Computer networks have revolutionised our lives, from the Internet and the Web to mobile computing and cloud applications. Nowadays, computer networks play a vital role in all aspects of businesses, governments, and public services. Not surprisingly, computer networks specialists are highly sought by the industry. In addition to attractive salaries, computer networks graduates enjoy interesting and exciting professional careers working with a wide range of projects and clients.
This course will provide you with knowledge and practical skills to design, implement, and support computer networks at small and large companies, and to engineer new networking technologies influencing the future of the industry.
On this course you can:
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), meeting the standards set by the UK Engineering Council in the Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). This accredited course fully satisfies IET educational requirements for eventual professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).
Studying this degree will open routes to exciting careers in a number of well-established and emerging industries successfully pursued by our graduates, including:
One of the best things about the course is it's very hands on. You learn by doing and not just theory.
Katie Tuffrey, computing student 2012
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
Your first year will introduce you to the underlying scientific principles of computing and network technologies, and the necessary academic skills that you will be relying on throughout the course. You will also cover basics of data communications, software, and systems administration.
Core units in this year include:
You will start to define your specialist area through a choice of options as well as covering core topics in network architectures, design and management. There is also a considerable amount of hands-on project work including a group design task.
Core units in this year include:
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
In this year you will consolidate your skills and learning. There is a smaller number of core units to allow for a substantial final-year project, which provides an opportunity for you to investigate and experiment with a specific network-related topic that could be linked to a company or business requirement.
Core units in this year include:
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
Here at the University we aim to provide a lively and modern learning environment. During this course you will experience a mixture of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and practical work consisting of individual and group assignments with a strong design emphasis.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
We assess you in ways that encourage a deeper understanding and allow you to develop your professional skills including through:
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
Dr Shikun Zhou
It is equally important that you enjoy your university study whilst making yourselves ready for your future career. We place an emphasis on student-oriented problem based learning with practical network design projects, linking our curriculum with real world events and applications.
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Our new £1 million state of the art network laboratory rivals anything available at other British universities. It will give you in-lab and remote access to over 250 servers in a data centre-like environment. You will get the chance to configure, experiment with, and manage different networking technologies. You can also learn various programming languages such as Java, PHP and C, and use a wide range of network analysis tools such as OPNET and Wireshark. Our lab accommodates learning in all areas of computer networks and data communication systems.
A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs, supported by multi-platform network suites offering a variety of operating systems. You will have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:
Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer-aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
This accredited course fully satisfies educational requirements for eventual professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). You will have a sound knowledge of computer networks and systems, and practical design and development skills, making you attractive to a wide variety of employers in areas as diverse as IT, e-commerce, leisure and travel, healthcare, home entertainment, and banking.
It is also fairly common for our graduates to be snapped up by the employer they worked for in their placement year. Others continue their study at both MSc and PhD levels, specialising further in areas such as next generation computer networks and communications systems. Alternatively, you can continue expanding your professional expertise through many of the computing graduate programmes with major “blue chip” companies.
The demand for computer networks specialists continues to grow and graduates from this course have been successful in finding work with these big names:
The best way to boost your CV is by doing an industry placement. This is a great opportunity to put your developing skills into practice in an industrial or commercial setting - and be paid for it! Taking a year in industry is an extremely effective way to increase your employability for when you finish the course. You may even find that your placement employer hires you once you graduate.
There are also opportunities to do a placement overseas in one of 31 participating countries via our Erasmus exchange programme. We actively encourage such placements as it is a great way for you to experience another culture and develop some language skills.
Our team at the Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) offers information and guidance during the recruitment process for your placement and supports you throughout the year in industry. We also ensure you have access to a range of other volunteering and work experience opportunities.
Here are some examples of the roles our students have secured for their placements:
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.
Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.