Please monitor this section for the latest up-to-date information & announcements.

Client meetings next week

By Paul McMullan posted Jan 10, 2018

The first set of client meetings for Semester 2 take place next week, on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th. Please have a look at the Groups page to find out the time for your group.

We will be discussing the development of the requirements for the System during the meeting, covering your approach to planning and what you have chosen to develop in terms of non-core requirements. I would expect that every group has prepared an outline plan for this, which I can review and advise on.

I am also happy to discuss your Semester 1 Proposal and Prototype for further feedback or any queries you may have.

Note that next week the meetings are Tues/Wed. From the subsequent set of meetings onwards (Week 4 - Week 10) the meetings will take place on Mondays/Tuesdays instead. I will update and notify after we get next weeks meetings completed.

Downloads Updated

By Paul McMullan posted Jan 10, 2018

Please note, there are two new documents available for download in the Downloads page. The first is the Lecture Slides for the first lecture of Semester 2, taking place tomorrow. The second is the Guidance notes and marking scheme for the Final Report and System.

First Lecture this Thursday (11th January)

By Paul McMullan posted Jan 8, 2018

Welcome back to Semester 2 and the second half of CSC3047!

Our first lecture will be on Thursday 11th January at 3pm, in the Physics Bell Lecture Theatre, located to the side of the Lanyon Building. For help in finding the building (if you're not sure), please visit the Campus Finder Web Site, click on the search icon at the top and simply type in the word "Bell".

This is the first of only two lectures this semester (the second will be later in the semester - details will be provided), but we will begin regular scheduled client meetings from next week onwards (none this week).

During the lecture on Thursday, we will provide full details of the schedule for client meetings and will focus on the activities of the semester ahead of us. We will also cover some useful feedback information on the assessment (Proposal and Prototype) from the first semester.

I look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday and then properly catching up with each group individually the following week.

Semester 1 (complete)

Next Client Consultation

By Paul McMullan posted Nov 27, 2017

This coming Tuesday (28th November) is the next set of scheduled Client Meetings, the final for this Semester before submission of the proposal and completion of your prototype (which is due next week). The meetings will take place at the same scheduled group times, and in the usual location (large project room on 2nd floor, middle seats). Please refer to the groups section for full schedule, if you are not sure of your time.

We will be discussing the final aspects of what you should be aiming towards in both proposal and prototype, and you will have a chance to discuss the detailed guidance and marking scheme in particular, to ensure you are focussing on all the important elements in order to achieve a good set of marks. If you have any samples or visuals you wish to run past me, I am happy to provide comment (although not essential if you do not).

As usual, any other issues or queries you have can be brought up and discussed. I look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow!

Note that this week there will be no advisory "drop-in" due to the client meetings taking place. This will take place next week again, however.

HCI/UX Guidance Document

By Paul McMullan posted Nov 10, 2017

I hope you found the latest consultancy meetings earlier in the week useful and informative. Abdelbaset has constructed a handy "must follow" set of steps which should help keep you on the right path in terms of style, flow and UX. This document has been added to and can be downloaded from the Downloads section of this web site.

Scheduled Advisory "drop-in" classes

By Paul McMullan posted Nov 10, 2017

As a result of feedback received from the latest SSCC exercise, I have arranged some additional scheduled "drop-in" classes for groups to speak with our HCI/UX expert Abdelbaset. These are not compulsory, but are provided as a means to regularly access his expertise and run ideas past him, etc.

They are scheduled for the next 4 weeks, on Tuesdays from 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm, located in the big project room - the usual meeting place. These start next week (Tuesday 10th November).

You can call into see him at any point during this time. If he is busy with another group, please make your presence known and hopefully you won't have to wait to long to be seen. Hope you find this helpful.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

By Paul McMullan (on behalf of Kat Maguire) posted Nov 10, 2017

A quick note to let you know about the upcoming ‘Global Entrepreneurship Week’ events.

We have a full week of events planned in conjunction with The Graduate School, and we are hoping to create a real buzz around entrepreneurship at Queen’s for students and staff.

With events ranging from ‘Pitch it Like you Mean It’ to ‘How to Start your Business in Belfast’, and ‘Walks to Ormeau Baths’, and ‘Social Enterprise Challenges’ we hope that there is something for everyone. There will be a great opportunity for all to network, learn and meet likeminded others.

The link to all events can be found here:

Please also feel free to sign up to any events that might be of interest to you, and to pass on to other students who may wish to sign up.

