Computer Networks And Security MSc

View of Cisco racks in lab
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 18 Months

2018/19 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £7,350 per course
  • International students: £12,500 per course
Course start September

This course is under redevelopment and we have some exciting curriculum enhancements to announce soon. For additional information, please contact our Enquiries Team at


Course outline

Companies are becoming ever more dependent on their information networks for mission-critical operations. They want highly trained networking professionals to keep them operational, available, resilient and efficient.

The myriad of threats towards these networks are changing constantly. Security polices and mitigation techniques have to keep pace with these threats in order to allow genuine traffic out of and into our corporate networks whilst controlling the malicious users.

This course will give you the knowledge, lifelong learning skills and enthusiasm needed to support and manage both corporate networks and security systems. As part of the award you will participate in the CISCO Networking Academy Programme and you'll prepare for the widely accepted industry CCNA Security and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications.

We encourage you to complete a one-year industrial placement as part of this course. You could work with small enterprises or large companies like Cisco, Amazon and Thomson Reuters. We even send our students on placements to Cisco's European HQ in Brussels, we are the only UK University that currently does so. 
We encourage International students on the Tier 4 visa , once enrolled, to apply for a placement.  Students who are successful with finding a placement will be provided with help and advice with their visa extension application (subject to the University deadlines and Immigration requirements).

Social media links

Course content

In your first study stage, the PgC, you will study five modules - a mix of award cores and networking or networking and security options. In the second stage the PgD you will study a further four modules. (Upon successful completion of 4 modules you will be eligible for a PgC in Computer Science) On finishing the PgC and before starting the dissertation you have the opportunity to undertake a work placement of 12 months. You will finish your award by completing a dissertation on a network related topic.

Core modules

COIS71052 Dissertation  (60 credits)

Entry requirements

  • Normal requirements
  • An Undergraduate Honours degree BSc/BEng (2.2 or above) in a related Computing subject, or in Telecommunications or Electronic Engineering with Telecoms/ Network modules from a UK University, or the international equivalent.
  • Applicants with appropriate experience in networking and/or professional qualifications will also be considered providing they can satisfy the University that they are capable of responding to the challenge of postgraduate study.
  • If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate that you are fluent enough to cope with the course. A minimum score of IELTS 6 or TOEFL 550 (213 computer-based) is normally required.  


  • High demand for Computer Networks and Security graduates
  • Opportunity to gain the knowledge required to take the Cisco certification to CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional
  • Taught using up to date specialist Networking and Forensic/Security Laboratories
  • Study the latest technologies that industry is and will be using
  • BCS accredited: CITP Further Learning and CEng/CSci (partial fulfilment). BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, champions the global IT profession and accredits UK Computing course *

*The accreditation of the BCS means that students who complete an honours degree can apply to the BCS for Professional Member status (MBCS). In addition this will also cover your educational requirements of the BCS Chartered IT Professional (CITP) application process. The BCS is the only organisation in the UK which can offer the chartered status to IT professionals in the UK and as a part of this they carry out assessments of the university courses to ensure that the quality requirements are being met.

Additionally the students will be encouraged to take the Industry Cisco Network certifications. The various certifications (CCNP, and CCNA Security) are embedded into modules, these are optional but heavily encouraged to make our students as employable as possible. These certifications will use some of the assessments which are used as a part of the modules in addition though the students will need to do additional online assessment. The certifications will test your practical and academic knowledge to a high degree and are very sought after by employers.

Teaching and learning

This award is designed to give the student the knowledge and confidence to understand the operation of computer networks and security. Not only though do we want our students to have detailed knowledge in the academic domain but also to be able to practically demonstrate their capabilities. Our strategy is to give students the knowledge, but then to take this forward and work on the live equipment which we have in our dedicated laboratories. We use two laboratories for network communications and a separate room for security. This gives our students a solid knowledge base to work with and the practical experience which is required for work within the industry. The culture within the award is designed to push the students to get the best out of them and to give a variety of ways to learn. We have never wanted an active subject like this to simply be a series of one hour lectures where the students simply listen. Within the lectures the material we work through is not all based on just memorising a series of facts. We focus the students through lectures and sessions towards real world scenarios. This again allows them to get a good understanding, basing all of the teaching and learning on scenarios which would be real world rather than just an academic discussion. They will also gain a lot of knowledge outside of network communications ensuring they have the skills set to become a valuable member of an organisation.

We want throughout the award for the students to be successful and confident and as such for a lot of our modules they will have access to formative assessments. These do not contribute to their university grades but they do allow them to check their understating as the module continues. This gives the students earlier in the module to recognise how well they understand the subject area and request feedback. The teaching is mostly carried out by a specialist group of lecturers with many years of experience who are able to assist and help the students in all areas of network communications. In summary we will use a large number of different teaching and learning techniques to produce a confident rounded individual at the end of the award.


A variety of different modes of assessment are employed within the award. The nature of the subject area for this is predominantly practical. Assessment throughout the programme can therefore be expected to ensure a suitable balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. A theoretical base for the award is needed to understand the practical aspects of the work. An assessment strategy will be chosen for each module and detailed in the descriptor which is appropriate for testing the achievement of the learning outcomes.

A mix of formative and summative assessment is used throughout the programme. Typically formative assessment takes place during tutorial time. Summative assessment takes place through coursework and examinations. Coursework assignments provide the opportunity for students to consolidate learning of the theoretical material by applying it in a problem solving scenario. Examinations provide an opportunity for students to show what they have learned in the module. Students will normally receive feedback on any assessment within 20 days of submission which again can be used to enhance their learning on a module.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Computer Networks and Security award join large and small organisations within graduate programs and as direct employees. Our graduates are in high demand by the networking industry. Companies include Cisco, Meraki, GCHQ, BT, Amazon and Layer3.

Meet the experts

Networks team are best

I know, to you a picture of some random people – why? Well this is a picture of the core computer networking team of staff winning a Customer Service Award for their work teaching and supporting students.

I think that this is a good thing to be proud of and is a good thing for you to know that the staff who will be looking after you do care and will provide you with excellent support. 


Enquiries Team
Cadman Information Point
College Road
United Kingdom
t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course