Computer Networks BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)


September 2017

Intermediate awards: CertHE, DipHE


Get ready to enter an exciting, fast-changing world where your skills will be in high demand. Use our on-campus and virtual lab environments to learn how to set up complex networks. Take advantage of our relationship with Cisco Systems and gain the skills necessary for certification. This course has been validated to include an optional Sandwich Placement year in industry.

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For more information about Sandwich Placement opportunities, please contact the Placements Team.

Full description

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Networks and their security are increasingly important issues around the world. There is strong demand for people who can install, manage and support computer networks. You could work as a certified networking engineer within an organisation, or be self-employed. There are also many career opportunities in technical sales and support.

This course covers all the material you’ll need to apply for Cisco certification at both Associate (CCNA) and Professional levels (CCNP).

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses including MSc Cloud Computing and MSc Cyber Security.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Learning and Skills for HE
    If you're entering higher education you'll need specific study skills to enable you to maximise your learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both in the academic setting and the workplace. Students enter with different levels of skills and experience and may approach the module in a variety of ways. The module prepares and supports you to build a strong foundation for learning and later development. Learning will develop and underpin Level One study skills in the first half of the semester with the focus moving towards individual formative support towards the end of the semester. You'll develop and maintain a reflective learning log/blog to support this module and their continuing studies, the reflective log/blog is used as the basis of tutorial work and formative assessment. This work will also provide evidence for the beginning of a Personal Development Planning Portfolio that you'll build on over the next two years of your studies. You'll be expected to meet with your personal tutors to review your progress and actively seek out a mentor within the university community or workplace.
  • Software Principles
    Learn the fundamental concepts required to understand, design, implement and test high-level programming languages. We’ll introduce you to a design methodology to help develop linear and hierarchical trains of thought from idea conception through design and implementation to testing. You’ll use a simple interactive programming environment to discover how to create and use a wide variety of different basic and complex data structures. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to analyse a simple set of requirements, design appropriate data structures, select appropriate language syntax to manipulate program data and understand and use syntax for the implementation of conditional logic and repetition. You’ll also be able to create simple scripts, demonstrate familiarity with the taxonomy of programming languages and the software development life- cycle and gain sufficient experience of a range of algorithm design techniques.
  • Computer Systems
    With the use of computers in all walks of life it's essential for companies to have IT staff capable of specifying, installing, configuring and maintaining the company's IT resources and networks. This module ensures you'll have the practical skills companies look for in an IT specialist. We'll investigate the components and operation of modern computer systems and introduce you to the hardware components which enable a computer to process data and the devices which enable data to be input, output and stored. We'll also introduce you to the fundamentals of computer networks as modern computer systems rarely operate in a standalone manner.
  • Global Business Environment
    You’ll be introduced to the dominant environmental factors that determine the constraints and the opportunities that confront international business and you’ll explore the political, economic, social, legal, ecological and technological factors in the international business environment. You’ll look at the competitive environment and how this interacts with globalisation, and technological and social change to create complex strategic options. You’ll gain an understanding of contemporary trends in the global economy, and the importance of country attractiveness, and its indicators. You’ll be assessed in three ways. A small group debate in which you’re asked to role play a senior management discussion concerning foreign investment opportunities. An individual research blog (1,200 words), and a 3,000 word essay, which is chosen from a list of optional titles. The titles are chosen to promote the exploration of both long standing and topical issues affecting international business.
  • Introduction to Organisations and Management
    Regardless of your technical area, type of organisation or job position, to get your work done you'll need to manage your relationships with colleagues, managers, subordinates and customers. This module aims to increase your ability to analyse the human side of management and diagnose problems affecting performance and organisational effectiveness. Specifically, we'll equip you with knowledge and skills to understand how people and organisations function in individual, group and organisational levels based on the latest academic evidence on topics such as motivation, leadership, teams, organisational structure and culture. Finally, we'll inspire you to value and continuously use the best available academic evidence on effective management of people and organisations throughout your career.

