Staff news

Award for student-designed course chooser

The Path course selection tool, created by two staff members when they were Edinburgh undergraduates, has won an information systems award for excellence.

Used widely across the University, the online course chooser received the 2014 Award for Excellence from the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA).

It was designed by Paul Horrocks and Greg Tyler when they were studying mathematics in 2012.

After graduating, the pair took up roles in Information Services, before moving to Student Systems to develop the prototype into a core service.

The University is delighted that the Path system has been recognised by UCISA through this Award for Excellence, and we are extremely proud of the work Paul and Greg started as students and have continued as colleagues.
Lisa DawsonHead of Student Systems Operations


As students, Mr Horrocks and Mr Tyler devised the user-friendly system to navigate the choice of courses students could take on their maths degree programmes.

Supported by an alumni-funded Innovative Initiative Grant and EUSA, they developed their prototype, and then adapted it for wider use, at first within the Schools of Physics & Astronomy and Engineering.

Path has since been scaled up and migrated to the University's corporate infrastructure.

It includes a "dynamic programme builder" through which students campus wide can build timetables and check the compatibility of course choices.

Path is now part of Student Systems, and is expected to be in use by all 22 schools by August. To date it has been used by 10,000 students.

The panel were particularly impressed by the way the prototype was transitioned into a core service (particularly given its origins as a student development) and by the resulting improvements in the service delivered.
2014 UCISA Awards panel