Race against time for new UCLan computing students

John Royle (right) with fellow 'Before Studios'  team members (from left) Safwan Mallu,  Sokratis Antoniou, Jack Smurthwaite  and  Nathan Williams

John Royle (right) with fellow 'Before Studios' team members (from left) Safwan Mallu, Sokratis Antoniou, Jack Smurthwaite and Nathan Williams

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It’s game on for new mature student John Royle from Ribchester, near Longridge.

He is racing against time to help design and market a special app featuring a quiz as part of his studies.

The former administrator, who also works as a part time gardener, decided to return to study after being made redundant.

Now, after signing up for a degree in computing at UCLan in Preston, he is facing his first challenge.

John, 52, is one of a team of five studying in the School of Physical Sciences and Computing who are pitting their wits and skills against other first year computing students in a bid to design and market a special quiz app.

The team, called the “Before Studios” team, comprises John, Safwan Mallu, 19, Sokratis Antoniou,21, Jack Smurthwaite, 20 and Nathan Williams, 18.

He explained that competition is keen as 27 groups are competing in the contest: “We are taking part in the ‘Computing 4 Week Challenge’. Over a four week period, each group has to develop and utilise a mobile app to undertake a Treasure Hunt style quiz based in Preston this Friday.”

The team is promoting the app to fellow Freshers and hopes to score top points.

John said: “Whilst developing the app we are given a series of tasks in which points are won (and lost) culminating in one group finishing top of the leaderboard and winning the challenge. Tasks range from coding, design and marketing to attending exterior seminars and tweeting photos.”

The former pupil of Preston Catholic College is planning to specialise in information systems.

The team is pictured with their app, which is still being developed.