Year two, core modules

  • Data Security
    Information technology has created a world that is increasingly virtual in nature. Both private individuals and businesses alike suffer the same vulnerabilities in managing access to valuable information that is increasingly being stored remotely. Whilst the public and industry professionals wrestle with the escalating complexity and variation in the ways that information is compromised, we see the emergence of the harnessing of digital insecurities as a weapon on an international stage. You’ll be introduced to some of the key concepts that lie at the heart of information security, but viewed at the more fundamental data level. You’ll be provided with a critical insight into the often misunderstood or poorly defined issues of data security and thereby offered a springboard to the study of information security at level 6. After studying this module you’ll understand how and why the digital data systems we use every day pose such a threat to individuals and businesses, where solutions are possible and where they might prove difficult or impossible. A key issue is the fundamental weakness that humans introduce into the technology. You’re expected to augment the content delivered by lectures with independent study of your own on a weekly (or even daily basis) in order to remain current with developing threats. You’ll write up a dossier of weekly security issues and together with a 1,000 word technical discussion of a particular security vulnerability will form the final assessment making a 3,000 word submission in total.
  • Entrepreneurship in IT
    You’ll develop critical business and financial skills, as well as attitudes and behaviours to help you succeed. You’ll learn key concepts through business case studies and computer game based activities. By applying, practicing and ultimately mastering fundamental skills through the case studies and activities, you’ll develop an entrepreneurial mind-set that empowers you to improve your overall quality of life. You’ll be evaluated through five interactive, online case studies designed to help you apply IT capabilities within the context of starting a business. These case studies introduce a variety of basic business and financial concepts through hands-on exercises and realistic scenarios that cultivate and reinforce the critical thinking skills required to become a successful entrepreneur. The computer-based interactive learning game will challenge you to apply and practise the business and financial skills introduced in the case studies within the context of simulated networking environments. The game will invite you to explore, learn and develop entrepreneurial thinking, creative problem-solving and decision-making skills that will help you successfully compete in the global marketplace. You’ll be assessed through interactive, online case studies with presentation and submission of presentation notes in addition to a substantive individual report. This module will also provide you with “soft” skills that are nowadays much needed in the industry.
  • Design Methods and Technology Project
    This module is essentially a mini project where you’ll design some artefact, e.g.: electronic hardware, software, multimedia production, website etc. The management of the project is in itself a core element and you’re expected to produce a formal specification using sound design methods, a time plan and progress indicator. You’ll also be expected to produce a number of alternative designs that meet the specification, select the most appropriate design using recognised techniques and carry out design reviews.
  • Network Technologies
    Following on from our "Computer Network Principles" module you'll focus on LAN Switching and WAN Technologies. Firstly you'll focus on switching basics and intermediate routing, covering topics such as: advanced IP addressing techniques, intermediate routing, CLI configuration of Ethernet switches and Virtual LANs. Secondly you'll focus on WAN technologies covering topics such as: Network Address Translation (NAT), DHCP, WAN technologies, optical networking, and Network Management. You'll also cover material that enables you to take an optional test to achieve the Cisco certification "Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices". If you've chosen to study both Computer Network Fundamentals and Networking Technologies you'll be able to take an optional test to achieve the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) award which is highly regarded by employers in this area.

Year three, core modules

  • Information Security
    With the growth of high bandwidth internet, eCommerce, eBusiness and Virtual Private Networks, information security has become a centre-stage issue. However, many organisations and businesses find themselves missing the necessary skills and knowledge that is needed to develop effective security strategies. This module will equip you with the skills to fill that gap by introducing you to key aspects of information security and taking a broader view of the information security problems facing industry and commerce today. You'll gain a comprehensive overview of the problem, motives and techniques of 'hackers', the inherent security problems built into information technology itself and the role played by encryption techniques. Often it is user behaviour itself that creates significant vulnerabilities and this module focuses on the role of people and the part played by poor user discipline.
  • Advanced Network Routing
    This module is an advanced course in the design, implementation and troubleshooting of network routing protocols. You’ll focus on the deployment of advanced routing protocols in large organisations and those used by Internet Service Providers. You’ll be introduced to Interior Gateway Protocols such as EIGRP and OSPF, and the Exterior Gateway Protocol, BGP. Route redistribution, filtering and migration to IPOv6 will also be covered. Lectures and case study work in our industry-standard networking laboratories will form the basis of your learning, and your learning will be assessed by staged case study, research and in-class tests.
  • Network Simulation and Modelling
    The massive growth and complexity of the internet and enterprise networks there is a growing demand for network practitioners to be able to both model and simulate networks to ascertain the impact on network performance of proposed changes to the network. You'll focus on the modelling network components, such as switches and routers, and the discrete event simulation of complex networking environments to ascertain the impact of changes to proposed networks or the planning of new networks using the industry standard simulation tool OPNET. Teaching is delivered by a series of lecturers, covering the basic principles and concepts, and laboratory-based practical experimentation using OPNET.
  • Advanced Campus Networks
    This module is an advanced course in the design and deployment of complex enterprise switched architectures. We’ll focus on key deployment issues to provide high performance, resilient and secure campus networks. You’ll cover key topics, such as VLAN, STP and Inter-VLAN deployment and develop your troubleshooting skills so that you’ll be able to confidently solve issues with complex networks. Delivered as part of the curriculum offered by The Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP), a well-established partnership between academia and industry to provide up-to-date knowledge and skills required by industry and commerce, you’ll have access to our remote networking laboratory (NETLAB) so that you can work flexibly to suit your needs.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You’ll create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could chose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you’re specifically interested in. You’ll identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


We’ll assess you throughout the course so that you can measure your progress. Most of this assessment will be based on case studies, as well as class-based laboratory tests, group work, presentations and reports.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

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Additional study information


This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement year between years 2 and 3 of your studies. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


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For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2017 entry

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online