UCL Computer Science


Industry Exchange Network (IXN)

Collaborate, Innovate, Pioneer

The Industry Exchange Network (IXN) was created at UCL by Dr Dean Mohamedally & Dr Graham Roberts (UCL Computer Science), and Geoff Hughes (Microsoft UK) in 2011, as an educational methodology enabling students to enhance their degree training in a wide variety of real-world problem-solving projects as part of their courses. Now in its sixth year, the IXN continues to match real-world clients and their problems with UCL Computer Science students, from BSc (Hons) 1st year level through the MSc level. The UCL IXN comprises many members of staff, both within UCL Computer Science and externally, who support teaching, lab work, administration, financial operations, events and public relations.

UCL’s Department of Computer Science and the IXN promote a teaching framework that allows both specialist and interdisciplinary engineering education to be delivered intelligently across the field of Computer Science.

Although a strong disciplinary engineering foundation is vital, modern engineering problems do not respect disciplinary boundaries. The opportunities provided by the IXN encourage students to work on interdisciplinary problems; the framework is built on a number of innovative teaching and research methods, which encourage personal and professional development as part of the degree process.

The primary objectives of the IXN include:

  • Appreciate the wide ranging applications of Computer Science
  • Master core disciplinary concepts delivered in in the context of departmental and interdisciplinary research Engage in practical, applicable learning from the start
  • Acquire design and professional practice skills Have the opportunity for personalised learning
  • The IXN’s dedication to innovative teaching methods and an industry-oriented curriculum are dynamic, progressive and unique.
How are projects chosen?

Industry partner clients suggest projects capable of running strictly to term-times. Each project has a named technical mentor from the company, and a supervisor allocated from UCL. The IXN projects are formally assessed on a UCL module, and the UCL supervisor will lead in the final academic marking of the project. PhD student teaching assistants are also involved in support of the lab time of the in-term projects. Our projects run in the following cycles:

MSc summer dissertations need to have requirements by January for start in May.

MSc small mobile apps need to have requirements by August for start in October.

BSc small mobile and web apps need to have requirements by October for start in January.

BSc 2nd Year proof of concepts need to have requirements by May to run October to April (group projects). BSc Final Year dissertations need to have requirements by May for start in October.

How do IXN partnerships work?

Industry clients who join our programme bring projects with strict, term-time deadlines. Each client project has a briefing and authorises the use of data and methods, and brings a named technical mentor with the materials and supportive infrastructure required to facilitate the project from the client side. IXN projects are chosen by a teaching panel and are formally assessed by a UCL supervisor, who leads the final academic marking of the project. Teaching assistants from our dedicated cohort of research students play an integral role in supporting students’ lab experiences.

Projects have a fully approved legal framework designed by UCL, which appreciates that student work is prototypical only, and that clients should maintain IP ownership. We are expanding – internally, with several further faculties at UCL, and externally, with other universities who aspire to similar real-life educational opportunities for their students.

For the coming year, we especially welcome projects that are interdisciplinary in engineering, from clients all around the world. We will continue to engage with our neighbours far and wide, and to share our experiences of practical and scientific endeavour.

Would you or your company like to submit a project proposal for the academic year 2018-19? For further details, please contact us via computerscience.comms@ucl.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Name:
  • Company:
  • Area (e.g. healthcare):
  • Project description (3-4 lines):