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Computer Networks

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Computer Science

UCAS Code: G421

Start Dates(s): September


Three years full-time
four years with placement


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,400 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

There are very few industries now that do not rely on computer networks and our society’s economic wellbeing depends increasingly on their continued functionality and development. This course will provide you with a systematic understanding of the field of computer networks, encompassing a range of perspectives including: the underlying principles of how they, and associated technologies, work; the way these principles are put into practice in industry-standard network products; and the practical aspects of running a mission-critical network within real organisations.

Course Details

This course aims to provide you with: an appreciation of the context of modern communications and networking; a knowledge and conceptual understanding of a range of aspects of computer networking, including an awareness of relevant non-technical aspects crucial to implementation; the ability to apply knowledge and understanding in an informed way after considering a range of possible options, arguments and assumptions; the practical skills to be able to make an immediate contribution to the workplace; contact with both researchers and practitioners; the ability to become an independent learner able to adjust to (and be part of) future developments in the field.

It also places an emphasis on introducing you to a range of different software and hardware and their integrated use within a heterogeneous network infrastructure.

You will have the opportunity to complete a year-long industrial placement, which you arrange with our support, between Year 2 and 3 that aims to provide you with opportunities to apply your academic knowledge and interpersonal skills in a real-world environment, and to reflect on your own personal development and career choices. Successful completion of an industrial placement year will add 'with Professional Experience' to your degree title.

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.
This module introduces you to the concepts and principles of web content creation and develops the knowledge and skills needed to design, build and maintain a basic website with animated web content.
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.
The module develops the skills and techniques involved in the use of computer programming on Microsoft Windows based systems. After introducing the principles of structured and object-oriented programming, and of the Visual Studio development environment, you will learn how to manipulate text, graphics, sound and video in a multimedia application.
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 develops an awareness of the industry practice of media manipulation and distribution, an understanding of the hardware and software infrastructures used for media within a broadcast IP environment and outlines the application and implementation of standards and systems employed in mobile and internet television.
This module develops the practical and conceptual skills and knowledge that are fundamental to a critical understanding of modern computer networking.
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.
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.
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.
In this module you will learn the theory, and develop the associated practical skills, required to construct a modern functioning network containing a range of network services and management tools.

Year 3

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.
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.
In this module you will observe and analyse the operation and management of a real network infrastructure, and learn from real practitioners and technicians. You will have a range of experiences (technical, operational and managerial) and opportunities for reflection on the connection between the theories you have covered in your course and the reality of practice.
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 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


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

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