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Computer Networks

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Computer Science

UCAS Code: G421

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
four years with placement


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Use industry-standard facilities and equipment to gain real-world networking experience as well as developing skills to enhance your employment prospects
  • This course is linked to Salford’s Cisco Networking Academy so you can take professional examinations
  • The course has been accredited by the British Computer Society
  • Based at MediaCityUK
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Economic wellbeing increasingly depends on functionality and development of its technologuical networks. This relevant course will provide you with a systematic understanding of computer networks, including the study of the underlying principles of how networks work, how these principles are used in products and the practicalities of running a network.

Our teaching team has strong industry connections with leading organisations, including BBC, BT, Openreach, TalkTalk, EyeWimax, Pennine Telecom and Cisco. Collaboration with these organisations has guided the programme development and module content to ensure you learn the skills employers need.

As a Network Academy Centre, we deliver Cisco professional Cisco Certified Network Associate course materials alongside and within our Computer Networks programme. This provides you with the opportunity to become CCNA certified.

Course Details

In year one, you will study a range of topics in six modules covering theory and practice. Example modules include Introduction to Computers and Network Systems, Python & Linux and Database Systems.

Year two offers specialist modules, which may include Network Penetration Testing, Advanced Routing and Switching and Mobile Networking and Network Simulation. You will also undertake a group design project.

Between years two and three, you will have the opportunity to undertake a paid industrial placement with a relevant organisation.Recent placements include General Electric, Fujitsu, Cadbury and Bosch Ltd.

In your final year, you will undertake an individual project and study specialised core modules, such as Internet of Things (IoT), the WAN and Global Networks, and Information Security.

Year 1    

This module provides you with an introduction to computer hardware and software, develops the professional skills needed to operate in an IT environment, and provides you with an introduction to more advanced concepts.
Following two parallel streams, this module will include computer-based workshops to cover practical Linux, leading towards assessment of a student's practical ability. You will gain the confidence to replicate the working environment on your own computer, and be able to access the university system using network remote access.
This module gives you an appreciation of computer networks through a review of its history, the commercial and industrial context, how it impacts society, and the evolution of technology and future trends. It will also develop your core academic and personal skills through undertaking research, analysing        and        interpreting technical data, and preparing presentation and reports.
This module will give you a fundamental knowledge of database management systems, their design, implementation and applications. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of relational database management system, and how to implement and maintain an efficient database        system        using emerging trends.
This module will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of operation of modern communication networks, with associated practical skills development required to design, build and test such a network.
This module introduces you to the business context and the work of the computing and information systems professional through an understanding of the societal, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project execution to a professional standard.

Year 2        

This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of how the Internet works. You will gain knowledge about establishing a network of PCs using TCP/IP and troubleshooting. You will learn about the security implications needed for information–based systems. You will also learn to design and assess technical and non-technical solutions.
In this module you will learn about digital communications signals, coding and media delivery and the digital hardware elements required to produce and process digital communication signals. You will gain practical experience of using digital design tools to design and test digital communication hardware        and work as part of a team to produce a working design from a specification.
This module focuses on aspects specific to local area network infrastructures, leading into the theoretical and practical aspects of LAN design and integration. You will then learn how LAN communications can be improved, and the recent advances in network technologies in the wireless and wired arenas.
You will develop knowledge and skills in network penetration testing and vulnerability assessment. You will understand when and how to apply knowledge gained in real-life penetration testing and vulnerability detection scenarios.
In this module you will learn about the principles of mobile networking, mobile networking systems and the associated enabling technologies. You will also learn how to use industry-standard network simulation packages.
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the concepts of routing, using a global addressing system to facilitate routing and the function and implementation of the different routing protocols that may be operated across a network.

Year 3        

You will gain an overview of key concepts and challenges related to digital transformation through an examination of the evolution of the Internet and how the interconnection of people, processes, data, and things is transforming every industry.
This module will teach you about wide area network technologies, the factors that influence their design and the services that they offer. You will also learn about how wide area network services are used and exploited to build both global corporate networks for organisations and connect small- to medium-sized        business        networks.
This module aims to provide you with business and enterprise concepts to allow them to analyse and evaluate business practices, concepts, theories and frameworks and their relationship to the strategic and operational management of an enterprise or a project. This will complement the technical project management content of the course and provide you with a real-world context linked to freelancing and the current enterprise activities at the university.
In this module you will think about the security implications of internet-based computer systems and develop a critical appreciation of both the theoretical and practical issues in the field of computer forensics. You will also develop the necessary skills, methodologies and processes to conduct a basic        computer        forensics investigation within an organisation.
You will undertake an individual project that will demonstrate your understanding of computer networks. You can select your own area of study, and then will identify and develop a realistic problem and, working independently and in a professional manner, organise, sustain and report on your project        in        a way which is both detailed and reflective.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 104 - 112 points including a numerate subject.
GCE A level 104 - 112 points including a numerate subject.
BTEC National Diploma DMM in IT related, Science or Engineering subjects
Scottish Highers 104 - 112 in IT-related, Science or Engineering
Irish Leaving Certificate 104 - 112 in IT-related, Science or Engineering
International Baccalaureate 30
Access to HE Pass

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that the GCSE requirements remain in place for candidates going through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme onto this course. Please contact Jos Hirst the Director of Admissions for further information.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in ourEnglish language courses.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in computer networking. You will be interested in what makes a network 'tick' and how the different elements of which it can be composed can be combined to create a whole that is fit for its intended purpose. An attention to detail and a good work ethic are important to this course particularly if you are interested in taking up the opportunity of doing an industrial placement as part of your degree.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


A variety of delivery methods are adopted to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Broadly speaking, these are:

  • Lectures are used to deliver theoretical background knowledge and principles, and develop conceptual understanding
  • Workshops put principles into practice and develop practical skills
  • Case studies are used to develop your ability to apply your knowledge and develop skills
  • Group work is used to develop team working and professional skills
  • Projects enable you to apply what you have learnt to a realistic problem
  • Professional issues are delivered through the combination of a dedicated module to provide a broad context and other modules to provide a specific context that relates theory to your own practical experiences and career plans
  • Key skills (for example communication and ICT) are developed throughout the programme


Varied assessment strategies are used and based on a module's learning outcomes:

  • For modules where the development of practical or professional skills is a significant aim of the module, assessment through project work, case studies or group work is a major form of assessment
  • For modules where a significant learning outcome is the development and application of theoretical material examination is the major form of assessment


Career Prospects

Network professionals are responsible for developing, installing, maintaining and supporting computer communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. Their goal is to ensure the smooth operation of networks in order to provide maximum performance and availability for their users, such as staff, clients, customers and suppliers.

Network engineers may work internally as part of an organisation's IT support team or externally as part of an IT networking consultancy firm working with a number of clients.

Other job titles used to refer to this kind of work include network support, support engineer, IT support engineer, helpdesk support, network administrator, Novell support engineer, first-line support, second-line support, security engineer and network architect.

Links with Industry

The course team has good links with industry, for example companies such as the BBC, BT, Openreach, TalkTalk, EyeWimax, Pennine Telecom and Cisco. These companies provide comment and advice on programme and module content, and engage with students on the programme through the delivery of seminars and industrial placement opportunities.

Further Study

  • MSc Data Science
  • Facilities

    You will have access to a range of specialist computer suites to support your studies, including an independent networking laboratory.

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    Take a guided tour of the University's facilities at MediaCityUK.

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