Dr Charles Gillan, senior lecturer at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
“I’ve been with Queen’s now about 20 years as a senior lecturer and throughout that time, we’ve always had very strong links in our computer science department with industry, particularly on the research side with the ECIT Institute. It makes sense, then, for us to expand and deepen or links by proactively collaborating with employers for the undergraduate programme. And that is what the Higher Level Apprenticeships allow us to do on. We have a Software Engineering with Digital Technology partnership, which is strongly associated with PWC.
We engage with other employers as well in the University, law enforcement and banking to name two, who are particularly strong players in the IT sector in Northern Ireland.
The content of our degrees therefore reflect challenges facing industry today and indeed facing all IT-based organisations. So, it’s not a surprise to learn that in the later years of our degree, students engage with cyber-security topics: malware and analytics related to Security. Plus, on the other side, artificial intelligence and machine learning are now driving lots of parts of the economy and our students have the opportunity to engage with modules on those topics. This is in addition to traditional computer science topics, such as advanced programming and performance. So, in the round it’s a degree which allows students to engage with all the topics that are active in IT at this time, so they generally report that they find it very interesting and exciting.”