Third Client Meetings

By Paul McMullan posted Nov 5, 2017

This coming Tuesday (7th November) is the third in the set of scheduled Client Meetings, this time with our User Experience and HCI/design expert, Abdelbasat. He will be able to provide views and answers with regard to the workflows, structure and intuitiveness of your designs, which you hopefully have been able to progress since we last spoke. You should also be thinking about and made some decisions on the database and platform for your system development.

The discussion and review points you should be running past Abdelbaset includes (but not limited to) the following:

  • Overall navigation and common workflows (per user role) within the system
  • Functional Acceptance per requirement (does your solution provide a mechanism to fulfill the requirement?)
  • Design and layout styles, including colour schemes, configurability and consistency
  • Appropriateness and usability of additional components
  • Responsive design (if you are considering this at this stage)
  • Database design, including Entity Relationship models and appropriate table structures
  • Scalability, in terms of expanded functionality capability, increased data and user load, data structures, performance considerations
  • Options and suitability of technology platform, including Development environment, tools and database management system
  • Ideas and consideration in presenting a prototype for submission towards the deadline

Just to remind you, the scheduled times for the client meetings on Tuesday 7th November can be found here: Schedule for Meetings. The location is as per the last meetings, in the large project meeting on second floor of Computer Science Building (middle area with the comfy seats!).

I will be updating the blog (and probably the FAQ) after the meetings, so please keep an eye on this. Hopefully with the current Agile sprint finished you will have a little more time (before the next one) to devote some more time to progressing this, so things will become a little more active again for a while.

I hope you find the next meetings useful and please let me know if you need further help or advice

Specification and Design

By Paul McMullan posted Oct 25, 2017

It has been just over a week since we last met, and it was great to see how much progress each group has made in such a short space of time with regards to understanding, researching and deciphering the user requirements. In particular, the effort which has been made in eliciting views and impressions from potential end users such as students and staff, which can be especially useful in discounting or gaining ideas for specific system functionality and usability.

At this point, no doubt you are all "in the zone" with your Agile module, but I would remind that when possible you try to progress the specification and design of your system. This includes deciding on particular functionality, how this will work (in general terms) within your system and how it fits within the wider context of your full system. This leads directly to User Interface and User Experience design, including navigation, layout, use of components, etc. Finally is the more technical decision making process involved with your database design. All entities and relationships should be identified and sketched out, allowing all aspects of the representation of your data model to be held.

It is still early days and no doubt as time progresses, ideas and plans will change, but it is useful to have a starting point. Where you get to with your prototype design and proposal this semester may change when you get to semester 2, and this is perfectly ok and indeed normal. However, the closer you get to the representation of your final system now, the easier it will be in the long run, with less impact to have to deal with.

Our next set of consultancy meetings are still a few weeks away (currently scheduled for Tuesday 7th November). At this point our UX and design expert will review where you are and provide analysis and feedback on progress. Hopefully you all will have survived your first "Agile" sprint by then and will have found time to prepare for the meetings.

Next Client Meetings

By Paul McMullan posted Oct 16, 2017

The next set of scheduled client meetings are to take place tomorrow (Tuesday 17th October). The times are unchanged from the previous set, but if you need a reminder of your group time, please check out the Groups section.

As before, the first four groups are scheduled from 9.00am - 11.00am, the next four groups scheduled from 12.00 noon - 2.00pm and the final four groups from 3.00pm - 5.00pm.

We are also meeting again in the large project meeting on the second floor, and I will attempt to reserve the middle area once more.

Hopefully you will now have had a good chance for research and investigation into the requirements and have gathered up some ideas, discussion points, questions, etc for the client meetings tomorrow. I look forward to some lively and interesting chats with you all.

Finally - the adverse weather today closed the University from noon. However, the latest news is that things will be much calmer by the morning and we have been informed that the University will be open again. We are receiving an update at 6am tomorrow. If the University decides to close after all, I will email out an announcement to all students and will also post on this blog page. Please look out on either sources. Hopefully all will be back to relative normality though, and we'll get to go ahead with the meetings.

Belfast Enterprise Academy

By Paul McMullan (on behalf of Kat Maguire) posted Oct 11, 2017

A quick note to announce that the Belfast Enterprise Academy is open for applications again.

This brilliant free programme has supported over 150 student entrepreneurs over the last 8 years, and provides students with multiple opportunities to avail of mentoring and business support as well as workshops to help catapult their business idea to success. The programme is ideal for any student with an idea who would like to explore taking it to the next stage.

If you are interested, please download the application form and you will find further information here.

The deadline to apply is next Monday (16th October) at 12 noon.

