The Digs Stuff

About this idea

We are a group of Graduate Interns and Apprentices working within the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam University. Our app is called, 'The Digs Stuff.' We believe this innovative and exciting idea will help prospective students make a correct and informed choice when deciding the place they wish to study and live whilst at University in the UK. Students are able to set their ideal preferences and the app will find the top 5 results to help them make the best decision for them. As recent students, we have been through the process of choosing a University. This involved a time consuming process of using many different sources of information whilst studying at College or Sixth Form. We strongly believe this process would be much simpler and easier if everything could be compared for you in the palm of your hand.

A scenario where a prospective student will use this app:

Imagine Tom, an 18 year old male, he is the first in his family to go to University, and has no previous information about his choices. He is in a wheelchair so needs readily available disabled access and needs to live close to University, but enjoys socialising with friends in the evenings. He also knows he would like to live away from home, ideally on a campus University. When Tom is making these important decisions, he can download 'The Digs Stuff' to enable him to choose a University as well as accommodation that are perfect for all of his needs without spending hours searching using many different sources.  

This app would use Higher Education open data to compare Universities. When students have set their preferences for a University (see video) it will search for the relevant Universities. To find more information about these Universities you can click on the arrows next to each option. This will then take you to a page with UniStats / KIS statistics, NUS and Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and a range of other information. This can be used to help decide on the best Universities for a prospective student.

It will also use open data to compare accommodation/ location by pulling information from the sources listed below. This will enable students to all of the relevant information they would need to make such a decision in one place instead of various places.

Possible uses of Open Data:

On 'The Education Stuff' pages:

UniStats / KIS statistics


Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education


On 'The Living Stuff' pages:

University information on accommodation

Unite Students


On 'The Welfare Stuff' page:

UK Crime Stats


On 'The Exciting Stuff' page:

Just Eat

Trip Advisor

Public Transport/ Train line

Google Maps (street view)

Supermarket store locators (main chains only)

Cinema websites


On 'The Boring Stuff' page:

Official TV Licencing

Council Websites for car parking availability and permits



People who are involved:


Abi Nelms- Graduate Intern

Cathy Borman- Graduate Intern

Tara Seipel- Graduate Intern

Lucy Shanks- Graduate Intern

Josh Elliott- Apprentice

Abbi Willis- Apprentice