The existing development framework (Yii 1.1) for the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degree Finder applications, used to publish degree programme content to prospective students, reaches 'end-of-life' on 31st December 2020.  The Campus Maps and A-Z Directory reside on the same development framework and both these applications, along with the degree finders, are owned by Communications and Marketing.

The target audience for the degree finders are prospective students, where Campus Maps and A-Z are for both prospective and current students.

This project will investigate the options for publishing degree programme content, so that action can be taken, where necessary, in advance of the existing applications no longer being viable to develop within their existing framework.


In Scope

  • UG and PG Degree Finder applications (front end and back end)
  • Analyse existing Degree Finder processes and content (as-is)
  • Summarise current technical/infrastructure position including any technical dependencies
  • Validate position regarding Degree Finder personal data and security risks
  • Document high level Business Requirements (to-be)
  • Research third party supplier software on market, and best practice process from public sector data sources published via websites
  • Incorporate new accessibility legislation
  • Use UCISA network to check what peer universities are using
  • Investigate internal re-development of software and technical options/feasibility

Out of Scope

  • Campus Maps and A-Z Directory (on same framework but not within scope of options appraisal)
  • Printed degree programme prospectuses - a separate piece of work led by CAM is looking into this
  • Changes to existing Degree Finders, e.g. security enhancements
  • Any other student facing web applications and content (other than those listed in scope)

Objectives and Deliverables




O1 To summarise the 'as-is' position for the Degree Finders



D1. A diagram describing the existing system architecture, business processes, users, data (including flows) and security

Must Have

IS Applications

Communications and Marketing

O2 To gather and document the high level requirements for publishing degree programme content



D2. A vision statement for the required solution Should Have Communications and Marketing

D3. A high level business requirements document summarised by category and priority

Must Have

IS Applications Project Services

Communications and Marketing

O3 To present and appraise options, and make recommendations, for publishing degree programme content



D4. An options appraisal document to include pros, cons, risks and indicative costings

Must Have

IS Applications

Communications and Marketing



  • Enabler for key decision on future of degree finders
  • Key input for resources contributing to student recruitment strategy and attracting the best students
  • Greater understanding of risk of failure of existing product
  • Common understanding and agreement on high level business requirements, including appropriate prioritisation
  • Capture of new and emerging requirements, e.g. Competition and Markets Authority compliance, degree programme content search technology
  • Increased awareness of the existing supplier market and of best practice process from public sector data sources published via websites
  • Incorporation of new accessibility legislation
  • Exploration of development (and re-development) opportunities

Success Criteria

  • Presentation of viable options with sufficient clarity on risks, benefits and costs, to enable decision
  • Appraisal completed in advance of deadline to make bids for funding an implementation project

Project Milestones

  • Business analysis - 'as is' - 25th October 2019
  • Business requirements - 15th November
  • Delivery (options appraisal with recommendations) - 29th November 2019
  • Decision on next steps - 6th December 2019
  • Closure - 13th December 2019

Project Info

UG & PG Degree Finder Options Appraisal
Student Services (STU)
Management Office
Project Manager
Kevin Hone
Project Sponsor
Niall Bradley
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority