Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Computer Networks

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Three year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

Streaming, cloud-based services and social media, are just a small part of the role computer networks have in shaping our daily lives. With the rise of seamless mobility, and the rapid adoption of the Internet of Things, there has never been a more exciting time to build next-generation knowledge and skills with our Computer Networks degree.

Industry-focused approach

Networking is about constantly evolving. Led by a research-active, professionally qualified academic team, our course is designed to steadily enhance your capabilities as you prepare for a career in industry. You will build real-world problem-solving skills, develop knowledge relevant to business management, and have the option to include industry experience.

Professional, accredited learning

With our focus on delivering high-quality, industry-focused learning, our course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for I.T, opening up further career progression once you graduate. As a Network Academy Centre, we also offer you the opportunity to gain Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) during your studies.

Part of something bigger

As a computing student at Salford, you’ll be joining a community focused on unlocking the potential new technology brings for everyone. The University of Salford is proud to be a delivery partner of the GM Cyber Foundry, Greater Manchester’s ambition to be a global leader in cyber security and digital research and intelligence.

You will:
  • Develop a systematic understanding of computer networks, including penetration, testing, routing and switching
  • Build knowledge in Cloud services, IoT, the WAN and the facilitation of converging technology
  • Choose to include an industry placement where you can apply your knowledge and build additional transferable skills

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations
British Computing Society Accredited Degree logo
Cisco Networking Academy logo

This is for you if...


You have a strong interest in IT, computer networking and converging technology


You're interested in how things work rather than just wanting to be a user of them.


You like to explore how different elements can be combined to create a whole

Course details

All about the course

Computing students

Delivered from our exciting MediaCityUK campus, our BSc Computer Networks degree provides you with a systematic understanding of networks, including the underlying principles of how they work, and how these principles are applied in industry.

  • In year one, you'll study a range of topics in six modules covering theory and practice. Modules include an introduction to computers and network systems, Python and Linux, and database systems
  • As you progress into year two, you will follow specialist modules in network penetration testing, routing and switching, mobile networking and network simulation. You'll also experience a group design project. At the end of year two, you can choose to start your industry placement
  • In your final year, you will continue to progress as you focus on Internet of Things (IoT), the WAN and information security. You will also demonstrate your subject knowledge by completing your final year project

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will support your search and assign you a tutor to monitor your progress whilst on placement.

By successfully completing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your final degree award. Recent course students have developed their skills at placements with General Electric, Fujitsu, Cadburys and Bosch.

Year one

Introduction to Computers and Network Systems

Core to many electronics systems lies a central processor, managing and manipulating data, sometimes from remote locations. To fully understand this concept and the processes involved, this module introduces the fundamentals of computer hardware, software and networking technology including some more advanced concepts such as security.

Python and Linux

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.

Technologies in Context

This first year module places electronics and electronic engineering in a global context. You’ll study why electronics is important, how it affects our daily lives, what drives innovation, and the evolution of electronics technology and future trends.

Database Systems

This module will share 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.

Principles and Concepts of Network Technologies

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.

Professional Development and Practices

You will be introduced to the business context and application of computing and information systems. You will explore this through societal, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project delivery to a professional standard.

Year two

Networking and Security

You will learn in detail how the Internet works, from local area networks to global networks. This will include designing and troubleshooting networks, and configuring and testing network applications. You will also look at security vulnerabilities, cryptographic principles, protocols, C-I-A trade-offs, firewalls and legal implications. You will apply these principles to designing solutions for some realistic case studies.

Group Design Project

You will work together with course mates on a specific real world audio design task and come up with a real practical solution using.

Routing and Switching

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.

Network Penetration Testing

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.

Mobile Networking and Network Simulation

This module develops a core understanding of wireless networking systems and the associated principles and concepts of enabling technologies. It also focuses on an increasingly important area of simulation, and develops these skills using industry-standard network simulation software.

Advanced Routing and Switching

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 three

Internet of Things

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.

The WAN and Global Networks

You will develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of wide area network (WAN) technologies. This includes the services that they offer, the factors that influence their design, and how WAN technologies are used to connect small to medium sized business networks.

