Computer Network Administration and Management
Preparation for professional practice in IT at a senior level
Why take this course?
In today's IT-centric business environments, the need for correctly specified, configured and managed computer systems is at the heart of business efficiency and security.
This course aims to teach you the principles and practice of systems administration and management, including system and network design, analysis, specification, efficiency and security in an ‘Open Systems’ environment.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Use our fully equipped multi-platform suites and computer labs to enhance your learning experience
- Gain hands-on experience of configuring and optimising secure networks and develop skills in building client, server and middleware aspects of internet applications
- Carry out your final project in a workplace environment or relate your topic to a current issue in industry
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). It will provide you with some of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).
The MSc at Portsmouth focused on professional practice in IT at a senior level. There is a lot of lab work and practical coursework.
Ahmed Al-Khazzar, MSc Computer Network and Administration Management student
- Start date and duration
- 1 year full time (start September), 3 years part time (start September), 16 months full time (start January - International applicants only)
- A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £6,400 part time: £2,130 p/a* (3 Years)
2017/18 entry: full time: £6,400 part time: £2,130 p/a* (3 Years)
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 part time: £4,570 p/a* (3 Years)
2017/18 entry: full time: £14,400 part time: £4,800 p/a* (3 Years)
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5566
- School of Engineering
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This course provides a broad understanding of client-facing management techniques within the context of computer network administration. You will study six core topics on this course, followed by an individual project.
Here are the units you will study:
- ICT Configuration and Administration: This unit aims to conceptualize and evaluate the theory, methods, and issues involved in installing, configuring and effectively managing a Unix based operating system for networking, as well as a complete virtualized environment.
- Client Server Network Architecture: This unit covers client and server network architecture with strong emphasis on internet/web architecture.
- Cloud Computing: This unit aims to provide familiarisation with the concept of cloud computing and extensive knowledge of the Open Nebula solution. It provides background knowledge of the RedHat Enterprise Linux (CentOS version) operating system, virtualisation in RHEL, to install configure and manage Open Nebula. The unit provides a good understanding of the concept of cloud computing and the technologies involved.
- Data Communications and Networking: The unit provides you with the required foundation and depth of knowledge to comprehensively understand the core principles of data communications and computer network.
- Network Design and Management: This unit aims to introduce you to the issues, processes and tools of top-down network design and provide you with awareness of the issues and techniques involved in the management of large scale computer networks.
- Communications Security: This unit attempts to follow a systematic and rational engineering approach to help you master challenging topics such as cryptography.
- Individual Project: The course ends with a four-month individual project in which you apply your knowledge to a significant communications system or network planning problem. Projects are tailored to your individual interests and may take place in our own laboratories or, by agreement, in industry.
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions in conjunction with implementing your individual project, which can often be linked with industry. In addition, you will need to spend significant time in our electronic, communications and computer laboratories as well as in private study directed by lecturers.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:
- coursework assignments
- a laboratory report
- a dissertation
Facilities & Features
The Network Lab
Our new £1 million network laboratory rivals anything available at other British universities. It will give you access to over 250 servers with full remote access. You’ll get the chance to configure, experiment with and manage different networking technologies. Plus, learn programming languages such as Java, HTML and C, and use a wide range of application packages such as OPNET and Wireshark. Our lab accommodates learning in all areas of computer networks and communication systems.
Specialist Software and Equipment
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’ll have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:
- Cisco equipment
- network analysers
- ECAD and software development suites
- analogue and digital electronics
- telecommunications and control systems
- Linux, Windows and Unix systems
A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about that programming problem? This is the place to go.
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.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Careers & Opportunities
Whether it is an in-house accounting and finance system in an SME or a corporate-wide data system in an international organisation, the role of systems administration is one that ensures integrity of the vital data upon which major business decisions are made.
The management aspect of the administrator's role includes securing suitable investment and commitment from staff so that the systems implemented are used correctly and to their full extent by all in the organisation. Overall, this course is about professional practice in IT at a senior level, where there is a growing need for practitioners who can take strategic IT plans and implement the associated computer and network infrastructures, as well as create appropriate administrative and maintenance structures that are responsive to company needs. Upon graduating you can expect to find roles as system administrators and managers, network designers, IT managers and system consultants.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days give you the opportunity to visit the University and meet with course leaders. You can also go to a range of academic and support-based talks to get the information you need to consider when studying at postgraduate level with us.
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2017 entry are:
- Wednesday 1 March 2017, 1pm - 5pm
- Wednesday 26 April 2017, 1pm - 5pm
Other opportunities to visit
Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.
We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
If you are unable to visit us, contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.