Win £300 and have your work published online

Are you a Computing or Library and Information Science student? Would you like the chance to win £300 and have your work published? If so, then take this opportunity to express your views on: "'Flexible learning' is a current buzz phrase; how do you envisage the perfect flexible learning course?"

The Higher Education Academy's Information and Computer Science Subject Centre, is offering you the chance to submit your opinions and experiences in an essay or podcast/vidcast form. This opportunity is open to anyone studying Computing or Library and Information Science as part of their higher education course. International students studying at a UK institution are more than welcome to enter. However, UK or non-UK students studying at institutions outside of the UK are unfortunately not eligible for the award.

To enter this competition all you need to do is write a 1,000-word essay or record a
five-minute podcast/vidcast on how does the reality of studying Computing or Information / Library Sciences match your initial expectations.

Prize Available...

The winner will receive £300 and have their essay/recording presented on the Information and Computer Sciences Subject Centre website and will be invited to attend the Higher Education Academy 2011 Annual Conference Dinner at East Midlands Conference Centre Nottingham (5-6 of July 2011), all expenses paid. There are also prizes for 2nd (£100) and 3rd place (£50).

How to enter...

Submit your entry to Hazel White ( by 31st March 2011. The email should have the subject line "Student Award 2011", and must include your name, place of study, course title, year of study, term address and home address, telephone number and email address.

You must download a cover sheet to submit with your entry
Download cover sheet and full details >>>

For an example of what makes an award-winning essay take a look at last year's top entries; they may help you get started.

Last year's winning essays >>>

Competition rules...

  • Entrants must be currently registered on an undergraduate or taught postgraduate / Masters level Computing or Library and Information Science course in the UK.
  • Identifying individual teachers and fellow students in your entry is not permitted.
  • Essays should be between 900-1,100 words in length.
  • Vidcast/podcasts should be five minutes in length with file sizes no larger than 10MB in size.
  • Written entries will be accepted in .doc or .pdf format, audio in .mp3 or .wma and video in .avi/.mpg/.mov
  • Only one entry is permitted per student.
  • The prize winner must be available to attend the Higher Education Academy's Annual Conference (specific day, to be decided), where the prize will be awarded.
  • No alternative prizes will be offered.
  • The judges' decision is final

Deadline for entries is Thursday 31st March 2011


Submitted entries will be assessed against the following criteria. Your work should:

  • Answer the question by describing how you envisage the perfect flexible learning course.
  • Give an overview of the factors that led to your answer.
  • Define and differentiate between your expectations and your experience to date.
  • Be sensitive to cultural, contextual and institutional differences (i.e. it should not expose particular individuals or openly criticise an individual department. Ideally you should anonymise your work or, if you don't, we will).
  • Provide an individual and honest account.
  • As far as is possible, see things from others' viewpoints and provide potentially perceptive observations and helpful ideas.
  • Be entertaining and interesting.
  • Be well written in terms of structure, grammar and spelling.
  • Be well produced in terms of structure, grammar, spelling, editing and picture/sound quality.
  • Not vary from the 1,000-word guideline or five-minute duration guideline by more than 10% either way.
  • Be submitted on the application form in electronic format, in the correct format for the medium used and not exceed a file size of 10MB

NB: A glowing report may be pleasant, but we anticipate that a thorough, fair exposition of what you found, if critical, fully argued and explained, is the most likely to win high marks from the judges.