Business Management

You will learn business and enterprise concepts so you can 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 is intended to complement the technical project management content of the course and provide a real-world context linked to current enterprise activities at the university. You will also learn about freelancing.

Information Security Management

This module will prepare you for the creation and implementation of information security policies in organisations, with an emphasis on risk management and business continuity planning, taking account both the practicalities of implementation in a real-world setting and the various legal and ethical issues involved. You’ll learn to identify assets, vulnerabilities, threats and controls and to consider issues of security culture.

Project for Computer Networks

You will complete 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 that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods:

  • Practical laboratories
  • Case studies
  • Group work
  • Project work

Alongside technical and subject-based knowledge and skills, we will also help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. These include report writing, team work and project management skills.


You will be assessed through a combination of formats:

  • Examinations to assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
  • Assignments that assess your response to a challenging problem or scenario
  • Practical tests to assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to solve a problem
  • Projects that will assess your ability to create a plan, identify possibilities, make decisions, carry out the plan, and evaluate outcomes
  • Software development tasks will which will demonstrate your capabilities

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


You will experience a modern learning environment at our MediaCity UK campus, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software.  

As a computer networks student, you will learn in our specialist computing suites and laboratories, including a networking laboratory and dedicated final year project laboratory. You will use Cisco-enabled facilities, giving you the option to also gain Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) status.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


As a computer networks graduate, you will have excellent software development skills supported by a large portfolio of practical work, which can be used to demonstrate your abilities to prospective employers.

Many graduates secure roles working as network developers in a range of companies. However, with the range of applied knowledge and skills you will have, you can also look for roles working in IT consultancy, system administration or network analysis.

Today, you will find course alumni working with national companies, including Sainsbury's, Cisco, Microsoft, SIS, Autotrader, HMRC, Ferranti and Civica, as well as regional companies that are part of Greater Manchester's growing technology innovation community.


You might find that you want to learn more about computing. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni who apply for our postgraduate courses also qualify to receive a generous fees discount. 

MSc Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics

MSc Data Science

A taste of what you could become

A Network architect

A Security engineer

An IT consultant

An IT officer

A Network analyst

And more...

Career Links

We maintain strong links with industry and professional bodies, which provides you with study benefits, including site visits, guest speakers and placements.

We run an industrial liaison committee to provide us with industry-focused advice and ensure that our modules are relevant. Organisations involved are a mixture of IT-led businesses and those who make advanced of IT networks, including BBC, BT, Openreach, TalkTalk, EyeWimax, Pennine Telecom and Cisco.

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


What you need to know


We're looking for applicants with a strong interest in computing and IT. You'll be interested in what makes a network 'tick' and how the different elements can be combined for creative solutions. Having attention to detail and a good work ethic are desirable, especially if you are interested in the industry placement option.  


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.


This degree course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree course meets the standards set by BCS. A full CITP accredited degree entitles you to apply for professional membership of BCS and meets the evidence of breadth of knowledge in the assessment for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). 

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 points, including a numerate subject


104 - 112 points, including a numerate subject

BTEC National Diploma

DMM in IT related, Science or Engineering subjects

Access to HE

Pass with 112-120 UCAS Points from a QAA-approved programme

(For 22/23 entry: Pass with 104-112 UCAS Points from a QAA-approved programme)

Scottish Highers

112 UCAS points to include an IT-related, Science or Engineering subject

(For 22/23 entry: 104-112 UCAS points to include an IT-related, Science or Engineering subject)

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS points to include an IT-related, Science or Engineering subject

(For 22/23 entry: 104-112 UCAS points to include an IT-related, Science or Engineering subject)

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, to include Science, Engineering or Technology

International Baccalaureate

30 points with 14 in Higher Level subjects

(For 22/23 entry: 30 points with 14 in Higher Level subjects to include Engineering, Science or Technology)

Alternative entry requirements

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.  To be considered for the scheme, you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID G421

Institution S03

Clearing 2021

Start this course in September 2021. Apply through Clearing to secure your place.