Computer Science student uses his programming skills to enhance EKM eCommerce platform


The Organisation

Preston based EKM Systems LTD (EKM) is the UK’s most popular eCommerce platform. The company powers one in five UK online shops, providing the tools to build and run websites, send out email marketing and take payments. 

The Challenge

The company is growing quickly and approached Lancaster University for assistance to help develop their eCommerce platform.

Skills Sought

  • Demonstrable programming skills including a portfolio and code samples
  • Experience in object-oriented programming languages such as Java, C# or Ruby

The Solution

Carl Hartshorn, 3rd-year MSci Computer Science student was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a 12-week internship with EKM. Carl worked with the company’s engineering team to bring enhancements and new features to the EKM platform using C# ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript, React and other new technologies.

CostSantandar Universities Logo

The internship was part-financed by EKM at £1,800+VAT, and part-financed by Santander, with a total value of £3,600. ‌


The enhanced work allowed the company to improve its client offer, by improving EKM’s eCommerce platform, which is used by tens of thousands of shop owners and tens of millions of shoppers.

Benefits to the company

  • Saved management time
  • Enhancements and new features to products
  • Provided a more robust support to their existing client base
  • Improved its client offer

Company Feedback

“Participating in the internship programme has been a massive success for us and the calibre of the students from Lancaster University is excellent. Carl was an asset to the team and produced some great work that directly benefited our customers.” Nick Stansfield, Head of Engineering, EKM Systems Ltd.

Student Feedback

“The internship was a great learning experience and confidence booster for me…Overall, I would say that the experience I had at EKM was a great one. Going forward it has given me the confidence to apply for more development jobs, having proven that I can learn new languages quickly.” Carl Hartshorn, 3rd year MSci Computer Science, EKM Intern.

Future Plans  

EKM Systems Ltd continues its relationship with the University.