Requirements and Specification

By Paul McMullan posted Oct 10, 2017

It has been a week now since we had our first Client consultant meeting, and hopefully you are a little more familiar (and more relaxed) with the extent of the requirements for the full system. At this stage you should have conducted a reasonable amount of research into the following:

  • Common Workflows for the more complex requirements
  • Data / Content associated with data-related Requirements (e.g. student transcript)
  • Investigated the popular Student Information Systems in terms of functionality and workflows
  • General (and SIS-specific) designs and styles, including web-based navigation, mobile considerations, relevant components/libraries, etc.
  • (If possible) Questioning and chatting to staff/students on preferred look/feel of a web-based system
  • Associated technology issues, such as Security, Data Protection, etc.

The next set of client meetings are scheduled for Tuesday 17th October (next week), so please ensure you are prepared for this consultancy, with further questions, ideas and insights into turning the requirements list into a functional specification which can be used to plan out your development schedule for Semester 2.

FAQ now updated!

By Paul McMullan posted Oct 4, 2017

It was great to meet you all yesterday and chat through the details of the module, with particular focus on the requirements. I was impressed with the level of preparation you undertook before the meetings, given how little time you had to meet and prepare. This gives a good impression of how seriously you are taking the module and is a very positive start.

I have now updated the FAQ with a selection of the most common questions I faced during the consultations. Hopefully you will all find these useful.

Can I finally remind you that nominations for SSCC CIT level 3 will close later today, and Anna Jurek (who is managing these) has to get enough students to cover all modules. If you are interested, please nominate yourself for the position. It is a nominal amount of extra work, but it is a very good thing to have on your CV!

Client Meetings

By Paul McMullan posted Oct 2, 2017

The scheduled client meetings tomorrow (Tuesday 3rd October) will all take place in the Computer Science Building in room 02/037 (also known as the "Picnic Room"), located on the second floor.

See you all then!

Group Allocations now available

By Paul McMullan posted Sept 29, 2017

A little later than planned, we now have our Group Allocations. Each of you should now have an assigned group, within which you will be working throughout the entire module. Many thanks to Darryl Stewart for managing and arranging this.

Please check out the Groups section for the full breakdown and each groups allocated Client consultancy meeting time, with the first set of meetings planned for next Tuesday, 3rd October. The first four groups are scheduled from 9.00am - 11.00am, the next four groups scheduled from 12.00 noon - 2.00pm and the final four groups from 3.00pm - 5.00pm.

Note that due to booking restrictions, we have not been able to book a room for the meetings until all groups have been arranged, but this will be confirmed and booked on Monday morning, so please check back here for a further update on the actual location for the meeting. This will also be posted on the groups page.

Looking forward to meeting you all properly next week, and hope you can get some meaningful preparation done in the short time before the first consultancy. See you all then.

Group Allocations - Coming Soon!

By Paul McMullan posted Sept 27, 2017

Good to speak to you all today at the lecture, I hope you found it interesting and informative. Remember to check out all the Resources within the web site in preparation for your group meetings, discussions and the Client consultation next week.

The deadline for returning group allocation requests is tomorrow (Thursday) at 12.00 noon, co-ordinated by Darryl Stewart. Once he has these in and the groups assigned, he will inform me and I will update the Groups page with everyone allocated and scheduled a time and location for the consultation next week. We are hopeful this can be completed by mid-day on Friday (29th), so please check this blog for an announcement around that time.


By Paul McMullan posted Sept 25, 2017

Welcome to the CIT Final Year Enterprise Project. Please keep a close eye on this Blog and use this dedicated project website to help you though out the module. Things kick off with the first lecture on Wednesday 27th Sept, which will explain all aspects of the module, including groups, assessments, submissions and resources available.

As this is a group-based project, we will be organising you into groups within which you will be working for the entire module. This will be closely following the group organisation used by module CSC3052, so you should be in the same group for both that module and this one. Once you are arranged, we will begin the first group contact in Week 2, on either Tuesday or Wednesday of that week. Please check back on this site for details of the schedule as this will be organised as soon as possible (once everyone is assigned to a group). I look forward to meeting each group individually.

Please ensure you read the FAQ section, which should answer any questions you have, and check out the Downloads section for all the useful material and guidance you will need for the module.

Dr. Paul McMullan
Room: 03.002
Computer Science Building
18 Malone Road

Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 4653

Please monitor the BLOG section for up-to-date information.

It is the responsibility of each student to turn up to each and every element of the module prepared and in a timely manner. If any student is experiencing difficulties they should contact Dr Paul McMullan.