN, a personal safety app that sends automated notifications for when you arrive to a destination or more importantly, if you don't. Designed in response to the number of female students in the USA facing sexual assault, pingWHEN is currently in a private beta-testing phase and will officially launch to the public in August 2015.

Sam was one of four finalists selected from over 50 entries to the annual Plan ENVY competition. Sam Heather said: "Careers at the University of York have been amazing in helping us. Winning Plan ENVY is really going to help drive our business forward."

Hosted by the Careers team at the University, the Plan ENVY competition provides an opportunity for York's many young entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses. Funded by Santander, the competition leads to a final dinner where the top entrants present their ideas and progress to date.

Ben Ezard, also a Computer Science student, won the Most Robust Plan title, and accompanying 500 prize, for his student property rating venture RateMyUniHouse with fellow student Tara Annison.