Computer Networks BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Computer Networks
From the Internet to cloud computing, social networking, and multimedia streaming, computer networks play a vital role in all aspects of business, government and public services.
On this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree course, you’ll learn to develop and manage sophisticated computer networks solutions and get hands on with the latest technologies to make a mark on the future of the industry. You’ll also have the option to join our Cisco Networking Academy to add an industry-recognised Cisco certification to your degree.
With the current shortage of networking and IT professionals, your skill set will be in high demand across many sectors when you graduate, opening doors to careers in roles such as network architect, consultant and developer.
This course is currently going through the process of re-accreditation with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) after the 2020 assessment visit was delayed due to Covid-19.
100% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)
BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree entry requirements
- A levels – ABB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 25–26
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this degree course, you'll:
- Configure, manage and experiment with different network technologies and web applications
- Work with our private cloud environment to learn about virtualisation and cloud computing
- Use network analysis tools such as OPNET and Wireshark
- Use our bespoke network laboratory with in-lab and remote access to over 200 routers and switches in a data-centre environment
- Be challenged to put what you learn in the classroom to work, taking on practical network design projects that are linked to your studies
- Join our Cisco Networking Academy to work towards obtaining industry-recognised certifications, such as CCNA or CCNP
- Take optional modules to tailor your degree to specific interests, like management, security, big data, Internet of Things, or business and innovation
Careers and opportunities
What can you do with a Computer Networks degree?
After the course, you could work in many industries, for example:
- consumer and professional electronics
- pharmaceuticals and health care
- broadcasting and telecommunications
- IT development and consulting
- banking and finance
Graduates from this course have gone on to work for well-known companies such as:
- BAE Systems
- Morgan Stanley
- Deutsche Bank
Our Employability and Careers service will be on hand throughout your studies and for up to 5 years after you graduate to give you help and support with finding a job and developing your career.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job with your freshly developed networking skills, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and enhance your CV.
Eleanor: My name is Eleanor Abbiss and I study computer networks. It's about creating first world basic understanding so you learn about Windows and you learn about Linux operating systems. As well as creating your own networks, you each have your own pod and then you use that to configure your own network in here.
You are given a design and you need to fit all the routers and switches to that design. I love the problem solving aspect of my course. There's always issues that need to be solved and it's about figuring out how best to solve those problems, so that in the future you then "I know, I've had the problem before, I know how to fix it this time" and it's all about constantly evolving. Networking is constantly evolving.
I chose Portsmouth because it was the number one university for Computer Networks. They're building a new Cisco Suite which is great, and you'll be able to do your CCNA here as well as studying your degree at the same time.
One of the best things about the course is it’s very hands on. You learn by doing and not just theory.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Computer Networks degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Architecture and Operating Systems
- Core Computing Concepts
- Database Systems Development
- Networking Essentials
- System Administration and Internetworking
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Network Servers and Services
- Network Simulation and Traffic Management
- Routing and Switching
- Virtualisation and Cloud Computing
- Wide Area Networks
Optional modules in this year currently include:
- Big Data
- Computing Undergraduate Ambassador
- Ethical Hacking
- Institution-wide Language Programme
On this course, you can do an optional study abroad or work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Enterprise and ISP Network Solutions
- Individual Project (Engineering)
- Network Design
Optional modules to choose from in this year currently include:
- Distributed Systems and Security
- Fuzzy Systems and Networks
- Hacking for Defence
- Internet of Things
- Malware Forensics
- Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms
- Wireless Networks
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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Academic skills support
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- Academic writing
- Note taking
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Maths and stats help
The Maths Café offers free advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- laboratory work
- practical work
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- technical reports and logbooks
- written exams
- mini projects
- case studies
- group assignments
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year 1 students: 43% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 47% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 40% by written exams and 60% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 25% by written exams, 10% by practical exams and 65% by coursework
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £17,600 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – I122
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.